Iron Man 3 Makes Light of Islamic Terror

Iron-Man-3Over the weekend, my wife and I went to see Iron Man 3. We’d enjoyed the first two Iron Man movies, even if they were a bit on the slow side. But the third is certainly the best of the three. It moves the fastest, has the most spectacular action sequences, and features Robert Downey Jr.’s fast-talking Tony Stark outside his suit for the vast majority of the film.

It also makes light of Islamic terrorism.

Here’s where you should stop reading if you still want to see the film and not be spoiled by knowledge of the ending.

If you’re still reading, you won’t be surprised if I say that the whole enterprise has an anti-American feel. The film opens with an act of terrorism by what appears to be a terrifying Islamist who calls himself The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). The Mandarin is obviously a planning genius, a scholar of world history (or at least of the works of Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn), and a frightening foe with access to the President of the United States’ cell phone.

Except that he isn’t. As it turns out, The Mandarin, whom we are assured will shoot you in the head if you dare to look at him, is actually a drug-addled Britisher in the employ of two brilliant white scientists. He explains to Tony Stark that he has been wooed by a steady stream of hallucinogenics and women. He is, in short, an idiot.

This isn’t much of a twist. As you’ll recall if you saw the first Iron Man, the Islamist terrorists who originally bomb Tony Stark’s convoy, the Ten Rings, do so at the behest of another white warmonger, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). This is a well-worn plot device. In 24, Islamist terrorists routinely act on the orders of some white, European oligarchy of evil. When Hollywood produced The Sum of All Fears, they went so far as to replace the novel’s Palestinian terrorists with neo-Nazis out to set off nukes.

There are three forces at work in Hollywood’s resistance to naming Islamic terror for what it is. The first is simple anti-Americanism. Some folks in Hollywood have been so steeped in Zinn-type history that they think that Islamic terrorists are largely justified in their dislike for the United States, and are therefore loathe to cast them as the black hats in the movies. This is the Matt Damon (Green Zone), George Clooney (Syriana) philosophy of foreign policy.

The second rationale for burying Islamic terrorism is political correctness. Political correctness dictates that all cultures are created equal and are morally equivalent. That means that if we’re seeing more Islamist terrorism than Swedish terrorism in the world, it’s just because we’re putting too much focus on Islamic terrorism, which we encourage by noticing it. As MSNBC’s Chris Matthews stated a couple of weeks ago, “All we do is kill Arabs on international television. I think that might have something to do with jihad.”

The third rationale is the most nefarious: the soft bigotry of low expectations for Islamic terrorists. According to many on the left, they can’t be that competent or that scary. They can’t be good at terrorism. They’re Arabs, after all, and if they are successfully evil it’s probably some sinister white person in the background directing the action.

Whatever the rationale, Iron Man 3 buys into it. And it does so with alacrity. Not only does the film label Islamic terrorism a non-threat, it mocks expressions of patriotism (Don Cheadle’s Iron Patriot is derided as an idiotic knockoff of Iron Man, and foolishly breaks down random doors in Pakistan when the real villains are in that terrorism hotspot, Miami). The real threat of terrorism, says Hollywood, lies in all of us. It lies in our frustrations and our anger.

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  • AdinaK

    We already experienced Argo's whitewash, even though it was a directorial hit. But in its essence it placed the onus upon "imperialist" America, as opposed to Islamic jihadists –

    What are the chances that Obama surrogates were not "behind the scenes" in Iran Man too?

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

    • slider 96

      What are the chances that Obama surrogates were not "behind the scenes" in Iran Man too?

      Uh …….yea the chances are about the same as Obama under your bed .Are you serious ? Life must be a scary thing for you eh ?

      Whatever you do AdinaK , don't go to see Ironman 3 , there are subliminal messages in the movie that will cause you to come out of that movie an OBAMA-BOT ,
      Damn Obama surrogates !!

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "What are the chances that Obama surrogates were not "behind the scenes" in Iran Man too?"

        0'Bama is not the only leftist in the world or even in this country. There are a few in California too, and one or two of them have some influence on scripts on occasion. Which occasions? Only on those films that are approved by virtually ever major backer and even many self-financed films. Other than getting projects approved, there isn't much leftist bias. Well, that and the entire culture.

        But then again there have got to be at least a few films that squeeze a few clues in them about real life as it exists. Don't expect anyone to notice that didn't already know.

        • slider 96

          Oh get a grip on yourself . Grow up .

          • objectivefactsmatter

            slider 96: "Whatever you do AdinaK , don't go to see Ironman 3 , there are subliminal messages in the movie that will cause you to come out of that movie an OBAMA-BOT ,
            Damn Obama surrogates !!"

            slider 96: "Oh get a grip on yourself . Grow up ."

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Oh get a grip on yourself . Grow up ."

            Isn't this the part where you say, "What about 'The Kingdom?'"

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Gwyneth Paltrow's anti-American sentiments are well known. In one of several highly publicized temper tantrums, In 2006 Paltrow maintained that "…..all British people are cleverer, more civilized, more interesting and 38% better in bed than any American that has ever lived."

    Do we infer from her statement that she has kept congress with almost -
    "every American Casting Couch from New York to Hollywood"?

    ~ Or, – are American men 62% more selective than Gwyneth Paltrow's randy European beggars?

    Maybe American men are more selective and discerning and accordingly they are less easily amused by dim Hollywood blondes who bring their calculators, and note pads to casual romps.

    Unlike her very talented mother, Paltrow is a wooden stilted actor. People Magazine claims she is "The World's Most Beautiful Woman." I don't know when she has ever removed her head from her fundament long enough for anyone to capture a good glimpse of her face.

  • slider 96

    Hey Ben , get a job as a film critic ….or stop watching tv and going to the movies .
    Does it really matter THAT MUCH to you , if Paltrow …an ACTRESS , thinks Brits are better in bed than Americans ?
    And NO , MEATBALL WITH THE FUNNY NAME ABOVE, we are NOT to infer [ atleast normal people ] that she's kept company with "every American who has ever lived " [ does that hit you in the manhood ? ]
    Does it really matter what Paltrow thinks ? [TO YOU ?] .
    No wonder , People who read "People Magazine " are of a particular mentality .[not good ] .

    • No One

      You are an a@@hole.

      • κατεργάζομαι

        Replying to No One,…. lol. someone has been messing in his cornflakes this morning.

        Above slider 96's bathroom wash basin he has a sign that reads: THINK!

        Below that is another handwritten arrow pointing downwards with a scribbled sign: THOAP.

        • slider 96

          Oh get a grip on yourself . Grow up . That goes for you to moron with a link for a name .

  • slider 96

    Be very AFRAID , folks , by the time you see Ironman 3 , The SEKRIT HYPNOTIZERS "built in " to those 3 films will have taken their toll on the innocent victims ! It'll be too late for all of us ! We'll have become [unaware to ourselves] Manchurian [Obama ] Candidates , ready to spring at the mention of …".Queen of Diamonds " ! LOOKOUT for THAT Mysterious phone call with the voice on the other end saying those fatal words……."Queen of diamonds " !!!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Be very AFRAID , folks , by the time you see Ironman 3 , The SEKRIT HYPNOTIZERS "built in " to those 3 films will have taken their toll on the innocent victims ! It'll be too late for all of us ! We'll have become [unaware to ourselves] Manchurian [Obama ] Candidates , ready to spring at the mention of …".Queen of Diamonds " ! LOOKOUT for THAT Mysterious phone call with the voice on the other end saying those fatal words……."Queen of diamonds " !!!"

      Of course you're correct. Deceptive propaganda doesn't exist. Nobody ever makes assumptions about what they observe happening in films year after year while failing to pay attention to any real facts about current events or history.

      There is no problem here. The world is nearly perfect. We've just got to give the loser in chief a few more weeks for that full transformer effect. Utopia is almost here! Forward!

      • No One

        Forward! i know…what a joke.


          Forward to the Re-education camps.

          Progressive Blindness is good.

      • Questions

        If every movie is underneath "really" a Leftist pitch, then do us a favor and don't waste our time. The first two "Iron Man" films were tremendous, and I doubt this one will be any less so. People don't get secretly hypnotized or converted to someone else's cause. Film has never worked that way. I'm a conservative now and I expect to remain as such after seeingron Man 3."

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "I'm a conservative now and I expect to remain as such after seeingron Man 3."

          I don't care what you see. Denying the propaganda value of huge popular films is just blindness on your part. That's your right of course.

          The claim is not that a single film will "convert" anyone. The claim is that people are exposed far more to fiction than to the facts. And with so much lying going on in the press, having films depict Islam as benign and "just like us underneath" is a big fat leftist lie that gets repeated over and over every single time you watch the film.

          It doesn't mean everyone buys it. But certainly if you didn't know better already, you might understand this fiction as being based on reality. How is that unworthy of exposure?

    • No One

      My error…you are twice the a@@hole you sounded like the 1st time around. hahaha

    • bookburner

      Slither 69;
      Are you trying to say that there is no left-wing agenda coming out of Hollywood? Time to up your meds, whack-job. Either that or stop drinking the bong water. Obamacare cant fix stupidity.

      • slider 96

        To the dumbed down segment of American Society [teabaggers] ……it's just a movie . Ben Shapiro has found the perfect audience to transfer his paranoia onto .
        Don't worry , as long as you have your special tin hat and super xx goggles on , you'll be immune to the LEFTIST BRAINWASHING techniques built in to this movie , so you'll all still be wingnuts when you come out of the movie house .
        You folks are really pathetic . Life must be reeeeaaaaall scary for you huh ?

        • RoguePatriot6

          If you had eyes and a mind, you would be a bit afraid too. What many are afraid of is where this country is headed due to mentalities such as those expressed in this movie. Now, personally I haven't seen it however it fits the pattern of Hollywood and it's employees to produce material with anti-American sentiment that influences young mines who often adopt it as the truth. The fact is in many cases you could put an ocean between what actors/actresses perceive as reality and the truth.

  • @paulvmarks

    The United States (indeed the West in general) has been on a path of cultural (and, eventually, physical) suicide for a very long time.

    A civilisation whose basic cultural institutions (such as schools and universiites – and such things as the primary sources of entertainment) fundementally oppose the basic principles of that civilisation – can not survive.

    • Rifleman

      "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go," as the left used to chant. The left moved east to Maoism, or Orientalism, whatever they or we want to call it, because they've slated Western civilization for extinction.

      • slider 96

        The Ominous "THEY " …..all this over a movie . If this creeping paranoia spreads out of the confines of the Tea party , then Western Civilization will indeed be finished . I'm jus waiting for the "Fluoride Myths " to make their comeback . It's only a matter of time , for you folks are just charading Birchers in disguise . LOL….Alex Jones , Glenn Beck , Rush , Carl Fisher , lololol….the freshman TP Congressman from Texas , they have you all pumped and primed .
        btw -what's "orientalism "

        • Rifleman

          Orientalism is a bunch of nonsense that came out of the head of Edward Said, and "they" are the leftists. They're nuts for trying to destroy Western Civ, us noticing what they are say and do is not. Maybe you need to look up "fundamentally" and "transform"

          When Hollyweird quits preaching absurdity at us, we'll quit calling them on it.

          • @paulvmarks

            Orignially an "orientalist" was a Western scholar who believed that eastern cultures were worthy of study (that they had some good in them). Edward Said (a liar who even lied even about the basic facts of his own life) pretended that "orientalists" were Westerners who attacked eastern cultures (the exact opposite of the truth).

        • @paulvmarks

          I see so Glenn Beck (and co) invented the Frankfurt School of Marxiism and its development in the United States. If only.. …… Actually even your smears come from the Marxists "The Paranoid Style in American Politics", next you will come out with "The Authoritarian Personality".

      • @paulvmarks

        Sadly you are correct Rifleman. Once the enemy (the Frankfurt School of "cultural" Marxism and so on) had a vision of what they what they wanted to replace the West with. However, that vision was always a bit vague (Karl Marx forbad specific descriptions of how the future society would work as "unscientific"), I think we have now reached the point where some of the left (such as the demented thugs of the universities) just want to destroy the West – they do not really care what it is replaced with anymore.

    • American

      Paulvmarks, you really need to go to "schools and universities" because your spelling sucks

      • @paulvmarks

        Not very P.C. of you – as I am both dyslexic and dyspraxic. So no merit mark from the Frankfurt School for you.

  • tagalog

    It strikes me that calling an Islamist jihadist "The Mandarin" is a bit of a misnomer, revealing a lamentable level of ignorance on the part of the production staff.

  • EthanP

    For some time, the Hollywood PCers have been pushing this crap. More and more the 'terrorists' are white, either middle class or neo nazis. We see the effect of catering to the Chinese Communists as well. I suspect this was why this take on the Manderin.

    • Questions

      Your analysis of cinema is about as convincing as your spelling of "Mandarin."


    Current day Hollywood tailors their product for the world.

    Any movie that depicts the White House / Washington blowing up, should also depict the total destruction of Mecca – for the 5.5. billion non-Muslims who do not care about Mecca.

  • Richard

    Something has gone badly wrong with Hollywood in recent years.

    In Bond movies the baddies were the commies and international megalomaniacs trying to take over the world.
    Rambo went to Afghanistan to crack Soviet necks.
    Schwarznegger killed Latin American goons in Commando and Arab terrorists in True Lies.
    Bruce Willis killed Eurotrash commie terrorists turned vault robbers in Die Hard.
    In Air Force One Harrison Ford killed ex-Soviet scum who hijacked his plane.
    In Executive Decision, Kurt Russell kills a plane load of Islamic terrorists trying to nerve gas the East Coast.

    Since 9/11 apart from The Kingdom and Zero Dark Thirty not one other movie as far as I can remember has been about heroes taking on Islamic terrorists and kicking their asses.


    • RoguePatriot6

      I can kind of see where your coming from but this has been a mentality that has been creeping into our society from multiple conduits in the past few decades. This didn't just happen after 9-11 this has been happening for quite a while.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Since 9/11 apart from The Kingdom and Zero Dark Thirty not one other movie as far as I can remember has been about heroes taking on Islamic terrorists and kicking their asses."

      Those films didn't make things much worse but didn't do anything to rectify the lies. Nothing in either of those films would upset a jihadi. That's the point: It's all about what the jihadis might think and do.

      We're a nation of cowards and more-ons.

  • slider 96

    Let's see from about 1953 onwards , the early sci-fi flicks to the Asteroid movies , 4th of July , the White House gets destroyed . What's that all about ?
    Paranoia will destroy ya .

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Paranoia will destroy ya ."

      Pop-culture wisdom. How ironic.

    • kaz

      i dunno. in 1953 patriotic americans would have seen the destruction of the white house as a bad thing. now, it would be a blessing. i dont suppose that would make any difference to an asteroid, or to invading other-world aliens.

  • Eduardo

    Only Israel is not fooled!


    I say boycott this junk until Hollywood gives us some honest Islamic terrorists who are out to kill us because a) we're the infidel, and b) we're better than they are.

    • kaz

      hollywood could be a leader in the urgently needed, but currently nonexistant campaign to rid america of muslims. strangely, hollywood prefers islamic slavery and genocide over what little freedom we have left. it could be that they are just cowards, willing to trash america because america doesnt even punish our worst traitors, while islam is willling to murder those who tell the truth.

      • 100%haram

        and oblivious to the fact that their partying, drugs, showing lots of skin, promiscuity, alcohol, music, etc, that is so integral in the hollywood scene is all haram. they look the other way now but will be the first beheaded to make examples of them so the rest of us submit.

  • Mary Sue

    I would expect no less from Hollywood, really.

  • Blane

    The Mandarin has a Chinese name, speaks with an American Southern accent, uses tactics and quotes philosophy from all over the globe and history, but he hangs out with terrorists and has kinda dark skin, so obviously he's Islamist. Right.

    You don't think you're maybe reading a bit too much into this?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "The Mandarin has a Chinese name, speaks with an American Southern accent, uses tactics and quotes philosophy from all over the globe and history, but he hangs out with terrorists and has kinda dark skin, so obviously he's Islamist. Right."

      That's the entire point. He's presented as something else entirely in contrast with what actually drives virtually all terrorists around the world. In reality, terror is now synonymous with jihad, which comes from fundamental Islam.

      Yet the movie depicts racist bigots of falsely coming to that conclusion. Every Hollywood film plays that angle, or if they do show Islamic jihadis they are sure to include the lies about "grievances." If there is any way of taking any political message from the narratives it is always the West that is wrong, and usually malicious.

      I have never seen a film depict anything close to the truth about Islam being a totalitarian religion that instructs adherents to compel others to toe the sharia line by conversion or submission as a dhimmi. It hits too close to home and might cause the whole Palestinian fabrication to fall apart, not to mention all of the Saudi funding that universities and politicians receive. And then there are threats to journalists and probably to motion picture companies (I think that is safe to assume). And it doesn't hurt at all that offending everyone else is a lot less costly in every other way too.

      What culture creates the most sensitive people in the world that riot over rumors of "desecration?" Do Chinese do this? Are there tribes in Africa that rise up when they feel disrespected? If there are, it's because they've been converted.

      People like you are hilarious. Until I remember how many of you there are. Then I stop laughing.

  • mesinmesin
  • Tan

    Hollywood is full of it. I don't take them seriously at all. When the movie Race To Witch Mountain came out and I saw it (during high school), it was the first time I suspected there was a propaganda message being displayed that was suspicious to me. Even though I didn't know it was called propaganda back then, the feeling i got was that this movie had something wrong with it. Something was very wrong with how the way the story was set up. But later in my life after looking-up, David Horowitz, and other people and things, everything began to come clear to my mind. Today I have a better understanding of Hollywood. Thanks Ben for your hard work of sharing your views on Hollywood. However, I wouldn't mind if someone made a movie about Islamic terrorists working with non-Islamic terrorists if the non-Islamic terrorists were Communists or radical Leftists.

  • @CalFreiburger

    I too was hoping for the Mandarin the trailers led us to believe we'd be getting, and the big bad being yet another scientist-businessman was a bit of a disappointing rehash. But conservative reviewers aren't doing us any favors by reaching this far to find political connotations wherever we can kinda sorta glean them by squinting the right way. We shouldn't moderate our views or be afraid to call out elephants in the room, but at the same time we have to avoid giving the impression that we're obsessively unable to see things outside of our political prism or to recognize the context of things outside that prism.

    First, neither the Mandarin nor the terrorists of the first IM were ever identified as Islamic terrorists or affiliated with real-world terrorists. As others here have pointed out, Mandarin's trappings & symbolism are primarily Chinese/Mongolian not due to political correctness, but because those are the character's roots, which predate Islamofascism as subject of American political debate. To infer that because he's a media concoction in the movie, therefore we're meant to believe our real jihadist enemies are similarly fabricated is something the movie never says. Yes, it would be refreshing to see our pop-culture heroes take on America's real enemies, but to berate a film for not joining that fight seems too reminiscent of the Left's obsession with politicizing all aspects of life. Let comic-book escapism simply be comic-book escapism.

    Second, the real villains are scientific/business contemporaries of Tony Stark because the trend in writing many of these superhero movies is to make the protagonist and antagonist reflections of each other in various ways, as well as to give their conflict personal stakes through shared back-stories. Yes, this is often unnecessary and overdone, but call it what it is: an artistic shortcoming, not a political one. After all, last time I checked, the Iron Man series' hero is still a billionaire entrepreneur and business owner, too.

    Third, the review omits several details that contradict the idea that Iron Man 3 is some anti-American, liberal screed. For example:

    – War Machine being re-named Iron Patriot and having his armor re-painted red, white, and blue: First, the movie has a running joke about the heroes preferring the name "War Machine," which the clueless politicians changed because they thought it too politically incorrect. Second, the missions we see him going on – unilaterally bursting into various locations in the Middle East, demanding answers at gunpoint, seems like exactly the sort of cowboy diplomacy liberals want nothing to do with, yet here it's portrayed as just fine. He even frees a room-ful of women in burqas!

    – No indication of the president's party or politics is given, but it is shown that his basically hawkish stance is consistent with his personal courage. Not once is it suggested that he's a "warmonger" for wanting to take the fight to the Mandarin.

    – There's an line about how the real villain, Killian, is going to execute the president atop a ship owned by a fictional oil company because oil companies are easily-villified in the public eye. If IM3 is to be blamed for allegedly painting Islam as a victim of scapegoating, doesn't it deserve at least a little credit for the more-explicit admission that one of the Left's favorite boogeyman is a victim of scapegoating?