Monday, October 27, 2008

The Goldberg Evaluation

Here's an interesting post in which Jeffrey Goldberg discusses the movie Obsession, which aims at making Americans aware that there are terrorists who want to kill them; something few people know of and the media hardly ever mentions. Also, why are there no wars ongoing centered around this threat? Someone should really do something!

(Incidentally, I'm not kidding- the version of the film that I watched barely even mentioned the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, and it came out this year!)

Goldberg watched the ten-minute version of Obsession. I watched the hour-long version, which came as a free DVD to our department. I considered blogging about it, but declined because the movie was so idiotic and I couldn't think of much else to say about it. The tag line should be: "The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming!" Again, the point seems to be to alert Americans to the fact that there was some sort of terrorist attack on 9/11/2001 (you don't say!) and that there are Islamic radicals who want to kill us. The filmmakers seem to think that this is a shocking and "politically-incorrect" revelation, and indeed, the real target of the film is "political correctness", which is never defined, or even demonstrated out of one single 20-second clip of professional jackass Michael Moore babbling about "freedom fighters".


"The tragedy of "Obsession" is not that it is wrong; the tragedy is that it takes a serious issue, and a serious threat -- that of Islamism -- and makes it into a cartoon. Its central argument is that the "Islamofascism" of today is not only the equivalent of Nazism, but worse than Nazism. This is quite a thing for a Jewish organization to argue. One of the featured speakers in "Obsession" is a self-described "former PLO terrorist" named Walid Shoebat, who argues on film that a "secular dogma like Nazism is less dangerous than Islamofascism is today."

This is lunacy, of course. Islamism isn't Nazism. It's bad enough without being labeled Nazism. Martin Gilbert, the biographer of Churchill, shows up in the film as well, and doesn't cover himself in glory: "History has an unfortunate habit of always repeating itself," he says. Always? Does this mean that the Arabs are right now constructing death camps for the Jewish citizens of Israel?"

And (surprise!) anyone who wants to respond to Islamo-fascio-rama-lama-ding-dong in with anything but overwhelming force is Neville Chamberlain. Actually, the video is even stupider than I'm making it sound. It's all pitched at the level of a 12 year old: No, get this! The Muslims were in league with Hitler! Seriously! Goldberg's scathing critique is too nice- it's impossible for any intelligent person to watch the film and not be a bit less concerned with terrorism. In such, Obsession is probably dangerously stupid.

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