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Official documents prove “Top Gun: Maverick” is military propaganda

by Alan Macleod
 
Part 4 - Hollywood: the military’s wingman
 
“Top Gun: Maverick” has been produced at a time when the United States is currently throttling Iran with illegal and deadly sanctions. In early 2020, the Trump administration assassinated top Iranian general and statesman Qassem Soleimani, and influential figures in the United States have called for an unprovoked nuclear attack on the country.

Yet none of this context is mentioned, leaving the legality of the depicted attack unquestioned. As Stahl told MintPress, the basic assumption is that “the U.S. has the right to violate international law and strike any country for any reason.” “Imagine if this film came out of Iran and was about striking an Israeli or U.S. nuclear facility,” he said. “Heads would explode with accusations of hard-line propaganda.

Therefore, “Top Gun: Maverick” falls in line in promoting a remarkably militaristic society; one that spends almost as much on war as every other nation on Earth combined. Celebrations of militarism are everywhere in the United States, from sporting events to cinemas, feeding into an overwhelming cult of troop worship.

The military works exceptionally hard to maintain a positive image and has found a willing collaborator in the entertainment industry. Stahl and Secker’s investigations have found that the Pentagon and CIA have exercised direct control over more than 2,500 films and television shows. These include not only military-based blockbusters like “American Sniper,” “Pearl Harbor” and “A Few Good Men,” but also a host of light entertainment shows like “The Price is Right,” “Teen Idol” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” A decent rule of thumb is that if the title you are watching includes the military or security services, then those institutions will likely be co-producing the work, meaning they themselves decide how they are depicted.

The military opens its doors to directors and producers across the country, offering them free or special access to its arsenal of machines that would be impossible to obtain otherwise, access to military bases for filming, and use of active-duty personnel as extras, as well as a host of other benefits that would be impractically expensive otherwise. But he who pays the piper calls the tune, and the Pentagon exacts a considerable political cost, insisting that the creative direction and outlook of the film or TV show is as relentlessly pro-military as it is possible to get. Anti-war productions need not apply and therefore are rejected out of hand by the majority of production companies, who do not want to lose such a powerful ally.

In this sense, then, film and television in America have slowly turned into a military-entertainment complex in which hundreds of millions of Americans are fed a steady diet of Pentagon-sponsored pro-war propaganda. And they are not even aware of it.

At one time, Cruise felt a good deal of remorse for becoming part of the war machine, telling Playboy magazine:

                        Some people felt that “Top Gun’”was a right-wing film to promote the Navy. And a lot of kids loved it. But I want the kids to know that that’s not the way war is – that “Top Gun” was just an amusement park ride, a fun film with a PG-13 rating that was not supposed to be reality. That’s why I didn’t go on and make Top Gun II and III and IV and V. That would have been irresponsible.

Irresponsible it may be, but judging by the fact that Cruise will receive a significant cut of the global box office figures ($747 million and counting), at least he will be financially compensated for it. In the same Playboy interview, Cruise also lamented that he could be “totally responsible for World War Three.” Given the United States’ constantly aggressive actions towards Iran, he might one day be proven correct.

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