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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is a film critic for The New York Post and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

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    “Green Zone” “Legitimately Great, No Matter What Your Politics”

    By Kyle | March 16, 2010

    My friend Steve Zeitchik is making a rather laughable case over at the LA Times movie blog:

    It’s dispiriting to sit back today and soak in just how poorly “Green Zone” performed over the weekend, earning a meager $14.3 million. Depression sets in because the Paul Greengrass movie is legitimately great, a potent thriller and action picture that entertains no matter your politics (we’re not the only ones who feel this way — the movie is the second best-reviewed wide release of the year according to meta-review site Movie Review Intelligence).

    Come on, Steve. Did you think I wouldn’t call you on this? A movie may be, to you, great. But don’t pretend that everyone else thinks it’s great. They don’t. (I don’t pretend that everyone hates “The Hurt Locker.” Almost everyone thinks it’s great. I don’t hate it either, by the way, I just think it’s overrated.) “Green Zone” is rated Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, with (the last time I checked) 61 negative reviews against 62 positive. Did you choose Movie Review Intelligence because it’s the only site you could find that came up with a positive spin? “Second-best-reviewed wide release of the year?” Tsk, tsk. Talk about grading on a scale. The year is not even three months old. What if every wide-release movie this year stinks? “Best of the stinkers” does not equate to “great film.” And according to Rotten Tomatoes, “She’s Out of My League,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Shutter Island” and “The Crazies” all polled higher — all of them wide releases, all released this year.

    And “no matter what your politics” the film is great? Uh-uh. Actually, those of us who have a pro-American mindset pretty much all hate the movie, don’t we? Please show me where I’m wrong, Steve. Please give me a list of conservative critics who loved it.

    As for “dispiriting” and “depression sets in,” hooboy, Steve, you’ve got it quite backwards, haven’t you? The whole point of this movie is to dispirit and depress the audience about how American malevolence led us into an unnecessary war and then caused the insurgency to occur with treachery. (The movie, of course, doesn’t point out that despite everything, a semblance of a fragile democracy was the result, at least as of today.) If anything is dispiriting, it’s the idea of all that carnage being for no purpose. You know what isn’t particularly dispiriting or depressing? That a movie studio lost millions of bucks making a movie that is, according to box office and overall critical metrics, bad.

    Feel free to link to this post at the LA Times site, if you want. Or you can just pretend that I haven’t completely refuted your case and hide in a room of like-minded souls.

    Topics: Iraq, Movies, Politics | 95 Comments »

    95 Responses to ““Green Zone” “Legitimately Great, No Matter What Your Politics””

    1. Christian Toto Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      Well said, but Steve ignores this fact – the film is chock full of flaws that a reputable critic should spot a mile away.

      Jittery, impossible to follow action scenes. Cardboard characters. An ending that beggars belief on many levels.

      It seems impossible to fully embrace such a flawed movie without being blinded by its ideological mission.

    2. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

      Holy crap we agree on something – I didn’t HATE The Hurt Locker either, but it was WAY WAY overrated, and now, overawarded.

      What I find so funny it’s almost awesome is your ringing endorsement of the fruits of the American military’s labour (and the people’s cash): “a semblance of a fragile democracy…at least as of today”.

      I’m sure the friends and families of innocent dead women and children – sorry, I mean “collateral damage” – feel that a semblance of a fragile democracy makes their loved one’s death quite worthwhile.

    3. JimmyC Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      Sol, when exactly did democracy stop being something worth dying for?

      Back in the 1770s, our ancestors fought and died to create “the semblance of a fragile democracy” here in the US. Right now, Iranians are suffering and giving their lives for a democracy in their country that doesn’t even exist yet.

      Clearly democracy matters to all of those people. The question is, why doesn’t it matter to you?

    4. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      I remember that first Iraqi vote. The Iraqis were overjoyed to be voting, despite the threat – and the reality – of terror bombings.

    5. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      “I remember that first Iraqi vote. The Iraqis were overjoyed to be voting, despite the threat – and the reality – of terror bombings.”

      You were there, eh?

    6. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Sol and his like-minded friends always go back to the same old mindset that some cultures aren’t suited for democracy. The way they say it makes it sound very multiculturally aware but what they really mean is “They’re just brown people. They aren’t worth it.”

    7. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

      “You were there, eh?”

      I assume that means you were there?

    8. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      Jimmy C:

      It’s not very democratic to force people to die for it now is it? Some people value their lives and the lives of their loved ones a bit more than the political system they live in. I wouldn’t die for a vote that is inevitably going to elect some greedy, selfish pig who’s only going to do whatever it takes to get re-elected. And it has nothing to do with being scared (your inevitable accusation) – I just prefer being alive to just about anything else. e.g. I’d rather be alive in Iran then dead in the U.S.

    9. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      You were there, eh?

      Good one, Sol! The reporters whose accounts I read were there.

    10. Pete Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      6. For what it’s worth, I don’t buy into that “not ready for democracy” line of thinking.

      However, I think that many Americans don’t realize that simply attacking another country and imposing a friendly (to the US) regime automatically creates America Jr. Obviously, it shouldn’t have been too surprising that the Iraqi people who remembered quite clearly our material support of Saddam haven’t been that eager to cozy up to Americans. Moreover, considering that our bungling has installed a de facto Shia state in Iraq, Americans shouldn’t be 100% surprised that Iraq IS cozying up to Iran more and more.

    11. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      “Good one, Sol! The reporters whose accounts I read were there.”

      Well you’re an expert then! Please, continue generalizing the feelings of 25 million people.

    12. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

      Please, continue generalizing the feelings of 25 million people.

      Because you, of course, are doing nothing of the sort, right?

    13. JimmyC Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      It’s not very democratic to force people to die for it now is it?

      We didn’t force the people to die. We removed Saddam Hussein and his regime. The terrorists (many of whom filtered in from Iran and Syria, you might remember) and death squads murdered people because they didn’t want the Iraqi people to have a representative government. We, and the Iraqi military, fought back against them. This is really basic stuff, Sol, but you don’t seem to be willing to accept any reality that doesn’t make America into the bad guys.

      And it has nothing to do with being scared (your inevitable accusation)…

      No, I don’t think you’re scared (despite your apparent attempt to read my mind). You already live in a stable democracy, so there’s nothing for you to be scared of, is there? If you don’t think democracy is worth fighting for, then try moving somewhere that doesn’t practice it, and let me know how that works out for you.

    14. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      “Sol and his like-minded friends always go back to the same old mindset that some cultures aren’t suited for democracy. The way they say it makes it sound very multiculturally aware but what they really mean is “They’re just brown people. They aren’t worth it.””

      WOW – almost missed this – talk about putting words in someone’s mouth!

      But of course that’s the only way you stupid people can feel like you’re winning an argument – by changing the other person’s argument into something even more stupid than their own.

    15. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      “Because you, of course, are doing nothing of the sort, right?”

      Exactly Kishke – show me where I do.

    16. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      I didn’t change your argument at all. You are saying the Iraqi people are better off under a brutal dictator. Therefore you believe they are not worthy of democracy and should have been left to Saddam’s rule.

      It is a startling thing when people finally expose the truth of your beliefs. Just remember you do not have the moral high ground on this issue.

    17. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      “We didn’t force the people to die.”

      Right, because not a single American bullet or bomb landed on an innocent Iraqi’s head.

      “This is basic stuff” – please – you have the mind of a chimp compared to me.

    18. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

      “It is a startling thing when people finally expose the truth of your beliefs. Just remember you do not have the moral high ground on this issue.”

      Another mediocre mind thinking he’s teaching me something. Believe me, I have the moral high ground on this issue.

    19. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      “please – you have the mind of a chimp compared to me.”

      Well, Sol just outed himself as a third year Poli-Sci major.

    20. Pete Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

      15. Just to muddy up the waters, there are a lot of dictators in the world, but the US doesn’t exactly go out of its way to invade and overthrow every last one of them. In fact, over the years, we’ve propped up a number of them for various reasons. For this reason, the US’ supposed moral high ground when it comes to democracy and human rights doesn’t always win the argument when we decide we want to throw a small country against the wall.

    21. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      “Well, Sol just outed himself as a third year Poli-Sci major.”

      Interesting – your intuition is stupid too.

      Politcal Science is an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one – would NEVER waste my time studying that nonsense. Nor am I presently a student – I’d say I’m in between degrees at this point.

    22. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      My intuition is stupid? Never mind, I was wrong, you’re clearly right out of high school.

    23. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      Exactly Kishke – show me where I do.

      That’s all you’ve been doing! The line you’ve been pushing all along is that the Iraqi people would rather still be under Saddam than in their present situation. In other words, you’ve been “generalizing the feelings of 25 million Iraqis.”

    24. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

      That’s all you’ve been doing! The line you’ve been pushing all along is that the Iraqi people would rather still be under Saddam than in their present situation. In other words, you’ve been “generalizing the feelings of 25 million Iraqis.”

      This is why you’ll always be a mediocre mind – if that’s what you got from reading what I wrote, then you have a problem with comprehension – please find the quote where I say the “Iraqi people would be better off without Saddam” – please find a quote where I even remotely hint at that idea. If you can’t cite it, your mind has tricked you into reading something that wasn’t there – it’s not good.

      I don’t pretend to know the feelings of the Iraqi people and just because I question someone like yourself who does presume to have that knowledge, doesn’t automatically mean I’m taking the opposite side. I’m a skeptic – you should be too. I didn’t blindly trust Bush/Republicans. I don’t blindly trust Obama/Democrats. I don’t blindly trust Fox News, CNN or MSNBC. Only a fool would and unfortunately many fools do.

    25. JimmyC Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      Right, because not a single American bullet or bomb landed on an innocent Iraqi’s head.

      Accidents happen in war, but the point is that we didn’t target innocent people, the terrorists we were fighting did. Over and over and over again. And then they hid among civilian populations, putting more innocent lives at risk.

      Our troops went out of their way to avoid civilian casualties, and often paid a price in their own blood for it. If anyone “forced” the Iraqis to die, it was the terrorists.

      Besides, no one is forcing the Iraqis to do anything. They are voting in these elections of their own free will, at risk to their own lives, and they are turning out to vote in higher percentages than Americans voted in the ’08 election.

      I may have the mind of a chimp, but at least a chimp can comprehend what he sees right in front of him, without trying to bend reality to fit his political point of view.

    26. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      @Sol: please find the quote where I say the “Iraqi people would be better off without Saddam” – please find a quote where I even remotely hint at that idea.

      Here you go, Solly:

      I’m surprised people are still trying to say that we weren’t mislead into war (d’uh), or that the Iraq War II was GREAT for Iraqis. It may have died down a bit lately, but a couple years ago the statistic was that an Iraqi citizen was over 50x more likely to die a violent death than before the invasion – oh yeah, they’re having a ball over there.

      Recognize that?

    27. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      @Kishke:

      So because I state a statistical fact, I’m somehow making an assertion as to the heart and mind of the Iraqi people as a whole? And is there anyone out there saying things have just been GREAT for Iraqis since the war? Come on, you have a lot to learn about intellectual honesty.

    28. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      I don’t blindly trust Fox News, CNN or MSNBC.

      Imagine that, someone who doesn’t believe what he hears or reads on the news unless he can verify it himself. It’s a wonder you believe in the existence of a country called Iraq. No doubt you’ve visited the place yourself. Are you sure there’s a war there? No doubt you’ve fought in it yourself. Are you sure Saddam existed? Perhaps you met him personally. Gotta stay skeptical, Sol.

    29. Johnny Simpson Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

      Sol says:

      “I just prefer being alive to just about anything else. e.g. I’d rather be alive in Iran then dead in the U.S.”

      Better Red than Dead, ey Solly? Rather live under Ahmadinejad than die for the US? My hero! You are disgrace to every Green protester who has suffered and died under state-sponsored torture, rape and murder. You are in fact an outright coward.

      Like the old Italian man in Catch-22, you would prefer to live on your knees than die on your feet. Fine. Get yourself some nice kneepads with a lifetime guarantee!

      I’m a six-year Vet, pal. And you could not be more clueless as to how this world works or what matters in it. To think that you are an American, and that your mindset is becoming the rule, makes me shudder for the future of this nation and people. Solly Chollie, but it’s the truth. You disgust me!

    30. Kate Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

      Sol: “I just prefer being alive to just about anything else. e.g. I’d rather be alive in Iran then dead in the U.S.”

      Easy to say when you don’t live in Iran and aren’t faced with oppression of the basic rights you enjoy on a daily basis by living in the US. What a stupid thing to say. You have zero clue what you are talking about, you ignoramus.

    31. AtheistConservative Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Understand that to the left-winger, it is impossible to admit anything positive came out of the Iraq war. They spent so much time hyping their position on it, vilifying Bush, and trying to absolve their own guilt/complicity in the matter (it was trumped for 8 years by Clinton/Gore, for 10 years by the UN, voted for by a plurality of Democrats and approved by 80% of the nation) that they’re entrenched.

      In that way, it’s much like Obama. No matter how disastrous a President he is, and he’s pretty bad, they can’t ever stop singing his praise. They can’t pry that sticker off their Prius. They bought in, wholesale, and like a child refusing to admit they stole a cookie, they really believe if they stick to their story and don’t admit they’re wrong, they aren’t really wrong.

      Sad, really. Even Obama is trying to take credit for Iraq.

    32. Harley2002 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      Sol

      Blow Me. My father fought for and many oh his fellow soldiers died in WW11 so you could sit on your probably fat ass with your Obama Marxist loving hands out begging for free things.

    33. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      “Imagine that, someone who doesn’t believe what he hears or reads on the news unless he can verify it himself.”

      Oh my god, you are the dumbest chick I’ve ever met – you distort and exaggerate everything I say – you might as well be having a conversation with yourself. You’ve decided that I’m not exactly on the same political side as you, so you will never agree with anything I say (not that I even say what you think I’m saying!).

    34. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

      “Easy to say when you don’t live in Iran and aren’t faced with oppression of the basic rights you enjoy on a daily basis by living in the US. What a stupid thing to say. You have zero clue what you are talking about, you ignoramus.”

      So let me guess this straight – YOU are telling ME how I should feel about the value of my life? I would rather be alive in Iran then dead in the US – I stand by that, and no matter what you think it does not make me an ignoramus.

    35. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      kishke, are you a chick?

    36. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

      @Johnny Simpson:

      You think I care what a zero-opportunity, zero talent, VETERAN has to say about me? Don’t be bitter just because I had a few more options in my life than joining the military and LIVING ON MY KNEES FOR A SUPERIOR OFFICER – you are a peon at best and a slave at worst – and you and your murderous army brothers disgust ME.

    37. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      Sol, Kyle won’t let me post what I actually think about you right now. Do yourself and everyone else here a favor and go find a different blog to receive the human interaction you are so obviously missing in the real world.

    38. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Everyone else who agrees with Sol, I hope you feel proud that he is on your side. At least he has the guts to actually say what he thinks about the armed forces. The rest of you think it and hide behind a cloak of patriotism. You are the worst people ever, and I’m done trying to argue with any of you.

    39. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      @blackhawk

      Geez, it’s feeling a bit more like Iran in here already.

      Sorry the “troops” aren’t a sacred cow for me – they’re just dudes doing a job that pretty much anyone that can pass a basic physical can get – I’m sick and tired of them pulling social rank on civilians just because we didn’t decide to live a life of servitude. They think they have some sort of moral/intellectual superiority, when in fact the opposite is true.

    40. Kate Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      Sol, your comments about the military just proved my point. You should thank those in the armed forces for the right to say those ridiculous things. As much as I hate them, I’m thankful that I live in a country where they are allowed. You should be too, you buffoon.

    41. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      blackhawk: A guy.

    42. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

      You’ve decided that I’m not exactly on the same political side as you

      No you’ve decided, like so:

      you and your murderous army brothers

    43. Sol Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      Okay folks, settle down … this is how wars start – why you would let a stranger’s opinion step on your day somehow?

      Or do you get angry because you see some truth there?

    44. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      Kishke: I only ask cause Sol seemed to assume you were a girl. But who cares what Sol thinks. He has outed himself as an angry, frustrated left-wing fool.

    45. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

      I’m not angry; I’m disdainful.

      And this is not how wars start. They start with barbarians flying planes into buildings and blowing themselves up in crowds.

    46. kishke Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      blackhawk: Yeah, I saw his comment assuming I’m a chick.

      He has outed himself as an angry, frustrated left-wing fool.

      Absolutely. He gave the game away when he called the troops murderers.

    47. Rabid Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      “Sorry the “troops” aren’t a sacred cow for me”

      Of course not.

      “they’re just dudes doing a job that pretty much anyone that can pass a basic physical can get”

      Perfect example of how a lefty d—–bag thinks regarding the U.S. military. Your opinion of what it takes to be successful in the armed forces really does a great job of displaying your massive ignorance. Idiot.

    48. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

      Sol, it’s pretty clear you slander the troops because you don’t have the physical nor intellectual courage to deal with the stuff they do. You probably havent done anything worthwhile in your life so you develop a feeling of disdain for those who have.

      I said above you were an angry, frustrated left-wing fool. I was wrong when I said you were angry. You don’t have the backbone to be angry. I should have written “impotent.”

    49. Rebecca B Says:
      March 16th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

      Whoa, whoa what’s going on with Kyle’s blog? Who is this Sol character? Golly. Was that attempted insult calling Kishke “the dumbest chick” some sort of slip revealing latent misogyny? And what’s with the scare quotes around troops? “Troops”?

      All these Green Zone post comments have devolved into the same old same old.

      “Where are the WMDs? Show me the WMDs.” No, I won’t show you the WMDs . And if I did you’d just spin around and insist they’d been planted.

      “Innocent Iraqis have been killed by U.S. weapons.” Very, very unpleasantly true. Innocent people are killed every day. Both accidentally and on purpose. There is a difference.

      “I’d rather be alive under a murdering thug dictator than die fighting for democracy.” Oh, that’s inspiring. A real profile in courage.

    50. Nyarlathotep Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:39 am

      C’mon, Damon, admit it. You’re Sol.

    51. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:41 am

      Nyarlathotep

      Nice name. I assume you’re a Lovecraft fan?

    52. Johnny Simpson Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 1:02 am

      Sol said, “you and your murderous Army brothers.”

      No wonder Sol would rather live in Iran under Ahmadinejad. He sounds just like him! Ahmie, is that you?

    53. timshappywife Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 6:44 am

      Would it be better to be alive in Iran than dead in the USA?
      What a thought provoking question. If given the option to live in repression or die in freedom- which would you choose?
      Personally, living in Iran would not allow for me to pursue happiness. I would not be granted liberty. My daughter would be hidden behind a veil and her oppinion muted by those who wish to oppress her for simply being born female. My son would be taught to hate those who do not believe as his Government does.
      I would rather die fighting for freedom in Iran than live in America hating those who fight for freedom.

    54. Pete Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 8:33 am

      45. Wars do start when fanatics fly planes into buildings. Too bad Iraq had nothing to do with that.

    55. kishke Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Pete, don’t be dim. That’s not the only way they start. They also start when thugs like Saddam Hussein slaughter their people, violate the no-fly zone, subvert the Oil for Food project, and make everyone think they have WMD.

    56. Pete Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 9:41 am

      Krishke, not everyone thought they had WMD (the weapons inspectors who were on the ground in Iraq between 2002-2003 for instance), and apart from the US, no one thought that the threshold for starting a war had really been reached.

      As for my point about 9/11. More than a few Bush people in the runup to the invasion openly speculated about a link between Saddam and 9/11. Clearly it worked, because even Sarah Palin admitted that as recent as 2008, she still wondered if there had been a link there.

    57. Mike Giles Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 9:57 am

      45. Wars do start when fanatics fly planes into buildings. Too bad Iraq had nothing to do with that.

      Germany and Italy had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor either. Sometimes you end up at war with the original malefactor’s allies. And when Iraq gave shelter to fleeing Al Qaeda, he became their ally. In any case, after 9/11 it was decided that waiting until the terrorists were on the verge of completing their mission – or waiting until afterward – was a bad idea. Think taking out Hitler in 1934, would have been a better outcome then WW2?

    58. Rebecca B Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 10:08 am

      Ugh – OK, “more than a few Bush people”. Who, exactly? When?

      Saddam – very bad actor who was openly defying the terms of the cessation of hostilities agreement he signed in 1991. The U.S. had every right to go back into Iraq. Whether it was strategically wise not to have done this earlier is an open question. But surely it had to be done.

      Let’s not forget the $25k payments (rewards) to families of West Bank suicide bombers.

      I hope nobody who’s complaining about the 2003 invasion was ever heard criticizing Bush 41 for “not getting the job done” during the Gulf war….

    59. Pete Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 10:45 am

      Rebecca,

      No offense, but nothing “had to be done” in 2003 in Iraq. It was not strategically wise for the simple reason that we hadn’t finished the job in Afghanistan, and that diverting focus and resources away from there proved to be a HUGE mistake. I suppose it also bears pointing out that at no time did anyone in the Bush Administration come up with a way to fund the Iraq War. That’s a few trillion down the hole in 7 years that we’re not getting back.

      Saudi Arabia held TELETHONS for West Bank Suicide Bombers. By your argument, we should also invade them as well?

    60. Pete Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 10:47 am

      http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0314/p02s01-woiq.html

      Here’s an article from 2003 (Christian Science Monitor) showing how the American people were convinced in distressingly large numbers that Saddam was involved with 9/11 and an analysis on how that came to be.

    61. kishke Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 10:54 am

      and apart from the US, no one thought that the threshold for starting a war had really been reached.

      Except for the British and Spanish and all the other coalition partners. Not to mention the Security Council votes.

    62. Symph Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 10:56 am

      After reading through most of the comments it directly ties back to the original theme of this blog.

      People who feel strongly in favor of the military seem to be staying away from the movie while people who feel the same about the military as Sol have gone to see it.

      It should be a lesson to not only Damon but Hollywood in general. the same people who watched the Borne series and made them a LOT of money are the same people who are NOT watching your Green Zones…… What’s changed?

    63. Pete Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:01 am

      61. Riiiiight…our amazing “coalition of the willing”, that was such an extensive coalition that the US footed 95% of the bill. Of course, I believe that the US is soon to be the only country left fighting in Iraq by next year.

    64. John Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:28 am

      Sol,

      You’re not that smart, pal. I’m confident anyone reading this thread will figure that out.

    65. Sol Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:29 am

      Blackhawk said: “Sol, it’s pretty clear you slander the troops because you don’t have the physical nor intellectual courage to deal with the stuff they do. You probably havent done anything worthwhile in your life so you develop a feeling of disdain for those who have.”

      Too funny – I think you must mean that I’m not stupid enough to go get myself killed in some desert for crap pay.

      And I’ve done a few worthwhile things in my relatively short time here so far – I hope to do many more – hence, avoiding getting killed for no other reason then to benefit some rich white guys.

    66. Sol Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:32 am

      Rebecca said: “Golly. Was that attempted insult calling Kishke “the dumbest chick” some sort of slip revealing latent misogyny?”

      No, for some reason I got the impression Kishke was female – dumb chick, dumb dude, whatever – I don’t discriminate.

      “I’d rather be alive under a murdering thug dictator than die fighting for democracy.” Oh, that’s inspiring. A real profile in courage.

      Dying is easy, sometimes it takes a lot more courage to live.

    67. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:35 am

      Well Sol you got that right. It takes a lot of courage to be you. I couldn’t even get out of bed in the morning if I knew I had to go through my day being you.

    68. Sol Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:53 am

      John said: “Sol, You’re not that smart, pal. I’m confident anyone reading this thread will figure that out.”

      Certified genius actually – I could have read this blog when I was 3. Entered and quickly skipped Kindergarten reading at a high school level. Chucked the likes of Judy Blume and Encyclopedia Brown in favour of Stephen King when I was 8. I’ve been reading and absorbing information for quite a few years now – more than usual for someone my age. I’m smart, but understood at a young age that it was a gift – not an accomplishment/achievement I deserve to take credit for, and where I grew up people are pretty salt of the earth, so I’m humble about my intelligence – at least until some idiot tries to call me stupid.

    69. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:55 am

      Yep, I’m definitely getting humility from you Sol.

      And reading Stephen King doesn’t mean you’re smart. It means you have no taste.

    70. John Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:55 am

      I’ve decided Sol is emblematic of the folks who like Green Zone…arrogant, anti-military and whiny.

      I think Kyle Smith has proven his point with Sol.

    71. John Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:59 am

      I’m humble about my intelligence – at least until some idiot tries to call me stupid.

      Is that why you brought it up 2-3 times in this thread, cause you’re humble about it? Seems to me you wanted to make sure everyone knew about it ASAP. Now we’ve got your whole resume since Kindergarten. Humble? LOL!

    72. Kyle Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Whoever writes the best spoof of Sol’s last entry gets it highlighted in its own special blog post. It reminds me of the Dr. Evil monologue about his ordinary boyhood…”Summers in Rangoon…luge lessons”

    73. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      Sol is very insistent about his extraordinary intelligence while all the evidence clearly indicates otherwise. I think Sol “doth protest too much.”

    74. kishke Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Funny, I remember Hunter informing us all about his supposed IQ of 183 (or thereabouts). Interesting that Sol feels the same need.

    75. John Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      I started reading the New York Times at age four. After that I attended school intermittently attending only the grades with prime numbers (1,2,3,5,7,11).

      I wanted to skip college and go straight to grad school in nuclear physics, but decided to take some time off and write a great American novel instead. It’s called The Sound and the Fury and Zombies. It didn’t sell well, but I hear the idea was picked up by lesser talents since.

      I was drafted by the NSA to construct a computer that could turn ordinary cell phones into echo-location spy devices. I can’t confirm whether it worked but, well, some of you guys really need to hit the gym.

      At 16 I solved the puzzle of dark energy using an old TI calculator someone gave me as a lark. It will take at least two decades for my theory to be confirmed observationally but I expect my Nobel prize well before I’m 40.

      For kicks I created my own high IQ society for people in the top 0.000001%. So far I am the only member, but at present international birth rates another potential member could be born this decade (Keeping fingers crossed it’s a girl!).

    76. kishke Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      I wouldn’t make fun of Sol. A guy who skipped kindergarten – you’ve gotta take him seriously.

    77. blackhawk12151 Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      I was born with a fully developed adult brain. Fortunately for me this meant I was able to begin tackling complex quantum physics theories at an early age. Unfortunately for my mother, it meant 90 grueling hours of labor and several reconstructive surgeries. Also, I spent the first 5 years of my life wearing a special brace to keep my massive head upright on my underdeveloped neck.

      At age 10 I taught myself to play the guitar overnight and wrote the greatest song ever written, “Summer of ’69.” Unfortunately Bryan Adams stole the song and became filthy rich and famous. He’s Canadian!!! They don’t have “Five and Dimes.”

      Shortly after that I read every book in the public library, thrice. While doing that I calculated Pi times the square root of -63.7, you know, just to keep the brain from going to sleep.

      When NASA came calling, naturally I couldn’t resist. I helped design a space ship that could reach Alpha Centauri in less than a week. However, a slight miscommunication between Houston and the mostly illiterate Bolivian crew led to the ship being lost somewhere near the sun. They were the only people we could find to pilot a ship made from duct tape and chicken wire.

      I am now hard at work on a psychological experiment. I am trying to develop the most annoying, off-putting, rage inducing virtual personality that I will unleash upon blogs all over the internet. So far the experiment is going better than I could have hoped.

    78. Sol Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Heheh – John’s is pretty good so far – that’s going to be tough to beat.

      And I stand by the fact that I’m humble about my intelligence (and I’m not a crazy Stephen Hawking genius or anytning like that) – like I said, it’s just the way it is – luck of the genetic draw. When someone accuses me of stupidity I think I’m entitled to defend myself with the facts.

      I am, however, less humble about the ideas I’ve used that intelligence to cultivate – that took some effort on my part. It’s very frustrating when you know people are wrong about something that they clearly haven’t thought through.

      I do like to see people having fun though, so by all means, have at it.

      And for the record I haven’t seen “The Green Zone” – might warrant a rental down the road, but I’m not all that interested to see it.

    79. EBJ Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      The funniest part of the ‘I’m so smart I knew we shouldn’t have gone into Iraq’ is how roughly half the Democrats in Congress voted to give Bush authorization for the invasion (half in Senate, around 40% in the House from memory). It’s a wonder they haven’t dislocated a shoulder patting themselves on the back for being smarter than, well, pretty much everyone.

      It’s almost as bad as Sol patting himself on the back for his morality. Apparently it’s now considered moral to let those that didn’t hit the birth lottery – being born at this time of plenty, and in the West – get stomped to death under the jackboot of ruthless dictators. Oh, I know Sol really wanted democracy for the Iraqis. But, you know, they really should have earned it themselves. It’s not Sol’s kids that get massacred in the aftermath so what’s the big deal?

    80. Rebecca B Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      OK Pete, I clicked on your link eager to see to whom among Bush supporters or Bush administration officials the Christian Science Monitor attributed Saddam-9/11 linkage. (note to all commenters/all blogs – I hate links. If you have a point to make, make it. Adding supporting links is ok [I guess]. But clearly here I was asking Pete to list the “Bush people” who “openly speculated about a link between Saddam and 9/11”. No such list provided. Yeah, I’m surprised).

      But he did give a link. Within the linked article the most relevant information is:

      “Bush never pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president. Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that persists among much of the American public: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks………”

      “Sources knowledgeable about US intelligence say there is no evidence that Hussein played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks, nor that he has been or is currently aiding Al Qaeda. Yet the White House appears to be encouraging this false impression,….”

      “The administration has succeeded in creating a sense that there is some connection [between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein],” says Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.”

      After all this terribly damning info the writers (Linda Feldmann, Liz Marlantes, Faye Bowers) add:

      “This is not to say that Hussein has no link to terrorists. Over the years, terrorist leader Abu Nidal – who died in Baghdad last year – used Iraq as a sometime base. Terrorism experts also don’t rule out that some Al Qaeda fighters have slipped into Iraqi territory.”

      Really, that’s it? This is your evidence of the “many Bush people” who “openly speculated about a link…”? Maybe Sol can help out. I heard he’s really smart.

    81. Sol Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

      Rebecca B:

      I can confirm that to the best of my knowledge, neither George nor any of his advisors ever made any statements DIRECTLY linking Saddam to 9/11.

      He and other officials did often mention Saddam and 9/11 together in general terms which created the confusion that did ensue among the Bush Administration’s supporters, who we all know are often of less-than-average intelligence.

      It’s my personal SPECULATION that this was an intentional move on their part (I mean come on, it almost certainly was), but I can’t say that for a fact.

    82. John Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

      There was confusion about Saddam and 9/11, just as their was confusion about who won the 2000 election, whether there was a plan to re-institute the draft just prior to the 2004 election, and whether or not fire can melt steel (Rosie O’Donnell says no, steel mills say yes). My point being that confusion is not a conservative problem it’s just a problem.

      In fact, independent polls repeatedly show that conservatives are better informed than liberals. So, statistically speaking, this argument is a loser for the left.

    83. Pete Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      John, why exactly do you figure that in 2003, a poll indicated that just under half of the US thought Saddam was behind 9/11? They all just independently wondered that without any prompting?

      As for reinstituting the draft, it would beg the question as to where the US would find the troops to fight the war with Iran conservatives are clearly itching for without one.

    84. kishke Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

      who we all know are often of less-than-average intelligence.

      They may not have skipped kindergarten, but that doesn’t make them of less-than-average intelligence.

    85. Eric Chen Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      Kyle,

      Thank you for your NY Post review of Green Zone – I agree.

      My website link will take you to my reaction the movie. Excerpt:

      The Green Zone got its premise fundamentally wrong: the intel – whatever its quality – did not trigger any invasion. . . . the trigger for the invasion was not the intel, but the same trigger for Clinton’s order to bomb Saddam’s Iraq in Dec 98: Saddam’s Iraq’s failure to meet the standard of proof required to establish its innocence.

    86. Earl Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      “John, why exactly do you figure that in 2003, a poll indicated that just under half of the US thought Saddam was behind 9/11? They all just independently wondered that without any prompting?”

      Perhaps because just under half the population is less intelligent than average?

    87. Eric Chen Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      Pete: “not everyone thought they had WMD”

      It didn’t matter what anyone thought, especially after the lies and evasions by Saddam’s Iraq. What counted was whether Saddam’s Iraq objectively met the standard of proof required by its 1991 surrender and UN resolutions. However, Saddam’s Iraq continually failed to meet that standard, from 1991 through 2002-03. Also, remember, WMD was only one of many conditions Iraq had to meet (review UN Rez 1441 or the 2002 Congressional authorization), and it is not disputed that Saddam’s Iraq was guilty of multiple violations.

      Pete: “threshold for war”

      That threshold was crossed in 1998. Operation Desert Fox was essentially and legally an act of war, except Clinton bombed rather than invaded. Bush simply took up where Clinton handed off the US mission in Iraq; after 1998, the next-up step of enforcement – should Saddam fail to comply again, which he did – was ground invasion, with regime change.

      After 1998, we were limited to three choices: continue to indefinitely maintain the 1998-2002 status quo mission in Iraq (which, by the way, was a founding motivation for al Qaeda), or unilaterally release Saddam’s Iraq from the conditions of surrender and UN resolutions (thereby empowering a victorious Saddam), or give Saddam’s Iraq a for-reals final chance (Clinton had already declared in 1998 that Iraq had “failed its final chance”) to comply under threat of regime change.

      You can’t oppose OIF without defending an alternative. Either indefinitely maintaining the 1998-2002 status quo or Iraqi compliance under threat of regime change both presume the guilt of Saddam’s Iraq and the need for Saddam to prove his innocence. Since you believe Saddam’s Iraq was innocent, I take it you favored the 2nd alternative, or unilaterally freeing Saddam’s Iraq from its conditions of surrender and UN resolutions.

    88. Eric Chen Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

      Sol: “He and other officials did often mention Saddam and 9/11 together in general terms”

      The Iraq-sponsored terrorism argument is only one of the reasons we resorted to regime change. It’s a do-the-math argument, and anyone who came up with the Bush admin claiming Iraq is behind 9/11 simply added wrong.

      One, with 9/11 and other successful attacks, Islamic terrorists had escalated and proved their will and capability for large-scale attacks within nations and outside the protocols, protections, and restrictions of state-on-state warfare. Two, the AQ Khan network proved that there was a largely unobserved global underground, or black market, of WMD trade. Three, Middle East state-sponsored terrorism had been established for decades, and three-A, Iraq was a state sponsor of terrorism. Four, Clinton era intel said Iraq and al Qaeda communicated to an unclear degree, but at least sufficient to prompt military action by the Clinton admin. Five, Saddam’s Iraq had used WMD and despite its 1991 surrender and UN resolutions, had refused to prove to an acceptable standard that Iraq had no remaining WMD capability. And six, Saddam’s Iraq for obvious reasons viewed the US as its top enemy, and while it could not take state-on-state action against us, the retaliatory options opened by 9/11 might inspire Iraq to use a terrorist proxy, its own black-ops capabilities, or simply consent to sell-to/supply anti-American terrorists.

      President Bush weighed his responsibilities to the American people and our allies and concluded that Iraq posed a new post-9/11 threat, added to the existing problems with Iraq, where the “smoking gun” could be a WMD mass casualties event in the US. I thought Bush articulated clearly that he didn’t blame Iraq for 9/11, but rather was concerned about future threats related to Iraq. You can look up his speeches; they’re on-line.

    89. John Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Pete,

      Cite the poll. I want to see the question and the numbers.

    90. John Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      Okay, I see you already cited an article about the poll, that’s close enough.

      Here’s my answer: http://media.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YmVkZWQxYjdiMjEzZjIyNzkwNTk0Y2UwZDExN2IwNWY=

      What the polls really show is that the public’s first instinct after 9/11 was to suspect Saddam — most likely because of his well-known pursuit and use of WMDs, his support of Palestinian suicide terrorism and his hatred of the United States. As the evidence against that thesis came out, the public’s suspicion of Saddam’s involvement waned but never fully subsided.

    91. Pete Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      86. So, would you care to cite some public speeches during, say, the 2000 campaign that talked about WMD in Iraq, or Iraq’s pursuit of said WMD? Come to think of it, can you think of any time the words Al Queda came out of the mouths of any candidate in 2000? To be blunt, no one really thought a whole heck of a lot about invading Iraq during that time. So, it’s a subtle rewriting of history to say that people’s FIRST INSTINCT was to suspect Saddam Hussein, don’t you think? Tell me, in Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us” speech a week after the attacks, did he mention Iraq or Saddam Hussein by name? (check the transcript, he didn’t).

    92. kishke Says:
      March 17th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      @Pete: You’re being ridiculous. Saddam was our #1 enemy in the Mideast at the time. The newspapers were full of Saddam and the UN all the time in those years. He was on people’s minds. I remember people speculating, on 9/11, that it must have been Iraq.

    93. Pete Says:
      March 18th, 2010 at 9:44 am

      Really, Krishke. Please, just for fun, find me some contemporary newspaper/magazine accounts in the first two months after 9/11 where someone said that Saddam might be responsible.

      I must again remind you, if you read the transcript of Bush’s speech to Congress on September 21,2001, the words “Saddam” and “Iraq” weren’t mentioned ONCE.

      Frankly, if you or your friends in the aftermath of the attacks truly believed Saddam might be behind it, I feel nothing but sympathy for you.

    94. kishke Says:
      March 18th, 2010 at 10:24 am

      if you read the transcript of Bush’s speech to Congress on September 21,2001, the words “Saddam” and “Iraq” weren’t mentioned ONCE.

      Ah, but just a moment ago, you were telling us that it was b/c of Bush that people believed the attacks were linked to Saddam.

      Frankly, if you or your friends in the aftermath of the attacks truly believed Saddam might be behind it, I feel nothing but sympathy for you.

      Really? Why? Are you saying that you knew on 9/11 who was behind the attacks?

    95. John Says:
      March 18th, 2010 at 11:07 am

      So, it’s a subtle rewriting of history to say that people’s FIRST INSTINCT was to suspect Saddam Hussein, don’t you think?

      No I do not. The polls tell the story. Recall that we had left Iraq in ’91 and been doing flyovers every day up to 9-11.

      As for articles showing Saddam was a suspect:

      http://bit.ly/dmrqBB

      http://bit.ly/bzU1Mg

      and my favorite from the liberal Salon: http://bit.ly/bfCHiw

      It begins:

      Sep 21, 2001 | Even as the Bush administration and the national media focus almost exclusively on Osama bin Laden as the seemingly preordained “prime suspect” in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, evidence is beginning to emerge that a more familiar enemy may also have been involved in the devastation: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq…

      That enough or you need more?

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