The Stupid ‘Middle East Peace’ Plot Point of ‘White House Down’

On Saturday I saw the new summer actioner White House Down and found the main conceit of the film laughably stupid, as is all Hollywood fare of this type. Oh, it was a fun flick if you just forget about reality, and I am not just talking about the comic book-like action sequences, either. No, the whole reason why the White House was coming “down,” as it were, was just plain idiotic.

The flick, starring Channing Tatum as a beleaguered Secret Service applicant and Jamie Foxx as the President of the United States, was typical of the over-the-top sort of action flicks that director Roland Emmerich and the those filmmakers like him are so wont to produce. Emmerich was the director of such films as Independence Day (1996) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004), so you know there are going to be big explosions and lots of bullets and car chases.

In fact, there was a sort of inside joke on director Emmerich’s penchant for destroying Washington when one character, a White House tour guide, pointed out that the main section of the White House was destroyed in Independence Day, a film Emmerich directed.

Director Roland Emmericah destroys the White House in “Independence Day” 1996

Still, it was a fun movie with gobs of action spiced with humor and delicious gotcha endings for the bad guys. It is taken from granted that no one human could survive what was thrown at Tatum’s character in the flick. You just have to go with it. And, instead of totally destroying the White House, in this fim Emmerich collapses the dome of the Capitol Building while leaving the White House a scarred, but still standing mess.

But the central premise of why the White House was being attacked was just the sort of empty headed, feelsgoodism that shows exactly why liberals should never be in charge of anything of importance.

Now, from here on I am going to talk about this specific plot point and while I will be careful not to reveal too much, it may contain some spoilers.

So, President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) has had a great idea to bring “peace” to the Middle East. He’s going to pull out all American forces from everywhere in the region. All of them.

This plan is referred to as a “peace plan” throughout the movie and serves as the president’s “big” idea that many oppose but is the “noble,” Lincolnian thing to do nonetheless. It is also the reason everyone from “white supremacists” to disgruntled Special Ops agents are out to get him.

But it’s not just hateful whities that are out to get President Sawyer. So too is the “military industrial complex,” those evil, rich, and powerful corporations that will lose money by having the U.S. pull out of the most volatile part of the world.

I roll my eyes every time I see the “military industrial complex” treated as if it has some sort of shadowy, unseen power to control all. It is politicians that have the power and politicians that send our troops around the world so that they need supplies from the “military industrial complex,” not the other way around.

But, that aside, my main point here is to criticize the whole notion that what the president character in this movie is doing is a “peace plan” at all.

Granted if all U.S. troops were pulled out of the world and brought home it would be a “peace plan” of sorts. It would be a “peace plan” for America… though likely a very temporary one.

It would not however, be any sort of panacea-like “peace plan” for the Middle East. U.S. troops in the region are not used for first strike or belligerent missions and are far more often used as after-the-fact, peace-keeping forces. Also, their presence alone is a deterrent, especially against attacks on the lone democracy in the region, Israel.

Pulling U.S. forces out of the Middle East would certainly give Americans some peace, but nature abhors a vacuum and so do dictators and Islamists. If the U.S. left, lock, stock, and barrel from the region all at once, the people there would likely experience an upswing in violence as new forces vie to take control.

How long such small wars and insurrections would last is anybodies guess, but they’ve been going on since man could record history in the region, so interminably is the guess.

As violent as the region is, the U.S. has put a limited cap on violence there by stationing troops in the region since after WWII.

Of course, we can all argue–and legitimately–if it really is a waste of time to even try to cap violence in the Middle East or just how much the U.S. should be involved “in the sand box.” Our policy is a legitimate discussion.

But one thing it wouldn’t be is a “peace plan” were we to leave all at once like the president in White House Down claims. In fact, if we were to leave all at once the world would see a blood bath the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the gory days of the Second World War.

Israel, would be the first to be attacked from without, of course, and without any help from the U.S.A. would have to resort to nuclear weapons out of utter necessity. Other nuclear-armed nations would respond with glee, naturally. And this would be only after some undetermined time of bloody internal fights in nearly every Islamic country in the region played out first.

The fact is, if the U.S. pulled out of the Middle East all at once it would not be anything near the “peace plan” as the movie portrays. Millions would die within only a few year’s time, if not even less.

That is hardly “peace.”

But this is the silly, uninformed, childish concept that lies at the core of this film, nonetheless.

So, don’t go to White House Down and expect cogent social commentary or a logical geopolitical discussion. Just go because stuff blows up and there are a few amusing one-liners.

The Higher Education Reality
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  • cstmbuild

    I like the fact it is conservatives (basically) that are again attacking the USA from the inside and the fact that ABC News 7 immediately identifies the attackers as al-queda, but then has to correct it to ….well code words for right wing groups/nuts.

    Heck, the real world MSM won’t even identify attacks as terrorist attacks even when the Muslims admit to an attack. The fact that they put it in the movie just shows how out of touch with reality and how news is reported.

  • Brucehenry

    It’s true that politicians are the ones who send our troops all around the world so that they need supplies from the MIC.

    It’s also true that those same politicians depend on the legal bribes, err, I mean campaign contributions, from that very same MIC, and are therefore unwilling to NOT award fat contracts to it.

    It’s also true that the MIC, in cahoots with politicians, has rigged a system in which there are military sub-contractors in virtually every Congressional district, so any move to de-fund any old program, or resist any new one, is immediately labeled a “job-killer.”

    The military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about may not be some “shadowy, unseen” conspiracy, but it ain’t exactly just some hard-workin’ guys tryin’ to make a livin’, either. Military contractors wield real political power, and indeed bear some blame and some credit for whatever is wrong and whatever is right about American foreign policy. To suggest they don’t is naive to say the least.

    • Retired military

      Substitute MIC with Unions.

      • Brucehenry

        Sure, except MIC largess is spread a lot more widely. How much do you think the unions give every cycle to Congressman Joe Schmo (R-Armpit, AL)? Whereas the MIC gives “campaign contributions” to both sides and every district.

        If you are under the impression “the unions” are as powerful as the military-industrial complex I suggest you are under an erroneous impression.

        • Commander_Chico
          • Our soi disant cognoscenti and veteran delivers his usual glib and superficial talking points while ignoring the rest of President Eisenhower’s points:

            …Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research — these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

            But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs, balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages, balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable, balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual, balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress. Lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

            As well as the dangers of the scientific-technological elite.

            …Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

            Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

  • JWH

    See, this is why Martians should be the go-to villain for destruction. Attacking the White House because they’re upset at the economic ramifications of withdrawing all US troops from the Middle East? Easy to pick apart.

    Martians attack the White House? Well, sure they’ll do that. ‘Cuz they’re Martians!!

    But who knew the Martian computers were Mac-compatible?

  • Isn’t this the point where our soi disant cognoscenti veteran throws the chickenhawk card?

  • Brucehenry

    Way to moderate, “moderator”!

  • Way to progtard, progtard.

  • Commander_Chico

    Sounds like a good movie. The warmongers ARE the bad guys.

  • jim_m

    Looks like a military coup is taking down Morsi and the islamists.

    Egyptian security forces on Wednesday imposed a travel ban on President Mohamed Morsi and several top Islamist allies over their involvement in a prison escape in 2011, security officials said.

    The military has also detained Muslim Brotherhood leaders and troops and tanks are in the streets in Cairo. I figure obama will come out in favor of islamic fascism shortly.

    • jim_m

      Coup seems to be nearly complete according to ABC. Expect disappointed leftists to be wringing their hands about how despite the brutal oppression and religious intolerance of the new regime that we should support it because there was an election somewhere along the line and even though the masses of the public are against the fascist regime that we should support it.

      [edit] Yep complete and specifically against the islamists. Mori’s islamist propaganda networks have been cancelled and the military has already met with democratic opposition to the islamists to pave the way toward a new Egypt. This will be a new Egypt that is very wary of obama and his fascist policies.

      • jim_m

        Let’s dispense with any pretense that obama does not support islamic fascism: Obama 2011: Mubarak Must Go; Obama Today: ‘It’s not our job to choose who Egypt’s leaders are’.

      • Commander_Chico

        Of course, this is a leftist coup. Morsi represented the social and economic conservatives in Egypt.

        It’s like the US Army deposing a President Santorum in sympathy with mass demonstrations in New York against his socially conservative policies.

        Obama’s right. it’s not the USA’s job to choose who Egypt’s leaders are.

        The Egyptian military are overthrowing an elected president in favor of their own dictatorship. Freedom!

        • 0bama had no qualms about ousting Mubarack…

          Neither one of you are particularly consistent, are you?

        • jim_m

          obama spoke out against Morsi but was silent about the islamofascists and their excesses.

          If you think that obama is on the right side of this counter revolution you had better look at the banners these people are waving. They hate obama. They feel like he betrayed them and they are right. You are a total tool backing up our fascist in chief.

          • Note also that the Egyptian protesters are not protesting the United States, but are protesting Barack Obama.

          • jim_m

            Exactly. The whole world sees how he does not stand for what the US has stood for for over two centuries. He stands for corruption and oppression.

          • Commander_Chico

            I missed when the 82nd was deployed to Cairo to oust Mubarak.

            I guess you’re right – it must have been the US that ousted him, though – could not have been the protesters and the Egyptian military, after weeks of disorder.

          • jim_m

            I missed where anyone claimed that obama used military intervention to oust Mubarak. Please cite the comment you are referring to.

            I do see plenty of instances where people cite that obama has supported Morsi, has abetted him by supporting early elections and I have seen numerous stories on line about how obama has given Morsi and his government ever increasing funding while Morsi has implemented a repressive islamic state. But never mind, go ahead and make BS claims while you attempt to distract form the fact that you support fascism and islamic radicalism.

          • Commander_Chico

            Rodney claimed Obama “ousted” Mubarak. How did he do that?

          • jim_m

            I don’t see where he claims that obama ousted Mubarak. He said that obama had no qualms about ousting him and that could be fairly interpreted as in abetting the ouster of Mubarak, which obama certainly did through his calls for Mubarak to step down.

          • Commander_Chico

            Look up in the comments.

          • jim_m

            Bother reading my comment dumbass.

          • Commander_Chico

            Rodney said:

            0bama had no qualms about ousting Mubarack…

            You even voted that comment up, jim.

            HTF did Obama oust Mubarak? Could not have been Egyptians could not have got sick of the Mubarak family looting the economy of hundreds of millions, right?

          • jim_m

            Yes I quoted that, but you seem incapable of actually reading my response to you. idiot.

          • Commander_Chico

            If you can’t make an argument without personal invective and misrepresenting what has been said, you have lost.

            I am sorry you are boiling with hostility. See a shrink. You are not a gentleman.

          • Brucehenry

            No fair. Under those rules Jim loses EVERY argument he engages in.

          • jim_m

            Chico deserves every epithet I have used to describe him. I quote Rodney in my comment. Chico then calims that I have ignored Rodney’s comment and quotes the very same text that I did.

            What is telling is that Chico is unwilling to acknowledge that I have answered him much less attempt to argue that my interpretation is not acceptable. He (and you) have got nothing.

          • Commander_Chico

            Rodney said:

            0bama had no qualms about ousting Mubarack…

            In your comment, you said Rodney said:

            I don’t see where he claims that obama ousted Mubarak. He said that obama had no qualms about ousting him

            WTF? Why am I wasting my time?

          • jim_m

            Idiot. Can you really not tell that there is a difference between not having any reservations about doing something and actually doing it?

            Are you really that stupid?

            Are you so unfamiliar with the English language that you honestly cannot tell the difference?

            Or are you just being dishonest?

            I vote the last.

          • Not an exclusive or situation…

          • Brucehenry

            One reasonable interpretation of the comment from the soi-disant “moderator,” “Obama had no qualms about ousting Mubarak” is “Obama ousted Mubarak.”

            That is unarguably a reasonable interpretation of that remark. I haven’t seen the soi-disant “moderator” appear to deny that that is what he meant, either.

            Also even if this is just a misunderstanding about the meaning of the phrase “had no qualms about,” why the anger, invective, and ad hominems right off the bat?

            As I have noted in other threads, you seem so angry lately, like you’re not having fun here. Many of us come to Wizbang to pass the time, not to change the world. There’s no need for such hostility.

            It’s really been since Obama’s re-election when you went off the rails. You’re gonna get an ulcer.

          • jim_m

            There were no cruel words off the bat. In fact here is my original response in full:

            I don’t see where he claims that obama ousted Mubarak. He said that obama had no qualms about ousting him and that could be fairly interpreted as in abetting the ouster of Mubarak, which obama certainly did through his calls for Mubarak to step down.

            I addressed the issue politely and directly. Chico then studiously avoided any response and made several claims that I did not address it then claimed that I deliberately misquoted Rodney. Whatever. His line of argumentation was dishonest.

            I happen to agree with you that both interpretations are fair. I was offering one that agreed with the text of Rodney’s original comment.

            Have I been angry lately? Perhaps. Work has been a political snake pit for the last 3 months, but that seems to be ending and a new era of peace may be dawning. That does not change my view of Chico as a self centered idiot that cares more for his government bene’s than the lives of others.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes your original comment was free of ad hominems. Your next two, though, included “dumbass” and “idiot” as well as argument. See anything equivalent on anyone else’s part?

            Those of us who regularly comment here are not responsible, or at fault, for your work environment. Don’t take it out on us, lol.

            Besides, I think your wizbangitis has more to do with finding your political views increasingly teetering on the edge of the dustbin of history than it does with anything extraneous to Wizbang.

            EDIT: PS where are Rodney’s “own denials”?

          • jim_m

            Yeah, so teetering on the dustbin of history that the opposite world view expressed by obama just got trashed by millions of protesting Egyptians.

            While I understand that you and the rest of the left want to create the false impression that everything obama does is rainbows and unicorns, the reality is that obamacare is a complete disaster and it hasn’t even been implemented and your savior sees this so clearly that he is trying to illegally avoid implementing it. You also want to avoid discussion of the fascist police state that obama is implementing and you want to avoid discussion of how much you support that police state and its aims. But don’t think that you have the majority of the nation on your side on those issues. You don’t

            Regardless, we should all try to have a nice holiday. Chico can celebrate his government bene’s and the rest of us can celebrate the promise of liberty that is the United States.

          • Brucehenry

            Who won the last election again?

            But, hey, good attempt to change the subject from your own anti-social behavior here to Obamacare and your skyisfalling fear of Obama’s “fascist police state.”

          • jim_m

            The last election does not mean that the losing political position ends up on the dustbin of history unless, of course, the victors are intent on never relinquishing power and establishing a fascist dictatorship.

            If you have not connected the dots between the IRS scandal, the EPA overreach, Sibelius leaning on regulated companies to donate money to her implementation of obamacare, branding traditional journalism as espionage and treason, and the NSA surveiling every American illegally, then I really cannot help you.

            The left wants a police state, no 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th amendments. They will get it eventually. You would like that outcome.

          • Brucehenry

            The IRS “scandal” is increasingly shown to be a nothingburger. The EPA overreach and the Sibelius matter may be of some concern, I’ll grant you. If Snowden and Greenwald are practicing traditional journalism by revealing state secrets and fleeing to China and Russia I’m flummoxed.

            You supported and continue to support the PATRIOT Act which makes the NSA surveillance legal, if regrettable.

          • jim_m

            Seriously? The IRS scandal is only a “nothingburger” to the left because they were not the ones whose rights were violated. When I tell you that you are in favor of a fascist state and political oppression, this is exactly what I mean.

            The FBI is supposedly investigating this scandal. Tell me: How many Tea Party organizations has the FBI contacted in their investigation? Answer: ZERO.

            This is still being covered up. This was suppression of the 1st amendment and the use of government power to coerce people into silence, You are perfectly comfortable with this happening. Your conscience is completely untroubled with the idea of people who you disagree with being silenced through threat of imprisonment by the federal government.

          • Brucehenry

            My conscience is untroubled by BOLO lists that officials may use to help detect possible fraudulent claims of tax-exempt status by political groups.

            Tell me who has been threatened with imprisonment again? Boilerplate warnings like “Signing this form makes you subject to penalties for perjury” and the like don’t count.

          • jim_m

            Exactly. Those lists target conservative groups exclusively.

            Thank you for admitting that you are in favor of the federal government targeting the suppression of political speach.

            That argument from the left that these sorts of groups should not have tax exempt status regardless of their ideology is only an excuse for oppression. The fact is that this groups CAN be tax exempt. ANY sort of BOLO list is defacto political oppression because EVERY group should be treated identically.

            You are in favor of fascism and you just admitted it whether you realize it or not.

          • Brucehenry

            About one third of the new political groups targeted for extra scrutiny were progressive groups — just about the liberal/conservative proportion of new political groups who were applying for tax-exempt status.

          • jim_m

            [citation needed]

            I have seen several claims to this effect and have seen them all debunked. There were 500 conservative groups and I have seen as many as 6 liberal groups. that doesn’t quite reach 1/3.

            [edit]Here’s your “nothingburger” Lois Learner seeks immunity for testimony So there is nothing there but the IRS officials had to claim the 5th amendment and need immunity from prosecution to tell what really went on.

          • Brucehenry

            Yeah and I’ve seen claims on right wing sites that Obama’s “vacation” to Africa costs $600 million too. Doesn’t mean it’s true.

          • jim_m

            Stop changing the subject. Changing the subject suggests that you are losing the argument.

          • Brucehenry

            Haha we were talking about your rude and antisocial behavior of late, when you dragged up Obamacare, the IRS, and Obama’s “police state.”

          • jim_m

            Ummm, you claimed that my disposition was due to obama winning the election and I made a comment on the sort of government that he has created. That was not changing the subject.

            You then brought up the Patriot Act claiming that any police state was the fault of the right and not obama’s expansion of the laws in a way that is an affront to lberty and freedom

          • Brucehenry

            Oh, I see…

          • Only on planet henry is 6 out of 198 one third.

          • jim_m

            As for the Patriot act, I supported the original claims which were to surveille communications originating or ending outside the US. International communications were what the Bush Admin targeted. It was not until obama that this became almost exclusively a domestic surveillance program and one targeted primarily on political opponents and not against terrorism.

            What I find shocking is that you are not against the current implementation but are only interested in scoring debating points about who supported the Partiot Act way back when.

          • Brucehenry

            The PATRIOT Act was a far-reaching, overly vague (on purpose) bill which liberals warned you would hate when a new administration was in power. Every president expands on the power of his predecessor if he can, which is why granting the President expansive new powers is usually a bad idea.

            Oh, I forgot, it’s only a bad idea for the executive to have new powers when he has a D after his name.

          • jim_m

            Yes, because only the Dems are willing to stretch the text of any law and to selectively enforce all laws. If you had a president with a moral code then there would not be a problem. There is a problem today because obama is an amoral megalomaniac who sees the exertion of power over others as an end in itself.

          • jim_m

            I have not actually commented on Snowden here so I will thank you for not putting words in my mouth.

            There is a significant difference between the NSA surveillance issue and the full range of actions by Mr Snowden.

          • Brucehenry

            Leaving for the movies now, Jim. Have a good holiday, maybe I’ll be back later.

          • jim_m


          • jim_m

            no he did not post other denials, That was my mistake.

          • Your opinion and $5.00 will buy a bad cup of coffee with worse service. Sans your opinion the service improves and the cup runs less than a buck.

            Take your gripe to Kevin. I’m sure he’ll be suitably impressed.

          • Brucehenry

            Wasn’t meant as a complaint but Good Job “moderating.”

          • Talk to someone who cares what you think, if you can find one.

          • Project you very much indeed.

          • jim_m

            Sorry. I have little patience for people who make a claim, I address it specifically, quoting the comment that they are complaining about, and they still are incapable of responding to my point.

            The fact is that I did make a valid point and you have done your utmost to avoid admitting it. I would be kinder to you if you would actually engage in the debate. But you don’t.

            For the person who constantly calls others ”Chickenhawks” and “warmongers” it is a little hypocritical for you to go on whining about hostility and civility.

          • Commander_Chico

            You misquoted Rodney. Are you a congenital dissembler?

          • jim_m

            Bullshit. You even copied that quote. You are a lying dishonest troll.

            Also, I did not quote him directly, I paraphrased. You will note that there are no quotation marks in my comment, meaning that there is no actual direct quote.

          • Commander_Chico

            Get help.

          • jim_m

            Learn English you illiterate fool.

          • Another screaming case of projection from our soi disant cognoscenti and veteran…

        • jim_m

          Morsi represented the islamofascists and not social and economic conservatives. There is a difference and that difference is underscored by the fact that the American Left is more than willing to back the policies of Morsi and his friends and they would never back the policies of social and economic conservatives.

          Nothing in Morsi’s plans demonstrated anything like a reliance upon free markets so don’t go claiming that he was an economic conservative.

          • Commander_Chico

            One man’s “social and economic conservative” is another (leftist) man’s “fascist.”

            Certainly, the MB represents social conservatism in Egypt against the western onslaught of porn, booze, feminism, drugs, Hollywood, and fornication.

            It’s been widely reported that Morsi wanted to pursue regulatory reform to ease the grip of Egyptian bureaucracy and its corruption on business.

            He was also trying to reduce all of the subsidies on fuel and food which burden the Egyptian economy. Morsi said he wanted to emulate Turkey’s success in freeing the market.

            Egypt is a lot different from the USA, but the people demanding Morsi’s ouster would be on the left in the USA – demanding higher subsidies and social libertines.


            A leftist critique of Morsi’s “neoliberalism” (FYI Jim – “neoliberal” in the European context means “free market.”)


            The Egyptian military also owns state companies which are protected by regulation and put money in the pockets of the generals and other elites.


            Economic deregulation would have threatened these prerogatives.

          • jim_m

            Except that the people in the US that have been most vocal against Morsi are on the right. Too bad for you that the American left are all too comfortable supporting islamic fascism.

          • Commander_Chico

            What difference does it make what rightists (or leftists) in the USA are “most vocal” about WRT Egypt?

            “People in the US” are ignorant. They have no idea what they’re talking about, have not been to Egypt, never took a course on Egypt, don’t know any Egyptians, etc. Like you, jim.

          • jim_m

            No I have never been to Egypt but have known several Egyptians so STFU. And yes we have empirical evidence that many people in the US are ignorant. They support the fascist, obama. The left is also very supportive of islamists, which is amazingly ignorant.

          • Commander_Chico

            Ha, ha “the left” again. I show you an article – there are many more – where “the left” is critical of Morsi for his “neoliberal” free market oriented policies.

            I show you how the the leadership of Egyptian military is the beneficiary of a controlled state-socialist system.

            But you’ve met an Egyptian, o-tay.

    • jim_m

      As predicted obama comes out in support of islamic fascism. The admin has warned the new Egyptian government against arresting Morsi and his fascist followers and stated that ALL factions must be included in a new government (ie effectively that the Muslim Brotherhood must be allowed to stay in power).

      Admin sources have said that they are concerned that actions of the new government will cause the muslm brotherhood to resort to violence. Once again we see obama calling for appeasement of islamic fascists and promoting their interests over the interests of freedom and liberty.

      Then again, obama has called for “a transparent political process “, which, if we take his “most transparent administration in history” as an example, is probably an endorsement for an oppressive police state.

      • Commander_Chico

        Well, a military government arresting an elected president and shutting down the media is a little troubling, right?

        The MB were incompetent, not at all as good in suppressing dissent as this new military government seems.

        • jim_m

          Not as much when they are responding to the largest political demonstrations in world history.

          Not as much so when they appoint an interim President and set a path toward secular democracy and away from islamist totalitarianism.

          The real scary thing is how the left supports the totalitarianism as if it were somehow a reflection of the people.