Betraying the Troops

By Bill O'Reilly

November 16, 2007 4 min read

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the vile movie "Redacted" is opening in a few theaters this week. The film, financed by billionaire Mark Cuban and directed by far-left bomb thrower Brian De Palma, features drunken American soldiers in Iraq raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl and then slaughtering her family.

As stated in this space two months ago, a depiction like this will be displayed prominently on jihad websites, and will be used as a recruiting tool by terrorists. No doubt.

Both De Palma and Cuban are unrepentant and apparently could not care less about putting U.S. troops in even more danger. Cuban opines that it is wrong to condemn the film without seeing it, but that's incredible nonsense. No one denies the movie puts American soldiers in the worst light possible. As one reader e-mailed: "Saying you can't condemn 'Redacted' without seeing it, is like saying you can't condemn Crystal Meth without taking it."

So what's to be done here? In a free society, Mark Cuban is entitled to make this despicable movie. Our military people have fought and died to give him that right. Isn't that ironic? Cuban uses his freedom and his money, made in America, to put our troops at further risk. How does the guy live with himself?

This isn't about the Iraq war or the war on terror. This is about fellow citizens. Even during the ultra-contentious Vietnam conflict, Hollywood didn't make films that aided the enemy. Jane Fonda made a personal appearance in North Vietnam that did that, and she is still paying for it to this day.

Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and has been seen gyrating on TV's "Dancing With the Stars." While Cuban is doing the cha-cha, almost 200,000 brave Americans are on far-away battlegrounds. Picture the image of Cuban dancing around juxtaposed with scenes of the hardships our troops face every day. Sounds like it would make an interesting movie sequence, don't you think?

There comes a time when good people must take a stand, and this is one of those times. Cuban and De Palma have done a bad thing — they have made life even harder for our troops. So Americans should stand in front of any theater showing "Redacted" and hold a simple sign: "Support the Troops."

There is no excuse for "Redacted." The incident is based on a true story, but those who committed the crimes are in prison for life. You don't celebrate this kind of aberration with a movie. You don't brand the U.S. military with this stigma.

Charles Manson is an American, too, but does he represent this country in any way? Of course not. And I believe even the odious Manson would not make a movie like "Redacted."

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of the book "Who's Looking Out For You?" To find out more about Bill O'Reilly, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at This column originates on the Web site

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