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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty


Just came back from watching Zero Dark Thirty.  Good stuff, and I can see why the Left hates it.

Here's what bunches up Lefties' panties:

1.  The movie shows the CIA successfully torturing people to get the information we need to find bin Laden.  Lots of things about this irritate the Left.  First, they cannot abide the idea any information we got through aggressive questioning was actually useful.  Second, they certainly don't want enhanced interrogation presented in such a way as to look like it could possibly be justified.  Zero Dark Thirty manages to do both.  Third, and this may be the most artistically unforgivable thing the movie did, the movie showed prisoner treatment far worse than anything the CIA actually did do* and we in the theater couldn't care less.  As far as I could tell from the audience around me, if the CIA guy wanted to shove the jihadi into a four foot by two foot box for a couple days, that was just fine by us.  This must particularly enrage your average anti-American Lefty in Hollywood.  It's one thing to make a movie that makes child molesters seem like regular guys; that's just expanding the horizons of us poor, benighted Red Staters.  But show the US Government righteously  jumping ugly in the defense of America, well, that must never be done.

2.  When a Navy SEAL goes to work he doesn't fool around.  Your average frogman commando clearing a room does not leave live bad guys behind him.  No Miranda rights read to anybody.  Once you do something to cause a SEAL to "engage" you, you are engaged good and proper and permanent.  Sorry, Haji, no hard feelings.  Once again, the audience around me seemed to agree this was a no-brainer. 

3.  Obama is a fool, a liar, or both.  The only reference to the Big O was a video clip of him in the background claiming the U.S. doesn't torture anybody.  The video was playing in the mess hall where two of the "torturers" were discussing business.  The only other reference to the administration at all was when the slick, well-dressed suits from the White House were making it clear to the CIA guys they were mostly interested in making sure an attack on bin Laden didn't reflect poorly on the President.

4.  I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else yet but it may be an even bigger point than the others:  the movie continually referenced how the CIA messed up its assessment of Iraqi WMDs.  Not George Bush, not Neo-cons, not the Zionist lobby.  Sometimes the CIA just guesses wrong and it was the CIA that guessed wrong on Iraq.  The Left's urban myth about how George W. Bush "lied" us into a war in Iraq is a matter of faith among their true believers.  For this film to flatly declare that the Iraqi WMD mistake was just another intelligence screw-up, and not some evil plot concocted by the BusHitler, must be particularly galling.

5.  Just as a general matter, there isn't the slightest hint in Zero Dark Thirty of the US being the bad guy, nor does it raise any questions about who the true bad guys might be.  The people we are fighting are mass murderers.  Our "allies" among them sometimes have to be bribed just to help us out.  They burned three thousand Americans alive in the middle of New York City and the entire fight since then has been our response to that atrocity, and our attempts - often unsuccessful - to stop them from committing more atrocities.

The more I think about it, the worse this movie seems from a Lefty's point of view.  No wonder they can't stand it.

* For a retired CIA guy's take on the Zero Dark Thirty torture scenes, you may want to read this.