First victims of spread-eagleism: Phil Donahue, George Clooney
Every day the Iraqi crisis involves more and more countries. The dictators previously overthrown by the USA, Mr. Milosevic and Mullah Omar, must be envious to see how violently the world community is protesting against a war operation in Iraq.
The war has split Europe into the old and the new ones. At that, the new Europe consisting of supporters of the USA with the idea to overthrow Saddam’s regime outnumbers opponents of a war in Iraq. The cost of a prospective war is too high both for participants of the conflict and for those who remain outside it. It is no use to speak about Saddam Hussein in this situation; he is to think carefully in the situation when it is too easy to lose his life, but when no triumph can be achieved at the same time.
A war against Iraq is a moment of truth for George W. Bush; the Desert Storm Operation cost the father of the incumbent president his second presidential term. But George W. Bush hopes to once again occupy the Oval Office right after the “triumphant” war. Will he be a success with his plans? Analysts say he will, but at the same time they add that the situation depends upon duration of military operations, upon the number of victims on both sides, the extent of destruction, in Iraq’s petroleum industry first of all, and upon the possibility that the conflict may go beyond the bounds of the country.
And this is highly likely to happen if Saddam Hussein strikes neighboring countries (Turkey, Kuwait and Israel). The above mentioned negative factors will inevitably entail an increase in spending on holding of a military operation, plus maintenance of a military contingent during a transition period of turning Iraq from a totalitarian state into a democratic country. According to some estimates, Washington’s victory over Saddam Hussein will cost the USA 100 billion dollars at best, and 1 trillion 900 billion dollars within 10 years at an unfavorable scenario. You see that the stake is rather high.
We have already mentioned the election problem which George W. Bush will have to face next year.
The society of average Americans is split: half of the population supports Bush’s intention to overthrow Saddam Hussein without UN sanctions, and the rest protest against settlement of the Iraqi crisis by force. And it is hardly likely that the latter sympathize with Saddam: they consider Hussein a dictator and would like democratic changes to be started in Iraq (it means that institutes of the civil society must be created there, free elections are to be introduced, etc.), but they think this must be done in an evolution way.
However, the propagandistic mechanism of spread-eagleism has reached its peak in the USA: everybody is speaking only about Iraq in the newspapers, on the radio and on TV, but this is mentioned from a patriotic point of view only. Liberals are not wanted now.
Two weeks ago popular TV host Phil Donahue was ignominiously excluded from the MSNBC broadcasting. Leadership of the popular TV channel didn’t mention directly that Donahue’s liberal views irritate someone among the top officials (in his TV programs Phil Donahue openly called into question the necessity of military invasion in Iraq), on the contrary, they preferred to say the program was closed because of a low rating. This certainly contradicts the reality, as judging by the latest ratings, Donahue’s program was rated third among programs of this category.
In several days after Donahue’s dismissal, an Internet edition published the text of a confidential report by MSNBC. The report characterizes Donahue as “a tired, left-wing liberal out of touch with the current marketplace, at the time when competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.”
And the conjuncture is now such that one must beat the drum, dance the military dance, cry “long live America” and wave the flags. You may ask why it is so.
Any human treats a war as a disaster, tears and blood. However, Americans think differently which is proved by the whole American history. In the two wars of the previous century America was the winner, and it managed to end the wars being very rich (the USA was the general creditor and the key supplier of weapons). Average Americans probably think that if the USA was a success in the two previous cases, everything may be OK this time again.
The Iraqi crisis has caused confusion in Hollywood, the inner sanctum of the US movie industry. Organizers of the Oscar 2003 award ceremony have to face challenges. Less than two weeks remain before beginning of the award ceremony, but the organizers are anxious not about artistic performance of the event, but only about two main problems: they are afraid that the ceremony may be postponed because of a war operation in Iraq; what is more, they fear that the event may be turned into some kind of an anti-war meeting.
In this connection, the Academy management is taking measures to exclude people connected with the left-wing tendencies from TV broadcasting of the event. At that, actors supporting pacifist views won’t be allowed to give out the awards: it is already known that such American movie stars as Susan Sarandon and George Clooney have been already excluded from the list of actors participating in the award ceremony for their anti-war activity.
The Academy management had to reconcile to the presence of actress Salma Hayek, also protesting against military operations in Iraq, at the award ceremony: Salma is nominated for Oscar as the best actress of the year for her role in Frida. The organizers of the awarding ceremony deny that there is an official “black list” of those actors who are not allowed for participation in the ceremony; however, producer of the ceremony, Gil Cates admitted in his interview to The Chicago Tribune that “some restrictions” were actually imposed on several actors participating in the awarding ceremony.