Hollywood needs to shut the hell up

If you haven't heard the latest, Ananova is reporting the latest comments by Richard Gere at the Berlin Film Festival. What makes these folks think that they speak for the entire American population?

I've kept pretty quiet about all of the peacenik comments coming from the Hollywood types because I believe it is their right to feel any way they want to about the Iraq situation and to scream their opinions from the highest mountaintops if they so desire. But when they assume that their opinion encompasses that of all American citizens, it's no longer just the exercise of that right. It's the epitome of arrogance.

Comments like,

If the United States marches into Iraq without the backing of the United Nations, that will be done entirely without the backing of the American people

only reinforce the fact that Gere is even more out of touch with "the American people" than most of us ever thought. I wonder how long it's been since Rich spent any significant time in the company of people who actually make this country work.

The problem with Hollywood, in my opinion, is the same as it is with Washington, DC, where people tell anyone who'll listen (and preferably give them camera time) what "the American people" want or think or believe. But the only American people that politicians and celebrities usually interact with are other politicians and celebrities, and usually of the same political persuasion. So they honestly believe that everyone in the country thinks the way they do because everyone they know does and reinforces their views.

But worse than just being arrogant, Gere's comments have no basis in reality.

America has never paid any attention to other people, so it's absurd for Bush to say that it's all in the best interests of the Iraqi people.

What about the billions upon billions of dollars we have spent in foreign humanitarian aid providing food, education, clothing, currency support and who knows what else to countries all over the world? What about the thousands of US Soldiers who died in the Normandy invasion to liberate the rest of Europe from Hitler's grasp. Not to mention all of the private aid organizations (religious and secular) that help those in other countries on a daily basis. Can Americans be somewhat obtuse to the needs of others sometimes? Sure. But when it really counts, we're usually there helping out.

I can't imagine that anybody really wants to go to war. If anyone does they need to be institutionalized. War is certainly an evil thing, but sometimes it is a necessary evil.

The UN that Gere speaks so highly of has been entirely ineffective throughout most of it's history and certainly in dealing with Iraq. They have warned Saddam Hussein to disarm 17 times and have yet to follow it up with any enforcement. It's own Resolution 1441 listed a whole slew of resolutions which specified how Iraq should play nice but were mostly ignored. Rich Galen notes that it also contains the following wording (emphasis is his):

  • "Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions"
  • Nevertheless, the Security Council "Decides to afford Iraq, by this resolution, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council."
  • "[T]he Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations."

Galen also points out that Resolution 1441 was passed unanimously last November, with even France signing on. (What was the French word for "consistency" again?)

Mr. Gere, please just rub your little Buddha, click your heels three times and "No place like home" your way to a better place. And please take Susan Saradon, Spike Lee, Norman Lear, Rob Reiner, Barbra Streisand and all of the Baldwin brothers with you. Just stop pretending to know how I think.