I have written several times about Steven Spielberg’s new movie, Munich, without having actually seen it. But my little man (which is a reference to the film featured in our current NAME THAT MOVIE! competition) told me that this Munich would be a shallow morality play equating Israel’s security agency with Palestinian terrorists. And I think my little man is right.
Captain Ed has actually seen Munich and writes thusly:
After giving the matter quite a bit of thought, I finally decided to see Munich at the theaters in order to make up my own mind about the film and the controversy that surrounds it. The film, which informs the audience that it was “Inspired By True Events”, takes the bare bones of the Munich massacre and the Israeli intelligence operation which followed against the Black September organization which plotted it and turns it into … well, an interesting if ultimately bankrupt morality play.
By equating the two sides, Spielberg and the world gave the perpetrators of terrorism the same moral standing as its victims, especially when the victims sought to ensure that their enemies could not live long enough to plan more such attacks. It’s like saying that the perpetrators of Lidice were certainly naughty, but the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich was just as bad. It’s absurd, and the absence of any mention of this fundamental, yawning chasm between the Israelis and the PLO/Black September terrorists provide the only true allegory that Munich provides — the defeatism in which Avner and his compatriots indulge (in the film) matches perfectly with the Left’s moral equivalency of Islamist terrorists and their unwillingness to fight against their ascendancy.
I needn’t tell you what a propaganda victory this is for the other side. The Jew Spielberg agrees that Mossad is evil!
UPDATE: In the Comments to this post, Phil wrote,
The point of Munich is that when you set out to kill for moral reasons, you often end up creating a moral reason for someone else to kill. Which in turn creates a moral reason for you to kill … etc, etc.
“Moral equivalency” to me, is nothing more than that; recognizing that everyone, in every conflict, thinks their moral reasons for killing make perfect sense, and the other side’s reasons are insane.
So terrorists are horrible, evil, people, and we’re noble defenders of all that is good, blah blah blah. That’s such an old song. Thinking your enemies are brutal killers isn’t morality — it’s simply animal instinct, that’s all.
Moral relativism is deciding that the only real place to stop the cycle is with ourselves. I know, it’s not nearly as satisfying as killing those who disagree with you. The opposite of moral relativism is deciding to kill everyone on the other side (gosh, where’ve we heard that lately). And that is satisfying, if you succeed. But that’s not morality, it’s animal brutality.
To which I, Cardinal Martini, in a show of both my infinite wisdom and unmatched intelligence, have responded,
Phil, I have no doubt that our enemies think they are correct and we are wrong. But so what? They’re still trying to kill us. I find there are two types of people on the other side; the reasonable ones, and the unreasonable ones.
We should try to reason with the reasonable ones. And we should kill the unreasonable ones, the ones who are so fanatical in their hatred for us that only force can stop them. Killing in self-defense isn’t “animal brutality”, as you put it. On the contrary, if we believe our way is better than theirs then it is both moral and logical to defend ourselves and our society from their attempts at destroying us.
You and I apparently understand the term “moral equivalence” to mean different things. As I understand it it means that neither side is right or wrong in a conflict. I just don’t think that is the case. That’s the stuff of the animal world. A bear in the forest is neither more or less moral than the fish he eats. But we are clearly different than both bears and fish.
We are creatures capable of higher thought. And we need to start acting like it. We need to evaluate complex situations such as the fight in which we find ourselves, and determine which side is morally right and which is not. It is the case that only one side’s culture will prevail from this fight, and I think it should be ours. I believe America is right and good — not necessarily that our government is correct in everything it does, mind you. I believe that American values are worth fighting for and protecting. I think the exact opposite of the cultures from which our enemies have sprung.
It is clear to me that only a morally confused person can argue that Iran’s culture — oppressive, intolerant, misogynistic, brutal — for example, is morally equivalent to ours and other Western countries — which are open, tolerant, and democratic.
Plus, killing badguys is always satisfying.
What do all of you people think? Do you agree with me? Or does Phil — who has my respect for leaving an actual comment, unlike certain trolls who shall not be named that lurk around the interweb — have a point? I dare one of you to leave another comment.