It gets worse. The most pernicious element in the movie is the character who is at the moral heart of the film: the physically beautiful, modest, caring, generous Pakistani who becomes a beautiful, modest, caring, generous ... suicide bomber. In his final act, the Pure One, dressed in the purest white robes, takes his explosives-laden little motorboat head first into his target. It is a replay of the real-life boat that plunged into the USS Cole in 2000, killing 17 American sailors, except that in ``Syriana's'' version, the target is another symbol of American imperialism in the Persian Gulf -- a newly opened liquefied natural gas terminal.
The explosion, which would have the force of a nuclear bomb, constitutes the moral high point of the movie, the moment of climactic cleansing, as the Pure One clad in white merges with the great white mass of the huge terminal wall, at which point the screen goes pure white. And reverently silent.
In my naivete, I used to think that Hollywood had achieved its nadir with Oliver Stone's ``JFK,'' a film that taught a generation of Americans that President Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA and the FBI in collaboration with Lyndon Johnson. But at least it was for domestic consumption, an internal affair of only marginal interest to other countries. ``Syriana,'' however, is meant for export, carrying the most vicious and pernicious mendacities about America to a receptive world.
As the good doctor says, this is the sort of thing that passes for complexity and moral seriousness in Hollywood. America=EVIL; Suicide Bomber=GOOD.
Meanwhile, George Clooney will soon be starring in a sequel entitled "Palestiniana".
You know, someone needs to test the water and air in Southern California because it is implicated in a massive oubreak of toxic psychotic denial in the area. Be sure to watch the Oscars to witness one of the hallmark indicators of this psychological defense: an unashamed--even congratulatory--self-delusion that has been raised to the level of high