I’ve read several books and watched a whole lot of movies about USA. Some of those books gave positive impression on me, but the movies impressed me the most. I learned much of USA from those movies.
The first American movie that open up my understanding on USA was Platoon, directed by Oliver Stone–one of the top-notch director in modern history. JFK was second on the list but gave a wider prespective of my understanding on American politics. As you already knew, the movie revolves around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and conspiracy theories behind it through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney, Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner.).
JFK struck just the right tone in the progress of my acquaintance with the USA. Watching JFK franticly rekindle memories of my late father. He used to convince us in one of his speech that the killing of JFK was designed by Zionist capitalists to dominate American policies. Of course by then I was too young to understand what was all about, but now can I relate to it. As former important activist of Masyumi Party during political turmoil in 1955 onward, my father must had felt all kind of political conspiracies first-hand. And maybe that was the reason behind his sensitivity to smell fishy incident.
However, the movie left some good impressions on me. Jim Garrison character soon became some sort of reminder of how good some Americans really are. Later on I learned that Stone got suffocated by mainstream media. During filming, on May 14, 1991, Jon Margolis in the Chicago Tribune wrote that JFK was “an insult to the intelligence.” Five days later, the Washington Post national security correspondent George Lardner blasted the film for “the absurdities and palpable untruths in Garrison’s book and Stone’s rendition of it.” Once the film was released in theaters, New York Times ran an article by Bernard Weinraub entitled, “Hollywood Wonders If Warner Brothers let JFK Go Too Far.” In it, he called for studio censorship and wrote, “At what point does a studio exercise its leverage and blunt the highly charged message of a film maker like Oliver Stone?”
Oliver Stone, like Jim Garrison character in the movie, assert me not to make hasty oversimplification about American people. For me, the film was a significant education of how complicated American people can be. Years after its release, Stone said that the film “was the beginning of a new era for me in terms of filmmaking because it’s not just about a conspiracy to kill John Kennedy. It’s also about the way we look at our recent history…It shifts from black and white to color, and then back again, and views people from offbeat angles.”
After seeing movies about the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and Malcolm X, I came to a conclusion that USA is controlled by the unelected few; majority of American people are not Jimmy Hoffa nor George Bush. This unelected few is playing with the American resources and policies for their own personal gains. Yes, USA is a free country and yes it protects individual liberties. But, ironically these untouchable elites get most benefits from this system by mixing up their power-driven ideology with free elections and a bunch of money politics, media spins and political pressures.
The image of USA became even more grotesque for me after the tragic terrors in 9/11. How can Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other countries be massacred and holocausted for terrors being perpetrated by none other than close friends of the ruling elite of the USA, as satirically disclosed by Fahrenheit 9/11 (documentary film directed by Micheal Moore)? Why mainstream American media don’t tell the truth about the mastermind who blew up the twin towers? Why don’t they reveal the secrets behind 9/11? Why we get the blame for what their friends done for them?
Even Robert Fisk, the most senior Western journalist working in the Middle East, is increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It’s not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Fisk wasn’t talking about the crazed “research” of David Icke’s Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory. He was talking about scientific issues.
Journalistically speaking, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard “explosions” in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. But what about intelligence errors from agencies as big and as sophisticated as CIA and Mossad which enlisted three Arab suicide-hijackers who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East?
Yet, all those things above-mentioned doesn’t waver my belief that average American people are not Bush and Cheney, even if they may truly elected them twice. I still have hope that one day they will wake up and do what de rigueur to change their brutally-ripped image in the world, especially in the Muslim world.
Seeing the victory of the Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Hussein (just like my fathers name) Obama Thursday night (01/03/08) make me optimistic that that day would soon come to reality. Now there is a historic possibility that USA might have a black president–not just within our lifetime, but within months to come-who perhaps can change the image of USA in the minds of Muslims like me. Of course, there is another possibility of him getting killed before elections as was happened with RFK.
Before ending this article, I must apologize for making you miserable by reading my awful English writing.