W

A film by Oliver Stone


This film is not an entertainment.  But for me it was an education.  The disclaimer, that some of it is fictionalized, made me wonder which parts, but I trust that Oliver Stone did his homework and that his portrayal of President Bush, his co-players in the American drama of the last seven years, nine and a half months, and his family life are more or less accurate.


If so, my opinions of the key figures has changed.


Dick Cheney is no longer the evil, greedy, profiteering, un-American monster I had perceived.  He is, instead, a relatively sincere neo-con who truly believes that imperialism is a noble pursuit in the protection of the American culture.  Who believes that torture of terrorists who would attack our country is justified, and that overthrowing governments in an attempt to protect our future is also justified. 


Ditto Paul Wolfowitz, the name which most defines neocon. 


Karl Rove is pretty much what I thought.  A sycophantic, loyal Republican who leaves policy to others but works to ensure Republican victories at any cost.


Even George, himself, comes across as more sympathetic than I had thought.  He seems a true believer and not a wussy, push-around sort of guy.  He is, according to Stone, an assertive, not especially smart, leader who truly believes that god’s message favors him and that his way is right.


His relationship with his father was as I expected.  Doting junior–he doesn’t like being called that–can never please his father because, in spite of being born privileged, he never did well at anything except remembering the names of his fraternity brothers during pledge week.  Daddy bailed him out of jail, an unplanned girlfriend pregnancy and, as is well documented, some AWOLs from his reserve obligations.  George sr. was (and I presume still is) disappointed by his son, especially considering the achievements of brother Jeb who, though not much portrayed in this film, is clearly the more bright and accomplished.


Laura Bush.  A-h-h, the lovely Laura.  Well-read, thoughtful and very hot.  I had no idea, but if Ollie Stone got this one right, W married way above his station.


One thing which went unaddressed by this movie which absolutely should have been, is the Bush Administration’s abysmal environmental record and its continuing replacement of solid science with political expediency.  For these evils Bush can never be forgiven.  Perhaps by his father in heaven, probably not by his father on earth, and certainly not by me.


So if you want to see this take on soon-to-be ex-president Bush, see the movie.  It moves along well enough and gives the impression, more or less accurate I suppose, of the major players who have shaped your country for the past seven years, nine and a half months.  If you don’t need the message, don’t bother.  As I said, it is not an entertainment.