Aggression and the World - Schindler's ListSchindler's List is a poignant and moving film based on a dark period in history, the Holocaust. One of the most stark and prominent

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Aggression and the World – Schindler’s List

Schindler's List is a poignant and moving film based on a dark period in history, the Holocaust. One of the most stark and prominent global themes that the film presents is that of aggression. The film portrays a lowly picture of the German Nazi party at the time; a strongly prejudicial party whose ideology stemmed from a belief in a superior race (Aryan) and a subsequent inferior line of people (Jews, Poles, Gypsies, handicapped and dark-skinned people). Gore Vidal is one of America's most controversial writers and is a zealous critic of the Bush administration. In his essay entitled, `The Enemy Within' (Published in The Observer, London, 27 October 2002) Vidal presents an alternative viewpoint to the widely accepted premise as to who was to blame for the September 11 attacks on the United States. One of the main ideas in this essay is that the September 11 attacks may have been a `blessing' for the Bush administration who were already drawing up plans for an incursion into Afghanistan. He gives details of the US's attempts to negotiate with the Taliban to allow them to construct an oil pipeline across the country as part of a scramble to profit from the surrounding sea's rich recourses. Vidal presents evidence that certain factions of the government were aware of such an impending strike, and that the aggressive attack on New York and Washington provided justification to the public for invading the country.

In a similar fashion, one could assume that the motives of various Nazi party members at the time of the Holocaust was directed solely around money-making and that racial hatred was not in the equation for them. They used the strongly supported view that Jews should not be treated as human, and exploited this feeling so as to obtain free labour and effectively steal Jewish possessions (eg. the piles of valuables confiscated before the Jews boarded the trains). Vidal describes how Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were made the `... frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan', while Saddam Hussein [and the pack of cards featuring other wanted villains] were made out to be the `the personification of evil'. They provided the `faces' for the public to despise.

Perhaps in a similar manner, the Jews were targeted as the `group' responsible for all of Germany's troubles at the time (Germany had suffered great loses from World War 1). They were made out to be below human standards and some members of the German public were resentful of the wealth of the Jews. Thus it was relatively easy to convince a wide range of people that it was acceptable to pillage the Jews and use them to gain wealth. This was evident with Schindler (eg. he gleefully accepted the apartment of the ejected Nussbaum' ["It couldn't be better"]).

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In addition, Vidal probes the possibility that September 11 could be perceived as a `pre-emptive strike'. He states: "...Four days earlier, the Guardian had reported that `Osama bin Laden and the Taliban received threats of possible American military action against them two months before the terrorist assaults on New York and Washington...[which] raises the possibility that bin Laden was launching a pre-emptive strike in response to what he saw as US threats.' A replay of the `day of infamy' in the Pacific 62 years earlier?" Irrespective of what point of view you believe, the essay highlights how various situations and ...

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