Oliver Stone is at it again. I previously wrote about him months ago. Stone, now in London to do publicity for his agitprop film on Hugo Chavez, took the opportunity to do some advance publicity for his forthcoming Showtime TV series, The Secret History of America. In his new gem, he will show us how Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were all unappreciated in their own time, since they were “vilified” and he wants to show — particularly in the case of Stalin — how he “has a complete other story.”
Well, if Stone wants to really let us know that it is not just Fidel and Hugo Chavez he loves, but all previous monsters in the 20th century past, he is certainly free to do so. But in his new interview with Camilla Long in the London Sunday Times, he certainly ups the ante. Added to his list of the misunderstood is Iran’s leadership. First, he informs Long that although “Iran isn’t necessarily the good guy,” the fact is that “we don’t know the full story!” Since Stone was given access exclusively to Ahmadinejad when he visited Iran, we can be certain we won’t have to wait long to see the results.
Stone gets exercised when critics like me (whom you’ll recall he personally rebuked a short time ago — you can read my response here) expose his ignorance of history and his treatment of it as a vehicle for left-wing propaganda. It is no wonder that Castro “had been pleased” with the three documentaries Stone made about him, as was Hugo Chavez.
When Long gently asks him whether he is presenting a balanced picture, Stone replies, “The internet’s fully free [in Venezuela]. You can say what the hell you like.” He conveniently ignores last week’s news that Chavez has arrested two Venezuelans who dared to write a few words on Twitter that he found demeaning. And like those in the old Soviet Union who always said when someone was arrested, “If only Stalin knew of this injustice, this would not be happening,” Stone says there is a “section of the Chavista party that is over the top,” and which “inherited shit” from the pre-Chavez government. (Any repression is always the fault of the old “bourgeois” regime.)
Then, Stone finally gets to the forthcoming documentary on our supposed secret history. Stalin and Hitler will be put “in context,” he says, as if historians have not been doing just that for a long, long time. What he means by that, however, is that if Hitler was a Frankenstein, so were “German industrialists, the Americans and the British,” all of whom, he hints, gave Hitler his support.