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6488Labor scab leads charge against Moore

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  • glparramatta
    May 23, 2004
      Jim Nolan: Moore is less than truthful

      Jim Nolan, an industrial relations lawyer and veteran ALP member, writes
      frequently on human rights issues.



      GET ready for the Fahrenheit 9/11 onslaught and, I safely predict,
      unprecedented levels of sycophancy for Michael Moore's newest agitprop.
      No Niger uranium WMD lies here! Moore's "documentary" will be gushed
      over regardless of how crazy the claims or how distorted the "facts".

      Moore has cleverly set the stage for the propaganda offensive by
      suggesting that the distribution of his "documentary" has been sabotaged
      by Disney – a blatant lie uncritically now picked up by our local media.
      Moore has been one of the most prominent beneficiaries of what Roger
      Simon – the Hollywood screenwriter, novelist and blogger – has coined
      "the politics of the last five minutes".

      Moore's Academy Award-winning Bowling for Columbine has, by definition,
      dropped off the radar of the "politics of the last five minutes" – but
      those of us with some memory left still recall those ominous pictures of
      the US bombers taking off in the Kosovo war in 1999. The dark
      implication was that the Boeing corporation – spookily nearby the
      Columbine massacre school – was, as the destructive representatives of
      US imperialism, all of a piece with those schoolboy mass murderers.

      Moore's "documentary" didn't show that the Boeing factory near Columbine
      made weather satellites, not missiles. Nor did he take the trouble to
      explain that the Kosovo intervention was concerned with the rather more
      grown-up task of the prevention of genocide in the former Yugoslavia.
      Tony Blair and Bill Clinton courageously pre-empted the UN Security
      Council which was paralysed in the face of genocide – a familiar pose
      for that body. Does Moore stop to explain any of this? This was the
      awful truth that would have exposed Moore's message for the fraud that
      it was.

      But why should thousands of slaughtered Kosovars spoil Moore's box
      office? What was even more breathtaking was Moore's presidential
      endorsement of General Wesley Clark – the military commander whom
      Clinton placed in charge of the Kosovo campaign. Once again, any
      regrets? Not a bit.

      Moore's "documentary" claims may not be true, but to use John Pilger's
      formulation explaining the left-wing tabloid Daily Mirror's fabricated
      pictures of British soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners – "They may not
      be true, but what they represent is true." If the objective is
      anti-Americanism at all costs, it's a small price to pay to overlook
      inconvenient "facts".

      Last week, Christopher Hitchens nailed Moore and the European
      intellectual climate which gave rise to this fawning phenomenon.
      "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as
      well," Hitchens said, "it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished,
      sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy,
      stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their
      own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all
      of those qualities."

      In a world where "representations" trump reality, however, it's no
      wonder that Moore's "documentary" was awarded the top prize at Cannes
      yesterday. This is the same mindset that regards the disgraceful
      treatment of Iraqi prisoners as the moral equivalent of the act of
      Islamist fanatics in hacking off the head of a non-combatant in Iraq.
      Moore's indignant "anti-imperialism" over Iraq makes a convenient
      existential leap right over Saddam's republic of fear and the 200,000
      mass graves, just as he silently omitted the Kosovo genocide, so as not
      to blunt the drama of his "documentary" sequence.

      Moore is on record as hailing the already grotesquely misdescribed
      "resistance" as the equivalent of the minute men – the American
      revolutionaries – a statement so lacking in seriousness as to border on
      the unhinged. But don't hold your breath for Moore to be pressed on this.

      Nor will watching Moore give anyone the slightest inkling that the real
      agenda of the Islamo-fascists is to make he wretched of the earth more
      wretched. Better to ignore the awful truth of this medieval reactionary
      force – even out of their own mouths – in the interests of a warm and
      fuzzy trip down memory lane.

      Those tempted by Moore's latest flick would be better served by treating
      themselves to the latest movie from another old leftie – Canadian Denys
      Arcand's brilliant Barbarian Invasions. Arcand's characters – not all
      that unlike Moore – warmly remember the intellectual fashions of their
      enjoyable, if somewhat misspent, baby boomer youth as their friend,
      Remy, the philosopher and self-described "sensual socialist", waits to
      die. Remy recounts a meeting in the early 1970s with a beautiful young
      woman from China who he tried to chat up with fawning praise for Mao and
      the Red Guards. The woman, who had lived the nightmare that was the
      Cultural Revolution and was all too familiar with the genuine article,
      recoils in horror at Remy's disconnected pitch. As he recalls these
      follies, Remy at least has the insight and humour to suggest that the
      Chinese woman's horror was perfectly intelligible. He and his pals laugh
      over the fact there was only one self-loathing "ism" they didn't embrace
      in the '60s and '70s – "cretinism". Pity we can't say the same for
      Michael Moore.

      Jim Nolan, an industrial relations lawyer and veteran ALP member, writes
      frequently on human rights issues.
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