Similarities just too spooky

`Red Dawn' the raid taking cue from movie?

December 16, 2003|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein Saturday night as part of an operation code-named Red Dawn. The reference, we understand, is to a 1984 film starring Patrick Swayze about a group of teen-agers who almost single-handedly thwart a Soviet invasion of the United States.

Interesting factoid, sure. But assuredly, there's something more to this. The similarities between the movie and the mission are just too eerie to be dismissed as coincidence. Consider:

Red Dawn featured key figures -- a couple of girls, including terminally cute actress Lea Thompson -- found cowering in a covered pit, hiding from a fate (invading Soviets) they were certain could yield nothing good. Operation Red Dawn ended with Saddam Hussein discovered cowering in a covered pit, hiding from a fate (invading Americans) he'd rather avoid. We'll withhold comment on the cute part.

Red Dawn was written and directed by John Milius, a shoot-from-the hip, swaggering kind of tough talker who said things like, "War is what it is, the final arbitration of an argument: killing people." Operation Red Dawn was overseen by Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush, a (sometimes) shoot-from-the-hip, swaggering kind of tough talker who says things like, "In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

Red Dawn was, according to The Times of London, "labeled by some critics as `overly patriotic, corny' and `descending into propaganda.'" Similar labels have been used by critics to describe the war in Iraq, of which operation Red Dawn is a major event.

Patrick Swayze starred in Red Dawn. Saddam Hussein starred in Operation Red Dawn. Both names have 13 letters. Wow!

Red Dawn co-star C. Thomas Howell (another name with 13 letters!) once appeared in a movie entitled The Big Fall. Earlier this year, many large statues of Saddam Hussein did just that.

Many Americans can't wait for the war in Iraq to be over. Anyone who actually sat through Red Dawn had the same feeling.

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