Herald Journal Columns
Nov. 28, 2005, Herald Journal

Willis, a unique Hollywood celebrity


Most of the time I have utter contempt for how Hollywood portrays the War on Terror. In the movie, “A Clear and Present Danger,” for example, the producers changed the villains in the movie to Neo-Nazis, although the Tom Clancy novel originally was written about Mid-Eastern terrorists.

An argument could be made that movie producers intended to later sell the movie overseas to countries that have large Muslim populations, and Muslims might be offended to see the villains in a movie with the same religion as they have. If this were the case, though, wouldn’t a movie about Nazis also offend the large German population in the United States, its largest ethnic group, who will probably see the movie before it’s shown overseas?

I think the real group Hollywood is catering to isn’t Muslims, but those who are anti-American.

There is a Hollywood star, though, who is a breath of fresh air. That is Bruce Willis.

Willis is offering $1 million of his own money to any civilian who turns in Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri or Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, according to an interview Nov. 11 on MSNBC’s “Rita Cosby: Live and Direct.”

That is putting his money where his mouth is. Willis also went to Iraq and saw firsthand what is happening there.

“I am baffled to understand the things that I saw happening in Iraq. Really good things happening in Iraq are not being reported on,” Willis told Cosby, according to a transcript of the show from National Review Online.

“Michael (Yon) has been over there, was embedded with the members of the Deuce Four, you know, the battalion that actually won the battle for Mosul...These are the guys who allowed the election to take place, the election that happened just, you know, a couple of months ago... which is you know, just a monumental thing. And it’s not being reported on,” Willis said.

Willis also had offered $1 million to stop Saddam Hussein, but he found out that military men and women can’t accept any reward for the job they’re doing. This time he specified that whoever turns in the three men, Bin Laden, his right hand man, and the man who is the mastermind of the attack on the three hotels recently in Jordan, is a civilian.

Many of the celebrities who put in their “two cents” about the war on Iraq do so to glorify themselves, not the troops. Willis is very different from them.

Michael Yon, an embedded blogger/reporter in Iraq who is experiencing the same dangers as the troops, told Cosby the following about Willis: “He’s one of the men who has had the courage to stand behind the troops, and the troops absolutely respect and love Bruce Willis. He came out to the Deuce Four redeployment ball in Seattle. And I wonder if he realizes just how much they appreciated that. And it’s just so good to see a man of his stature throwing his entire weight behind our people who are in harm’s way.”

Willis is considering the possibility of doing a film about the Deuce Four, the soldiers with whom Yon is embedded.

“It’s about these guys who do what they are asked to do for very little money, to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom. And it’s not just for the world. It is time for terrorism to stop. And the United States is the country that can stop it. And that’s what they’re doing over there,” Willis said.

That will be a movie I want to see.

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