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The Good, the Bad, and Oliver Stone, Part 1: Natural Born Killers

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Posted on January 13 2010 4:30 pm
Mark Tapson writes about the intersection of Hollywood and terrorism for Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood and Big Peace, David Horowitz's Front Page and NewsReal, Pajamas Media, the Investigative Project for Terrorism, and elsewhere. He was the writer’s assistant and researcher for Cyrus Nowrasteh on, among other projects, "The Stoning of Soraya M." and the controversial miniseries "The Path to 9/11." Mark is currently co-writing a documentary for renowned terrorism expert Steven Emerson.

Not all bad

Apparently the bad economy is taking its toll on even Hollywood stars, some of whom have begun pursuing a lucrative side career as amateur historical revisionists. First, Matt Damon and a gaggle of left-leaning cohorts helped promote radical historian Howard Zinn’s perverse perspective of American history in a television documentary. Now famed director Oliver Stone has announced that his upcoming ten-part Showtime documentary miniseries, Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America, will put a quirky new spin on the twentieth century, including the proper “context” surrounding the most notorious mass murderers of all time:

“Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy – these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history.”

Vilified? Surely he can’t mean it in the sense of “defamed,” as in, “unfairly demonized,” since there are few people in recorded history who could be more fairly demonized than Stalin, Hitler, and Mao. These egomaniacal butchers were responsible for the murders of scores of millions of people, and brought suffering beyond imagination to untold numbers more (how underachiever Senator Joseph McCarthy got lumped into this pantheon of genocidists remains to be explained).

But Stone, who declares strangely that he has “walked in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view,” pronounces the judgment of history to be too harsh:

“We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’”

I concede his point; after all, everyone is capable of both good and bad. What otherwise decent person never cheated on a test or jaywalked or shoplifted a candy as a kid? And surely these notorious figures weren’t bad people 24/7. The intensity and ingenuity required for nonstop evildoing is simply too draining. They must have let down their guard sometimes. Perhaps Hitler bought his aides Christmas presents. Maybe Stalin opened doors for the fairer sex. No doubt Mao occasionally showered his executioners with praise for a job well done. Fair enough, then – they weren’t “only bad.”

But good and bad are not the issue: evil is the issue. We may all be capable of bad behavior – but the majority of us do not have it in our nature to slide off the scale into the soulless realm of true evil. And fewer still are evil to the degree for which Mao, Stalin, and Hitler have been, well, vilified by history.

And this is where Stone and his fellow relativists on the Left part company with people in possession of a moral compass: they don’t want to – indeed, they cannot – admit the existence of evil in individuals (with the exception of the Bush/Cheney/Limbaugh axis of evil, a triumvirate of truly Satanic proportions). Moral relativism is essential to the multiculturalist, anti-American, anti-capitalist worldview of the radical Left. It is essential to the agenda of propagandists like Stone, who hints that his miniseries will rehabilitate the reputations of these monsters, the depths of whose cruelty we mere jaywalking mortals cannot fathom. How? By shifting the blame for their totalitarian evil onto American capitalism.

But perhaps I shouldn’t judge – after all, I haven’t walked in their shoes like Oliver Stone has.

Coming Next in Part 2: Hitler was Only Following Orders

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