Interview: U.S. filmmakers Oliver Stone, Sean Stone decry America's addiction to endless wars

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by Xinhua writer Xu Chi

GENEVA, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Academy Award-winning film director and producer Oliver Stone and his son Sean Stone, a filmmaker and political commentator, have denounced America's addiction to endless wars and notorious record of interference in other countries' internal affairs.

"I've talked to a lot of Afghan and Iraq veterans, and there's a tremendous disturbance here going on. The suicide rate is so much higher than ordinary, normal (wars)," Oliver Stone, the three-time Academy Award winner, also a Vietnam War veteran, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

He noted that U.S. veterans returning from the Middle East have expressed strong discontent over their country's obsession with endless wars, adding they "know subconsciously or consciously" that they were fed with lies and were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan for "selfish interests," out of mere political considerations.

The senior director also blasted the United States for recently stoking military tensions with Russia over Ukraine, accusing Washington of violating its promise not to expand eastward the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In particular, he lashed out at the U.S. military buildup targeting China, which he observed has accelerated since the U.S. "pivot to Asia" strategy in 2012, and at its arms sales to Taiwan, China.

Oliver Stone is world-renowned for directing movies such as Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July. He is also an author and historian.

In his latest documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, he delved into the unanswered mysterious behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States.

"I'm not sure I'm in charge of this entire government because they're doing things off the shelf ... nobody bucks them (the intelligence agencies and the military), nobody challenges them, nobody," the filmmaker said, quoting Kennedy's words.

In his eyes, the country's economy is heavily reliant on its military-industrial complex, and its politics lies in the hands of intelligence agencies and the military.

This, he said, is due to "the military Keynesian policies coming up right after World War II," which kept U.S. administrations "militarizing the economy, pumping money into weapons" to sustain the economy, he explained.

"America has always prepared for war," he said, adding that the United States avoids war only when "there's more money in preparing for war than going to war."

For his son Sean Stone, the United States has positioned itself in its endless wars on terror as a unipolar superpower. Born in 1984, the younger Stone recalled that he "grew up really at the end of the Cold War."

"It was like my consciousness was basically coming out of the end of the Cold War right into a whole series of wars in the 1990s," he said.

The young filmmaker noted that he believes that in the wake of the Cold War, there is so-called "American supremacy," which has basically prevailed so far. "We could do what we wanted to, and obviously what happened in the wake of 9/11 was, as we know, the war on terror, (an) endless war."

"There were no boundaries: any country could now be targeted as a host of terrorists, and you could have drone strikes, and we just saw this continuous perpetuation," he said.

He mentioned the US involvement in Syria and Afghanistan.

"And of course, what happened? You end up with populations that are being displaced. They go into Europe. It creates more chaos for the economies of the European countries. Then you get more xenophobia, more anti-islamophobia," he said.

"What's happening is exactly what my dad pointed out, when you start to destabilize countries, and you don't allow them to have peace, to have viable working economies for their people, then you know people are displaced, and it creates chaos in the countries that are absorbing them," the young filmmaker added. Enditem

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