April 26, 2006, - 1:04 am
By Debbie Schlussel
When previews for “United 93” were shown in New York City movie houses, the crowd whined, “Too soon!”
But “United 93” is not arriving in theaters too soon. If anything, it is arriving too late.
It has been almost five years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and most Americans have fallen back to sleep. They’ve forgotten who our enemy is: extremist Islam. They’ve forgotten why the Patriot Act was enacted. They’ve forgotten why it was necessary for the NSA to listen in on phone calls of Muslims in America to their friends overseas. They’ve forgotten why it is necessary that many Islamic charities allegedly funding hospitals and orphanages must be shut down (because as on 9/11, they fund acts and groups that continue to put people in hospitals and orphanages).
That’s why “United 93” should be required movie viewing for all Americans who love freedom . . . while we still have it. This movie is the wake-up call that needs to be visited upon anyone who questions why our government responded the way it did when nearly 3,000 innocent Americans were murdered by Islamic terrorists.
“United 93” is vivid, it is terrifying, and it is real.
And while all Americans should see this film, there are special groups who need to see it more than others:
* Assorted ACLU-style lawyers and activists: They need to suffer through this movie and remind themselves of those whose memories they are blaspheming with their endless lawsuits on behalf of the compatriots of their murderers.
* The giant pinata of kowtowing federal “law enforcement” bureaucrats, like FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland Security lawyer and Islamist outreach figure Daniel Sutherland, and various local fed sachems like U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III, Michigan FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel Roberts, and his ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) counterpart, Brian Moskowitz. All of these individuals have, instead, repeatedly broken bread with, kowtowed to, and even given awards to Sunni and Shia Islamists who openly support and even fund terrorism.
* FAA brass: The stars of this film are really the memories of the fallen heroes of Flight 93 (Jeremy Glick, Todd Beamer, Thomas Burnett, and many others) who bravely fought back. But on of the biggest stars of this film is Ben Sliney. He is not an actor at all, but was Chief of Air Traffic Control Operations at the FAA’s Command Center on 9/11. He plays himself, and demonstrates his heroic behavior amidst the chaos.
Sliney did the best he could while his FAA superiors repeatedly refused to give approval for F-16 fighters to engage the hijacked planes. Has the FAA bureaucracy changed enough from that day? Since the agency is still supremely worried about profiling of Arabs and Muslims rather than aviation safety, apparently not.
* Most Hollywood directors and writers, who could learn a thing or two from this movie’s director/writer Paul Greengrass, who did not make editorial comment. He stuck strictly the 9/11 commission reports and recountings of conversations provided by relatives and ground crews.
Perhaps that is why the hijab-wearing woman I saw and her Muslim male companion walked out of the film with big frowns on their faces. I think they wanted this film to make the hijackers Samoans or Icelanders. This movie is not PC. It sticks to the story as it happened.
And the identity and motivations of the hijackers are quite clear, from their red headbands and body hair removal to their repeated incantations of “Allah Hu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) and “Bismullah” (in the name of Allah).
In many ways, what happened on United Flight 93 is a microcosmic view of the war we are fighting against Islamic terrorism all over the world, but especially on our own soil.
The passengers on the flight knew that if they did not fight the Islamic terrorists on board, they would probably meet their deaths. They spoke with family and friends on the ground who were watching live TV coverage of the events that had already occurred that morning. They knew that two planes already flew into the World Trade Center and that there was an explosion near the Pentagon.
They realized that their Islamic hijackers were on a suicide mission. And they decided to pursue an effort in the remote chance that they might save themselves, but knowing they would likely go down fighting, as they did. You can’t help but agree with a male passenger’s shout of “You bastard!” as he joined the other men on the plane in stabbing one of their hijackers with forks and knives.
Even though it is only the fourth month of the year, I’m confident in proclaiming “United 93” the Movie of the Year. It’s a good bet that Hollywood will not produce such an important and provocative film in the remaining eight months.
It is coincidental that this movie comes out the same week both sides rested their case in the last phase of the Zacarias Moussaoui trial. While the United 93 passengers had barely a warning–perhaps less than an hour, we have had plenty of warning in America. It was not just the 9/11 attacks and the foiled shoe-bomber attempt in 2001, and other escapades since. Before that, we had the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, the blowing up of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, the 1996 Khobar Towers attacks, “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia, and so on. Before that, Hezbollah–a group which works with Al-Qaeda training its insurgents and which took part in the Khobar Towers attack–hijacked TWA Flight 847, torturing to death Navy diver Robert Stethem, and murdered 300 U.S. military and civilian personnel in Lebanon.
Yes, we have had the warnings. Plenty of them. And unlike in Hollywood, in real life, Jack Bauer does not usually save the day.
The question is: Will we take heed of them like the passengers on United 93 and go down fighting? Or will we “see no evil” and silently, willingly submit to the will of the Islamists who repeatedly tell us of their mission . . . until the West is dead?
So far, the answer is latter, and that is why “United 93” is a necessary and vital film. And it is also well done.
I note that two pro-homicide bombing/terrorism movies I’ve reviewed over the last year, “Paradise Now,” and “The War Within,” both turn the screen to white at the point of their deadly explosions. But “United 93” ends with a black screen. Unlike the aims of those two films, “United 93” shows us there is nothing pure white about the murder of innocent civilians. It is simply dark and evil.
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