Friday, March 03, 2006

Here Comes the Hammer

I can’t for the life of me figure out why Charles Krauthammer thinks Syriana is an un-American movie. His latest Op-ed column is supposed to tell me why, but it meanders so much that the only part that makes sense is the final sentence claiming that Bin Laden couldn’t have written a better script.

So what is it about the movie that has Krauthammer so upset? Is it that it shows how American foreign policy tolerates a repressive and backwards government because it keeps oil production high? Or could it be that American businessmen are also shown in a negative light because of their involvement with Middle Eastern Oil? Maybe because is shows that there is more to suicide bombings than just religious extremism.

I imagine it bothers someone like Krauthammer to actually look at our relationship with Saudi Arabia. In fact, I bet he has written a column in the past condemning Robert Baer’s (who was one of the writers of Syriana) book Sleeping with the Devil because it makes similar claims. I am sure it is much easier to live in a world where unemployment and humiliation has nothing to do with young men and their willingness to kill themselves for a cause.

But for the rest of us, these issues need to be explored. It isn’t enough to have a pre-1960s view of the world where we refuse to question government policies. We should have looked in the mirror long before September 11, 2001 and asked if we were supporting repressive governments because it suited our interests, and what the effects will be when those governments do not invest in their human capital.