Saturday, January 5, 2013

Oliver Stone: America is a war state

Whether Oliver Stone, the filmmaker is a credible historian may, to the professional historians, be a mute point. If, however, the interview he just engaged in with Chris Hayes, on MSNBC's "UP" is an indication of some of the cornerstones of his view of American history, then he makes more sense, as a 'counter-historian' or a 'revisionist' historian than many who have written and documented the American experience.
Some of his views expressed in the MSNBC interview are summed here:
  • America is a "war" state
  • America did not have to drop the Hydrogen bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to 'end the war' in 1945, but did so as a warning to the then Soviet Union, 'not to mess with us'
  • Colonialism, imperialism including the retention of colonies like India and Pakistan was more important to Great Britain's Winston Churchill's conception of World War II than defeating the Nazi's. In Stone's words, "Stalin was no fool and he certainly got the message!"
  • The United States film industry has evolved into a series of 'vigilante' dramas which serve as both a mirror and a lamp to the 'vigilante' society, armed and dangerous that is the U.S. political and social culture. An example is the killing of Osama ben Ladin, and the dropping of his body into the sea, rather than, as in Nuremberg, and the film "Judgement at Nurenberg" which unmasked the Nazi's and provided considered information for the world to get to 'know' what they were all about.
Stone has produced a ten-part video series airing on Showcase (plus a 700+ page tome) outlining the details of his case, entitled the Untold Story of American History.
Seems to me it is a series worth watching.

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