Rich Tucker

Some, of course, will argue that Hamas and Iran are both blowing smoke -- that neither really wants to reduce Israel to rubble, they’re both just playing to their political base with the hateful rhetoric. But history teaches it’s usually best to take unstable dictators at their word.

Osama bin Laden promised to attack the United States, and throughout the 1990s most of us laughed him off. What could that madman in the Afghan mountains do to the mighty U.S.? We found out on 9/11.

Of course, if Hollywood is ever ready to get serious, plenty of great stories are waiting to be told.

Instead of George Clooney’s silly “Syriana” about a supposedly all-knowing CIA, how about a movie about the real life CIA operatives who went to work in Afghanistan in September 2001? They risked their lives to ensure that our military mission there would succeed. And there’s nothing top secret about the mission -- it’s all described in Gary Schroen’s book “First In.”

Or perhaps the story of Pat Tillman? There’s nothing more all-American than a star football player who quits the NFL to actually fight, and die, for his country.

What’s amazing is that Hollywood hasn’t figured this out yet. More than four years after 9/11 there hasn’t been one major motion picture about the U.S. military’s success in Afghanistan or Iraq. Instead, we’re treated to daily media updates explaining that Iraq is a quagmire. We’ll hear more this weekend about the “bravery” of leading Hollywood figures than we’re heard in half a decade about the bravery of our men and women in uniform.

The entertainment industry can survive anything except indifference. If people don’t care, they won’t buy tickets, and the entire enterprise will collapse. Instead of offering up “controversial” films about unimportant issues, next year Hollywood should offer us a few films about the critical topics that are shaping our lives. Unlike “Brokeback,” such a film just might play, and actually be watched, in Peoria.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for