Watched the fireworks display after the Indians Yankees game at Jacobs field. It’s the eve of the 4th of July so we were expecting lots of red, white and blue. What we got was lots of red and green. No blue. What were they celebrating? The Mexican election?

So we turned our attention back to the TV and caught the last half of “Patriot Games”. It depicts IRA bad guys, linked up with Islamic “freedom fighters” based in Libya, taking revenge on a CIA good guy played by Harrison Ford. It’s based on a Tom Clancy novel and is a pretty good thriller. Made in 1992. What do we get from Hollywood post 9/11?

VDH has the bad news:

Take this fall’s “Flightplan,” in which the U.S. air marshal on board and a flight attendant turn out to be the true terrorists. Meanwhile, four Middle Eastern males are unfairly put under suspicion in the lynch-mob atmosphere on the plane.

The film warns us that the real threat after Sept. 11 is certainly not young Middle Eastern males on planes who might hijack or crash them into iconic American buildings. No, more dangerous in Hollywood’s alternate universe are the flight officials themselves — who in reality on Sept. 11 battled terrorists only to have their throats cut before being blown up with all the passengers.

A slickly filmed “Syriana” is the worst of the recent releases. The film’s problem is not just that it predictably presents the bad, ugly sheik as a puppet of American oil interests while the handsome and good independent crown price is assassinated for championing his oppressed people against Western hegemony. Or that the conniving corporate potentates have big bellies and Southern accents while the good-hearted, sloppily dressed George Clooney is double-crossed by his stylish, pampered CIA bosses safe in the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

“Syriana” also perverts historical reality. Everything connected with the oil industry is portrayed as corrupt and exploitive, with no hint that petroleum fuels civilization. Hollywood producers might not see many oil rigs off the Malibu coast, but someone finds and delivers them gas each morning for their luxury cars.

Spielberg’s “Munich” assumes just such a false symmetry between the killers who murdered the innocent athletes and the Israeli agents who hunted them down — each in their own way victimized and caught in a cycle of “perpetual” violence.

Lost in this pop moralizing is the reality of 1972, when none of Israel’s neighbors were willing to accept the existence of the Jewish state within even its original borders. Then there was no chance that Israeli agents would storm an Olympic event and murder athletes — but every probability that the Soviet bloc, Western Europeans and Middle East autocracies would never hunt down international terrorists who had done so to Israelis.

So Bill Keller is just doing his duty when he discloses and disables security program after security program, all to the benefit of Osama Bin Ladin. Even better, he granted himself authority to do so without once checking with the people.

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