The Other Charlotte’s post on Sir Ridley Scott’s new movie, “Kingdom of Heaven,” is on-target, but I can’t resist adding my own two bits.

Unlike TOC, I did not find the movie too long. I was caught up in the heavenly beauty–the pageantry of medieval Europe and the Holy Land, the gorgeous battle scenes, choreographed like ballet, and the leper king, Baldwin IV, in his silver mask (both Charlottes loved Edward Norton’s Baldwin).

Like TOC, however, I was distressed by “the message”–it was obvious and banal, with the war in Iraq hovering in the background. This was an intensely anti-Western civilization movie, and the good Crusaders–the ones who saw through the silly endeavor–held views that would make them an adornment at a trendy cocktail party in New York, or perhaps at a symposium at a liberal think tank here in Washington.

Writing in the Weekly Standard, John Podhoretz points out that the good Crusaders, the ones who no longer subscribe to the original mission, seem to want the United Nations “to come into existence circa 1186 to ensure a multicultural, internationalized Jerusalem.” As TOC rightly noted, these are definitely blue state Crusaders!

The intensely anti-Western feelings that pervaded the film were very blue state, no other way to put it.

A Washington Post piece explored the movie’s relevance to current events: 

“’It’s Osama bin Laden’s version of history. It will fuel the Islamic fundamentalists,’ the eminent Crusades historian Jonathan Riley-Smith of Cambridge University complained to the Telegraph in January 2004 after encountering some initial PR for the film.”

The Post piece quotes an Islamic intellectual saying the movie is anti-Islamic, and Podhoretz argued that it was a movie to irritate both sides. I don’t think so: I didn’t see a single “bad” Muslim in the movie, and there were many bad Crusaders, including Reynard with his dyed red beard, and Guy de Lusignan, not part of the U.N. faction, who becomes king on Baldwin IV’s death, and says to Reynard, “Give me a war.” Isn’t that just what Bush said to George Tenet (at least, in the left’s fervid imagination)?

This is no place to argue about the Crusades (as you might imagine, the IWF has absolutely no position on the Crusades!), but let’s consider just for a moment that Islam was expansionistic then and is also expansionistic now.

I think people like director Ridley Scott and all the buffoons of Hollywood, who pillory the values of normal Americans and refuse to present an honest picture of our adversaries, innately know that in an Islamic Republic they’d find out what *real* repression is. But, on some level, they know that the adults, George Bush and Tony Blair, are looking out for them, doing the hard things, taking their nations to war, so that people like Ridley Scott can be naughty children, making movies about the bad old West. But there is justice–read Podhoretz’s piece today on the meltdown of the mainstream media, including Hollywood.