(This piece first appeared in PoliticallyRight.com. It is the second installment in a ten-part series.)
War. Conservatives Love War.
In the overrated and drug-induced film, Apocalypse Now , Martin Sheen, portraying the war-fried, alcoholic Captain Willard, shoots a woman dead. The young woman has already been wounded while trying to save her puppy from the confused, murderous Americans, who have just killed her family and friends. At the conclusion of this much-lauded classic, Sheen chops the gargantuan Colonel Kurtz (played by the overrated and drug-induced Marlon Brando) to pieces. Of course, Apocalypse was an anti-war movie that attempted to endear us all to the madness of Vietnam, or at least the madness of Vietnam as told by a lot of people who were high. The true madness of Vietnam, however, was not in the jungle -- the soldiers over there were doing their job and doing it well. We did not lose a single engagement in Vietnam, not one. After the Tet Offensive, the war was won. The North attacked the South and we beat Ho's children back. Yet the dragging-on of the war continued and countless American lives and minds were lost because politicians, aided by the anti-war movement (which was really the anti-draft-movement, which was really a front for the Communist Party) did not want to be in Vietnam.
You cannot win a war if you don't want to be there. If the military had been allowed to do its work -- if we had bombed the North more definitively -- that would have been the end of it and the Vietnamese people could have started ordering from the Sears catalogue, opening factories to knock off Wranglers, and dancing with "The Disco Duck." The madness was on the streets of major U.S. cities and college campuses. But the true insanity was Marxism gone wild, and being infused into college life by treacherous professors and visiting lunatics like Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. These wandering, grubby minstrels of anarchy, spouted enough hate and revolutionary, acid-enhanced rhetoric against America, to cause you to want to take long naps. College administrators aided this effort by lying on their backs, putting their paws in the air, and wagging their tongues every time another group of protesters stormed their offices, destroyed public property and urinated on their berber rugs. The other day, in Los Angeles, six hundred high school students left Fairfax High to march against the War. The principal of the school sort of shrugged and said that it was their way of expressing themselves. Enter another generation of knuckleheads.
Hate Is Okay As Long As You Hate the Right People.
We are going to war and war is serious stuff. People kill and are killed. People do horrible things and have horrible things done to them. War is a necessary tool of a civilized society and should only be used as a last resort. We are now at that point and the Left refuses to believe it. Reminds me of a story: a very good friend of my family -- a former president of a major ivy league college, was a conscientious objector during WWII. The army generally put these guys in noncombatant roles, such as medics and support personnel. My friend J., was placed with the 101st Airbourne Division as an interpreter, but refused to carry a gun. When he found himself surrounded in Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge, he picked up a gun and used it. His conscience was clear. We are surrounded by terrorism, and it is time to pick up the gun.
We are going to war with the mustachioed psycho, Saddam Hussein, and his army of fanatical doubles.
Yippies have been replaced with a newer, more refined, often-but-not-always-washed version of the anti-war protester. Susan Sarandon, U2, Mike Farrell, Sean Penn, and the rest of the Hollywood One Hundred, are filling the void left by the bearded, tie-dyed crazies of yesteryear. They float around on college campuses, convincing students that if they agree with war, they are wrong, barbaric, and basically illiterate and dumb -- that they are not cool or hip. As if having your face stepped on by a bully were hip.
The professors of these colleges, the ministers of the faith, try to convince their students (of whom I was one) that the more educated they become, the more liberal (thus enlightened) they become. Vulnerable students often fall prey to these gargoyles and old hippies, who, for a lot of young students, are the first adults to appreciate their willingness to learn. These professors take advantage of their innocence and fill these clean, clear pools of youth with the toxins and sludge of Marxism. More often than not, it is mongrelized versions of Marxism, which have produced over a hundred years of insanity, murder, and oppression. Personally, I think there is nothing less hip than an aging, balding hippie with a thin ponytail, driving a Volkswagon bus to a sit-in, accompanied by a bunch of eighteen-year-old girls who think the Middle-East is Delaware.
The first thing these students learn is that the rich make too much money; the poor don't have enough; African-Americans are oppressed because America is a racist nation of Indian-killers and is the cause of all evil in the world; the Southwest belongs to Mexico; every girl is a lesbian. And war is abhorrent, even if those with whom you must go to war (as is the case with Saddam) are capable of destroying over a hundred villages and hundreds of villagers with poison gas, because those unfortunate folks didn't like Saddam Hussein. No problem. George Bush is much worse, due to the fact that his father was in the oil business; and he “didn't really win the election,” so he “isn't really the President.” Students learn that hate is okay as long as you hate the right people.
The Left hates President Bush and conservatives. They will always hate conservatives and it is silly to think otherwise. Hollywood is leading the charge of the Left, to indoctrinate students and brainwash them into believing that conservative thought is evil thought. That only the Left can possibly be compassionate, even though their compassion is filled with hatred and is connected, through its Marxist roots, to a history of slaughter, suffering and oppression. That you are what you think, and if you're thinking like a conservative, you are not thinking at all.
This new breed of Marxist is using the impending war as it did the Vietnam War: it could care less about the Iraqi people just as it did not care about the Vietnamese. It cares about itself and its own agenda. If it truly cared about people, it would have been just as vociferous against the foolish and mindless bombings perpetrated by Bill Clinton. Who can forget the Belgrade war protesters who stood on the bridge, as the bombs dropped all around them? Were not these pacifists fellow travelers? Or was it that Clinton was the Left's boy and nothing mattered to them except having a position of control, power, and an open invitation to the White House? Is war only subject to criticism for the Left if there is a Republican President in office? Methinks yes. Funny! Clinton sent more cruise missiles into Iraq during his impeachment trial than were sent during the entire Gulf War. I can't remember a single protest. Where were the celebrity pacifists then? They were going around talking about how unfair it was that the Evil Right-Wing was unfairly persecuting their beloved man-woman and multi-racial boy, Bill Clinton, man of the people.
Hollywood believed that it was its duty to show that America was the bad guy in Vietnam, and that Communism was okay because it was just another way of thinking. They ignored the millions of deaths, at the hands of the Communists, that followed our departure from that country and Laos and Cambodia. Just about every movie produced, concerning the Vietnam war, portrayed America as evil and the North Vietnamese as victims of imperialism. John Wayne's Green Berets stood out as the only pro-American, Vietnam war movie, until Mel Gibson's We Were Soldiers just last year. The Deer Hunter certainly had patriotic elements and treated the Vietcong for what they were: vicious, demonic beasts.
Hollywood hates conservatives. It believes that conservatives are in love with war. Hollywood believes itself to be beyond war. If the world could only see things Hollywood's way: peace would be at hand for all of eternity and there would never be a regime that would consider sticking an electrical prod up someone's rectum. Democrats would again control the White House and all dictators and evildoers would sit quietly at home watching the Gameshow Network, smoking bones, and playing air guitars to old KISS songs. Hollywood is more sensitive to the world's needs and much more able to transfer such events as the World Trade Center attack, into positive feelings of hope and well-being. If only we had been more open to the way others think. If only we could walk a mile in the moccasins of someone like...oh...Gaddafi; we certainly would never have considered dropping a smart bomb into his ear.
Where Are the Mickey Rooneys and Marlene Dietrichs?
The first Best Picture Academy Award went to the war movie, Wings in 1927, which depicted the flying aces and dogfights of World War I. This was followed by All's Quiet on the Western Front (Best Picture, 1930), based on the novel by the former German soldier, Erich Maria Remarque; and Hollywood's first anti-war, war movie. This early talking picture is truly one of the greats of all time. But, so taken was Lew Ayers, the young star of All's Quiet..., by his own brilliant performance and the overwhelming thematic elements of the work, that he became a pacifist, and one of the first actors to be totally consumed and transformed by a movie role.
During WWII, Hollywood went to war big time. Filmmakers, such as John Ford and Frank Capra, under the auspices of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and with the narrative assistance of celebrities like Ronald Reagan (in uniform at the time), produced movies to inspire, motivate and stimulate Americans and to help them better understand the situation in the Pacific and Europe -- to make them more a part of the action. Some of these films were documentary and some dramatic. Although there was a propaganda element to them, they were rooted in patriotism and a spirit that was true. The entertainers who flew around to boost the morale of the troops were as important as a fresh supply of ammo. Bob Hope's exploits are well-documented and legendary. Mickey Rooney -- a K-bar knife, hanging from his belt -- won the Bronze Star for insisting that his pilot fly him into a combat zone to give the troops a few laughs. Marlene Dietrich was often found at the front line, without fanfare, German 88's exploding close by, singing a song to the exhausted troops.
In Hollywood and New York, troops could drop into the Stage Door Canteen and hobnob with and be entertained by celebrities there. The celebs were not serving up mac and cheese, and donuts and coffee, for a possible photo op, but because they loved America and what America was trying to do. They considered it doing their part. The celebrities of the day, for the most part, loved America.
Today, no such patriotism exists. Celebrities are out in droves to protest the upcoming war with Iraq. The sad part about this is that those innocents, who consider actors to be intelligent and informed people (some are, most aren't) are also brought into the mix. They will emulate the actors and rock stars along with the college professors. If for some reason -- if Saddam leaves Iraq and becomes an international hat salesman -- and if George Bush decides not to go to war -- Hollywood and Company will be proclaiming victory not over Saddam Hussein, but over violence. They will inspire their admirers to believe that it was their strutting around and their spouting anti-war, anti-American rhetoric, that brought an end to the conflict.
Hollywood activists of today are as united as customers fleeing from a burning restaurant. They are not only discrediting America, the troops, and the President, they are discrediting themselves. They do not understand that they are enabling and empowering the energies of evil, with their foolish, sophomoric and clichéd rhetoric. Jane Fonda, personified celebrity misguidance, malfeasance and screwball behavior by cavorting with the North Vietnamese and participating in schemes of psychological warfare against America. Tom Hayden just hated America. Susan Sarandon, mother, woman, and citizen of the planet, is running around with the rest of her ilk, touting her high and mighty pacifistic hate. She has yet to mention the hundreds of Iraqi Jews, hanging from their necks in the streets of Baghdad. Supposedly they were spies, but in reality, their only crime was being Jewish in a society that hates Jews.
A new leader has also risen to the top of the milk and that is Ben Cohn, co-founder of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. In Los Angeles, radios broadcast an ad, paid for by Cohn, in which Sarandon spoke out against a possible war with Iraq. The add went on, even as the House Chamber was applauding the entrance of the President at his State of the Union speech. Absolutely shameful. Cohn is a pacifist who believes that engaging in any kind of war means that you have already lost the war. And Nelson Mandela, darling of the Hollywood Left, who has been just short of cannonized for his Marxist ways, has weighed in and proclaimed that George Bush is stupid and that the only reason that Bush is not following the United Nations is because Kofi Annan is black.
These gentle and awe-inspiring folks would feel much better if the UN controlled the decision-making process, as they did in the recent decision to make Libya the head of the Human Rights Commission...Libya, the fatherland of terrorism and the country responsible for the destruction of Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Left touts itself as being civil; they are anything but. They often will refer to President Bush as a moron. Morons do not become leaders of the Free World.
The Left's real agenda is simply to hate President Bush and to make sure Democrats are reelected sometime in the distant future. And the Democratic party is the most shameful. If there is another terrorist attack on this country, blood will be on its hands for not allowing good to conquer evil and for energizing our enemies with the confidence that America is not of one mind.
We've blown the whole idea of war with Iraq out of proportion. We've heard about house-to-house fighting. The only house-to-house fighting that will be done, will be by Iraqis fighting from house-to-house to greet the American troops with shish kebab and buckets of yogurt.
The play is about to open and the actors are on their marks: the Hollywood Left; the anachronistic professors who believe that Jerry Garcia is still alive; and last but not least, the wonderful martyr and member of the original village people, Nelson Mandela. After the tragedy of the Shuttle Columbia, Saddam Hussein, rather than sending his condolences and putting aside our differences but for a moment -- a move which could have impelled us to rethink our possible disembowelment of his desert torture chamber -- chose to alienate us even farther by saying that the tragedy was God's retribution against America. Alright, then. Let's get to work.
(Steve Feinberg is Editor-at-Large of PoliticallyRight.com— an online monthly designed to combat the hegemony of the left in academia. Mr. Feinberg is also an award winning playwright who has written thirteen screenplays and over one hundred plays. For the past twenty years, he and his wife have resided in Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles.)