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Sunday, September 2, 2012

2016 - is it true? Is it true?

I took myself to the movies today.  I know that no one in my family would want to go with me to see the movie 2016 but I also knew I wanted to go, so off I went on a date with me.

Gee, for someone who suffers from being selfish and self-centered, this should be a dream date.

The movie has been touted as the Unmasking of Evil on the Right and the Manufacturing of Lies  and a Smear Campaign by those on the Left.  I have one friend who is afraid to see it because the predictions of what our country will be like if Mr. Obama is reelected will give her nightmares.  I have another friend who will not go see it because she is convinced it is right wing propaganda and full of lies and deceit.

Well, you know me.  Anything that stirs up this type of emotion is going to get my attention at the least and my $7.50 for a senior ticket at the most.  So I went today and was pleasantly surprised.

The movie takes a position that Barak Obama is a product of a particular type of political ideology inherited from his father.  That ideology is, essentially, Anti-Colonialism or the belief that the reason third world countries are in the mess they are in is because those countries were plundered by the Western/European Powers.  The US is one of those powers.  The belief held by both the senior Obama and the woman who became either his second or third wife (and our president's mother) was that the only way to right this wrong was to redistribute the wealth of those at the top through regulation and/or taxation.  The other part of the plan would require the redistribution of power among the nations of the world.  This would be achieved by restricting the actions of the nations that are currently the most powerful and building up the wealth of those nations that were their former colonies, i.e. South American Nations, African Nations and Middle Eastern Nations.  As an example, the filmmaker uses the banning of oil drilling off our coast and the killing of the Keystone pipeline while simultaneously providing the funds to South American nations and Mexico to increase THEIR ability to drill for oil.  If, as our president said, we restrict our off shore drilling because of the threat to the environment why would we not object to the off shore drilling done by Mexico?  Would not the same threat exist?

There is a brief assertion that Mr. Obama, Jr. was also influenced by Liberation Theology.  (For those who are not sure what that is, click  His longtime friendship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is used as proof of this,  though I am not sure that is as strong an assertion as the Anti-Colonialism claim.  Reverend Wright might be a ranter and a raver, but I would not put him in the same class as those who developed Liberation Theology.  His is more The Theology of Division - us against them, black against white kind of thinking that is dealt with by the mainstream by politely ignoring it.

OK.  So.  What do I think of this film?

I think the filmmaker,  Dinesh D'Souza, applied some pretty steady critical thinking skills to develop his assertion that Anti-Colonialism is the foundation of Mr. Obama's political actions as president.  I think he makes a compelling case for why the president acts and thinks the way he does but I do not agree with all of his predictions for 2016.

I question whether there will ever be, as he states, a United Arab States run by fundamentalist Islamists.  I question it because of the very nature of the culture in that part of the country.  The people have a kind of mindset that makes it almost impossible to unite for too long with each other on a tribal basis let alone as states or federation of states.  I also think, and I could be wrong, that the resources of oil and minerals makes that area prime targets for development and that means only certain people will be getting rich, thus you end up with a ruling class (like the Saudis) usually divided along tribal lines.

I do think we could have the kind of economic meltdown that he predicts, though I believe the US could survive that simply because of the type of person that ultimately populates this country.  In fact, I think there is far more of a threat from porous borders than the deficit.  I think there are people out there who want to hurt us for religious reasons.  I think it is far more possible that we are in for another attack by Islamist Fundamentalists on our shores and that could hurt our economy and our morale.

I enjoyed the movie.  It is making me think and I have not really figured out all of what I think about it yet.  I would encourage people to go and see it.  I would also hope that, as a nation and as a people, we will not simply dismiss the premise without listening to the arguments presented.  I think, and I could be wrong, that the film is on to something.

What do you think?


Patty Bonds said...

I'm hoping to see it tomorrow, so I'll get back to ya.

Robert said...

I saw it twice. Once with a red haired lady of “strong will”, who we may both know, and another with a neighbor, who is a close friend. This is one of those times when I am grateful that my parents gave me the opportunity to travel overseas in the late 1970’s. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kenya and the UK were on the itinerary. About four years later, the United States Navy showed me a good time all around the world. Did I have enough? Well, you know there’s NEVER enough- so I did it again with the Department of Energy, and then private aerospace. Thankfully, I have not had the burden of visa’s, anti-everything shots and the ever growing pool of “bad company” that I had become accustomed to travel with, for the last twelve years.

So it’s the fall of 2010, I’m minding my own business listening to talk radio- the same talk radio that many of my friends of the “other” political persuasion find, hateful, distasteful, knuckle dragging and most certainly a threat to their own particular neo-platonist socioeconomic world view. Some of these tolerant and fair minded egalitarian citizens have openly expressed the view that my own views are hostile, antithetical, and generally unpleasant to them. I have had several offers for the opportunity of “reeducation.” I have graciously declined.

Any way, I hear Newt Gingrich talking about a book that was written by Dinesh D’-somebody- I regret not catching the authors full name at the time. But I did catch the word, and the word was “anti-colonialism.” It was like a great big soon to be banned Edison incandescent light bulb going off in my head, illuminating all the old file cabinets containing my travel experiences for the past thirty five years. I got it. Now, this is not empirical evidence, just an “aha” moment born of intuition and experience. So I can tell you I am in full agreement with D’Souza, that this is a credible framework to view the President in. I do not know what the future holds, but from my experience of the past forty or more years of watching the “professionals” divine what will happen next , I think D’Souza has an even chance, or at least the same chance, of being right. As far as the “United Islamic States” go, it looks like an expanded version of the old Ottoman Empire. Maybe, maybe not.

D’Souza, the President, and myself were all born in 1961, April, August and May, respectively. We were all married in 1992, and all have traveled internationally. D’Souza and the President have post colonial backgrounds, as do I except that mine is 236 years removed, as D’Souza himself points out in the movie. How did my experience cause me to share views similar to D’Souza, but not the President’s? This type of distributed boundary shattering problem may be best answered by someone like Heidegger were he still alive, or my friend Andrew, who actually studied philosophy, instead of “harvesting” it as I do.

It may all be “academic,” though. I have a feeling that much will be asked of us in the future. Our generation will be offered the chance to “stand” and show what we believe in- the “ground truth” as the old timers who trained me used to say. When the time comes, We will either walk on two legs or four.


Leslie Klinger said...

ROBERT! I felt the same light bulb go off in my head when I saw the movie. It felt like a AH HA moment, in the words of the Great Goddess Oprah. I was also thinking of the Old Ottoman Empire but I was remembering how they expanded and then lost one big ol battle and SPLAT they retreated and licked their wounds for, what? 500 years? 800? It is as though God allows the evil of that heresy to flame up for a short time so people can stamp it back...

Leslie Klinger said...

Patty saw the movie, and she had a much more emotional (and dare I say it, REAL) but reaction to it than did I. Her stuff is worth reading at Abbas Little Girl