Saturday, August 6, 2011
The WTF? Department
One of the curiosities lo these many years of the American Imperial Adventure is that there has been essentially no popular interest in or information provided through popular media about the lands and peoples Our Valiant Troops have been trying to conquer.
Meh. Who cares? Destroy their homes, slaughter them, take their oil -- or whatever it is we want -- and go. Leave. Pack up and move on. To the next conquest.
That's basically how this Forever Global War of Imperial Aggression has long been sold to the masses, without the slightest acknowledgement of where and among whom these would-be conquests are being undertaken.
The public had far more information about Vietnam and the Vietnamese -- as well as the rest of Indochina and its peoples -- back in the day that we have now about Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and all the other places around the world where Our Valiant Ones are busy with their... work.
Of course, maybe knowing something about the places and the victims of American aggression makes it easier for Americans to resist the call to Empire, I don't know. But it is shocking to realize just how vacant the knowledge well is when it comes to the basic matters of history and geography and society in our far away satrapies.
So. Here comes this movie, "The Devil's Double," the only one I am aware of that presents a more or less contemporary (well... ) Iraqi story from a more or less Iraqi perspective (again, well... with plenty of caveats...) and look what it is: a violence and blood-soaked melodrama just like any other high-life American crime family melodrama. Oh, please. "Scarface of Arabia" my wrinkled white ass.
Is this the only way we (I say advisedly) can approach those we have tried to conquer? It really is appalling.
Does anyone in or serving our Land of the Free and Home of the Brave have any idea where Iraq is and what it is from a historical standpoint? You know, Garden of Eden, Birthplace of Civilization, Homeland of Abraham, Issac, Ishmael? Babylon? Ur of the Chaldees? Etc? Baghdad?
Nobody cares, at all. So nobody knows. When the Baghdad Museum was looted after the Invasion, all we got were shrugs. "Oh well, bad things happen."
The invasion and occupation of Iraq were extraordinarily brutal and destructive; in the contemporary history of Iraq there has been nothing even remotely like it -- not even Saddam at his worst.
If the story were ever told for an American audience from an Iraqi standpoint, Americans, by and large, would be absolutely horrified and disgusted.
But instead, we get sympathetic stories of Our Brave Ones facing inconceivable hazards and conditions in that ancient and disturbing land -- and... this. "The Devil's Double."
What struck me about the trailer -- the movie hasn't been released yet -- is that as awful as Uday and the whole situation is portrayed, the characters and their excesses seem no different, except perhaps in detail, than any set of the High and the Mighty you might choose to portray anywhere in the world, especially among American Masters of the Universe, The Very Gods Who Walk Among Us.
No different at all.
Which puts a different light on our Imperial Adventures, doesn't it?