Sunday, July 10, 2005

The REAL War of the Worlds

The media won’t let us go more than a few minutes without thinking about Steven Spielberg’s latest project, War of the Worlds, but there is a real war of the worlds being waged today. It's a matter of life and death and yet we barely hear of it. These two worlds have been pretty much engaged in constant battle for almost an entire century. One world is characterized by democracy, plurality, respect for individual rights and self-determination. The other stands for totalitarianism, supremacy of the state, censorship and uniformity of thought. Many thought the war was over when one side simply declared victory. Unfortunately nobody informed the other side, and if they did, they weren’t listening.

Today more than one quarter of the world’s population still lives under the yoke of totalitarian rule. China, North Korea, and Cuba are the old guard, but keep an eye out Russia where the current president is a former KGB man and whose government heavily censors the media. Venezuela is also a country to keep a very close eye on. Though democratically elected, that country’s leader, Hugo Chavez, is increasingly militarizing Venezuelan society and rolling back civil liberties. Instability in other countries such as Bolivia, Colombia and Nicaragua is also troubling.

The most troubling thing is the aid and comfort that some the people in our country are willing extend to those who would do away with those things our world holds dear. War of the World’s director, Steven Spielberg, went to Cuba in 2002 to screen several of his films. While there he met with Fidel Castro and upon his return, he exclaimed to the Wall Street Journal that they “were the eight most important hours of my life.” I’m not going to comment because others have done so much better than I ever could hope to, such as Nat Hentoff,
Myles Kantor, Robert Duvall, and Nick Calzada.

Just remember that you can and should take sides in this war of the worlds. You don’t have to give Hollywood your hard earned dollars so they can keep spreading their propaganda like some modern day Tokyo Rose. It’s every American’s right to “vote with their feet.” It’s a shame that Hollywood’s most talented people are often it’s most radical and clueless. I enjoy the work of Tim Robbins and Martin Sheen but they are living in a fantasy. Spielberg himself was quoted by the BBC as saying that he wanted he wanted the US administration to "wipe the slate clean" with regard to Cuba’s Castro regime. This sounds rather hypocritical from a man who has rightly crusaded against us forgetting the incredible tragedy of holocaust. One cannot simply “wipe the slate clean” of crimes against humanity whether they are committed by right wing regimes or left wing regimes.

Unfortunately, the real war of the worlds is not guaranteed to have a happy ending like Spielberg’s fictional one.

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