DC Trawler

Brian De Palma must wish he could redact ‘Redacted’

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Last March, a young man named Arid Ukar shot and killed two American airmen and wounded two others in an airport in Frankfurt, Germany. For some odd reason, Ukar punctuated his gunshots with cries of “Allahu Akbar,” even though Islam is the religion of peace. He said he was inspired by the following clip, which he saw on YouTube with the title “American Soldiers Rape our Sisters! Awake Oh Ummah.” YouTube took down the video after Ukar’s confession, claiming, “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy on shocking and disgusting content.” And it is both of those things, so be warned:

Shocking. Disgusting. And fictional.

You can be forgiven for not knowing that this piece of propaganda is built around a clip from Brian De Palma’s 2007 anti-war mockumentary Redacted, because you didn’t see it and neither did anybody else. That is, nobody saw it except for some Islamic propagandist who realized it was perfect jihadist rage-fodder. And it worked.

The Associated Press has finally taken notice, even if they buried the lede in the middle of a story about Germany awarding well-deserved medals to the two men who stopped Ukar from shooting anybody else:

Germany’s government presented the nation’s highest civilian award Monday to the two Americans who helped apprehend an Islamic extremist after he attacked a U.S. Air Force bus last year and killed two airmen.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich awarded the Federal Cross of Merit to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer and civilian airport employee Lamar Conner, both of whom chased the suspect until police could apprehend him, saying their deeds “were an example for all of us.”

Uka gave a teary confession as his Frankfurt state court trial opened in August, saying that the night before the attack he had seen a video on Facebook that purported to show American soldiers raping a teenage Muslim girl. It turned out to be a scene from the 2007 Brian De Palma anti-war film “Redacted,” taken out of context.

Uka told the court the video prompted him to do anything possible to prevent American soldiers from going to Afghanistan. Under German law, the court is still required to hear all evidence in the case, even though Uka has confessed.

Ah. It was taken out of context. Well then, De Palma bears no responsibility, does he?

I’ll say again what I said at the time: Considering we live in a world where putting a crosshairs symbol on a map can cause a mass murder — even if the murderer never actually saw the map — will Brian De Palma be held accountable for making this young man kill American soldiers? If not, why not?

Helpful hint: Try to come up with something better than, “B-b-but… FOX NEWS!!!

(Hat tip: John Nolte at Big Hollywood)

P.S. NYT, 3/8/11: Frankfurt Attack Mystifies Suspect’s Family. Yeah, what in the world could’ve motivated him? We may never know.

Tags : treacher
Jim Treacher