Iron Man is a fairly good movie. But more than a film, it is propaganda.

Even before accepting my two bored officemates’ invitation to watch the movie yesterday, I already expected it to be a part of the United States’ arsenal of lingering psy-ops Hollywood films.

The only difference is that, I expected the movie to be anti-communist just like the Marvel Comics version of the superhero. It turned out to be more of anti-Islamic obviously in the context of George W. Bush’s war-mongering adventures. The social commentary against war corporations is a mere sugarcoat. Lockheed is not wounded.

Still, as I said, the movie is nice in terms of entertainment. The script is snappy and Robert Downey’s rendition is even snappier. Tony Stark’s happy-go-lucky but intelligent character is tailor-fit for Downey. Even Stark’s signature unorthodox ways and pleasant surprises is well projected in the movie.

I am somewhat puzzled though why Pepper was reduced to a minor and Gwyneth Paltrow would agree to such a role. May be Pepper’s character would be build-up for the part 2 of the movie. Stark’s open-ended media confession that he is Iron Man suggests an obvious sequel. The film’s too much tinkering on the armor could also be blamed on this as the director might just be planting details for the sequels.

In the end, Iron Man is just another superhero movie franchise; meant for profit and power just like Stark Industries and Lockheed Corporation.

Though Gloria Arroyo has every reason to invent stories to divert attention from her scandals, it seems that the rice shortage is not one of them. No other than Kevin Cleaver of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development claimed that there is actually a global crisis on food production.

Further research informed me that as early as August of last year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned that the United States’ penchant for biofuel production will cause food shortage. Almost no one, even after the International Food Policy Research Institute issued the same warning, believed Chavez. Some even went to the point of maliciously accusing Chavez of just protecting Venezuela’s petroleum industry.

Too bad that Condoleeza Rice and the United States propaganda machinery managed to sugarcoat this economic maneuver with environmentalist blabber (or should I call it greenwashing?). Now, food riots are happening from Bolivia to Egypt, from Cameroon to Uzbekistan.

Haiti, one of the four countries (together with Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and El Salvador) that were lured to the American “environmentalist” candy during last year’s Organization of American States General Assembly, just suffered four casualties a week ago when food rioters clashed with their police.

Recently, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown awakened from his sleep as he alarmed G8 Chair and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on the effect of biofuel demand to food production. Too late the hero.

The next time the United States government advocates anything, let us not forget to listen to the other side.