The Godfather as Iran Primer?

John C. Huslman and A. Wess Mitchell contribute an article to the LA Times that originally appared in The National Interest, a conservative jounal published by the Nixon Center. In it, they present the idea that The Godfather can be viewed as a guide to how the US should act on Iran.

The strategy that ultimately saves the Corleone family from the Sollozzo threat and equips it to cope with the new world comes from Michael, the youngest and least experienced of the don’s sons. Unlike Tom or Sonny, Michael has no formulaic fixation on a particular policy instrument; his overriding goal is to protect the family’s interests by any and all means necessary. In today’s foreign policy terminology, Michael is a realist.

…Can any of the candidates vying to become the next president of the United States match Michael’s cool, dispassionate courage in the face of epochal change? Will they avoid living in the comforting embrace of the past, from which Tom and Sonny could not escape? Or will they emulate Michael’s flexibility — to preserve America’s position in a dangerous world?

… I’m ignoring the part where they equate Sollozzo’s attack on Vito at the fruit stand with 9/11. I’m disgusted to hear an attack like 9/11 equated with a near-lethal attack — was America on life support after that day? No, no, no, fucking no. And since Iran wasn’t holding any smoking .38s on that day as the United States (supposedly) lay bleeding in the street, I might imagine the authors are suggesting Iran’s the Barzini to Al Queda’s Sollozzo, pulling the strings while the Turk, who’s “good with a knife,” does the dirty work. Wow, what a compelling metaphor.

This is a very popular but vapid and dangerous brand of cultural commentary. It’s popularly engaged in by college Freshman after their twelfth bonghit, not by serious political commentators. Real life is not a movie, and the Times should be ashamed for promulgating this crap.


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