Some of us may have seen the American film series Rambo. Beginning in 1982 and continuing until 2008, it featured that extraordinary, mythical American hero who showed the world that he was ready to sacrifice himself and intervene to save innocent victims anytime and anywhere around the world, including in Vietnam, where he had previously been held prisoner and lived through grueling and violent experiences, and Afghanistan, where he struggled against communism. (Of course, we do not know whether Sylvester Stallone, the actor and later director of the Rambo series, will add a sequel in which he saves innocent Arab victims.)
His latest film, released in 2008, tells the story of Rambo becoming entangled in an operation to save charity organization activists who had been captured and tortured by military forces in Borneo. He decides to take those military and security forces on and save the activists, in the process performing heroic acts and scoring amazing victories (as he normally does) over the enemies of freedom, justice and democracy all around the world!
The idea that we are communicating here is that in the American mentality, Rambo has been and will continue to be the simulation through which Hollywood expresses the persona of the American hero always ready to stand with the victim against the executioner, with truth against falsity, and with justice against injustice. At the same time, he represents many human, ethical and rights-based values and ideals that have long been extolled by American cinema and politics.
Though we as an audience may generally appreciate Sylvester Stallone when he teaches about democracy, freedom and justice through his exciting and violent Hollywood films, the Rambo of American politics has failed in the areas of democracy, justice and human rights, particularly in the context of the Arab world. This includes the violent and exciting episodes of Obama’s policymaking, such as the issue of recognizing the Palestinian state. America has failed to turn the cinematic image of the Hollywood Rambo’s success in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Myanmar into reality.
Yes, Sylvester Stallone, using his violent action films, succeeded in cementing in our minds — the minds of the viewers — the image of American freedom, democracy and justice being applied, at a time when the African-American Barack Obama, the “Rambo of modern American politics,” was failing to change the course of America’s real-life film series that, beginning in 1948 and continuing to today, is characterized by deception, lies and hypocrisy.
The global and Arab media, just as it shows and re-shows us the Hollywood Rambo film, is showing us the rest of the Rambo series from American politics. It shows us American democracy being implemented in the Middle East, particularly in Islamic-Arab Palestine, whose people are oppressed, whose lands are violated, and whose wealth has been stolen by the murderous, terrorist Zionist government. It shows us America’s shameful stance on the Arab-Palestinian issue.
The cinematic Rambo was, using the means and ideas of Hollywood, always ready to save innocent victims and protect justice, democracy and human rights anywhere and at any time. With his rippling muscles, he could stand alone in front of his murderous enemies and their war machines. In contrast, the Rambo of American politics continues to practice, with his shameful stances, the exact opposite when he confronts the criminal and executioner, the terrifying Israeli colonization. The victim is, of course, Palestine and its defenseless Arab people.
While European countries have taken the great historical step of giving complete recognition to the Palestinian state, like Sweden did in 2014, a powerful country claiming to be a partner in and the principle sponsor of the peace process in the Middle East is in the shadows hiding from the heat of the Israeli colonization’s wrath. Even worse, the United States openly stands in the way of any step that could bring peace or bring Palestine closer to obtaining an international consensus in the U.N. on its complete legal independence. The United States does so under the guise of contradictory political logic: recognizing the Palestinian state will make things more difficult and complicated. Just as Aboul-Qacem Echebbi, the famous Tunisian poet, says, “Wrongs are used as sweet talk to cover up ill intent.”
There is no better example of this than when America flexed its political muscles and used the right of veto to nullify the push made by Palestinians and some Arabs in the U.N. to obtain recognition for the Arab Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. On Nov. 29, 2012, a vote was taken in the U.N. General Assembly on the membership of Palestine as a nonmember observer state. With the agreement of 134 states, the opposition of nine, and the abstinence of 41, the Palestinian flag was raised in the U.N. building for the first time. The opposition was led by the United States of Zionist America and Israel and also included Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.
These spectacles have demonstrated that the disparity between the cinema and American politics does not influence how both the Democrats and Republicans feel about an issue, especially when the two sides of that issue or conflict are the Palestinians and the Zionists. The mechanisms that make the stars of American cinema are the same ones used to propagate and maintain political and democratic power in the United States: The stars in both embody values and ideas that are the opposite of what occurs in reality, especially when it comes to the Arab world.