By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The new conservative film, “Obama’s America: 2016,” offers a lot of good information but muddies the waters as Americans, during this critical election year, look outside the major media for information about their President.
Instead of educating people about the communist influence over Barack Obama, an unprecedented and shocking development for an American president, filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza claims that “anti-colonialism,” a philosophy exploited by communists, is behind his beliefs and policies.
The critical fact about the cause of anti-colonialism, ignored in the film, is that it was a tactic of the international communist movement, which attempted to create the Soviet Union’s own colonial empire.
This omission is strange, since D’Souza’s film touts his work for President Ronald Reagan, who fought the communists in Hollywood and confronted the Soviet “evil empire,” leading to the collapse of the system and the independence of countries formerly under its control.
Oscar-winning producer Gerald R. Molen, who has produced several films for Steven Spielberg, also worked on the D’Souza project and has been quoted as saying that he intended “Obama’s America: 2016” to be an effort to depict the decline of America and its influence under Obama.
If the film performs this function, it will serve a purpose. There are several worthwhile parts of the film, such as an interview with Daniel Pipes, the foreign policy expert who talks mostly about Obama’s pro-Muslim views and policies.
The film is also entertaining and funny, as D’Souza talks about his own family history and background as a conservative journalist. He came from India and has made a major success of his own life.
The film, which is getting a lot of attention from the conservative media, especially Fox News and Glenn Beck, is backed by the powerhouse public relations firm, Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, and was screened in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night. Many, but not all, of the moviegoers were enthusiastic. D’Souza was not in attendance to be questioned about the film, but others said it has been playing in Houston, Texas and will soon be shown in hundreds of movie theaters nationwide.
The film, which was enormously expensive to produce, shows D’Souza traveling around the world, in such places as Kenya and Indonesia, digging up information about Obama. But the 90-minute film waits until about 30-minutes in to highlight the critical fact about Obama—that he had an eight-year relationship with Communist Party USA operative Frank Marshall Davis. This is covered in the span of only a few minutes as D’Souza interviews Paul Kengor, author of a new book about Davis, THE COMMUNIST Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.
The interview with Kengor is awkward in that they communicate using cell phones. It appears that the segment was dropped in at the last minute to take into account the publication of Kengor’s book, released only this month. The Kengor book should have been prominently featured and addressed, as Kengor is a respected academic and Cold War historian who has documented his book in great detail.
The film shows brief excerpts from the 600-page Frank Marshall Davis FBI file without telling viewers that it was released four years ago by this writer and ignored by the media. A glimpse of a report, “The Frank Marshall Davis FBI File,” was taken right off one of my websites. It is still relevant but four years old, an indication that D’Souza is late to what many believe is the story of the century—how a “revolutionary mole,” in the words of communist activist Frank Chapman, came to occupy the Oval Office.
Indeed, the Davis influence over Obama was ignored by D’Souza’s own book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, which was published in 2010 and is the basis of the film. D’Souza blamed Obama’s rage on his hatred for colonialism, not his love for Marxism.
In that book, D’Souza devoted only three pages to Davis and he seemed completely unfamiliar with the FBI file. D’Souza wrote, “During the presidential campaign some conservatives highlighted Davis’s Communist ties,” leaving the matter at that and dismissing the documentary research that had already been done.
Having ignored the facts at the time, it appears that D’Souza decided he had to take a new angle—that Obama was motivated by anti-colonialism, or rejection of the influence of Western nations over Third World and other nations.
The film itself shows a film clip of D’Souza appearing on a TV show explaining that he had rejected the label “socialist” for Obama and instead decided to put “a new card on the table”—anti-colonialism as a theory that explains everything Obama is thinking and doing.
Yet, as D’Souza notes in his film, Obama discusses anti-colonialism in his book, Dreams from My Father, and makes clear his sympathy with it. Obama even talks about Marxist friends. The cover-up that Obama engineered at the time was not about anti-colonialism or even having Marxist associates but the influence of Davis, identified only as “Frank” in the book. Davis was a card-carrying member of a political party controlled and funded by Moscow. This was doubly sensitive because the FBI suspected that Davis may have been engaged in espionage activities in Hawaii. Obama had to know that Davis had been called before Congress to explain his “Soviet activities.”
Although the film has some important information near the end about Obama’s deals with the Russians, involving the dramatic reduction in the U.S. nuclear arsenal and Obama’s promise of more concessions if he is re-elected, the question of whether Obama could be under Russian influence is not addressed. Yet, because Obama was never “vetted” by the media and did not undergo an FBI background check, there is no way to know for sure.
Despite the watered-down nature of the film’s charges against Obama, The New York Times attacked one of its investors, Joe Ricketts, who is alarmed by Obama’s agenda and wants the truth to get out.
D’Souza was one of many conservatives unwilling to take seriously the matter of Obama’s ideology in 2008, admitting that he wasn’t a member of “the conservative chorus” raising questions about Obama during the presidential campaign.
However, four years later, instead of examining in an in-depth manner the communist influence of Davis, the D’Souza film claims that Obama’s “absentee father,” Barack Hussein Obama of Kenya, was the decisive influence over the President. In fact, however, new research done by filmmaker Joel Gilbert makes the case that the Kenyan wasn’t even the real father. Gilbert’s film, “Dreams from My Real Father,” has been ignored by Fox News and Glenn Beck, despite extensive research into the backgrounds of Obama and his mother’s intimate relationship with Davis. The Gilbert thesis is bolstered by the work of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an avowed enemy of the Obama administration who has discovered that Obama’s birth certificate was tampered with in order to conceal the identity of the real father.
By his own admission, Obama didn’t know much about the Kenyan, even though he used him as a prop during the 2008 campaign, when he ran as the son of the “goat herder from Kenya.” This claim, however, was also false, since the Kenyan was a well-educated socialist bureaucrat (but not an identified communist).
“Why has the media avoided reporting on the connection between Obama and Davis?” D’Souza asks in the film.
It is a good question—one that we were consistently asking, beginning in 2008, after we published the column, “Obama’s Communist Mentor,” on February 18 of that year. This particular column noted that the identification of “Frank,” a character in Obama’s book Dreams from My Father, was originally made by New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon in 2007.
Kengor says the media do not want to write about Davis’s communist background because they fear being labeled as McCarthyites, a reference to the controversial senator who made highly-publicized allegations of high-level communist infiltration of the U.S. Government.
Significantly, D’Souza doesn’t credit Trevor Loudon, who has his own patriotic reasons for alerting the American people to the foreign influence over Obama, for his research into the “Frank” controversy. It is a shame that D’Souza, the president of The King’s College, a Christian institution in New York City, didn’t want to credit others for the truly groundbreaking and still valid research that was done four years ago.
The influence of Davis explains why Obama arrived at Occidental College as a committed Marxist at the age of 18. But D’Souza gets seriously off track by offering the theory that Obama became a committed “anti-colonialist” after visiting the grave of his Kenyan “father” years later.
Another major flaw in the film is the claim, offered during a discussion of the influence of Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, that liberation theology is “the religious wing of anti-colonialism,” rather than an expression of Marxism. The film also identifies terrorist Bill Ayers as one of Obama’s “founding fathers,” without noting that Ayers and his Weather Underground comrades were self-admitted communists who made trips to Cuba and North Vietnam and had contact with the Soviet and Cuban intelligence services.
The film’s constant focus on “anti-colonialism” confuses matters and could even lead to some sympathy for the Obama worldview. After all, he argues that Western nations do not have clean hands in their dealings with the Third World.
D’Souza interviews George Obama, identified as Barack Obama’s half-brother. This is the really new part of the film that has gotten most of the media attention. Whether he is truly related to Obama or not, George Obama says that countries like Kenya would be better off economically with more, not less, Western influence.
D’Souza jokes that America elected the wrong Obama as president. But it is not a laughing matter to the conservatives who tried to sound the alarm about Obama before the election that put him in power and who now believe that the alleged Kenyan father and Obama’s “anti-colonialism” are more diversions from the shocking truth.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.