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December 27, 2005

Another Munich Slam, This Time From The NYT

It's not actually their official review of the film; it's a column called "Connections," in which critics offer their "perpectives on art and ideas."

But still-- if Spielberg has alienated a NYT art critic...

The theory asserts that terrorism is a violent and extreme reaction to injustice - the last resort of the oppressed. Typically, this injustice theory is used to explain left-wing terrorism. It not only coincides with the justifications offered by terrorists themselves, but it also accompanies a belief that a just cause lies behind the terrorist attack. The theory is never applied to right-wing terrorism - whether of the brown-shirt or Timothy McVeigh variety - and thus pre-selects its proofs.


The precise truth of what happened is mired in the secrets of spycraft, but the film shapes the sources and evidence to lend support to the injustice theory. Which poses a challenge for Mr. Spielberg: How does he propose to undermine terror? Simple: by eliminating injustice and increasing understanding. Mr. Spielberg has said that he will be buying 250 video cameras and distributing them to Palestinian and Israeli children so they can share films about their own lives. Perhaps there will be peace, then, at the end of that?

Yeah, that'll work.

Liberals essentially deny the idea of conflict. Conflict leads to stuff they don't like (economic sanctions, war) so they're always trying to suggest it's, ahem, "fictititious." Communication is the magic solution to all conflict. If we only just talked to each other more honestly and saw each other as human beings, all conflict would melt away...

And of course that's absurd. I think at this late date the Palestinians and Israelis -- and Americans and Al Qaedaists -- understand each other perfectly. Additional communication isn't going to help, Spielberg.

The other pathetic thing here is Spielberg's hubris. His good intentions can't be faulted; he does want an end to war, which is always nice. But he has to postulate a theory under which he's actually capable of himself helping to end war, and the theory he's struck upon is that what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs for resolution is a really fair-minded movie infused with liberal sensibilities.

When all you have is a hammer tie-dyed shirt, all the problems in the world begin to look like nails the second encore at a Donovan reunion-tour show.

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posted by Ace at 11:57 AM

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