The movie "Hostel" (2005) is a potent depiction of gore and graphic horror. More subtly, it is also a counterfactual and jingoistic political allegory for the post 9-11 age.
A couple of wholesome American youths (one of them a Jew) are nabbed by a ring of east Europeans who cater to the depraved needs of sadists by providing them with fresh supplies of torture victims. The good guys are invariably American (or mistaken for Americans, or the allies of Americans, Japanese). The bad guys are invariably European; a decadent and unfaithful Icelandic, seductive Czech and Russian women, a Dr. Mengele type German, a Ukrainian pimp. The torture chambers are located in a small village in the outskirts of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in Central Europe. Everyone is in on the take, the police especially.
The events depicted in the film are not without historical precedent, but the moviemakers got the locations all wrong: nine of ten serial killers worldwide are born and bred in the United States. Born Killers is an American phenomenon, not a European one.
Moreover, the New Europe (to borrow the American Secretary of Defense's unforgettable coinage) - namely, the countries of eastern and central Europe - are obsequious vassals of the United States. It is the Old Europe that regards the United States and its inhabitants as a menace to world peace and stability and a clear and present danger to us all.
Indeed, the United States, as Nobel prize winner Harold Pinter recently pointed out in his acceptance speech, is an evil and psychopathic polity. Niall Ferguson, the renowned historian, claims that from its very inception, the USA set out to cannibalize its neighbors and prey on the weak while amassing wealth and territories in the process.
Like any psychopath, the USA believes that it should be immune to the consequences of its misconduct abroad. Hence its shock when al-Qaida brought the blazing message home: you are not beyond reach. Hence America's insistence that its military and intelligence services - frequently busy raping (Japan, the Philippines), murdering (Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan), and pillaging (Iraq) - be exempted from international law and the remit of the International Criminal Court.
The (American) protagonist in the movie gets sliced up but, against all odds, succeeds to extract the badly mutilated Japanese from her hellish cell and escape. Catching a glimpse of her eyeless self, she later commits suicide. Indomitable, he then proceed to torture and amputate the sinister ringleader, a Central European-vaguely German, respectable-looking, middle-class type. He is too late so save his Jewish friend, though (a not so veiled reference to the Holocaust).
This is how Americans view themselves: as good-hearted, good-natured, naive, somewhat gullible, fun-loving, and generous people universally victimized by inscrutable and malevolent foreigners, bent on sadistic and needless destruction. Denial is a defense mechanism very common among narcissists and psychopaths. The truth is, of course, radically different.
With the exception of World War II, the United States has acted as a rapacious conqueror of other peoples' lands under the flimsiest of pretexts. Its expansion was always violent and involved numerous acts of genocide and warfare. Now it is gradually eroding its only redeeming feature: its democracy. It is slowly being transformed from republic to empire, as did Rome two thousand years ago.
The USA is a terrorist state. While there is no disputing that the abhorrent al-Qaida network of murderers should be hunted down and exterminated mercilessly - it is equally morally commendable to wish for the dissolution of the United States and for its disintegration into its constituent states. Pax without Americana is the best of all worlds.