August 8, 2006, - 10:09 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Osama Bin Laden will have the same beef as I do about “World Trade Center.”
He doesn’t get credit for his work in the Oliver Stone movie, out Wednesday. In fact, it’s as if he and his 19 co-religionists never existed.
Stone said that he may do another 9/11 movie from the view of the conspiracy theorists or the hijackers. But why bother? Besides being long and extremely boring, this version will make conspiracy theorists–and extremist Muslims–very happy. Stone went out of his way to make a movie that fits in with their bizarre, “Loose Change” version of the events on that day in September almost five years ago.
Who caused the attacks of 9/11? Who hijacked planes? Who flew them into the Towers? In “World Trade Center,” it’s hard to tell. Nicholas Cage’s cop rescued from beneath the ruins speaks of “the evil”; a Wisconsin cop twice mentions the “bastards”; And a marine speaks about the need to “avenge this.” But what is the evil? Who are the bastards? What needs to be “avenged”? Stone deliberately whitewashes the clear-cut answer to these questions–extremist Islam’s attack on Americans.
Stone is getting kudos from conservatives and liberals alike for “sticking to the facts” and “playing it straight.” Did they see the same movie as I saw? He doesn’t do those things at all. In fact, “World Trade Center” is more notable for what it leaves out than for its content.
There isn’t a single mention of Islam. Or Bin Laden. Or Mohammed Atta. Were there really 19 hijackers on the planes? No mention of them in this movie. Score yet another for extremist Islam in Hollywood. It’s totally whitewashed from “World Trade Center.”
Even voice-overs of Tom Brokaw and news clips from CNN have been carefully sanitized and ethnicly cleansed of all references to the perpetrators of 9/11.
It might as well be outer space creatures that perpetrated the events of 9/11. At least Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds“–many of whose scenes this movie repeated–shows you the aliens.
But this one is like “The Poseidon Adventure,” with concrete instead of water. And Nicholas Cage instead of Shelley Winters. Some unnatural force caused water to sink the ship and the World Trade Center towers to mysteriously implode upon themselves. Some unnatural force, 75% of which didn’t emanate from Saudi Arabia or get its marching orders from an Islamist billionaire in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Back to the news clips. In a set of scenes NOT taken from actual newsclips, but made to look like them, Stone shows people upset from all over the world. Noticeable are many scenes of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere, all sullen and upset that America was attacked.
Reality check: Did you see any scenes of Muslims upset that America was attacked on 9/11? No. Instead, we saw Muslims dancing in the streets all over the world, including in Palestinian-dominated Patterson, New Jersey. Even the normally “sensitive” MTV News got that story right. Why didn’t Oliver Stone?
We saw the Palestinian woman handing out candy to kids in celebration of thousands of Americans vaporized. So many shots of Palestinian ecstasy . . . until Yasser Arafat threatened the lives of AP photographers lest they stop showing the real sentiment of the Arab street. We saw celebrations from Kabul to Kuala Lumpur to Cairo to Amman to Tehran.
At the end of the movie, Stone goes out of his way to tell us in a caption printed on the screen that people “from 87 countries” died on 9/11. But 86 of those countries weren’t the target of the terrorists on 9/11. America and Americans were. And most of those murdered were Americans and U.S. citizens. One of them was my cousin, Jon Schlissel.
Unlike Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin–the real-life survivors on whose lives this movie is based–Jon Schlissel and thousands more didn’t survive. But for a quick buck and fifteen minutes on “Entertainment Tonight,” Jimeno and McLoughlin and their wives sold them out. And with that, they squandered their status as heroes in exchange for politically correct cinematic charlatanry. Extremist Muslim fanatics took my cousin’s and 2,800 others’ lives. Not an unnamed, faceless force from beyond.
And then there are the dramatics of the movie. In “World Trade Center,” there is a lot of bitching and crying by the wives of Jimeno and McLoughlin–the two cops trapped beneath the rubble of the concourse between the Towers. Sure, there was anguish, crying, and other emotions felt by family members of all those who died and those whose fates were in question.
But the screaming and bitching in this one rang hollow and served no purpose. It was overwrought, melodramatic, and more suited to “Days of Our Lives” or Dr. Phil than a movie that’s supposed to be about how Islamic terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11.
Every time Maggie Gyllenhaal steps on screen as Jimeno’s wife, you don’t see a 9/11 family member. You see the woman who said of 9/11,
Because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way.
That the Jimenos and McLoughlins had no problem with the utterer of these words starring in a 9/11 movie, tells you everything you need to know about the “heroes” of this movie. They have no problem slapping the faces of those who died, while they were lucky enough to live and become starstruck.
“World Trade Center” adds nothing to the 9/11 discussion. It only takes away from it.
Sadly, years from now, those who don’t know the story will take this movie to be an accurate version of history. It is anything but.
Hopefully, saner minds will tell them to view “United 93,” instead. Until then, my cousin is probably turning over in his grave.
See my earlier column about Oliver Stone’s plans to do another 9/11 movie from the conspiracy theorists’ and terrorists’ point of view–and his friendships with Yasser Arafat and HAMAS leaders.
Tags: Afghanistan, America, Amman, Cairo, CNN, Days of Our Lives, Debbie Schlussel Osama Bin Laden, family member, Hamas, Hassan Yussef, John McLoughlin, Jon Schlissel, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, Loose Change, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Middle East, Mohammed Atta, mountains of Afghanistan, MTV, New Jersey, Nicholas Cage, Oliver Stone, Oliver Stone Makes Conspiracy Theorists, Patterson, Phil, Saudi Arabia, Shelley Winters, Steven Spielberg, Stone, Tehran, The Poseidon Adventure, Tom Brokaw, United States, War of the Worlds, Will Jimeno, Wisconsin, World Trade Center, Yasser Arafat