Monday, November 28, 2005

Bruce Willis Plans a "Die Hard" Iraq Film

Gotta love that Bruce Willis, just another cheap-ass John Wayne-wanna be. From The Sunday Times:

ANGERED by negative portrayals of the Iraq conflict, actor Bruce Willis is to make a pro-war film in which US soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.

It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.

Willis attended Deuce Four's homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Willis's films Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.

The 50-year-old actor said he was in talks about a film of "these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom". Unlike many Hollywood stars, Willis supports the war and recently offered a $US1million ($1.35million) bounty for the capture of any of al-Qa'ida's most-wanted leaders such as Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.

"I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported," he told MSNBC, the US news channel.

Boy, Bruce is such a tough guy...just like our preznit. God love the both of them...two chickenhawks who love to put on the uniform and play soldier as long as it doesn't mean actual combat duty!

I do hope Willis films "Die Hard in Baghdad" or whatever the fuck he's calling this piece of shit on location in Iraq and not say, Arizona, or New Mexico. I mean, if everything's going so swell in Iraq, Bruce should help out the local economy by filming on location. He just needs to watch out for those roadside bombs hidden in dead dogs by the side of the highway and the suicide bombers in the donkey carts headed for the outdoor markets.

Bruce is also wondering why the press isn't reporting the progess he saw happening in Iraq when he visited in 2003 with his rock and blues band. Perhaps that's because it's now 2005 and the situation has gotten much, much worse. Robin Wright, a reporter for the Washington Post, wrote on Friday November 25th that the situation in Iraq has deteriorated greatly since she first visited the country along with Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2003:

BAGHDAD -- Five months after the fall of Baghdad, I went to Iraq with Colin Powell. It was the first visit by a secretary of state in half a century, and although he moved under heavy security, there was an optimistic, forward-looking feel to the trip.

Much has changed about Iraq in the intervening two years. And visits by America's secretary of state -- first Powell, then Condoleezza Rice -- have proved to be a microcosm of America's intervention here.

On our first trip, in mid-September 2003, the State Department entourage and diplomatic press corps stayed for two full nights at the legendary al Rashid Hotel, the high-rise once heavily bugged by Saddam Hussein's security goons. Iraqi vendors in the hotel arcade sold military paraphernalia and souvenirs from the old regime. Medals that Hussein once bestowed on his troops went for 10 bucks -- or less, if you bargained enough.

Back then, we could tool around the Iraqi capital. With a New York Times colleague, I walked through the concrete barriers down the lonely lane that linked the protected Green Zone to the rest of Baghdad. U.S. troops stationed along the route didn't stop us.


We also wandered freely around Hussein's favorite Republican Palace, the headquarters for the new U.S.-led occupation government. We marveled at the marble halls. We stopped to gawk at Hussein's gilded throne in a hall festooned with frescoes of giant missiles blasting into the sky.

Back then, Powell would leave the Green Zone -- surrounded by a security "bubble" -- for meetings with Shiite, Kurd and Sunni government officials, and then dinner with a prominent Shiite cleric.


My second trip to Baghdad, on July 30, 2004, some 15 months after the fall of the city, was a secret. This time, the press corps traveling with Powell couldn't report it until after we'd landed.

We traveled from the airport to the Green Zone in Black Hawk helicopters, with U.S. troops perched in open windows on both sides manning machine guns that fire as many as 4,000 rounds per minute.

The route was so dangerous that we were all given flak jackets and helmets for the short trip.

This time, we didn't stay even one night. The al Rashid had come under rocket fire in October 2003, when then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was visiting. The attack had killed one American soldier and wounded 15 other people.

The hotel was off-limits even for journalists traveling with Powell. When I pressed the case, a diplomat offered to escort me through a new barricade between the convention center and the hotel, which was just across the street. Unfortunately, she didn't have clearance for the hotel. I didn't get in.

This time, Powell's bubble -- and ours -- was much smaller. America's top diplomat didn't leave the Green Zone and U.S. security wouldn't let the press out, either. I did manage to travel inside the four-square-mile zone with then-Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih to his residence.

We drove down palm-fringed boulevards with ornate villas once home to Hussein's aides, generals and family, and now inhabited by Iraq's new leaders, U.S. contractors and Iraqi squatters. We passed a busy open-air bazaar where gregarious Iraqi vendors hawked trinkets, carpets, T-shirts and techno-gadgets. Complete with parkland, monuments and ministries, the Green Zone is a city within a city. It was only a brief outing, but when I got back, the State Department's security team still read me the riot act for breaking out of the bubble.

Most of the time, the news media waited at the domed and well-guarded convention center as Powell met with Iraqi leaders who had assumed power from the U.S.-led occupation government a month earlier. But there was no connection with ordinary Iraqis or the real Baghdad.


My latest trip to Iraq, on Nov. 11, 31 months after the fall of the capital, was kept secret even from some of the people on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's plane. The dozen members of the traveling press were summoned to the State Department the day before we left on a trip to the Middle East and sworn to secrecy after a briefing about the additional stop.

We could tell an editor and a family member, but we were asked not to mention it to anyone else, particularly our bureaus in the Iraqi capital -- and not on the phone or by e-mail to anyone, at all, anywhere. If word got out, the trip would be canceled. A leak had forced the postponement of a similar trip in the spring.

The road between the airport and the Green Zone was officially considered safer, but we still flew in armed Black Hawks moving in diversionary patterns through the sky.

On this latest trip to Baghdad, the bubble shrank even more. No roaming the Green Zone. Not even a stop at the convention center. The press corps, including veteran war correspondents, was sequestered in Hussein's old palace for most of the seven-hour stay. We were discouraged from wandering the palace and were provided escorts to go to the bathroom.

Our one venture out was a short hop to the nearby prime minister's office, also in the Green Zone. All we saw were new barricades trimmed with razor wire, concrete blast walls, roadblocks and time-consuming identity checks. No Iraqis. No vendors. In October 2004, the bazaar had been attacked, one of two almost simultaneous suicide bombings inside the Green Zone that together killed 10, including four Americans.


For the first time, we pulled out after dark. As we flew from the Green Zone, the Black Hawk gunners wore night vision scopes, which look like little binoculars on eyeglasses, so they could spot suspicious activity through the night. The pilot of the C-17 military transport that flew us out of Iraq did not turn on the interior lights until we had reached a safe altitude -- and were well out of Baghdad airspace.

Yup, I sure do hope Bruce Willis makes his "Die Hard in Baghdad" film on location in Iraq. Then maybe after somebody shoots at his arrogant, steroid-laden ass while he's walking through the Green Zone or he watches a couple of suicide bombers blow a hotel where American reporters are staying to smithereens he'll be less eager to glorify this fucking war or create Bushie propaganda.

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