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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unfair Game

Imagine North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il financing an Anti-American movie to be released in thousands of theaters. Well you don't need to imagine it anymore, because with Fair Game, we have the next best thing. Fair Game is an Anti-American movie financed by Imagenation Abu Dhabi, a company owned by the UAE royal family, and the chief difference between North Korea and the UAE is better PR. Both are brutal dictatorships ruled over by vicious little men which built ridiculous resorts and gargantuan projects for their own self-glorification. But unlike North Korea, the UAE has managed to get gullible Westerners to show up to their Dubai slave paradise without asking any inconvenient questions.

When the US contemplated taking out Bin Laden in 1999, two years before the September 11 attacks, they were unable to do so, because Uncle Osama was passing the time with UAE royals. Now Imagenation Abu Dhabi, a company run by UAE royals, is funding Anti-American movies like Amreeka, My Name is Khan and Fair Game. Amreeka and My Name is Khan focus on the mistreatment of Muslims by America after 9/11. Fair Game, on the other cleverly moves the Muslims to the background, and instead focuses on more photogenic versions of liberal frauds Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame.

Fair Game is the ugly shotgun marriage between liberals and Islamists, with both sides working together to undermine and smear America. It features the likes of Sean Penn, who visited Iraq before the war to defend Saddam Hussein's regime. Then there's director Doug Liman, better known for the first Bourne movie or his MoveOn.org commercials. The screenplay is by Jez Butterworth, a British devotee of radical leftist Harold Pinter.

This is a movie that panders to liberal fantasies about Plame and Wilson by recasting them as younger and more photogenic heroes, splices their dueling books together into one fantasy. Like Leni Riefenstahl, it tries to transforms propaganda into pop culture, fusing the already truth-challenged narrative of Wilson and Plame with Liman's Bourne movies to create a lie completely detached from reality.

Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame have already been discredited in every way possible, and the idea that Plame was some sort of undercover agent operating in a danger zone, who was put at risk, has become a running gag. Fair Game tries to up the element of danger by showing the two Washington D.C. celebutards ducking and covering. In reality the only thing they were doing was primping for the press and pushing their memoirs.

The myth of the Plame Affair, like the claim that the Supreme Court unfairly took away the presidency from Al Gore, is one of those things that liberals will go on believing no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. And Fair Game gives their internal fantasy lives new meaning through the magic of Hollywood, financed by a repressive regime looking to cloak its own Anti-Americanism in Tinseltown glamor.

But the timing of it is particularly bad. Fair Game's release overlaps with the release of Bush's memoirs, probably not an accident. But it's also much too late for anyone to care about it. Liberals bitter after the 2010 election, would rather have some Michael Moore, than Doug Liman playing out a bureaucratic version of Jason Bourne. Fair Game dives into a closed chapter in the War in Iraq with a Democratic administration focused on winding down and getting out. It celebrates a dissent that no longer has any meaning.

Yet it's curious how liberals and Islamists find common ground over anti-American conspiracy theories. So much so that Osama bin Laden felt compelled to cite Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11. Because both reflect a common reality. To the Muslim world, conspiracy theories maintain an absence of responsibility, making it all too easy to blame America or Israel for all their defects. That same flexibility of narrative appeals to liberals, who discarded the fact that the Clinton Administration seriously explored an invasion of Iraq, to promote the conspiracy theory that Bush invaded Iraq out of religious fanaticism or to measure up to his father. It's easier to substitute conspiracy theories for the truth, that Saddam Hussein was an unstable element for several administrations who debated internally over what to do with him. And that is what Fair Game does best, substituting conspiracy theories for difficult truths.

But Fair Game allows a regime associated with Al Qaeda to fund an Anti-American movie distributed in American theaters. And that is an ominous development, because it demonstrates a new phase that goes well beyond grainy videotapes. Instead top Hollywood talent become the message bearers, receiving their funding from totalitarian regimes, while the final product appears coast to coast. By taking advantage of liberal hostility toward America, they can get their message across.The UAE's rulers were always opposed to sanctions on Iraq. And they have promoted radical propaganda claiming that the Holocaust was carried out by the Jews and that 9/11 had been carried out by the United States itself. Fair Game can easily be seen as an extension of that strategy.

And if you want to understand what kind of priority the UAE regime places on propaganda films like Fair Game, here's Liman's own description of his reception there.

We land in Dubai at 8 a.m. One of the perks of visiting what amounts to a monarchy is the VIP treatment. We are whisked off the plane, down a back set of stairs and into a Mercedes -- no airport, no customs. They can do whatever they want since it's their country.

"Their" of course being the UAE royals. It certainly doesn't belong to and isn't run by ordinary people. No more than Imagenation Abu Dhabi is run by the hoi polloi. To say nothing of the countless Asian slave laborers who make it what it is today. And when even Western celebrities have had to go through customs and strip searches, Liman's red carpet treatment by the regime telegraphs that Fair Game is a priority for them.

In one passage, Liman naively pretends not to understand the realities of the region

Khaled Nabawy also joined us in Abu Dhabi. He plays an Iraqi scientist in the film, a role that has caused him an enormous amount of trouble in his native Egypt because I cast an Israeli actress to play his sister. During the shoot, Khaled was threatened with being kicked out of the Egyptian acting union if he acted in a scene with an Israeli, and our permits to shoot in Cairo were threatened unless I guaranteed that I would not bring the Israeli actress into Egypt with a personal letter to the Egyptian culture minister. At the time, I was happy to not bring the actress into Cairo because I really wanted to shoot her scenes in Baghdad. It turned out I couldn't bring her into Iraq either -- no Israeli's allowed. I was shocked to discover we had rebuilt Iraq as a foe of Israel.

Perhaps Liman would be equally shocked to discover that his UAE hosts have no use for Israelis in their own country either. It took international pressure for them to allow an Israeli tennis player to enter the country for a tennis tournament. They don't have much use for Jews either. Unless they're doing their bidding. Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed funded a center which claimed that Jews drink blood and that the Holocaust was a myth. And Imagenation Abu Dhabi answers to Sheikh Zayed's son. Today the UAE is promoting conspiracy theories about the War in Iraq, but there's no reason to think it will stop there. Turkey's Valley of the Wolves used Hollywood actors to promote an Anti-American and Anti-Semitic message. And the Zayed Center, which hosted everyone from 9/11 Truthers to Lyndon LaRouche still has plenty of material to offer.

Liberals will have to choose whether they want to get in bed with a brutal regime that tortures opponents in a way that few Hollywood movies could equal, a regime that has promoted rabid Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism, and whom Richard Clarke tied to Osama bin Laden. But once they have made their choice, then they can no longer claim the shield of decency or the scepter of patriotism. Once you have betrayed your country, you can no longer wrap yourself in its flag.

Fair Game is the equivalent of taking money from Nazi Germany to make a movie celebrating Lindbergh's Anti-War activism. It is not quite an act of treason, but it manages to take up residence in the same neighborhood.

10 comments:

Mark Tapson said...

In case anyone's interested, I had written a review of the script for Big Hollywood before the movie's release, that overlaps with this article and goes into more detail about the film's historical revisionism. It's here: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/mtapson/2010/04/06/sucker-punch-squad-in-fair-game-sean-penn-rewrites-valerie-plame-affair-to-trash-rove-bush/

lemon said...

There was no mistreatment of them after 9 11 or any other time.
The only mistreatment now is of real Americans.

HermitLion said...

Sultan,
Don't you find it amazing how easily this shmoes are charmed with other dictatorial regimes? The quotes from their arrival in Dubai stink from intoxication with favoritism and power - the same things they are supposedly objecting to with first world countries.

Is there by any chance a list of 'tainted' movies somewhere on the web? It would be very useful for warning people who might unknowingly subject themselves to shameless propaganda.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Thanks Mark,

Hermitlion, they're elitists who fancy themselves to be naturally superior, so they fit well into dictatorships.

It would be much easier to make a list of non-tainted movies.

HermitLion said...

Daniel,
That's exactly what I was thinking. Like you've said many times, a lot of their 'ethical protest' is nothing more but grasps at attention and power.
What's still amazing is that those pampered movie stars desire even more flattery than they already get in California itself.

And I guess you're right about the movies - personally, I find it very difficult to enjoy cinema nowadays. Always having to be on the lookout for distorted messages being pushed on the viewer is not my idea of fun. Especially with the prices of tickets!

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

The industry is collapsing. Going to the Muslim world for funding is a last gasp effort.

Anonymous said...

The only movies I tend to shell out money on are horror, fantasy, romance and comedy. General drama is too iffy. The last serious film I saw was Munich, which more than enough.

Bias shows up especially in documentaries. I think many of these documentaries slip under the radar.


Keliata

Juanita said...

I took this screenshot in 2006 when it was still at some official Saudi website. It is their Visa page. Well worth a look. They have since removed "Jewish people" from their list of undesirables. Sultan is right on as usual!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65785582@N00/253661849/

SabaShimon said...

As for a list of "tainted" movies, one just has to glance at the cast.
Any movie with Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandan, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Ed Asner, Russell Crowe, or Alec baldwin (for starters) can be counted on to portray America, and the West in general in a poor light.

wanumba said...

Thanks for pointing out the Lotus Eaters quality of these hedonistic slave-supported resort-states. How easily our current generation is seduced by what John Bunyan warned about - this time a Muslim "Vanity Fair."
Gah!

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