[Marxism] The Sum of All Fears
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 15 13:49:58 MST 2006
When The Sum of all Fears showed up on TV I knew it was my cultural duty to
I was not disappointed. The dialogue included such nuggets of golden wisdom as:
"Communism was a fools error, the followers of Marx gone from this earth."
As an empirical analysis of the state of things Id say that was just a wee
bit premature in its conclusions.
Still, as blockbuster thrillers go it turned out to be pretty good, I
thought. The plot is about evil renegade Russians seeking to provoke war
between the USA and Russia by detonating a nuclear bomb in Baltimore, at a
stadium where the President is watching a game.
The movie requires the suspension of various faculties, needless to say.
Firstly, much of it is preposterous. The idea that the Israelis would lose
a fighter carrying a nuclear bomb and not recover it seems somewhat
implausible. Jack Ryan, the hero of the movie, is in a helicopter which
tumbles out of the sky from a great height. He escapes with nothing more
than a couple of smears of tomato ketchup on his handsome face. Secondly,
the movie glorifies a terrorist organisation, the C.I.A. When the head of
the C.I.A. snuffs it we are supposed to feel this is a moment of great
sadness. Thirdly, the movie is packed with clichés. Example: our handsome
hero and his gorgeous doctor girlfriend are always snuggling up for a spot
of nooky when, heck, the phone rings! Dooty calls! This keeps on happening.
The end of the movie, when, one by one, the bad guys get their just
deserts, is blatantly ripped off from The Godfather. Etcetera etcetra.
But the bit where the bomb actually went off and blew up a chunk of
Baltimore. Now that took me completely by surprise. Somehow I expected Jack
Ryan to find the nuke and defuse it at the last moment, like James Bond
would. And he didnt. Also, the scenes in which the US President and the
Russian President dither about whether or not to nuke each others
countries were very tense and dramatic; I was persuaded that this is how
such a scenario might well pan out in real life.
I was also intrigued by the revelation that the plutonium used in the bomb
turned out to be American in origin. It had then been surreptitiously
passed on to the Israelis. And it had then ended up in the hands of
terrorists (the movie draws a conventional distinction between those two
identical categories, needless to say).
The notion that if someone ever did manage to set off a small nuke in an
American city it would turn out to be related to US military support for
Israel well, that does seem to be a thesis which contains a certain
credibility. And its interesting to see it incorporated in a populist
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