The charlatan, self-publicist and ex-”Marxist” Tariq Ali writes in today’s Graun ‘G2′ about his collaboration with the film producer and conspiracy-theorist Oliver Stone on a film largely devoted to hero-worshipping Hugo Chavez. If you express any reservations, you’re a “gringo.” The following excerpt from Ali’s article is so full of self-contradiction, non-sequiturs and plain nonsense that I seriously wonder whether Ali thinks readers of the Graun are devoid of critical faculties, or are simply immune to such things as elementary logic or the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. I leave it to readers to fisk it for themselves:
Fellow travellers … Tariq Ali, Oliver Stone and Hugo Chávez at last year’s Venice film festival. Photograph: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images
“The Vietnam war played a large part in shaping Stone’s radical take on his own country. One of JFK’s most striking scenes, almost 10 minutes in length, portrays a talking-heads duo: Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) and an unidentified military intelligence officer (Donald Sutherland) are walking by the Potomac river in Washington DC, discussing who killed Kennedy. The Sutherland character links the president’s execution to his decision to withdraw US troops from Vietnam some months previously. For me, it is – together with the depiction of French officers calmly justifying torture in Gillo Pontecorvo’s classic Battle of Algiers, and the Greek far-right plotting to kill the leftwing deputy Lambrakis in Costa-Gavras’s Z – one of the three finest scenes in political cinema.
“A steady flow of jeremiads from critics on the left and the right denounced this particular scene in Stone’s JFK as pure fantasy. Later research, however, including the recently published biography of one of the Kennedy administration’s leading hawks, McGeorge Bundy, has overwhelmingly vindicated the director’s approach. Kennedy had indeed decided to pull out – largely on the advice of retired General Douglas MacArthur, who told him the war could never be won.
“Stone’s refusal to accept establishment “truths” is the most important aspect of his filmography. He may get it wrong, but he always challenges imperial assumptions. That is why he was now in Paraguay, talking to the new president – a defrocked bishop weaned on liberation theology, who had succeeded in electorally toppling the long dictatorship of a single party. Fernando Lugo had become part of the new Bolivarian landscape, one that included Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, flanked by the Kirchners in Argentina and defended by Lula in Brazil.”
Read the full article here