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Playing Now In The International Theater
by Michael K. Smith
March 10, 2005

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For interested viewers, the following is an entertainment guide to U.S. conflicts and wars now playing at a theater near you.

Bonzo Goes To Babylon
In this gripping sequel to the classic Ronald Reagan series, George W. Bush stars as a catatonic Jesus-freak on a mission from God to save humanity from evildoers. Director Donald Rumsfeld has produced an absolutely harrowing, gore-filled account of Christian America recapturing the Holy Land in revenge for terrorist attacks on Washington and New York. Tense street battles interspersed with hilarious Pentagon briefings characterizing the U.S. slaughter as a humanitarian crusade make this one of the most entertaining films released in 2003. A talented supporting cast of neoconservative fanatics bent on “owning” outer space and reducing the earth to a Washington protectorate keeps the audience well entertained throughout. Their musings about “ending countries” and nuking enemies bring down the house time and again. Running time: 2 years. Rated X, as some of the corpses are not fully clothed. Presidential addresses in Bushspeak with English subtitles.

Zionist Ship of Fools
A darkly comic account of Jewish “survival”, this sci-fi classic shows humanity repeatedly brought to the brink of nuclear war with Jews insisting on being the world¹s only uniquely unique people. In an enormous practical joke, the largely irreligious Jews reclaim the Holy Land after an absence of two thousand years, contending their “covenant” with a genocidal Bronze Age God entitles them to nationhood on Palestinian land in the mid-20th Century. Diasporan Jews are “in-gathered” to the new nation, displacing the indigenous Arabs, who valiantly fight a losing battle while being equated with Adolf Hitler. Billed as a haven from anti-Semitism, Israel becomes an endless nightmare of terror and massacre. Ariel Sharon is simply superb as the modern King of the Jews. A master of contempt, he shrugs off war criminal charges, masquerades as the aggrieved party, and locks the entire Palestinian people in a giant outdoor cage. Rated PPF, i.e., pants-peeingly funny. Running time: two millennia, though the action doesn’t really get going until the last hundred years.

Last Tango In Kabul
Elections shot through with fraud are once again hailed as a triumph of freedom in this dull re-enactment of Washington’s perennial bring-democracy-to-the-barbarians crusade. Even Osama Bin Laden’s strong performance as a religious zealot determined to drive the U.S. from the Muslim world with horrifying terrorism cannot save this dreary farce whose comedy depends on us enjoying the spectacle of starving Afghans waiting to be annihilated by American bombs. The film’s only entertainment is watching Northern Alliance leaders manipulate Washington into bombing tribal rivals for the settling of petty scores having nothing to do with the search for Bin Laden. Hamid Karzai gives an unconvincing performance as a liberator of the Afghan people. Volatile security renders him a prisoner of the capital and the opium trade thrives under his barely detectable command. Rated R, due to Dick Cheney¹s cursing. No subtitles, as all the action takes place in Karzai’s heavily-fortified castle, where everyone speaks English. Running time: brief; the transition from Taliban rule to U.S. client state occurs practically overnight. Popcorn buyers risk missing the whole thing.

Bullets For Bogota
In this epic drama hungry Colombians take the blame for shoving cocaine up the noses of recreational drug users in North America. After years of undercutting Colombian farm prices with its heavily subsidized and vastly cheaper export crops, Washington waxes indignant that rural peasants resort to growing coca leaves, the only crop that guarantees them a decent return. The U.S. government launches a “war on drugs,” heaping arms, aid, and paramilitary training on Colombia’s death squad government, which it pretends not to notice is closely linked to narcotrafficking operations. In a delightful comic twist, millions of gallons of ether and acetone, essential for cocaine processing, turn up in Colombia with U.S. corporate logos proudly displayed on the drums. Among the few flaws of this fine film is the predictability of the incessant torture and murder of Colombian peasants, union organizers, teachers, and journalists. Viewers know in the first five minutes how the story will turn out: Washington’s enthusiasm for the killers will grow as the dirty war against “narcoterrorism” accelerates. Ho hum. Brilliant black humor more than makes up for such minor defects, however. As Colombia is converted to a corpse-strewn wasteland, an anonymous cast of military officials in dark glasses deadpans that it is saving the country from “subversives” who intend to cause real harm. Rated PG, i.e., patriotically gory. Running time: four decades, from JFK to Dubya.

Guess Who’s Coming To Haiti?
A take-off on the Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn racial classic, this hilarious little masterpiece tells the story of Haiti¹s popular democratic movement Lavalas as it sweeps Father Jean Bertrand Aristide to power against Washington’s preferences for a World Bank candidate. While U.S.-backed thugs march on Port-au-Prince to depose the stubborn priest for a second time, American sweatshop owners chip in to defray the costs of torturing and murdering Lavalas supporters along the way. Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers melt the hearts of viewers as they kidnap Aristide and escort him into exile for attempting to reform a status quo in which five percent live in fabulous luxury and ninety-five percent in absolute destitution. Lending huge comic relief to the macabre violence is Emmanuel Constant, the former head of Haitian security convicted in absentia for the murder of thousands of his people. From the security of his New York exile he derives endless entertainment watching President Bush’s grave warnings of horrendous consequences for those who harbor terrorists. Rated RC, i.e., racially correct, as all the dead are black people. Running time: 15 years, though flashbacks to earlier imperial bloodbaths encompass centuries.

Goin’ Fission in Teheran
This fascinating tale of lunacy at the top depicts the merry-mixups that ensue when a cabal of world domination specialists tries to gaslight the world into believing Iran is determined to commit nuclear suicide. Claiming to be preventing Iran from acquiring the bomb, the cabal acts so belligerently they convince Teheran there is no survival without it. The story unfolds with Washington withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, refusing to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and dismantling the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, all the while branding Iran a “rogue state”! Viewers are on the edge of their seats wondering if U.S. troops, surrounded and cut-off in neighboring Iraq, will resort to nuclear weapons to teach Muslims not to develop nuclear weapons. Denzel Washington deserves an Academy Award for his portrayal of Senator Barack Obama, who calls for “pre-emptive” missile strikes on Iran’s mullahs, whom he insists are subhuman theocrats incapable of true reason. Rated X, due to Washington’s Abu-Ghraib-style prison scenes. Running time: from Bush 43 to Armageddon.

The Road To Damascus
A rollicking political satire, this is the updated story of the Apostle Paul, who returns to life as U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Wolfowitz. On a trip to Damascus he is hit by a great blinding light and hears the voice of God telling him to liberate the Muslim world from itself. Quickly becoming one of the greatest missionaries of all time, he sets up a church of neo-fascist Likudniks dedicated to spreading American and Jewish supremacy throughout the world. A charmingly disingenuous court-jester, Paul condemns Syria for occupying Lebanon while Israel occupies Palestine and Syria simultaneously and the U.S. lays waste to Iraq. As part of this tragicomic “sideshow,” 200,000 Syrians in the Golan Heights protest in vain at the complete denial of their human rights under Israeli annexation. Meanwhile, Don Rumsfeld delivers an outstanding performance as a persnickety War Czar determined to convert Pentagon press conferences into stand-up comedy routines. While Washington bombards Iraq to rubble, “Rummy” deadpans that Syria is threatening U.S. national security by shipping night-vision goggles to the Iraqi resistance. Rated HF, highly farcical. Running Time: 4 years, Dubya”s entire second term.

Michael K. Smith is the author of Portraits of Empire, The Madness of King George, and Rise To Empire (forthcoming), all from Common Courage Press.

Other Articles by Michael Smith

* Ward Churchill's Real Sins
* Nazis 'R Us