In puzzling over our situation in Iraq, I was reminded of a lesson from the greatest-of-all-movies, “The Big Lebowski.” It was one of those moment where you smack your forehead and say “doh!” because the metaphor between our world situation is already clearly explained and solved in the prescient movie. It’s been there all along, the message secretly hidden in a hilarious scene.
In the movie, The Dude (Jeffery Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges), and his best friend Walter, (played by John Goodman) represent George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. In a key scene in the movie, the Dude and Walter are trying to recover some stolen money. The Dude and Walter had done some pretty good police work, and determined that the car had been stolen by a juvenile delinquent named Larry Sellers. Larry Sellers represents Osama Bin Laden. The Dude and Walter go to Larry’s house, and question him about his homework they found in the car, but Larry won’t give up any information. So, in an effort to solve their problem, Walter makes another rash, albeit circumstantially very logical deduction. There is a shiny new corvette with the sticker still on it, out in the street in front of Larry’s house. Walter assumes that Larry took their money and bought it. The car represents Iraq. Walter takes a baseball bat, and repeats the words “This is what happens when you fuck a man in the ass!” and beats the shit out of the corvette. This represents our attack and occupation of Iraq.
Then, from a nearby house, comes the actual owner of the corvette. He is dark-skinned, foreign, and very very angry. He represents the rest of the world. He had not been angry before, but he is now, because we beat the shit out of the corvette (Iraq).
So … imagine you are Walter. You’ve just found out that you’ve beaten the shit out of the wrong car. And now you have a formidable enemy who is extremely angry.
A) Attack the man,
B) Keep beating up the Corvette because no one else has offered up any other plan,
C) Calm down, get some In-&-Out burgers, and drive home.