Writer Andrew Klavan says that "the film "The Dark Knight" is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergencies have passed. And like Batman understands there is no moral equivalence between a free society-in which people sometimes make the wrong choices-and a criminal bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in it's moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.
Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nontheless.
The TRUE complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them-when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend ourselves, or unkind in order to defend unkindness, or hateful to defend what we love.
When heroes arise who take those difficulties on themselves, it is tempting to turn our backs on them, to vilify in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. Commissioner Gordon says of the hated Batman, "He has to run away--because we have to chase him."
That's the real moral complexity. And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes man must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be be heroes, true heroes must often slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised--then and only then will we be able to pay our President Bush his due and make good TRUE films about the war on terror.
Perhaps that's when Hollywood conservatives will be able to take off their masks and speak plainly in the light of day."
And I add politicians, pacifists and "chatterers".
My Grandson is serving in Iraq as an armed protector of the Iraqi citizen. He says he has "his boots on the ground" and is tolerating the intense heat even with all the extra weight he has to carry to protect himself, his comrades and the peace loving Iraqis citizenry. He has a dislike for those among us who would like to further embarrass the administration and give solace to those who would like to see all of us dead, including the pacifists among us.
All our related families support his position.
Mr. Klaven has a new novel, "Empire of Lies" about an ordinary man confronting the war on terror.