The war against terrorism is tricky business. There's the color-coded Homeland Security warning system, and then there's the invasion of Iraq--just a few of the many steps taken by the government to eliminate the always-enigmatic terrorist. Yet perhaps the government would benefit by looking to someone with experience -- someone who knows a thing or two about terrorists. Perhaps they should talk to Bruce Willis. Bruce has had his run-ins with the enemies of freedom on several occasions: once, in 1988, at the top of the Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard; again, a few years later, at the Dulles International Airport in Die Hard 2; and, finally, on the streets of New York City in Die Hard with a Vengeance -- quite the resume for a Hollywood actor. Despite his credentials, odds are that Bruce won't get the call for any covert op mission in Iraq, which is a shame -- he looks the part, at least. Yet Washington hasn't shirked before from enlisting the entertainment industry in its war against terrorism. Several weeks after September 11, the president's top advisor Karl Rove was meeting with 47 executives from Hollywood's major studios -- including CBS, Sony, Viacom, Dreamworks and MGM -- to discuss themes of patriotism and courage that the industry might address. Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America and former Lyndon Johnson aid, felt particularly inspired by the meeting. "We can try to tell people how America has been the most generous country in the world, we have fed and clothed and sheltered millions of people without asking anything in return," he said. After all, in times of crises, who better to call on to disseminate information honestly and efficiently than the studios of Hollywood? If Hollywood execs can unite to lend a hand in the war, perhaps we shouldn't count Bruce out. Instead of asking, Why Bruce Willis?, maybe we should ask, Why not? In Antoine Fuqua's Tears of the Sun, the actor clearly displays his chops as a military presence on foreign soil, proving that his heroism--and America's, for that matter--need not be confined to domestic borders. Willis plays Lt. A.K. Waters, leader of a Navy SEAL team sent to rescue a group of American missionaries from Nigeria in the midst of political upheaval. Trouble is, Waters has strict orders not to interfere in the nation's conflict, despite atrocities committed by the rebel army (represented here by large, anonymous black men). Ever the pragmatic American, Waters isn't one to take diplomacy too seriously. He disobeys orders and engages the enemy the only way he knows how: with extreme force   la John McLane style. Tears of the Sun might be one of the most timely pieces of filmmaking in years. The film issues a veritable call to arms, even ending with a quote from British statesman Edmund Burke: "The only way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." I don't know if Fuqua or Bruce attended the meeting of Hollywood's elite and Washington's top spinster two years ago, or whether Tears is the first of many films with an unabashed sense of patriotism coming to theaters soon. But the blind emotions of American pride pressed forth by the film made me forget all about that. By the end of the film, I stood in awe of Willis, like one of the film's refugees who often repeat themselves when addressing the American soldiers (saying things like, "We love you. We will always love you," and, "I will never forget you. God will never forget you."). It's all enough to inspire enlistment -- well, almost. Just send Bruce in first.


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