There’s something really interesting to me about the construction of Alexander Pierce in Cap 2. I know that a lot of people are pointing to the sort of, “oh it was Nazis all along of course” thing but I think the construction of Pierce really proves that all Hydra really needs is the right regime to grow under and it could grow anywhere, that its values have no nationalistic root but rather a common evil that can crawl under any skin.
Because see, they could have just had Pierce say “oh my father was in the war,” but no, they had him say, “my father was in the 101st.” I don’t believe that was unintentional, not even a little bit. Outside of Basilone and General goddamn Patton, you don’t get much more legendary American heroes than the Screaming Eagles, that’s a name that a lot of people will recognize when they hear it. Alexander Pierce is a man who, if he grew up hearing stories, those stories would’ve been about the greatest generation, would’ve grown up hearing stories about the atrocities and the brutal losses and the cold nights spent shivering in the dirt, the siege at Bastogne, the whistle of artillery never far behind.
The idea of someone taking all of that and internalizing it and deciding the methods of Hydra suit him just fine, that they were the best way to accomplish his ends — "my enemies are your enemies…disorder, war…" —were the best way to what, to keep that from happening ever again?
It’s meant to hit close to home. That’s the whole point.
This makes total sense. Before we find out Pierce is working for Hydra, all we learn about him is what a great guy he is. How he is offered a NOBEL PEACE PRIZE but turns it down. This is clearly a guy who has worked hard to and specifically got into politics because he wants to make the world a better place.
But we also learn how the “acceptable” methods kept failing. How he couldn’t use diplomacy to save hostages in Botoga; if Fury hadn’t gone in there - without permission - those hostages would not be alive.
I almost wonder if that was the trigger moment when Pierce switched sides. When he switched to “any means necessary” to secure peace, at which point, Hydra probably sought him out.
Because Fury worked in secret, used force, and had no regard for international law and SUCCEEDED where traditional diplomacy failed.
You’ve got a guy who grew up hearing about the horrors of war for bedtime stories and you’ve got a guy who has devoted his life to making the world a better (read: safer) place and if that is his highest priority, then of course he doesn’t have a problem clandestinely killing 20 million people for the benefit of 7 billion. At some point it was just a numbers game and Hydra was the strategy to winning it.