May 26, 2009

Boston Globe suggests, approvingly, that Obama's Iran policy inhabits parallel universe [LINK]

Peter Canellos in the Boston Globe, May 26, 2009:

In the climactic action sequence of "Star Trek," the year's most popular movie, the new, younger Captain Kirk does something novel for a big summer action flick: He offers leniency to an enemy.

Turning to a puzzled Mr. Spock, Kirk explains that showing leniency toward the rival Romulans could promote trust and increase the chances of reconciliation, for the betterment of the galaxy.

"It's logical," he declares.

But before the data-driven Spock can process this unique piece of information, the Romulan leader, Captain Nero, seems to remember that he's in an American action movie and is expected to act accordingly. He snarls that he would rather be blown to shreds than accept a nickel of kindness from Kirk, who promptly obliges him.

It's hard to know what the filmmakers intend to convey through this age-of-Obama moment....

Here's the crux. Not to spoil the plot, but it appears moral equivalence is so strongly ingrained that it is habitually extended even to disputes between fictional groups such as the Romulans and the Federation:
In the movie's conception of good and evil, both Nero and Spock are acting appropriately in avenging perceived wrongs, and the proof of Nero's evil and Spock's virtue is mainly in the fact that Spock prevails: God, science, nature, and the special-effects team at Paramount all combine to create a universe in which force and justice go hand in hand.

No wonder Nero rejected Kirk's overtures. Cooperation, in this universe, is indistinguishable from submission. Peace is inherently dishonorable.

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