13 Hours

13 hoursYour government is highly unpopular amongst many in your country (though many also passionately support it), and from time to time this has inspired rebel activity; indeed, a rebellion–nay, a civil war–brews even now.

Still, there is another government that is even less popular here than the ruling regime–that of the Hegemon, whose military presence, crippling sanctions, staggering body counts, and seemingly numberless interventions all over the world have bred decades of ill will and blood hatred.

And then the Hegemon and its satellites decide to carry out a grand strategy in the region that includes removing your government from power. It does this in the name of humanitarianism, of course (citing your government’s response to the current rebellion). But few truly believe this is the real motivating factor–especially given the Hegemon’s own highly dubious humanitarian track record. It doesn’t help, either, that the Hegemon, like all empires, lies constantly, both to its own people and to the rest of the world.

Still, just like that, your government has been ordered by these Hegemon foreigners to cease its activities against the rebels, to respect a no-fly zone that they’ve declared over your entire country, to stand by as these foreigners force their way onto your ships and planes to carry out inspections, to comply as these foreigners threaten all manner of violence (short of a “foreign occupation force”), to agree to a ban on all flights to your country, and to sit idly by as these foreigners freeze all of your government’s assets. Should your government fail to do these things, the Hegemon and its cronies declare righteously, consequences of a coercive nature will follow. It is unclear where the Hegemon’s authority to meddle so in the internal affairs of your country actually come from, but this mystery is rarely if ever made mention of by world media outlets.

Almost immediately, and certainly predictably, the Hegemon proclaims your government’s failure to comply–and the missiles begin to fly.

By the hundreds.

Hundreds of facilities are hit, uncounted soldiers are killed, civilians die by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, and your government is wiped out.

The result?

Your country descends into the sort of chaos it hasn’t seen in anyone’s lifetime.

Warlords–many armed by the Hegemon itself–roam from city to city in their quest for power.

Your country has been left a smoking shell of its former self, and it only rankles more as you watch the Hegemon move on to other things, other wars, new interventions, more bloviating.

Many in your country turn to extreme ideologies in their desperation, their humiliation, their shame, their rage.

Some decide to act, and so they pick a logical target: the Hegemon’s own consulate. One night they besiege the facility–barely more than peasants with guns against the mightiest empire in world history. In another time and place, the plight of these, your countrymen, might earn itself a film celebrating their stand.

But not in a 21st-century world controlled by the Hegemon.

Instead, we get 13 Hours, a high-quality flick that nevertheless lionizes the Hegemon’s agents and mercenaries–while virtually monsterizing the scores of Libyans whose country had so recently been bombed into oblivion.

Just reverse the situation.

Had, for example, the Chinese bombed the United States into a smoking shell, resulting in the destruction of the U.S. government, general chaos, and violent warlordism (in large part fueled by Chinese arms), surely a few brave Americans would take a stand, perhaps selecting a Chinese consulate as a target against which to stick it to the invaders. Had not the Chinese sent missiles into their country? Had not the Chinese destroyed their government? Had not the Chinese created a violent, failed-state quagmire?

Were such an event to occur, perhaps the Americans would find it strange, even offensive, that the Chinese should make a film celebrating the heroism of the Chinese soldiers and mercenaries guarding the Chinese consulate against these regular-Joe American patriots.

13 Hours almost makes one forget who was in whose country.

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