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Spartan: A Bush Era Window into the Deep State

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In the simmering days of the Trump Era, the reign of George W., the last scion of the Bush of family to obtain nationwide political power, seems like a different world. 

The left was mobilized in a sincere anti-war and anti-establishment street fighting effort to stop or at least scale down the war in Iraq and to provide succor to the poor and working class of America, who were no longer enjoying the (ultimately hollow) economic boom of the Clinton era. 

The Cold War alliance of social conservativism, big business, and patriotism still held strong, and the overwhelming majority of “Middle Americans,” fuming from the pangs of 9/11, were  militantly pro-war. 

At the same time, Americans and most of the Western world, their gaze turned toward the Middle East, did not quite grasp the magnitude of the emerging immigration tsunami that was radically transforming Europe and her colonial daughters. 

The enemy was, in the mind of the majority of Americans, “over there” in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan. 

Hollywood as well as the wider entertainment industry, controlled by a group of people very much invested in the War on Terror, was providing a steady stream of propaganda to encourage young Americans to enlist and to help “protect our freedom.” 

Video game series like Halo, Metal GearGears of War, and Call of Duty helped to frame the minds of young men for war against terrorist cells and invasive forces. 

Nashville helped to rally the troops by crafting patriotic pieces such as Toby Keith and Willy Nelson’s 2002 “Beer for My Horses,” Chely Wright’s “Bumper of My SUV” (2004), and Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” (2002). 

However, no arm of the culture industry produced more recruitment media pieces than Hollywood. From The Transformers series, to the GI Joe reboot, to 300 and even The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Americans were primed to sign up and go to war against a deadly and sophisticated enemy that was sure to overwhelm us at any minute.

However, one of the films that oddly stands out from the usual jingoistic propaganda is David Mamet’s 2004 film Spartan

Staring Val Kilmer and featuring the talents of William H. Macy, Spartan is quite unlike the typical patriotic Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg flick nudging white Christian America to enlist in the service of ZOG. 

With its slow burn plot and (not always successful) attempt at slow and clever dialogue replete with a melancholy pathos, Spartan is, on one level, more of an art house film than a shoot em up blockbuster—the film, in fact, tanked at the box office. 

Spartan tells the story of the daughter of a powerful politician who is kidnapped and sold as a sex slave in Dubai.

Val Kilmer’s character, Robert Scott, a relic of the Cold War, who, like Daniel Craig’s James Bond, finds himself out of place in the 21st century, is a former marine who works in intelligence and is assigned to track down the young girl. 

Through a variety of plot twists, Kilmer’s Scott is forced to go rogue, and rescues the girl. 

While this John Le Carré / Tom Clancy-tier plot has been done ad nauseam since the fall of the Berlin Wall, what makes Mamet’s Spartan so fascinating is its window in the world of the Deep State, which, in the current year, is desperately trying to take down the current president, Donald Trump. 

In Spartan the intelligence world is a veritable “wilderness of mirrors” in which the lines between the public and private sector as well as between US, Israeli, and other foreign intelligence services are indistinguishable. 

It is unclear for whom Robert Scott is working as he calls a host of strange figures seeking help after he goes rogue—at the end of the film, he is in London with a strange “Eastern European-looking” figure who escorts him off screen to, we assume, safety. 

More importantly, especially for us living in the post-Epstein, #metoo era, it is unclear who is the muscle and support behind the human trafficking operation. At several points, it seems that US or other foreign intelligence is doing clean up for the lower level kidnappers and handlers. 

Indeed, the film as a whole depicts the apparatus of Western intelligence as murderous, deceptive (there is literally a fake news segment at one point falsely claiming that the president’s daughter is dead), and virtually indistinguishable from networks of organized crime. 

The film, despite its flaws, is ultimately a powerful indictment of the people who have hijacked our country. Upon meeting Kilmer’s Scott, the girl, Laura Newton, played by Kristen Bell, tells him, “I was raised by wolves,” noting that her father, the president of the United States, is a sex pervert, who neglects his daughter and only uses her as a prop with which he campaigns. 

As the mask has fallen from the Deep State, and more and more alleged conspiracies turn out to be true, Spartan is an especially strange film from the Bush Era that reminds us that all this time the awful truth of our political class has always been hiding in plain sight. 

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