Green Zone Advances Liberal Narrative of Iraq War
The film, starring Matt Damon, takes a terribly complex situation and renders it in high contrast black and white.
March 12, 2010 - 12:00 am
The late Howard Zinn would be very proud of his protégé, Matt Damon.
The actor has long admired the lefty historian, a man whose anti-American impulses were so profound he could cast the United States’ participation in World War II and its aftermath in an unflattering light.
Damon’s latest film, Green Zone, rewrites history regarding the Iraq War in a way Zinn’s acolytes will cheer.
Never mind the facts. Green Zone keeps the “Bush lied, people died” narrative front and center while creating an alternative reality as warped as that of Inglourious Basterds.
But at least Quentin Tarantino fashioned his film so Jewish people could extract much deserved revenge against their Nazi captors — at least on film. Green Zone exist as liberal wish fulfillment writ large.
It also arrives at an inopportune moment considering the liberal magazine Newsweek’s recent cover story declaring victory in Iraq.
Green Zone is set at the start of the Iraq War, a chaotic time in which U.S.-led forces are swarming the Middle Eastern country following the collapse of its army.
Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) is leading the charge on a site known to house WMD (weapons of mass destruction). A lone sniper protects the building, but Miller and co. eventually fight their way past him.
It’s a tough, taut scene, one director Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum) could shoot in his sleep.
But they find nothing there, just an empty warehouse. It’s the third time a suspected WMD site has come up dry, and Miller wants answers. Now.
So do we. The moment reminds us of the frustration felt when each new news report told us those elusive weapons weren’t there. Even neoconservatives can relate, and feel echoes of a rising anger.
Miller finds a soul mate in CIA station chief Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson), a man who can see Iraq, the WMD hunt, and everything else about the region with perfect hindsight. The character, like several in the film, speaks as if his dialogue were written yesterday, not in the context of events occurring in 2003.
Together, they uncover the real story regarding the administration’s lies about WMD to coax the country into war.
Why? We’re not told. And, much more importantly, the false narrative flies in the face of how many countries’ intelligence services also supported the WMD claim, as did the Clinton administration and numerous Democratic senators.