Exclusive: The Oscar for Best Picture went to Ben Affleck’s Argo, an escape-thriller set in post-revolutionary Iran. It hyped the drama and edged into propaganda. But Americans would have learned a lot more if Affleck had chosen the CIA coup in 1953 or the Republican chicanery in 1980, says Robert Parry.
When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the U.S. news media suppressed many images of dead and wounded Iraqis so as not undermine the feel-good patriotism, and a similar bias has held true for Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks. But that favoritism seems finally to be breaking down, says Lawrence Davidson.
A decade ago, President George W. Bush and his neocon aides were convinced that hi-tech American weapons in a “uni-polar world” meant the U.S. could remake the Middle East through violence. It was a moment of hubris that ignored the lessons of history and the Cold War, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: Director Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for “The Hurt Locker” and is in the running again with “Zero Dark Thirty,” but both movies have a troubling undercurrent of racism, heroic Americans operating in a world of apathetic or crazy Muslims, wrote Robert Parry.
From the Archive: “Zero Dark Thirty,” the big-screen chronicling of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, won critical acclaim for its taut storytelling, but the Oscar-nominated film ignored the complex history between the CIA and its terrorist target, wrote Jim DiEugenio.
From the Archive: The hunt-for-bin-Laden film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” portrays torture as a key element in that search. But the filmmakers distorted the facts and ignored the reality that torture is illegal, immoral and dangerously ineffective, wrote Marjorie Cohn.
From the Archive: Two Oscar favorites – “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” – purport to tell real-life stories about America’s troubles in the Middle East, one an escape-from-Iran thriller and the other a get-bin-Laden film. But neither confronts some hard realities, wrote Winslow Myers.
From the Archive: An Oscar frontrunner for best picture is “Argo,” depicting a little-known chapter of the U.S-Iran hostage standoff in 1979-81. Yet, while focusing on this story of six hostages escaping, “Argo” missed bigger dramas, before and after, as David Swanson explained.
The movie “Lincoln” was a dramatic depiction of the political fight to end American slavery with the 13th Amendment – and presented a rare sympathetic portrayal of anti-slavery Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones. This offered a belated chance to reconsider this courageous fighter for freedom, says William Loren Katz.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing on John Brennan to head the CIA focused on lethal drones, but Brennan’s loose talk lumping Iran with North Korea as nuclear threats could be even more worrisome, recalling Iraq WMD exaggerations, as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity warn Sen. Dianne Feinstein.