Why I will not watch Zero Dark Thirty


I will watch Titanic before I watch Zero Dark Thirty.

I will listen to rightwing talk radio before I watch Zero Dark Thirty.

I will donate to the Republican Party before I watch Zero Dark Thirty.

I will donate to the Democratic Party before I watch Zero Dark Thirty.

I will not watch Zero Dark Thirty.

The thing that bothers me most about the hullabaloo that is coming out over the CIA-Hollywood movie Zero Dark Thirty is that the fixation is on torture.

(See Michael Hastings' article "'Zero Dark Thirty' And The CIA's Hollywood Coup" for more on the governments nefarious role in Hollywood flicks—though you will notice that Hastings too demonstrates the fixation).

Don't get me wrong, torture is wrong and criminal.

But as bad as glorifying torture is, glorifying the illegal invasion of a foreign country (i.e. Pakistan) to execute a detained and unarmed man (i.e. Osama bin Laden) at point-blank range without due process is even worse.

But no one seems to be outraged at that.

Have we been conditioned to accept bin Laden as the ultimate evil so much so that his murder does not disturb us?

He was unarmed and detained.

If bin Laden's criminality is the basis for hunting him down then what do you call the criminality we extended to him?

Irony?

Hypocrisy?

Something worse?

I don't care that it was Osama bin Laden.

I wouldn't care if it was God himself.

For starters, the conflict didn't begin with bin Laden and September 11, 2001.

He did not live in a vacuum.

His own story is just a tiny part of, and largely in response to, a bigger humanitarian catastrophe: American imperialism.

We don't have to agree with his fanatic Sunni ideology or his violent methods to note that he was in essence an element of resistance.

He was not the cause, but the effect.

His own crimes pale to what he was fighting against.

Millions have died and suffered under brutal regimes the American government has propped up in order to maintain a suitable business climate.

Millions.

But none of that matters because the rule of law, who we affectionately refer to as Lady Justice, is supposed to be blind and impartial.

Even if you want to put aside the illegal raid in Pakistan, bin Laden was unarmed and detained.

Killing him was an obstruction and perversion of justice.

He should have had his day in court, just as George W Bush and Barack Obama should have theirs.

Imagine if our victims carried out a military raid in Texas, or Illinois, and put a bullet in an unarmed and detained George W Bush, or Barack Obama.

Imagine the perpetrators dumping his body in Lake Lewisville, or the Mississippi River.

Then imagine their domestic film community making a movie celebrating it.

That is what Zero Dark Thirty is.

A demonstration of our depravity.

And I want no part of it.

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