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October 18th, 2017

American Made: ***1/2

By Max’s View

There is a frightening force of evil and instability in the world.

This organization doesn’t acknowledge borders, doesn’t respect democracy, and doesn’t care about human life. This organization even successfully influences foreign elections.

If only we had a leader who would stand up to them. But no such luck. Certain presidents are actually in league with these bullies.

Of course, the organization I am referring to is Rus…The CIA.

The CIA isn’t one of those organizations that began with the best intentions and slowly lost its way (like the Department of Defense). The CIA has been committing acts of misguided mischief from the very beginning.

In 1951, the people of Iran elected a nationalist Prime Minister who refused to play ball with American oil companies. The CIA decided to ignore democracy and change history. In 1953, a CIA paid mob (led by a young Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini) overthrew the regime.

The decadent American puppet Shah ruled Iran incompetently for a generation. Finally, our old friend Khomeini returned to lead another revolution and establish the virulently anti-American Islamic Republic. Whoops.

In 1949, the CIA sponsored a coup that brought military strongman Adib Shishakli to power in Syria.

Our man Shishakli proceeded to alienate his entire country by dissolving all political parties, closing all opposition newspapers, and arresting his political enemies.

CIA meddling backfired. In 1953, Shishakli was overthrown in a Ba’athist military coup. The bloody Ba’athist regime continues to rule Damascus to this day. Whoops.

Over the years, The CIA has exhibited anything but intelligence. Having the CIA on your side has meant certain doom.

If you think I’m anti-CIA, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The new action film “American Made” is more anti-CIA than “Schindler’s List” is anti-Nazi.

Tom Cruise stars as Barry Seal. When we meet him, he’s a hotshot TWA pilot who smuggles Cuban cigars on the side. The CIA takes notice and decides to use Barry for his flying and smuggling skills.

“American Made” starts off fun and “Goodfellas”-esque. Barry is a great pilot who loves adventure. He has a terrific time zooming down in his zippy little CIA jet and taking spy photographs of communist military bases. He didn’t even mind flying down to Panama to make secret drop-offs to the CIA’s friend Manuel Noriega.

Things get stressful and dangerous for Barry when the CIA asks him to begin shipping AK-47s to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Meanwhile, the Medellin Drug Cartel begins using Barry to smuggle cocaine into the US.

“American Made” is a thoroughly entertaining adventure. And director Doug Liman (“Swingers,” “The Bourne Identity”) does a splendid job of balancing the crowd-pleasing action with his serious political agenda.

Liman argues that the CIA treats all its allies like pawns in a global chess game. But the CIA stinks at chess.

The only thing more dangerous than being on the CIA’s kill list is working for them. Liman shows that drug kingpin Pablo Escobar was a more loyal employer to Barry Seal than his CIA handlers.

CIA-defenders will argue that subverting democracy and betraying its allies are the necessary evils of doing business. “American Made” argues that subverting democracy and betraying allies are its only business.

It’s clear that someone should shut down the CIA completely. But it won’t happen because I don’t think there is anyone powerful enough to do it.

I am probably unwise to even be writing this article. If you read my name in the obituaries next week, you’ll know who killed me. It certainly won’t be the Russians.

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