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(October 2001)

Patriot Games (1992) was the second of Tom Clancy's "Jack Ryan" movies after The Hunt for Red October (1990). It was the first with Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan and was followed in 1994 with the Clear and Present Danger. Ford is ideal as the former Marine and retired CIA analyst, with the perfect balance of educated smarts, physicality and familial motivations.

We bring up Patriot Games because it contains a fascinating scene that we at The Toast hope will beDesert Training Camp occurring or maybe is already occurring in Afghanistan. During the course of the movie (which is about a fanatical terrorist who seeks revenge on Ryan and his family) Jack is taken into a super-secret situation room in Washington where, with the use of infrared satellite technology, he watches a British SAS team make a stealthy night raid on a terrorist training camp that's probably in Afghanistan. The SAS (Special Air Service) are the British equivalent of the US Special Force/SEAL/Delta Teams and are very quiet and very deadly. In a matter of minutes upon entering the camp all of the terrorists, students and instructors, are efficiently dispatched ("Ohh, that's another kill" gloats one of the bow tied, coffee sipping observers in the sanitary, hermetically sealed situation room) and the team is cleanly extracted.

We at The Toast support retribution against any and all who were, in any way, responsible for the 9-11 WTC/Pentagon but, we hope, with a minimum of collateral damage. We realize that some innocent lives may be sacrificed but remember, we lost almost 4000 innocent civilians in one fell swoop. Standard "warfare as usual" will not work but if Special Operations can get in (into whatever country) and wipe out terrorist camps and locations, we will be well on the road to retribution.

Young Thora BirchGrown Thora BirchOn a lighter note. While re-watching Patriot Games we noted a young actress who has come a long way. Playing the daughter of Jack Ryan and his wife (Anne Archer) was Thora Birch. All grown up now, she's currently doing a terrific job in this year's Ghost World. Last year, she was outstanding in the Academy Award winning movie American Beauty.

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