Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Ugly American (1963)

Hmmm.... I'm assuming this movie is not as good as the book. It brought up lots of important questions about U.S. involvement in foreign countries, but didn't really answer any.

My favorite line in the movie was uttered by the U.S. ambassador to a fictional Southeast Asian country, played by Marlon Brando, and it went something like this: "We'll support dictators if that's what it takes to keep the free world free!" It has taken me an embarrassingly long time to understand that since Communism was the Greatest Evil during the cold war, there was a lot of harmful and baffling intervention by the U.S. government in various foreign countries. That line summed it up pretty well, and now when I read about some country like Haiti, where the Americans supported crazy, murderous dictators in order to keep out the Socialists, I'll remember that line and think, oh, of course, that makes perfect sense!

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