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Apparently there is a Ghost Protocol. when the shit hits the fan the entire array of intelligence, military, covert ops finds itself without any satellite or computer back up. Needless to say, under Ghost Protocol one’s team cannot rely on other covert operators to come to the rescue. One’s team is on one’s own. this is what the latest Mission Impossible segment to the series would have us believe. If one acts in terms of what is right and one fails, the one is deemed a terrorist. If one acts and succeeds, then one is a minor story on FOX News about the local boy making good. Success means concealment in the typical Mission Impossible manner—if you “choose” to accept this mission, and this message will “self destruct” in five seconds. etc., etc., etc.

In the latest, Tom Cruise and his merry band must prevent a total thermonuclear war which in terms of the plot will once and for all allegedly teach the world the futility of war. According to the “bad guy,” multi-million dead will allegedly be evidence of the stupidity of war. this is what a madman will demonstrate if he gets the right missile codes and bomb satellites and actual nuclear bombs in a row. it is up to Mission Impossible to thwart this humanitarian deed. The simple suitcase nuke is too easy for this version of Lex Luthor. in this case the bad guy has a detailed plan—and if one wanted to be nasty, one might be tempted to call it a 59 point plan.

From Budapest to Moscow to Dubai to Mumbai to Seattle, our merry band will prevent a nuclear war—which if any film student would have objected—was a bit ridiculous. After all, Matthew Broderick almost started WWIII with the stroke of a computer key a mere 20 years prior in the movie War Games. with such prior film knowledge, we are led to believe that while NORAD can track the whereabouts of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, it cannot track a rogue nuclear missile heading for San Francisco in 2011.

Perhaps the criticisms that the U.S. has been neglecting its basic infrastructure is true. After all this movie highlights growing economies outside the U.S. The U.S. must suck—except for Seattle.

Ghost Protocol allegedly means that one is on one’s own. one is basically disavowed, and the specially and expertly trained are acting in the absence of law—and perhaps in a state of nature they are acting outside of the good. in this movie we see the Secretary of Defense take a bullet to the head. The President, as per usual, is nowhere to be seen because the IMF—not the International Monetary Fund—but the Impossible Mission Force is there to save the day. this force has legislative, executive and judiciary power all in its own hands, and it saves the day.

Behind the scenes there are things that you as the ordinary citizen don’t need (nor do you want) to know. But don’t worry, like Superman, they work for truth, justice, and the American Way.

Much of the critique of “big government”—at least as it comes from Ron Paul types—speaks as if the government has such special, expert operatives who can hang off the Burj Khalifa on the drop of a dime. If they can do that, then they can invent AIDS and build a wall on the border to keep Americans in. If the government can test syphilis on African Americans, then the worst of Alex Jones conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 being an inside job must be true.

Mission Impossible shows that the government has the technology to do some of the most dastardly of things, and they can make it look to be legitimate with a mask that makes it look otherwise.

This is conspiracy theory at it’s weirdest. look at Alex Jones’ rant in Richard Linklater’s film “Waking Life” to see the alienation to which such thought leads you.

It may be true, as Pete Spilliakos writes, that well meaning conservatives are only turning to Ron Paul due to the insufficient presentation of alternative policies that the “mainstream” Republican candidates have not given. this may be true, but the core of Ron Paul’s supporters follow the Alex Jones line that we live on a Prison Planet and the Jews, the Bilderbergers, the “neocons’, etc. have set us all up for evil machinations that only the Illuminati –or should I say the Impossible Mission Force—can set up.

All this is asinine.

I should add that one should re-watch Brian de Palma’s version of Mission Impossible. still the best in the series, it deals with real human relationships (and their failure) instead of moving from one edge of your seat action scene to the other. That said, this new Mission Impossible is second best to de Palma’s—which is still a failed movie compared to his best.

If you want to know what Ron Paul really thinks of the U.S. government, then watch Blow out. Unfortunately what de Palma offers as a playful and philosophical account of the distinction between image and original,  Paul takes this distinction with earnest and deadly seriousness.

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