A couple of weeks after I called director-screenwriter John Milius about that issue of seeing parallels between the Wolverines in his classic Red Dawn (1984) and the anti-American resistance in Iraq, he finally called back. I’ve been speaking to him off and on since the late ’80s or early ’90s. We danced around the question for a bit, but that’s often what talking to Milius is like — circling, veering in and out. He’s one of the greatest guys in the world to talk to about the psychology of war and military history. We eventually sashayed into the subject. “I’m one of the few people who think that the Iraq war is a good thing,” he said. “It’s not the goal of it [that’s bad], but the way it’s being conducted…conducted for the beneft of the Halliburton corporation, and the fact that there is no cohesive policy. The resistance in Irag is seen by militants as the Third Great Jihad. The first two happened in the seventh century and in the fifteenth century…but Americans don’t pay any attention to Islamic history.” We somehow got off Iraq and started in on the movie industry. “The people in Hollywood…I refer to them as the Westside Manchus. The reason kids are so fucked up today is becaus they’re prisoners of cool, and Hollywod is the epicenter of that…the ultimate prisoner of cool, prisoner of hip. If you go against the prevailing cool, it’s as if you’ve got bubonic plague.” What’s Milius working on these days? “A war movie, a Korean war movie for those 2929 guys,” he said. “Based on a true story…a couple of guys who get swept up in events…it’s War and Peace in Korea, about a couple of common G.I.s.” Back to the Wolverines and Iraqi resistance: “You can say they’re separated by tactics and they are, but terrible things happen in every war of resistance” he said. “In any rebellion, any resistance by partisans…it will be the same. I took Red Dawn mainly from stories of Russian resistance…the Russians fighting against the Nazi’s…all of those images in Red Dawn are out of World War II.” We strayed into the prime failing of the Bushies, which is that “they’re soft on white-collar crime. There’s a much greater danger to this country from white-collar crime than terrorism.” Back to Iraq and a thought that pointing out the differences between the tactics of Iraqi fighters and the Wolverines is “probably splitting hairs….look at the Roman occupation of Palestine, and the vicious resistance to the Romans. Desert Storm was a clean war. This is not that. Resistance wars are always costly and brutal and savage.”