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Movie Review – The Peacemaker: Nukes, Iran and Pakistan in an American World

“Prolific irony - For 8 years, the finger on the button that could end the world belonged to a president who couldn't pronounce the word "nuclear.” ~ T. Rafael Cimino, Mid Ocean
Written by Desh Kapoor
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With nothing better to do, I chanced upon a movie “The Peacemaker” starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman.  I thought it was a “safe” movie with a stellar star cast and an action movie at that, so what the heck!  You can’t go wrong with a George Clooney or a Nicole Kidman starrer and here we had two of them.

The Peacemaker, Blu Ray DVD

The Peacemaker, Blu Ray DVD

The movie was made in 1997.  That means pre-9/11 era which seems as unnatural to today’s world as Ice Age was.  It seems people were different, the fears were different and even the world worked differently.  I could simply walk into the airport without the inconvenient security checks all the time!

In that sense, the writers and the directors did not have the hindsight of where the terror world was going that became general knowledge post 2001.  The plot is interesting and very pertinent to what we see in today’s world.  Nukes to Iran.

The Plot

Nicole Kidman The PeacemakerA train is shown taking the nukes that are being dismantled in the new Russia after USSR has broken down.  One General however, has other plans.  The train taking the nukes collides with another train and there is a huge nuclear explosion.  It is being termed as an accident.  However, our Military Intelligence expert in the US – Lt. Col. Thomas Devoe (George Clooney) and Nuclear specialist – Dr. Julia Kelly (Nicole Kidman) obviously know better.  Kelly tells the Secretary who is about to brief the President that it wasn’t an accident because a nuke like that needs to be triggered and cannot set up automatically.  Duh!!  Russia makes some darned stupid Generals don’t they?!  One minute with an American specialist could have saved his life and riches!  Devoe joins Kelly in tracking down the nukes, with most of them headed to Iran.  One, however, is going into the hands of Yugoslav terrorist Gavrich (Marcel Iures).  A Muslim who is pissed off at how the US and the Western powers handled the Bosnia and Serbia conflict where he lost his wife and other dear ones!  He is now planning a devastating attack on New York.  And just in time, he has the Minister who was to go to a UN convention killed.  So the Parliament asks him to go there.  An opportunity he is waiting for.  With the diplomatic immunity, he can pack off his nukes easily in his suitcase and head into NYC.  There he will do the “needful”.

George Clooney (Courtesy: The Peacemaker movie)

George Clooney (Courtesy: The Peacemaker movie)

Of course, he hadn’t factored in Kelly and Devoe’s smart brains and the amazing coordination between the different wings of the US Intelligence – which by the way, were totally absent when the real attacks happened in 2001!

Interestingly, the guy who is getting the bombs activated for the Serb terrorist is a Pakistani who studied in Harvard.  Its interesting because somehow even Hollywood knew where the brains behind the attack on the US will be from, but not the US Intelligence! (Read Pakistan – not Osama – was the Mastermind of 9-11 Attacks on the US)

Like always in Hollywood at least (just like Bollywood), the hero and the heroine always get it right in the end. 🙂

Clooney is as charming as ever.  I won’t blame any woman if she misses a beat just seeing him smile!  Nicole Kidman gives a good performance as a shaky but intelligent lady head of operations.  Although Clooney’s handling of her does border on sexist behavior.  But that I will leave to the sensibilities of women.  At least it did irk me.  Maybe that is an accurate portrayal of the US Armed forces in many ways.  If that was the intention then kudos to the writer and the director!

Action is good, but at times the too many narrow escapes do make you feel uneasy.

But what really acts as the biggest turn off with these action movies is that somehow the US always gets it right.  And the rest of the world is full of idiots.  Maybe it is true since no terrorist attack has happened in the US post-9/11, but the world hasn’t been so good for the Americans in anyway.

Iran is a worry for future, but Pakistan can nuke Israel TODAY. Interesting Clooney / Kidman starrer, The Peacemaker… Click To Tweet

Today’s Topical Story: Iran and the Nukes

There is a tug of war going on between the US Administration (comprising the President and his staff) and the Republican Party + Israelis (aligned with Netanyahu).  I have always been a supporter of Israel in every way.  But in this case, I am very clear in my mind that Israel, under the leadership of Netanyahu – is way off the mark.  Netanyahu and the juvenile Republicans have set into motion a process and a slide down the ramp that will spell disaster for the US in the coming years.  Not just in foreign affairs but in domestic politics as well.  If the Democrats start doing what the Republicans have done when the President is Republican, then this country will not know what to do.  It is like check-mating your own General because you don’t agree with him, even when you have lost the race to Presidency!

To know more, you can read this article – How Republicans plan to thwart Obama’s Iran talks and this – Obama on GOP signees of Iran letter: ‘I’m embarrassed for them’.

Of course, meanwhile, the brains behind 9/11 and the nuke prep in “The Peacemaker”, Pakistanis – have just test-fired Shaheen III.  A ballistic missile with a 1700 mile range (2750 km).  That means Israel is within its reach!  Look at the map below.

Shaheen III Range Map

Shaheen III Range Map courtesy Washington Post

The Obvious Question – Duh!!

So if you were Netanyahu, what would be the obvious question and biggest concern for you?

That Iran will perhaps have enough work done to get a Nuke a year from now?

OR

That Pakistan can fire a Nuke-enabled Shaheen III in say the next 2 hours?

It maybe obvious to you and I.  But apparently, to the juvenile and ideologically inclined Republicans and Netanyahu, it is not as obvious!

And therein is my difficulty in lapping up movies like “The Peacemaker”.  They gloss over the obvious lunacy of the US politics and that of its allies.  Iran is bad.  I agree.  But Pakistan?  That is the brain!  And it had succeeded in 2001 against the US.  It can succeed again, if the Americans don’t grow up from imagining that each one of them is George Clooney’s Lt. Col. Thomas Devoe character!  The kick-ass smart sexist Intelligence expert.

 

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About the author

Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about this charismatic writer.

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