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.
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.