Skip to comments.Paul Greengrass Interview On Rush Limbaugh (United 93 Director Presentation Alert)
Posted on 04/28/2006 5:47:44 PM PDT by goldstategop
RUSH: Tomorrow, the movie United 93 opens, and I have seen the movie. I saw a screening a couple weeks ago, and I asked for an interview with the writer and the director, Paul Greengrass, and conducted that interview last week. It's for the upcoming issue of The Limbaugh Letter, and I want you to know how rare this is, folks. I can count on one hand the number of times over the course of many years that we have actually played audio excerpts of an interview in the Limbaugh Letter, and done so in advance of the issue coming out. I'm not going to play the whole interview, this is just to tease you, but we have three different excerpts here. I'm going to play one excerpt today, and the other two tomorrow. I told you about this yesterday. This is the interview portion where Mr. Greengrass suggests that we need a "consensus" in coming up with ideas on how we're going to ultimately defeat terrorism. This little excerpt begins with Mr. Greengrass talking about his experiences, looking at terrorism and dealing with the IRA.
BEGIN INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
GREENGRASS: I'll tell you one of the most chilling things that I have learned from my experience of looking at terrorism. About 20 years ago the IRA bombed the hotel where the prime minister, Prime Minister Thatcher, and her cabinet were, and about ten people were killed, and Prime Minister Thatcher -- who I never agreed with politically in the entirety of her career, but she was our prime minister, and I don't agree with blowing her up. Luckily she escaped. Later that night, the IRA issued a statement. They said, "Tonight you were lucky. You have to be lucky every time. We only have to be lucky once," and in that expression is the heart of the mind of the terrorist operation.
"We only have to be lucky once. You have to be lucky every time," and the truth is we can't always be lucky.
That's why we've gotta find somewhere solutions to these things, and we have to be prepared, it seems to me, and maybe you and I aren't going to agree about this, to look at what we do and ask ourselves some tough questions about it. Are what we're doing, are the things that we do, the things that they want us to do? Because one of the things terrorists want to do is goad us, make us react in ways that make the problem worse. I'm not making a political point now. I'm just, you know, answering the question, and that also is in this film. You know, we, all of us, wherever we stand on the political spectrum, if we're going to confront this problem and prevail, have got to ask ourselves hard questions and be prepared to challenge our beliefs. Because unless we get some consensus here, we're not going to prevail.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Well, I don't think we're going to get the consensus because as I say there's a significant number of Americans who would prefer not to believe that this is an ongoing reality that we face.
RUSH: It's a one-time occurrence, and that we're actually causing it. What we need is leadership on it and the kind of leadership that was displayed aboard United 93. Let me ask you finally the question that was asked of me by a couple people I watched the movie with. They came out and the first thing they said to me, "Do you think we've learned anything, Rush?" Do you, Paul, do you think we've learned anything?
GREEENGRASS: You know, when I go on the underground in London, I think maybe I agree with you, that we don't want to confront the reality of this. We don't want to confront the fact, I think, that this problem is with us for the rest of our adult lives. It will probably fall to our children when they grow up to try and find some solution, because that's what's happened to Northern Ireland. It's a generational thing, you know. Young men --
RUSH ARCHIVE: Yeah.
GREEENGRASS: -- go off to fight --
RUSH ARCHIVE: Exactly.
GREEENGRASS: -- and it's not until they're older men and they've got children of their own that they're willing to lay down arms. But -- so I think there's some truth to what you're saying. I think we are in a state of denial. But --
RUSH: Some of us are.
GREEENGRASS: Rush, I've got to say this. If you were to ask me do I think that we're being as wise as we should be in combating this, I'd say, "Not yet."
END INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: Now, let me tell you where this went because we had plenty of laughs in this interview and he was amazed that we were getting along, because he is, admittedly, when you read the whole interview, very liberal. When he said if I were to ask him if he thinks we're being as wise as we should be in combating this, he'd say, "Not yet," and I said to him, "I know what you're talking about. You're talking about Iraq," and he agreed. He was talking about Iraq, and when he started talking about it, he said, "Let's save that for another conversation, because that doesn't have anything to do here with United 93," and I said, "Well it does."
I said, "There's a lot of misinformation out there about Iraq," but we shelved the topic. But the point here is, I would urge everybody to go see this movie, and I would tell you it's going to be intense, and you can't oversell this point. People who have gone to see screenings of this, you've never been in a quieter theater, and you will never walk out of a theater with the sound of silence as penetrating as it will be when you walk out of the theater after seeing United 93. But what I found interesting here was that -- I suggested to him that, you know, we don't need consensus. "We need leadership, the kind of leadership that's in your movie. The way to deal with these people is to kill them, which is what happened on United 93." Once the passengers on that plane... because they were 45 minutes late.
If it weren't for the busy air traffic control schedule at Newark, they would have been off on time 45 minutes earlier. They would have already been on their way to the target and they may not have been able to make those phone calls to the ground to their families to find out what had happened at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. So it was because they were 45 minutes late, that's why that crew and that's why that bunch of passengers had every bit of knowledge of what had happened as you and I did. They just hadn't seen it, but they'd been told about it and so they moved into action and they prevented the terrorists -- there were four of them on United 93 -- from completing the mission.
They didn't take a vote on that plane. There were people among -- and the movie portrays the passengers as pretty much unified though not all of them participated, but most of them did, but there weren't any detractors. There weren't any votes, "Should we? Shouldn't we?" They just gathered together. Todd Beamer and these people led the movement. They set out, had a plan, and they executed it, and the portrayal of that in this movie is inspirational. You just want to stand up and cheer, and there is no sympathy whatsoever for the bad guys in this movie, and I applauded Greengrass for that. You end up coming away without any question who's responsible for all this. There's no political pontificating in this movie. There's no political statements. This is just a factual, as much as can be known about it, presentation and portrayal in an intensely dramatic way of what happened.
RUSH: As you know, United 93 premieres tonight. I interviewed Paul Greengrass, the writer and director, for the next issue of The Limbaugh Letter. By the way, I had a fun time on KOA Denver today with April Zesbaugh and Steffan Tubbs. I [talked] for about ten minutes about United 93. April had seen a preview of it. I want to thank them. It was a great time. I enjoyed it very much. They made me feel at home and made me feel welcome. I want to play the first of two bites here from the Greengrass interview. We're not going to play the whole thing, obviously, because if we did that you'd have no reason to buy the newsletter, and that's not what we're about here. But I do want you to hear this because it was a fascinating interview (Part I). Mr. Greengrass, an admitted liberal, had a great conversation with him, got along famously well. This is self-explanatory, so Mike, just hit it.
BEGIN INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
GREENGRASS: Here's what I honestly think, Rush. The truth is, we've been having an angry and passionate debate, haven't we? In your country, in my country, in Europe about what are we going to do. And that debate began shortly after 9/11. And the truth is, we don't all agree, do we, about what we should do? You know, some of us think we should do this. Some of us think we should do that. Some of us think we shouldn't do that. Some of us think we shouldn't do the other. But I think we all agree that whatever it is that's happened in the last five years, it goes back to the events of those two hours on the morning of 9/11, because that is when we all realized that we face a very real and a very frightening danger.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I don't think we all do. I'm convinced that a significant number of Americans really don't believe that yet, which is why I'm eager for them to see your movie.
GREENGRASS: Well, you might be right. You know, the thing about the film from my point of view is, what I wanted to do was to make a film that would tell the story of 9/11. Because that's a pretty good place to start, you know, just try and weave it together, the story of the air traffic control system, the story of the military command centers, the failures of communication between the two, and through the middle of it, this one airplane, with a group of ordinary men and women. There was nothing exceptional about those people. They got on a routine commuter plane, and what happened was that at about half past nine, because of a quirk of fate, because that airplane was delayed on the ground, it was the last plane of the four to take off, and it meant that by the time that airplane was hijacked, 9/11 was basically all over.
I mean, the two towers had been struck; American 77 was minutes away from striking the Pentagon. And what that meant was this: that group of ordinary men and women actually were the first amongst us to enter the post-9/11 world. Because at a time when we were looking at the television and thinking, "What is going on?" Clearly something terrible, probably terrorism, but we didn't know, those people knew. They could see what they were dealing with. And they were the first people to grapple with our dilemma. Our dilemma is what are we going to do? We can't avoid this thing. We have to find an answer, and in situations of unimaginable fear, those people fought their way through that problem and made decisions and elected to live or die by the consequences.
Now, that's a story of extraordinary bravery and courage. And wherever you are on the political spectrum, whatever you believe about what's happened over the past five years, we can go back to that story and share the sense of courage, the inspiration, and hopefully learn some wisdom from it. And yes, you're right, we can't avoid it. You know, I feel it in my city, London, we were bombed last summer. I was about a few weeks into thinking about making this film when the London bombing occurred on the underground, on the subway, and that's when I knew I wanted to make this film. We can't avoid this issue. We have to find an answer, and until we find an answer that we all agree with, I don't think we're going to make much progress.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Well, you've said a mouthful here and I've got some questions about your whole answer, I've been taking notes, but about that last observation, the answer, speaking personally, and I hope everybody -- the answer is in your movie and what those people did when confronted with the legitimate threat. They didn't put their heads in the sand. They didn't say, "Oh, let's be nice and maybe this won't happen." They didn't ignore it because they knew what had happened previously just like we know what happened.
RUSH ARCHIVE: And they dealt with it. I mean, it is inspirational, there's no question. You have no sympathy for the terrorists in this movie, and I want to thank you for that.
GREENGRASS: Well, that's very kind. Listen, it's interesting, isn't it, because you know, you and I might not agree about many things, Rush, but we're agreeing on this, and that's an interesting thing, you know, and I really -- people say, "Oh, well, you know, we don't want to show the trailer. Is it too soon?" and I say, "You know what? It's time we went together back to this experience, because we may find that we agree about more than we think at the moment."
END INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: That's Paul Greengrass, writer/director of United 93, an excerpt from the upcoming interview in the Limbaugh Letter.
RUSH: Final excerpt from my interview with Paul Greengrass for the next issue of The Limbaugh Letter. He's the writer/director of United 93, which premieres tonight. You should see it. It's not too late. It's not too soon. It is, if anything, too late, but the time is right. We've got the interview coming up soon in the next three or four weeks when the issue comes out. We seldom do this, but because of the timeliness of the premiere tonight, I wanted to share with you just some excerpts of the interview as it was recorded.
BEGIN INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
GREENGRASS: You talked about the portrayal of the hijackers. One of the things -- those four young actors were very thoughtful, and I thought did a fantastic and very difficult job because they managed to make those young men what they were, unexceptional. Nobody noticed those men in those airplanes that day. Nobody looked at them and thought, "You look suspicious."
RUSH ARCHIVE: No, but --
GREENGRASS: They were entirely unexceptional, but yet capable of immense violence.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Exactly.
GREENGRASS: Here's the thing. I think what they managed to do in this film, something I'm so proud of them for doing, they convey something I think is really important for us. There were two hijacks on the morning of 9/11. There was the hijack that we know about, the hijack of the airplanes, of the innocent people, that flew into the buildings and all that terrible death and destruction that occurred as a result. But there was a second hijack that took place that day. The hijack of a religion by a bunch of young men who twisted and perverted it in order to create a creed and an ideology to justify the slaughter of innocent people, and that's a hijack that is still out there today. It's still going on today, and it's going to be very hard for us to work out what to do to deal with that.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Well, see, I think, without being repetitive, but I think what to do about it took place on United 93. But, you know, you talk about the actors who played the hijackers and the terrorists on the plane, and your purpose wasn't to make a statement here, and you were not trying to calculate reactions that people might have, to the ground personnel in Rome, New York, and at the air traffic center. But let me tell you something. When I watched the movie -- and I was very curious to see how this was all going to be done -- I was frustrated at the inability of the ground personnel to figure out what was going on and do anything about it, but I was angry at the hijackers.
RUSH ARCHIVE: You conveyed that, and that's where the anger belongs. Nobody else is responsible for that, that day, but --
GREENGRASS: Of course. Of course. You know, these men were responsible for their actions.
RUSH ARCHIVE: They were, and you didn't hide that, and you didn't sympathize with them and you didn't give them reasons in your movie that might explain why they were doing this. It was just cut-and-dry. It's really, really well done. Let me... I've got a couple questions about the ground --
GREENGRASS: Rush, you're in danger of agreeing with a liberal here.
RUSH ARCHIVE: It happens more than you would know.
GREENGRASS: But isn't it interesting, you know? Isn't it interesting that we can have this discussion? You know, there's a lot of common ground, and we have to build on that.
END INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: That's Paul Greengrass, the director and writer of United 93 which opens tonight in countless theaters and cineplexes, multiplexes all over the country.
(Denny Crane: "Every one should carry a gun strapped to their waist. We need more - not less guns.")
I can't wait to see the movie. I'm going to try to see it tomorrow.
Good movie. It didn't give the moo-slimes a hollywood sugar coating. And I didn't recognize a single idiot actor, which was a definate plus..
Didn't shed a tear when I saw it today. But the anger, rage and fire in the belly came back BIG TIME!
Encourage everyone to see it. It reminds us of why we fight these bastards, and more people need to be reminded how real they are.....
I'm a little surprised that Paul Greengrass is such a liberal, but it's not a problem. I wish more liberals were willing to take a hard look at terrorism.
I know I won't bother to see the puerile Oliver Stone version of 9/11 history, but this one sounds like an outstanding movie that must be seen. I wonder how long it will be before Greenglass is attacked from the left and by CAIR et al for not trying to "understand" the "root causes" of terrorism and similar nonsense.
whoops, that should be GreenGRass..... I guess the grass is always greener........
Just how graphic is the throat slashing, etc.? My twelve year old kinda wants to see it, but....
The throat slashing should be the least of your concerns. I am 21 years old and the pure emotional trauma inflicted upon me by this film was almost too much to bear. I can't elaborate just how intense this film is. There is no relief allowed by this film, no time to catch your breath. The camera does not cutaway from the cabin of the plane during the film's final 20 minutes, and I felt like I was beaten up by the end of it.
It's wonderful, but not for a child.
Not sure how to judge for a 12 year old, they often watch so much worse. If you go, explain the context, it's a great history lesson, and if you let them know about 9/11 as a day , where you were, and how you finally figured out we were at war, it might still be a harsh lesson, but a good one.
Dang, hope that helps.......
I think Greengrass was absolutely stunned by how Rush treated him. The liberal's media has portrayed Rush as some kind of liberal-eating two-headed monster .. and he's not that at all.
I look forward to reading the rest of the interview when I receive my Limbaugh Letter. Even if I couldn't afford 24/7 - I'd still get the Limbaugh Letter - it's so full of great and encouraging information - as well as some really funny stuff about liberals.