Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad sleeps with the fishes

As a huge fan of The Godfather, I loved this report on the Today Programme this morning about a US foreign policy analyst's attempt to draw a complex analogy between the classic movie and America's current position in the world.

He likens 9/11 to the flowerstall attack on the ageing Don Vito Corleone, and Bush's response to the al-Qaeda outrage to hothead Sonny's attempts to punish the rival gang leader responsible for his father's attempted assassination.

In terms of the current presidential contest, McCain, who some claim would like to present the Iranian president with a horse's head in the bed, is also described as a "Sonny," while his opponent, Barack Obama, is compared to the Corleone's lawyer, Tom Hagen, the arch-conciliator who would always seek to negotiate his way out of a family crisis.

So far, so plausible. But the big, unanswered question in all this is where is Michael Corleone - and this, I fear, is where the analogy, enjoyable though it is, breaks down.

Michael may have been brighter than Sonny and employed more subtle methods, but the whole point of the film is that he turned out to be even more murderous, culminating in the desolate scene at the climax of the second movie when, having slaughtered all his rivals, he surveys the barren wilderness that is his life.

Is anyone seriously suggesting this as a model for future US foreign policy? Well, let's hope not.

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2 comments:

stephen rouse said...

I don't know about Michael, but if Bush is Sonny, then Fredo, the unreliable middle brother who always sided with the strongest person in the room, is depressingly obvious.

Paul Linford said...

And of course Fredo ended up getting done in by Michael, too.