Monday, August 07, 2006


Mel Gibson is an actor not an icon unless you are vapid enough to make him one. He was arrested for drunk driving – 87 MPH in 40 MHZ – in his flashy Lexus late at night with a partially filled bottle of Tequila in his car. Tested drunk as a skunk, he asked the Jewish arresting officer if he was a Jew and then went into a rant that claimed the Jews were responsible for all wars.

The very hot media coverage of the story concentrated on Gibson's post arrest remarks not his dangerous drunk driving conduct and its implications. It reached a high point of hysteria with an appearance of a Philadelphia radio talk show host named Smerconish, who was on MSNBC TV Hardball this week. Smerconish characterized Gibson's remarks as so dreadfully anti-semitic that this story was more important than the Israeli/Palestine/Lebanese war – Smerconish moronically contended that pop culture trumps war, death and destruction of war as a news story, and he went on to pay his dues to the Israeli Lobby by emotionally excoriating Gibson for his remarks.

Anybody who is a Gibson fan, whether Mad Max/Lethal Weapon series or Braveheart, senses the actor borders on madness in all these roles. Are we certain he was acting? He successfully produced and directed the film Passion of Christ and it was characterized as anti-semitic by many Jews who did not want to be publicly reminded of the Jews' role in the death of Christ... Now Gibson has done the obligatory mea culpa – apologizing to Jewish groups for his drunken remarks. Whether this impacts on Gibson's next film, who cares; but if I were a Jew, doubt I would buy a ticket, although most of his fans are probably unconcerned over the Jewish angst and will pay the price of admission to see their favorite star.

As for asking a person whether he is Jewish is an anti-semitic statement bewilders me... Does this mean a Jew is ashamed to admit he is a Jew? Blaming Jews for all the wars is egregiously anti-semitic, and Gibson will pay a price for that – for a drunk, like they say, in vino veritas. Unlike his hero in Braveheart, Gibson decided to grovel and kiss a lot of Hollywood film industry asses to regain his old footing. That is too bad, because much of his charm was his spunk, independence and devil may care persona.

In the big scheme of things, Gibson’s problems are unimportant. What is fascinating is how an ethnic slur between two people, subsequently widely broadcast, destroys a man of substance... The incident occurs at a time when traditional US support for Israel is being questioned as the US promotes Israeli reckless killing of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Let us make it clear that criticism of Israel is not anti-semitism; on the contrary, as things are developing, it is pro-American, because like the Iraq debacle, US blind support of Israel is contrary to US interests – creates terror against the US and alienates oil producing countries. In Iraq the US forces commonly have been characterized as the "Israelis" by Iraqis. And who can forget Bremer's coalition government blunder when it tried to introduce a new Iraqi flag made up from the colors of the Israeli flag.

It is a common mistake by misguided politically correct politicians, journalists and the man on the street to confuse opposition to Israeli murderous policies with the religion of many Israeli citizens. The Jewish religion does not bring a disgusting reaction, but Israel’s ruthless aggressive pursuit of national interests under US auspices does. The attempt by many in the US to brand any group or person anti-semitic that opposes Israel polices is as disgusting as anti-semitism itself.

Seeking redemption, Gibson will probably donate to Jewish charities, speak at a Hollywood Temple during the Yom Kippur day of atonement, and visit Auschwitz during dead winter. No more heroic roles – he is now qualified to play only a schlemiel. RE Bartos Colonel USA RET


Blogger Guy Detrick said...

Colonel Bartos,

Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting you and subsequently shipped some of your HHG ex Alexandria VA. In the process, I gained some artifacts and icons that are among my favorite items. A great portrait of Washington hangs over my fireplace.
At any rate, I am happy that you are well, posting great ideas, and I will now enjoy reading your commentaries. Seattle is now home.
Guy Detrick


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