Monday, October 02, 2006

Poor Mouthing America--The Views Of Al Martinez

In a letter to the L.A. Times today, Paul Hoffman of Irvine writes, "We are as bad as the Germans in the 1930s."

Utter nonsense? Of course, it is. The U.S. may have made some mistakes in the War on Terror, but there is no question we are committed to Democracy and morally superior to the barbarians who enjoy chopping people's heads off.

But this kind of drivil is increasingly the case these days, as witnessed by statements made last week by L.A. Times columnist Al Martinez, and Hollywood movie producer Oliver Stone. Both suggested they were ashamed of America.

Here's an imaginary discussion with Martinez and Stone. I don't think it exaggerates their views too much. But, as for Martinez, I've now softened it a bit. Also, it should be noted, this is meant as a satire, and these are not direct quotes. But it is fair to say I'm annoyed with both Martinez and Stone.

Q--What would you have done after 9/11?

Martinez--I'm not fond of Osama bin Laden, but I wouldn't have confronted him in Iraq. Maybe, he'd be more pleasant if we were nicer to him.

Stone--Made a wonderful movie about Osama. I love foreign cutthroats.

Q--Now, historically, what would you have done when the British Army went to Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775?

Martinez--On reflection, Al says he would have fought on the side of the Minutemen.

Stone--Hung Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, and pledged everlasting allegiance to the British Crown.

Q--And what would you have done if you were Abraham Lincoln when the Confederates seized Fort Sumter on April 15, 1861?

Martinez--Al's not for slavery, so he would have fought then too.

Stone--Nothing, until the South had voluntarily given up slavery.

Q--And what would you have done on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?

Martinez--Having fought in Korea, where he decided war was not usually a good idea, Al says he thinks World War II was justified and would have fought in it. Actually, it becomes clear that as far as the past is concerned, Martinez is not such a pacifist after all.

Stone--Court martialed the U.S. military men who fired on attacking Japanese planes. As a move to mollify the Japanese, he would have considered ceding Hawaii to Hirohito as a personal possession.

Q--Coming to the present day, what do you think of Saddam Hussein?

Martinez--I do not like him, personally. But I'm convinced, as Bob Woodward now apparently is, that the Iraq war was a mistake.

Stone--He tried his best. I agree with that judge who said he was not a dictator.

Q--What would you do now in Afghanistan?

Martinez--Maybe, withdraw.

Stone--Ask the Taliban to be nicer to its women in the future.

Q--If you had been Prime Minister Olmert when Arab guerrillas kidnapped Israeli soldiers, what would you have done?

Martinez--Sent the kidnapped soldiers food packages, but I wouldn't have gone to war over it.

Stone--Offered to withdraw from all cities that were subsequently rocketed. The Israelis are not the kind of foreign cutthroats I like.

Q--Are there any present circumstances in which you guys would fight?

Martinez--Presently, only if George W. Bush personally attacked me.

Stone--Only if my next movie were to get critical reviews. That's the only circumstance in which violence is required. Otherwise, I'm so ashamed of the United States for standing up on its own two feet.

And my own compliments to Neville Chamberlain for going to see Hitler three times and then giving him most of Czechoslovakia. And finally, for claiming he had brought the British people "peace in our time."



Anonymous James Fulton said...

No surprise -- an anti-American tirade can be expected from Oliver Stone. But I'm glad you also noted virulent columns by Al Martinez, who occasionally puts aside his usual Jack Smith-like anecdotal style to go on the rampage against George Bush. This time, as you say, all but disowned his country
-- in two straight columns, no less.
I'm hoping you and others observe what's happening in the Times Calender section, which has been made into a one-sided political free-for-all by columnists Tim Rutten and Martinez and movie reviewers Kenneth Turan, Patrick Goldstein and Corina Chocano.
I once wrote the Times that the least they could to is work a conservative writer -- just one, for heaven's sake -- into the Calendar line-up.
Jim Fulton
Glendale CA

10/02/2006 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

It's just not funny. Much less interesting, or thought-provoking or sensical.

Ron from Seattle

10/09/2006 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging from the rise you got from Martinez this morning (10/9/06), I would say you're directly on target. Congratulations...

Walter from Ruston, LA

10/09/2006 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait - Osama was in Iraq?

10/09/2006 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing you figured out Osama was in Iraq, Mr. Reich. Now why don't you just go and catch him

10/10/2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger Duardo said...

Anything this Reich rogue writes will be suspect. His bent is skewed, and, as such, much of what he writes is meaningless. My view: All this energy going backwards. Reich, old sport....get a life!

10/10/2006 12:32 PM  

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