I like movies that are based on true stories. Yesterday, I watched one called Argo which is another good movie by director Ben Affleck. I very much enjoyed his directing job in his previous two movies; Gone Baby Gone and The Town.
The movie is about a risky plan put by the CIA to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador during Iran hostage crisis.
I am aware of the Iran hostage crisis that happened in 1979 but what I didn’t know is that it lasted 444 days. This is a very long time to be a hostage. It would be very interesting to read or maybe to watch a movie about the ordeal experienced by the hostages. I don’t think anyone of us can imagine living 444 thinking that he can be executed at any moment. What did they do? What was going on daily? How did they pass the time? Their families should have suffered a lot waiting and not knowing what will happen to their loved ones.
The incident happened after Iranian students started demonstrating in front of the American embassy demanding U.S. to return the Shah to Iran for trial and execution. “The U.S. maintained that the Shah had come to America only for medical attention.”
The question is could this dilemma not lasted that long if America didn’t insist on protecting a dictator? Long time ago, I read a book about the Savak’s torturing and execution of the regime’s opponents. They were feared so much by the Iranians because of their notorious operations. Of course, the Shah established the Savak but more dangerously it is “Formed under the guidance of United States and Israeli intelligence officers in 1957, SAVAK developed into an effective secret agency.” Apparently, the movie mentioned nothing about the United States involvement in Savak. And most probably Americans don’t know about Savak.
As in any American movie, Americans are the good guys and others (Russians, Cubans, Iranians and now Arabs) are the bad guys. I am not sure how long this mentality of we are good others are bad is going to last because it really hurts America more than it benefits it. Here is another example (Taken 2) of how Hollywood likes to make religion a centerpiece because it generates more audience than if the villains are some bad people from New York or LA.
In his documentary, Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore lists other United States involvement in world affairs:
1953: U.S. overthrows Prime Minister Mossadeq of Iran. U.S. installs Shah as dictator.
1954: U.S. overthrows democratically-elected President Arbenz of Guatemala. 200,000 civilians killed.
1963: U.S. backs assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem.
1963-1975: American military kills 4 million people in Southeast Asia.
1973: U.S. stages coup in Chile. Democratically-elected President Salvador Allende assassinated. Dictator Augusto Pinochet installed. 5,000 Chileans murdered.
1977: U.S. backs military rulers of El Salvador. 70,000 Salvadorans and four American nuns killed.
1980‘s: U.S. trains Osama bin Laden and fellow terrorists to kill Soviets. CIA gives them $4 billion.
1981: Reagan administration trains and funds “contras.” 30,000 Nicaraguans die.
1982: U.S. provides billions in aid to Saddam Hussein for weapons to kill Iranians.
1983: White House secretly gives Iran weapons to kill Iraqis.
1989: CIA agent Manuel Noriega (also serving as President of Panama) disobeys orders from Washington. U.S. invades Panama and removes Noriega. 3,000 Panamanian civilians Causalities.
1990: Iraq invades Kuwait with weapons from U.S.
1991: U.S. enters Iraq. Bush reinstates dictator of Kuwait.
1998: Clinton bombs “weapon factory” in Sudan. Factory turns out to be making aspirin.
1991 to present (2002): American planes bomb Iraq on a weekly basis. U.N. estimates 500,000 Iraqi children die from bombing and sanctions.
2000-01: U.S. gives Taliban-ruled Afghanistan $245 million in “aid.”
Sept. 11, 2001: Osama bin Laden uses his expert CIA training to murder 3,000 people.
I can’t read the number below but I know that most Americans blame greedy banks and Wall Street executives for their 2007/2008 economic crisis and not the war. It could be because many Americans believe that all their wars are justified and that these wars are only to defend and protect them from the evil others.
Anyway, I enjoyed watching Argo. It is a good entertaining movie.