Blogs > Liberty and Power > Gibson Compares Dubya to Mayan Overlords

May 12, 2006 12:37 pm

Gibson Compares Dubya to Mayan Overlords

Mel Gibson, a long-time skeptic of the Iraq war, has compared George Bush to ancient Mayan tyrants:

The epic, due for release later this year, captures the decline of the Maya kingdom and the slaughter of thousands of inhabitants as human sacrifices in a bid to save the nation from collapsing.

Gibson reveals he used present day American politics as an inspiration, claiming the government callously plays on the nation's insecurities to maintain power.

He tells British film magazine Hotdog,"The fear-mongering we depict in the film reminds me of President Bush and his guys"

Meanwhile, Gibson's conservative former fans at Free Republic are going ballistic with righteous anger.

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Charles Johnson - 5/14/2006


Here's an example from around when the Passion came out:

"'YOU'RE GOING to have to go on record. The Holocaust happened, right?' Peggy Noonan asks of Mel Gibson in the Reader's Digest for March.
Gibson: 'I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union.'"

The phrase "The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives, especially when followed by the gratuitous change of subject to the horrors of Marxist-Leninism in the 20th century, minimizes and obscures the nature of the mass murder of Jews under the Nazi regime. It is also typical of the kind of weaseling routinely engaged in by Holocaust denial outfits such as the IHR (in which something called the "Holocaust" is sometimes admitted to have happened, so long as the word "Holocaust" is revised to mean something other than what everyone else means when they say "the Holocaust").

It is possible that Gibson could utter something like this without intending to go on record as denying or minimizing the Holocaust, but given the conversational context of the question (including accusations of anti-Semitism and the controversy over his father's clearly Holocaust-denying views), Gibson certainly should have known that such a weasel-worded statement would be understood as Holocaust denial, and the fault for the misinterpretation, if it is a misinterpretation, lies on him, not on the reader.

David Bernstein has a good discussion at Volokh Conspiracy ( ).

Keith Halderman - 5/14/2006

Gibson is right about Bush's fear mongering. Look how many terror alerts we have had since 9-11. Fear of vaguely defined terrorism is the justification used for each of his actions. His administration promotes in many ways a childlike fearful society. Maybe we do not have any human sacrifices at this minute but they are down the road on which we are traveling.

David T. Beito - 5/13/2006

When has Gibson engaged in Holocaust denial? I have seen no evidence of this. In fact, he has specifically said otherwise in the comments I ahve seen. His father is a nut.....but none of us would want to blamed for the sins of relatives.

Charles Johnson - 5/13/2006

Holocaust denial is a pretty rough edge.

Anthony Gregory - 5/12/2006

He's a paleoconservative, from what I can tell, perhaps with enough Hollywood experience to mellow out some of the rougher, illiberal edges of the paleo right.

David T. Beito - 5/12/2006

He is pretty libertarian in some ways though I suspect that he'd especially hit it off with Pat Buchanan.

Craig J. Bolton - 5/12/2006

Gibson is just plain an odd guy. I generally love his film, despite the excessive blood and gore, but just can't make heads or tails of him. He seems to be one of these guys whose personality is authoritarian but whose politics are generally quite libertarian. Go figure.