April 12, 2006

"In the cockpit! If we don't, we die!"

The Moussaoui jury hears the Flight 93 recording.


Ricardo said...

If we (as a nation) put just half of the time, effort, media coverage, and money into stopping future attacks that we do into punishing past things, this nation would have absolutely secure borders. Aren't death penalty cases normally considered (validly or otherwise) to assist in future crime deterrence? It's obvious that this trial is of zero deterrent value with the terrorists we're dealing with. So what exactly is going on here, other than a media show to "throw a little meat to the base"? We need someone to do some real "governing" and prevent future attacks, rather than all the "show and tell" rigmarole we're being subjected to.

Maybe a nice place to start would be to get the producers of the Flight 93 movie to donate all their profits to a "relatives-of-victims compensation fund", or just gave it to Homeland Security so it could be used for terrorism prevention?

Gerry said...

I suspect that the movie Flight 93 is going to be the hit that Brokeback Mountain was supposed to be.

Seven Machos said...

"We need someone to do some real "governing" and prevent future attacks."

Well, as of today, thank goodness, there have been no substantial attacks since 9/11. I'm sure many people don't want to credit the Bush administration and its policies. But what other cause is there?

MadisonMan said...

I suspect that the movie Flight 93 is going to be the hit that Brokeback Mountain was supposed to be.

Brokeback Mt. has a domestic gross of $83M -- on what planet is that not a hit? I recall reading nothing that predicted that kind of box office for it.

I see stories of the horrid things the jury has to endure re: Flt. 93 and I'm just happy not to have to do that. How can they listen without being physically ill?

And I'm so sure the producers will be happy to donate their net profits to compensation funds -- but do any movies in Hollywood ever show a profit? I didn't think they did because of creative accounting. All profits donated to charity would be a nice marketing tool. But no donations would be forthcoming.

Palladian said...

"I suspect that the movie Flight 93 is going to be the hit that Brokeback Mountain was supposed to be."

With a current gross revenue of $153,470,165, pre-dvd release (on a $14,000,000 production), I'd say "Brokeback Mountain" qualifies as a "hit", don't you? Or were you weirdly trying to compare and contrast it with the Flight 93 movie? If it wasn't ok to politicize "Brokeback Mountain" why are you politicizing "Flight 93"?

Anyway, back on topic. I just have to correct the strange revisionist notion that "Brokeback" wasn't successful when I see it.

Sloanasaurus said...

I agree with Machos. It seems odd that Bush's policies are called an utter failure when we have not been attacked again.

If you recall, it was the conventional wisdom that we would be attacked again and again and again. But, we haven't.

Now mostly democrats, are trying to unravel policies like the Patriot Act. They argue that the polices don't work anyways.

In my opinion the Iraq war has contributed the most to stop attacks here. Iraq has been a giant sucking sound for would be terrorists. If your a smart lad from Egypt, why would you waste all the time and energy to wait around for a year to get into America, when you can satisfy your jihadi wet dreams almost instantly just a few hundred miles away in Iraq... and you can kill Shia....who in their minds are bigger infidels than the Crusaders.

Gerry said...

Saying that it was not the hit it was supposed to be did not mean to say it wasn't a hit, but rather not as big a hit as the promotional campaign (and media attention) would have suggested it would be.

I apologize for any confusion in my clunky phrasing.

I'll say that I bet Flight 93 at a minimum doubles the take.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why should the producers of the Flight 93 movie give away their profits? What is the reasoning behind this suggestion?

Gerry said...

I just realized that my Brokeback reference probably seems very tangental and probably off-topic.

It was not intended to be.

I am connecting the two movies in my mind mainly because of the way Flight 93's trailers were pulled recently, with some guy saying "people aren't ready."

The same basic thing was said about Brokeback-- let's give it a lot of attention to see if people are ready for a story about gay shepherds. Is America ready? Let's write stories about if America is ready and then we can write about it repeatedly for months.

Flight 93 may get the same sort of media fixation. However, where I believe that much of the media attention given to Brokeback was hopeful on the part of the reporters and critics, I suspect that for Flight 93 much of the attention will be fearful and wary.

And I also suspect that, if the movie is any good at all, that it will be a tremendous hit. Top 10 big.

jeff said...

I still think that, regards Moussasoui, killing is too good for him.
Stick him in isolation and feed him pork sausage for the rest of his life.

MadisonMan said...

killing is too good for him

Especially when it seems like he is going out of his way to get the death penalty. I guess I have an aversion against giving such a person their apparent heart's desire, even if it's mine as well. And I'm not sure it is my heart's desire anyway.

paulfrommpls said...

No, I think we should kill him, give him what he wants, and right before he goes look him in the eye and say "good luck with those virgins, dickweed."

Make him know we think he's really an idiot, and remind him he's about to find out who's right.

Ricardo said...

"Why should the producers of the Flight 93 movie give away their profits? What is the reasoning behind this suggestion?"

Freeman: It's just a suggestion. The reasoning is that "wartime profiteering" should be discouraged, if not entirely made illegal. Similar but different arguments could be made about certain contractors or energy companies using the current wartime as an excuse to generate excessive profits. In the case of the Flight 93 movie, it would be a demonstration that the film industry is sensitive to the horror of the events of 911, and that they are marketing this film as a public service, to assist in the war effort.

PatCA said...

The producers are indeed donating some of their profits. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/3782484.html.
I think it will be a big film.

As for ricardo's wish that we could prevent rather than punish, I agree. This article tells the story of one illegal from Vietnam who we keep trying to deport, but his country won't take him back. This is very common apparently. Another reason to overhaul our immigration insanity.

Freeman Hunt said...

The reasoning is that "wartime profiteering" should be discouraged, if not entirely made illegal.

I think that this stretches the definition of wartime profiteering too far. Isn't wartime profiteering a term used to refer to jacking up prices on items essential to a war effort and taking advantage of inelastic demand? That wouldn't apply here at all.

Movies are a money-making business. I don't understand why anyone would suggest that a businessman should risk his money for free unless one thought that there was something inherently untoward about profit.

People want to see a movie about Flight 93, so a company made a movie about Flight 93. Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work?

Al Maviva said...

I'm sure many people don't want to credit the Bush administration and its policies. But what other cause is there?

I think that's a bit hasty. While greatly stepped up security efforts and foreign military/diplomatic/intelligence efforts have probably had a substantial effect, AQ probably has chosen not to attack for strategic purposes. AQ executive level correspondence from 2005 indicated that they 9/11 attacks are now perceived as a strategic disaster by AQ senior leadership - they lost their home base, and are being pursued all around the globe. And why would AQ attack us now? Even in spite of documents coming out of Iraq demonstrating a fairly tangible link between Iraq and Islamist terrorism, and AQ's (and the Iranian intel services') willingness to commit suicide in Iraq, the American public seems overwhelmingly think that campaign was a failure and a bad mistake. An AQ attack in the domestic U.S. now would potentially rally the country behind Bush and those warmonger Republicans, just when the Dems - who long for a return to the Clinton Ostrich Policy re: AQ - are about to make big electoral gains. Better to have a dove in the WH and quietly lay a lot of groundwork infiltrating your people into the country before you start trying to bully the U.S. again... And who knows, maybe those whacky mullahs in Tehran will front AQ a couple Islamic bombs so that the strong horse can rear its head again.

I think that's why we haven't seen any domestic attacks to speak of.

Gerry said...

"The reasoning is that "wartime profiteering" should be discouraged, if not entirely made illegal"

Then you think that Michael Moore should have given away to non-partisan charities every cent he made with Fahrenheit 9/11, and were just as vocal about it as you are now, correct? Because it would be a shame if you were being inconsistent or trying to hold those whose politics you disagree to a different standard than you do with those whose politics you agree.

Gerry said...

"unless one thought that there was something inherently untoward about profit. "

Hold that thought and you will find the real impulse of pure leftism.

Ricardo said...

Freeman: In my mind, wartime profiteering applies to at least two things. One is exactly as you describe, and I commend you on your articulate description. Another could be "making personal profit from the lives and deaths of America's war dead". Now, one could argue that "the media" engages in this on an ongoing basis, but I'm willing to cut them some slack under democratic obligations of the fourth estate, and the need to keep the people informed. I'm not sure how much slack I'm willing to cut "the entertainment industry" on the same issue. As with criminal cases, it might come down to "intent", where the media might hold a slight edge because of only a partial profit-mindedness coupled with a sincere desire to inform. But again, it was only a suggestion.

gerry: It seems you'd like to make this into a red-blue issue, but I'm not biting. My concern is for "the right things to do in wartime", and they'd apply equally to a red or blue administration.

Bruce Hayden said...

But if this were the definition of war profiteering, Gibson's "We Were Soldiers" would fall into this category, because it was about real people dying in Vietnam, but Platoon, and all the anti-war Vietnam movies would not, because they had to use fictional characters to make their anti-war point.

Also, Bruce Willis is/was working with Deuce Four about a movie based on their exploits in Iraq. Presumably, he would have actors playing real people who died there. Again, the anti-Iraqi war movies out don't portray the deaths of real people, but rather fictionalized ones, because portraying the deaths of real Americans would at least allude to their heroism, which would negate the message of the movies.

Thus, you would end up with a double standard if all movies that portray the deaths of real people in war time were considered war profiteering, and wouldn't be considered so, if the characters were totally fictional.

Add to this, that, for me, historical war films, like Gibson's, are much more moving precisely because they are mostly true. The heroism in them is real, not some Hollywood plot device.

Finally, let me note the perverse affect that this idea would have on film making. Film making is big business. To make a film today is often quite expensive. But the investment is made in order to roll the dice to gamble that a given movie will be financially successful, and, hopefully, wildly so.

But if the profits are taken out of a certain type of movie, then the rewards won't be there for making them, and, thus, they won't be made.

The result then, of all of this, would be that fictional accounts of a war would still be made, but not those that are historically accurate.

Seven Machos said...

Ricardo: Did Bush's policies have nothing to do with Al Queda thinking their terrorist acts were a strategic blunder?

You sound very much like the kind of person who is unwilling to credit the president with anything because he is who he is. You also sound like someone who is against profit but, as long as we are on the subject, I better in terms of per dollar investment, your pal Michael Moore has made the most handsome profit on this war.

Is it okay to profit as long as you are AGAINST the war?

Gerry said...

"they'd apply equally to a red or blue administration."

But the makers of movies are not in any administration, and if your principles are as non-partisan as you claim, you would have been raising the same concerns over Michael Moore's movie.

But you didn't. Hence, your claims of not biting on a 'red-blue' issue seem awfully convenient.

PatCA said...

I agree with you, it's a two-pronged reason why we haven't had another mass attack. (I do assert though that we have had solo attacks, like Hedayet at LAX, the Maryland snipers, and several before 9/11.)

Bush and the Euros are destroying networks in the same way Europe destroyed their terrorists in the 60s, with aggressive police work. Europe had nothing to gain by following Bush to Iraq, but I'm sure they are glad someone is killing fanatics there at no political cost to them. What's different now is that the press is anti-US rather than anti-terrorist.

AQ brought this on themselves in a huge miscalculation. If they hit us again, they would revive the unity and strength we felt after 9/11. They are simply waiting for us to give up on our own.

Freeman Hunt said...

Another could be "making personal profit from the lives and deaths of America's war dead".

I'm not going to be able to agree on your second definition of war profiteering. If this were the accepted definition, we wouldn't have any art about wars. (Think of all the classic WWII films--all lost!) Wars are major events, and it seems that art should come out of them.

And again, I think that this definition assumes that profit is somehow bad, a presupposition that I do not agree with. Profit gives people incentive to produce things we want to buy. It is the fuel that drives innovation and hard work. Profit is good.

I think Flight 93 will be a huge hit.

XWL said...

"At Trial, Flight 93 Myth Finally Becomes Reality"

Anyone else think that's just about the most offensive headline at a major US Daily paper ever?

(accompanies a front page article from today's Washington Post)

(and I'm pretty sure it was only bed-wetting window-lickers from the America-hating brigade that ever suggested that the Flight 93 narrative as it had been told was possibly not true)

(after that BBC article on offensive language, I'm trying to work in my new favorite term 'window-licker' as often as seems appropriate)

Ricardo said...

What's disappointing to me about this discussion, is that you guys are willing to throw out the big platitudes ("all profit is good"), but you seem unwilling (or unable) to discuss the more interesting gray zones. If you truly mean what you say ("all profit is good") then you are coming down on the side of drug-traffickers, child pornographers, spammers, and the like, and I really don't think you mean that. I live down here in the home of ENRON, and many of my friends (who lost their jobs and savings to greedy profiteers) would likewise disagree with your stance, even though they are firm believers in the American capitalistic and enterpreneurial system. The real discussion on this topic lies in the "grays", in between the obvious extremes of totally-moral or totally-immoral. But labeling me a commie-liberal, or a fan of Michael Moore (funny, since I'm neither), is not the right way to discuss the real issue here, which is about the ethical limits of profit-seeking, and how that should be applied to build a better and stronger America.

But thanks for your time. It was kind of an eye-opening discussion, just the same.