Rambo, Cheney, Rice, and Burma

Truthdig by way of USA Today notes: 

If the combined power of thousands of Buddhist monks staging a nonviolent protest isn’t enough to oust Burma’s oppressive junta, one American hero (cue movie trailer voice-over) is coming to fight for democracy in a faraway land—or at least stick his nose in another nation’s business.  Yes, Rambo is ready to exact vigilante justice in Burma in the fourth installment of the Stallone series called, well, “Rambo.”

My crossposted comment:

Yes, it’s quite comic what the movies can do – “cultural softening” and purging and all.

For example, in the comfort of a movie house we can experience vividly what US soldiers might be doing in Asia – fighting for refugees, rather than actually being used as catalyst for the conflagration that – say, in Iraq – has created four or five million or more Iraqi refugees and more than a million Iraqi deaths…. In four years. Thanks to the US invasion. Fortunately there is Rambo to vividly illuminate the geopolitical situation. No? Oh well, at least in the theater of Rambo a soldier’s role is softened, purged. An American hero is made, at least in many a teen (and teen-plus) eye. What’s that US Army recruiting slogan? An Army of One.

And yes, let alone “one American hero” going “to fight for democracy in a faraway land,” it’s a bit silly to think of one American hero, the new Burma/Myanmar Rambo, “sticking his nose in another nation’s business.”

Which nation(s) would that be?

As John Pilger recently reported, “[US Secretary of State Condoleeza] Rice stated, ‘The United States is determined to keep an international focus on the travesty that is taking place in Burma.’ What she is less keen to keep a focus on is that the huge American company, Chevron, on whose board of directors she sat, is part of a consortium with the junta and the French company, Total, that operates in Burma’s offshore oil fields. The gas from these fields is exported through a pipeline that was built with forced labour and whose construction involved Halliburton, of which Vice President Cheney was Chief Executive.” (Chevron named a big oil tanker for Rice: the Condoleeza Rice – subsequently renamed for political reasons.)

Pilger adds, “Those who care for freedom in Burma and Iraq and Iran and Saudi Arabia and beyond must not be distracted by the posturing and weasel pronouncements of our leaders, who themselves should be called to account as accomplices.”

So can this latest one American Rambo hero film be not yet another “cultural ‘softener’” that – inadvertently or not, silly or not, vacuous or not – masks US and western state complicity in oppression and killing?

One can’t tell from reading the report on it in USA Today – which, oddly, doesn’t happen to mention the US Secretary of State, Chevron, Halliburton, or any western involvement at all in Burma. Doesn’t that seem odd for an American-militant-to-the-rescue-film? that the reporting of it, at the least, focuses on a private dilemna happening to the militant in a vacuum of public detail that would be most relevant to US readers? Why doesn’t that seem odd?

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