Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Oliver Stone wants to lick boots but Ahmadinejad says,"Get lost!"

A scene from the Alfred Hitchcock
film 'Topaz', depicting a couple
brutally tortured by Castro's security

Note- an update to this post blow the fold.

This is delicious-
But Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was surprisingly camera-shy when his extrovert persona drew the attention of Hollywood, turning down a request by Oliver Stone, the director of JFK, Nixon and Platoon, to make a documentary film about him. He dismissed the American film-maker as "part of the Great Satan", the Iranian regime's standard term of abuse for the US.

Oliver Stone earlier
has made two documentaries about Cuba's Communist president, Fidel Castro,whom he considers a friend

The Hollywood liberals love dictators -as long as they are anti-American. Castro is a particular favorite -from Robert Redford to Steven Spielberg to Michael Moore.

Now like a jilted lover, Stone has fired back-

“I have been called a lot of things, but never a great Satan. I wish the Iranian people well and only hope their experience with an inept, rigid ideologue president goes better than ours.”
Dirty Harry puts it aptly-
Oliver Stone had hoped to continue his legacy of dishonest anti-Americanism with a documentary about Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Well, obviously Iran hasn’t seen Stone’s films or his disgraceful love letter to another dictator, because if they had they wouldn’t have turned him down denouncing him as “a part of the Great Satan,”

Here is a bit about Stone's film Looking for Fidel

As its chummy title indicates, Looking for Fidel retains an admiring tone toward Castro. Sure, Stone poses human rights issues to Castro and includes brief remarks by dissidents Oswaldo Payá, Elizardo Sánchez, and Vladimiro Roca, but his heart isn’t in it. Stone is smitten with Castro – “one of the Earth’s wisest people,” he said last February [3] – and it begets obscene indulgences.

The rankest is when Castro appears with eight men charged last April with attempting to hijack a plane to leave Cuba. Stone asks if they are treated well in prison, and they all say yes. He asks why they wanted to leave, and they all say economic reasons. They then demand long prison sentences for themselves, and Castro urges their attorneys to do their best to seek reduced sentences.[4]

Stalin, your techniques are alive and well in Havana.

While discussing this scene in an interview with Cuba Confidential author Ann Louise Bardach, Stone said, “I must say, you're really picturing a Stalinist state. It doesn't feel that way.” This exchange followed:

Bardach: Did it strike you as interesting that at one point in the scene with the prisoners, Castro turned to the prisoners' defense lawyers, who just happened to be there, and he says, “I urge you to do your best to reduce the sentences”?

Stone: I love that. I thought that was hilarious. Those guys just popped up.

Bardach: Is there a show-trial element here?

Stone: Yeah. I thought that was funny, I did – the prosecutor and Fidel admonishing them, to make sure they worked hard.[5]

Stone considers totalitarian bullying and the mockery of due process real knee-slappers.

Cuban human rights activists appear in Looking in Fidel in an almost deracinated manner, without background on how much they have suffered for being conscientious. Viewers unfamiliar with Oswaldo Payá won’t know he endured forced labor from 1969 to 1972 for opposing the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, which Castro supported.[6] They won’t know Elizardo Sánchez was purged from the University of Havana faculty for opposing the invasion and imprisoned, among other times, from 1980 to 1985 for “enemy propaganda.”[7] They won’t know Vladimiro Roca spent 1997 to 2002 in prison and over two years in a cell that “resembled a cage meant to hold wild animals.”[8]

As Payá remarked of Stone last year after being interviewed by him, “I thought he was very misinformed about what is going on in Cuba. He was more interested in the love life of Fidel Castro than what is happening to 11 million Cubans.”[9]

Stone appeared on the Charlie Rose Show the night Looking for Fidel premiered. “I attack him,” he claimed of his interviewing style.

Oh really? Consider this exchange:

Stone: You have been in power….?

Castro: I am not the one in power. It is the people who are in power.

Stone doesn’t follow up and ask how the people can be in power in a one-party regime where it’s a crime to criticize Castro and his functionaries,[10] criticize socialism,[11] assemble conscientiously,[12] establish independent media,[13] or travel outside Cuba without permission[14] – with secret police, paramilitary Rapid Response Brigades,[15] and neighborhood Committees for the Defense of the Revolution[16] crushing dissent.[17] When Castro later tells Stone, “Let’s respect each other’s viewpoints,” he doesn’t ask why Cubans like Oscar Biscet and Jorge Olivera are suffering 25-year and 18-year sentences for expressing viewpoints and seeking this elementary respect for their countrymen.[18]

When Rose asked about objections to Castro on human rights grounds, Stone responded:

I can’t answer the question because, frankly, I don’t know the answer…Human rights is a very, very delicate (concept). It goes both ways. I mean, there can be those people who are authentically violated and those people who are not, those people who are supported by the United States financially and those who are not.

Stone further equivocated, saying the Thought Police were on the loose in America. “There is conformity in our thinking, and we do tend to political correctness,” he said. That’s how Stone described America during the Rose appearance.

But it seems the filmmaker swallowed Fidel’s propaganda whole, particularly his undeserved image as a Man of the People. “I don’t think that Castro has a dime outside of what he believes in, a dime,” Stone also asserted, showing either colossal ignorance or colossal mendacity. Forbes estimates Castro’s worth at 110 million dollars minimum,[19] and former Cuban army political officer Servando González notes:

He has a private fleet of yachts and luxury cars, and keeps stately homes in each of Cuba's 14 provinces. While the Cuban people struggle with housing shortages, Castro reserves hundreds of houses in Havana's Jaimanitas beach section for the use of his security guards and aides. While Castro demands austerity from the people and watching American TV is prohibited, he and his close associates buy foreign luxury items and use government satellite dishes to tune in to U.S. televised movies and sporting events.[20]

Note- the numbers in the brackets refer to footnotes in the original article.

Update -It seems that Michael Moore may reach those boots that Oliver Stone could not.