Saturday, June 02, 2007

R.I.P. Robert Mitchum

There’s a YouTube video of Robert Mitchum, circa 1966, currently enjoying much vogue among the ‘With Us Or Against Us’ war puppies.

Asked if the US should pull out of Vietnam, Mitchum pontificates — almost lucidly — with all the conviction of the couch-bound warrior caste (the precursor to the present day keyboard warrior):

There’s no way — you can’t pull out. You can’t pull out of the human race. It’s impossible — believe me! — you can’t pull out. Anybody who’s been over there, they’ll tell you, you’ve no choice, you can’t get out.

Having just rejected the possibility of any alternative to pulling out, Mitchum is then asked by a journalist: “What are the alternatives, Mr Mitchum?”

Apparently unperturbed, Mitchum replies:

The alternative is to push the button, is to kill them all. If they don’t learn, kill them. If they won’t be peaceful, kill them. That’s the alternative.

The alternative to “not pulling out” is to “kill them all”? And this guy is supposed to be an antidote to modern-day Hollywood cluelessness? Perhaps I’ve missed something, but I’m certainly impressed with how unfortunate the rest of us are that we can’t live in the neat, push-button world that Mitchum must have inhabited.

But, more to the point, the fact is that the Vietnam War, which Mitchum was supporting in these remarks, is almost universally accepted as a huge mistake, if not a fundamentally immoral undertaking.

If they won’t be peaceful . . . ?? Oh, please!!! Surely Mitchum must have had some idea of the tonnage being dropped on Vietnam at the time by his own country’s peace-loving government. And the escalation, to an appalling degree, of what was after all a civil war in a South East Asian backwater. And all in support of a corrupt, puppet regime.

Mitchum’s bring’em-on bravado from the grave has, of course, been greeted enthusiastically by the ‘Give War a Chance’ end of the blogosphere. The general consensus of the Muftim’s Tim Blair’s fellow travellers seems to be that Mitchum’s couch-warriordom makes him “a real man”.

There are, however, none more enthused than some of the YouTube commenters, notably this one:

Mitchum is one hundred percent correct. That is the way war should be fought. You fight to win at all costs and damn the “human rights” lawyers. ... Time to bring back carpet bombing like we did in Dresden and Tokyo.

One might hope this individual has some coherent idea of just which society he intends should be bombed back to the Stone Age, but you’ve gotta wonder.

Rest in Peace, Robert Mitchum — latter-day voice of the shit-scared and clueless.


Blogger Caz said...

Bless 'im - if Robert Mitchum was still alive he could be the next US President.

But, his times were simpler times.

Oh for the good old days.


O/T - can't find where you linked to Blair, and his point about Rudd's goal of reducing the black/white health / mortality gap. I noticed that Blair was quick to note that if mortality went up five years for everyone the gap would remain the same.

What was intriguing about his throw-away thought was the implicit assumption that nothing good could ever come from trying to address the problem. He seems to assume, in other words, that Aboriginal mortality is a problem with no solution.

2/6/07 6:02 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

... err, not mortality going up ... obviously!


Try logevity.

2/6/07 6:04 PM  

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