Hollywood and War

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What Does Hollywood Know About the Upcoming War with Iraq?

by Bill Sardi

With the USA about to launch a war against Iraq any day now, what will trigger the war? Obviously, Colin Powell’s revelations before Congress didn’t set in motion an immediate attack. Americans sit and wait for convincing evidence. But maybe Hollywood knows………

I previously reported on Hollywood’s uncanny foreknowledge when production of war films began prior to Sept. 11, 2001. [archive.lewrockwell.com Feb 20 and June 4, 2002] Now there is talk that a TV series called "24" may provide clues to what might set off public sentiment to attack Iraq.

In the script for "24," Kiefer Sutherland plays the part of federal agent Jack Bauer who has been called back into service in a counter terrorism unit because of the threat of a nuclear bomb hidden somewhere in Los Angeles. According to the script, a Middle Eastern terrorist cell called the "Second Wave" places the dirty bomb in Los Angeles which would put 2.5 million residents at risk for casualties.

Kiefer Sutherland plays federal agent Jack Bauer in the TV series “24” where foreign-based terrorists have harbored a “dirty nuclear bomb” somewhere in Los Angeles.

In the TV series, "the President vows to retaliate against an unnamed Middle Eastern country that has harbored the group in much the same fashion that President Bush has done with anyone giving shelter to those behind 9/11." [BBC News, Entertainment Section, Oct. 30, 2002] Mark Armstrong, writing for E! Online News, says the "24" series story line "hits a little bit too close to home for viewers." [E! Online News July 1, 2002]

The TV series has aired in the USA and is scheduled to air in Britain soon. Oddly, the entire series was sponsored on US television by Ford Motor Company, instead of multiple sponsors.

Even if a terrorist organization had a "dirty nuclear bomb," it wouldn’t produce a mushroom cloud over Los Angeles or any other city. A "dirty bomb" is simply a regular explosive device that disperses radioactive material. So the TV series is inaccurate and spreads inordinate fear. The American Institute of Physics reports that radiation emitted from a "dirty bomb" is likely to be too low to calculate and that the greatest risk from such a weapon is panic. [American Institute of Physics, March 12, 2002] Furthermore, Iraq has no nuclear weapons of fissionable materials according to the UN nuclear inspection agency. [Toronto Sun Sept. 15, 2002] So don’t look towards Iraq as a possible nuclear terrorist.

Whether Hollywood productions predict reality is of course open for discussion. Certainly Hollywood has been involved in producing war and propaganda films for decades if for nothing else than helping to recruit troops. Of course America didn’t witness the detonation of a "dirty nuclear bomb" at the recent Super Bowl in San Diego, even though this was the central theme in the movie The Sum Of All Fears (Paramount Pictures) based on a Tom Clancy novel.

But maybe Hollywood scripts that contain terrorist threats from foreign groups continue to keep American citizens on edge. There is already criticism that the White House is manufacturing terrorist alerts to keep the issue alive in the minds of voters and help elevate President Bush’s approval ratings. [Capitol Hill Blue Jan, 3, 2003]

Of course the President hasn’t been waiting for any evidence, or even a "dirty bomb," to go to war. The Washington Post recently revealed that President George W. Bush planned to go to war against Iraq only days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. [Wash Post Jan 12, 2003] And why would Iraq sponsor a terrorist attack on the US knowing full well it would prompt horrific retaliation?

Last January the Los Angeles Times ran a story about the lies that were told to get the US into its first war with Iraq over a decade ago, such as over-exaggerated claims of Iraqi troop strength and stories of Iraqi soldiers yanking newborn babies out of hospital incubators. [Jan. 5, 2003] Television news agencies certainly played a part in disseminating the misinformation leading up to the Gulf War and no American news agency today has ever apologized for airing the false "Iraqi incubator" story. Will the same kind of misinformation be used to get Americans behind this new war effort?

The White House needs something to get the stalled war effort off the ground. Time Magazine recently conducted an online poll asking Americans which country, North Korea, Iraq of the USA, posed the greatest danger to world peace in 2003? Out of more than a quarter million votes cast, 83.4% picked the USA as the greatest threat to world peace. [Time Magazine Jan. 22, 2003]

Government sources continue to warn of an impending smallpox terrorist attack. But why wouldn’t a terrorist organization have released such a terrible bioweapon before the US had its vaccine ready? The mass vaccination program promoted by federal authorities would offer little or no protection unless the exact strain of smallpox virus was known ahead of time. The federal government apparently had prior knowledge of the anthrax threat. The White House continues to dodge questions about its foreknowledge of an anthrax threat evidenced by administration of the antibiotic drug CIPRO to White House staff on the same day as the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. [WorldNetDaily Jan 11, 2003] What does the federal government know about the alleged smallpox threat? The strain of anthrax used in US mail envelopes was traced back to the US Army labs at Fort Detrick in Maryland, the same place where the only known stores of smallpox virus outside of Russia are housed. To date, US efforts to apprehend the anthrax terrorist appear to have dwindled. If that terrorist had access to bioweapons at Ft. Detrick in the past, what would stop him now?

Bill Sardi [send him mail] is a health journalist who dabbles from time to time in current affairs. His website is www.askbillsardi.com His most recent web report describes the hazards posed by statin cholesterol-lowering drugs.

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