OK, that stupid warmongering film has been and gone, Ottawa’s right-wing gadfly Fred Litwin is happy as a pig in the proverbial cesspool, and another blow has been struck for free speech.
Now, let’s obey the stern Speech Warrior™ injunction, if waveringly applied in practice by the latter, and separate the principle of free speech from the contents of that speech.
Iranium is a cult film, in the very bad sense of the word: despite its cinematic slickness, it is a crude piece of propaganda meant to generate support for a preemptive military strike against Iran. You don’t have to be an admirer of the bloody, mediaeval Iranian regime and its nutbar leader to recognize hype when you see it.
Here it is. If you want to part with your email address, you can watch it for free, at least for the moment.
For devotees of horror films, there’s lots of good fearmongering here. Its very delivery—lots of talking heads, cool music and calm narration—heightens the effect. The truth is that we are under attack by a crazed army wielding nuclear chainsaws, and something has to be done. Fast.
Obama’s appeasement doesn’t work. Mere “containment” of Iran won’t work. The Iranians already have their fingers in every terrorist pie in the world. Even Mexican druglords have a piece of the action, and we’re reminded that the Mexican border is porous enough to allow terrorists with back-pack nukes easy access into the US.
Frank Gaffney, who has referred to Obama as “the Muslim President” and has ties to the birther movement, occupies a prominent place in Iranium. He warns us of the nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effect* that, he says, could leave 9 out of 10 Americans dead. Since a bomb’s EMP effect is limited to the visual horizon (a height of 300 miles or so to take in the continental US), we must try to imagine our unwanted Mexican tourist throwing his knapsack into the air.
A former Canadian ambassador to Iran, John Mundy, urges balance , but, like Obama, he’s no doubt a “friend of Shariah.”
Anyway, I get it. Propaganda films are not meant to be subtle, after all.
So who’s behind this effort? That’s where things get interesting. The film is written and directed by a fellow named Alex Traiman, a prominent West Bank settler associated with the lunatic fringe of Israeli religious politics. His Clarion Fund, which bankrolled the flick, has been in this game for a while.
The fact that the Iranian Embassy, which doesn’t even contain an ambassador, apparently objected to the showing of the film, could only reinforce the closed delusional system within which the right-wing laugh and play. Here’s a ripe example of the latter:
“I’m a mom of three daughters and I’m really concerned,” said Beth Trudeau, who came from Russell Township.
“Sharia law was almost passed in Ontario. I think Islam is headed our way and we need to wake up and see what’s before us and stop this multiculturalism love-in. Not everybody is our friend.”
And so I would have to conclude on a note of agreement with David Kilgour, who referred to Iran as a sponsor of the event. Thanks to its involvement, whatever it was, our government got involved, a cabinet minister attended, the place was sold out, and now everybody knows about Ottawa’s Free Thinking Film Society. Fred Litwin couldn’t have counted on a better result if he’d planned the whole thing himself.
* A good explanation of EMP may be found here.