Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hollywood movies are just propaganda, not history lessons!

 Argo's Oscar is like Obama's peace prize: undeserved and grotesque.

"Argo", says Ben Affleck, is "a tribute" to the "extraordinary, honorable people at the CIA" -- currently waging an illegal, immoral, unregulated and expanding drone execution program.

By Nima Shirazi
Wide Asleep in America
23 February 2013

Ben Affleck triumphant at winning the Best Picture Oscar for his CIA propaganda movie Argo.
One year ago, after his breathtakingly beautiful Iranian drama, "A Separation," won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, writer/director Asghar Farhadi delivered the best acceptance speech of the night.

"[A]t the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians," he said, Iran was finally being honored for "her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics."

Farhadi dedicated the Oscar "to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment."

Such grace and eloquence will surely not be on display this Sunday, when Ben Affleck, flanked by his co-producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov, takes home the evening's top prize, the Best Picture Oscar, for his critically-acclaimed and heavily decorated paean to the CIA and American innocence, "Argo."

Over the past 12 months, rarely a week - let alone month - went by without new predictions of an ever-imminent Iranian nuclear weapon and ever-looming threats of an American or Israeli military attack.

Come October 2012, into the fray marched "Argo," a decontextualized, ahistorical "true story" of Orientalist proportion, subjecting audiences to two hours of American victimization and bearded barbarians, culminating in popped champagne corks and rippling stars-and-stripes celebrating our heroism and triumph and their frustration and defeat.  

Salon's Andrew O'Hehir aptly described the film as "a propaganda fable," explaining as others have that essentially none of its edge-of-your-seat thrills or most memorable moments ever happened.  

O'Hehir sums up:

The Americans never resisted the idea of playing a film crew, which is the source of much agitation in the movie. (In fact, the “house guests” chose that cover story themselves, from a group of three options the CIA had prepared.) They were not almost lynched by a mob of crazy Iranians in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, because they never went there. There was no last-minute cancellation, and then un-cancellation, of the group’s tickets by the Carter administration. (The wife of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor had personally gone to the airport and purchased tickets ahead of time, for three different outbound flights.) The group underwent no interrogation at the airport about their imaginary movie, nor were they detained at the gate while a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard telephoned their phony office back in Burbank. There was no last-second chase on the runway of Mehrabad Airport, with wild-eyed, bearded militants with Kalashnikovs trying to shoot out the tires of a Swissair jet.

. . . 

Read the entire story here: 

And some of the real history here:

Our Man in Iran:
How the CIA and MI6 Installed the Shah

By Leon Hadar

Washington's goal: to remove Mossadeq and his political allies, which included liberals, social democrats, and to place reliable pro-western politicians in power.

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