A screenwriter for the blockbuster film “War of the Worlds” says the malevolent Martian attackers represent the American military randomly slaughtering Iraqi civilians.

Dave Koepp voiced his controversial explanation of the movie script to an obscure Canadian horror magazine titled Rue Morgue, “apparently thinking no one would notice,” writes U.S. News columnist John Leo.

Meanwhile, the screenwriter gave the same jarring analysis to USA Weekend, noting that “the Martians in our movie represent American military forces invading the Iraqis, and the futility of the occupation of a faraway land is again the subtext.”

Leo, for his part, said he thinks the Martians “symbolize normal Americans, while those being attacked are the numbskulls who run Hollywood.”

The film, directed by Steven Spielberg, is an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel.

The columnist noted that Hollywood has grown so “eye-poppingly angry with the rest of the country, mostly over Bush and Iraq” that even “mild-mannered nonpropagandists” like George Lucas of Star Wars fame “have come under pressure to display their lefty credentials with silly political touches.”

His final Star Wars epic, “Revenge of the Sith,” has at least two anti-Bush lines: “Only a Sith [a dark lord] thinks in absolutes” and “If you’re not with me, you are my enemy.”

Lucas insisted the “enemy” sentence had been written before Bush’s similar words after 9-11.

“Maybe so,” Leo says, “but Lucas had three years or so to figure out the political impact of the line but left it in anyway.”

Last May, at the Cannes Film Festival in France, Lucas characterized his recent film, featuring the rise of the sinister empire, as a wake-up call to Americans about the erosion of freedoms under President Bush.

In Ridley Scott’s recent release about the Crusades, “Kingdom of Heaven,” a Crusader is shown beheading a hostage, “thus establishing moral equivalence with the monstrous terrorist tactics of today,” Leo said.

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