Prominent Hollywood director Oliver Stone made news this week after he defended four of the world’s worst dictators in an interview with the Times of London, published Sunday. But Stone couldn’t be more wrong that there are redeeming qualities in Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Chavez has been pointedly anti-American and anti-Semitic, and Ahmadinejad has long called for the eradication of Israel from the map both figuratively and literally.
Stone’s sense of history is about as fictional as the films he writes, as he said: “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people – 25 or 30 million killed.” Stalin was responsible for more deaths of his fellow countrymen than any outside forces. And is Stone suggesting that six million murdered Jewish men, women, and children is acceptable because more Russians were slaughtered? No group was marked for evisceration or suffered per capita losses like the Jewish people. Is Stone being a provocateur or is he simply a pernicious insolent anti-Semite and Hitler apologist who clearly hasn’t read a history book? There is reason to believe the latter.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (left) with U.S. director Oliver Stone (right)
Of course, Stone made these remarks to an overseas reporter, which will be widely ignored by the mainstream media. Yet, paradoxically, if Stone’s next statement were actually valid, the so-called mainstream media would be all over this interview like cream cheese on a bagel. Stone was asked why there is such a fervent focus upon the Holocaust in the U.S., to which he replied, “the Jewish domination of the media.”
Stone further demonstrated his faulty knowledge of history, saying that Stalin “fought the German war machine more than any person.” Once again, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and in Stone’s case, very little knowledge is very dangerous, especially since he has a public forum from which to rant and rave.
In an effort to avoid a two-front war, Hitler had learned from the failures of World War I, and forged an agreement with Stalin’s Soviets in August of 1939 – the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. This was weeks before the Nazi invasion of Poland and more than a year after Hitler had already swallowed up the Sudetenland. First came an economic agreement, followed by the Non-Aggression Pact itself. Stalin gave Hitler carte blanche to cut through Poland and Western Europe like a hot knife through butter. The 10-year deal lasted only until June 22, 1941 when Germany launched a surprise attack on the Soviet Union, thus forcing Stalin’s armies to fight the Nazis.
While the United States did not enter the war until the day after the dastardly and craven attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and President Franklin Roosevelt was certainly no friend of the Jewish people, American fighting forces took on the Nazis and the Japanese in a fever pitch two-front war. Although the war for the Allies did not start off well, in time they vanquished all enemies and attempted to restore some semblance of order in the ruins of Europe.
Oliver Stone is certainly entitled to his opinion – but words, thoughts, and ideas have consequences. For Stone, those consequences should be failure at the box office. Perhaps he should cast Mel Gibson in his next film.
Sanford D. Horn is a JPC contibutor, writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.