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Iran, Politics, and Film: "Argo" or "A Separation"?

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Both jumped up to swear how dangerous they consider the Iranian regime to be, to warn that it could give a nuclear bomb to terrorists, and to aver how important it is for the U.S. to stop Iran's "nuclear program". Their only dispute on the issue was over which one of them had a more aggressive record in pursuing sanctions against Iran.

It is very sad to see such Orwellian groupthink being ladled out at an institution of higher learning. Most of the crowd loved both Berman and Sherman talking tough about Iran, and seemed blissfully unaware that there's no evidence that Iran is actually working on a nuclear weapon, according to both U.S. intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

The students were apparently also unaware (though one would think Sherman or Berman would have been briefed) that Iran's right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is guaranteed by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Nuclear power, though it may be undesirable from an environmental safety standpoint, is supposed to be the reward for signatories to the NPT vowing to abstain from nuclear weapons. Instead, U.S. policy tends to make a mockery of the NPT, since we side with countries who don't sign and actually obtain nuclear weapons -- if they are Israel or India, say. We even help India with its nuclear energy needs, though it's not supposed to enjoy that privilege.

None of this came up in the Sherman/Berman boxing match, even though Berman made a point of excusing his vote in favor of the Iraq War by asserting that, at the time, he believed Iraq had WMDs. Yes, and perhaps the reason you believed that was because politicians lied about Iraq's WMDs. Are we really going to do it all over again? In the immortal words of George W. Bush: Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me -- a fool can't get fooled again. A nice sentiment, but he got even that wrong. The WMD accusations against Iran sound an awful lot like Iraq Redux; apparently plenty of people can get fooled again.


Argo is not much help in this situation. However, if you want to help prevent military action against Iran, try spreading some wisdom by sharing a copy of A Separation with people you know.

Still of Peyman Moadi and Sareh Bayat in "A Separation"

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Jennifer Epps is a peace, social justice, pro-democracy, environmentalist and animal activist in L.A. She has also been a scriptwriter, stage director, actor, puppeteer, and film critic. Her political film reviews are collected at: (more...)

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Thanks for this timely piece.    Am... by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich on Saturday, Oct 13, 2012 at 7:21:20 PM
Thanks for bringing up pertinent research. Can you... by Jennifer Epps on Sunday, Oct 14, 2012 at 10:15:55 PM
I applaud the author for her in-depth analysi... by Ari on Sunday, Oct 14, 2012 at 5:35:01 AM
is  good movie  but not very original- I... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Oct 14, 2012 at 9:40:58 AM
"A Separation", like quite a few other films from ... by Jennifer Epps on Sunday, Oct 14, 2012 at 10:38:59 PM