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Batman and the Bush Administration

Smoke billows out from a Manhattan skyscraper, damaged by a fiery explosion. This could easily be a scene from 9/11, however we see Batman looking grimly on as a poster advertises the film will be released soon. Clearly this film plays on the fears of terrorism. As depicted in The Dark Knight, the Joker plays the terrorist, while Gotham’s leadership struggles to contain him. The film departs from the superhero ideals of pure good versus pure evil, showing a murky world where moral decisions have to be made in order to stop evil. Because of this, The Dark Knight seems to be an allegory for the War on Terrorism. This paper will look at how the Joker represents terrorism, while Batman represents George Bush and his administration’s War on Terror.
The Dark Knight opens with a predictable bank robbery. Masked robbers enter a bank, fire a few shots, and try to crack a safe. During the sequence a few of the thugs are discussing who exactly the Joker is. Because of the tilted camera angles something seems askew. Later the Joker kills all his assistant robbers, likely in an effort to protect himself. According to a report from the Defense Technical Information Center, terrorist leadership often tricks fanatics into suicide attacks because it too leaves little evidence they can be tied too (Miyasato). Ostensibly the Joker killed his fellow robbers for similar reasons.
In one act of random violence the Joker kidnaps a Batman look-a-like a man he knows is not his real archenemy and proceeds to execute him in a gory manner. He then releases this video to a TV station. This seems like al-Qaida’s video of the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl. The terrorists too knew Pearl was not their military opponent, however they still killed him. Later CBS decided to air the video (Barringer), much like the TV studio in Gotham. In both Gotham and real life these videos were just a mouthpiece for the terrorists to spread fear.
The Joker appears motiv…

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