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Each day we lose a little bit more of our separate, sovereign ability to determine our own futures... and each day the world comes a little bit closer to that terrible moment. When the beating of a butterfly's wings unleashes a hurricane... God himself cannot stop.
~ Richard Dressler's speech.
Richard Dressler is the main antagonist in the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears. He is an wealthy businessman and the leader of the terrorist organization "First People's Investment Firm".
Dressler is an Austrian billionaire who leads a group of neo-Fascists known as "First People's Investment Firm" and is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to destroy the United States of America and Russia. Dressler buys an unexploded nuclear bomb lost in the Yom Kippur War from a black market arms trafficker named Olson with the intention of using it to instigate a war between the U.S. and Russia (which would destroy them both), allowing a united fascist Europe to rule the world. Dressler mainly pulls strings from behind the scenes in order to avoid detection, although he is seen making a speech on camera about how he will succeed where Adolf Hitler ultimately failed.
Dressler later uses the bomb he bought to destroy a football stadium in Baltimore (killing many civilians, including CIA Director William Cabot), and also pays a corrupt Russian Air Force general name Dubinin to send warplanes to attack a U.S. aircraft carrier, severely damaging it and leading the U.S. to believe Russia initiated the attacks. However, CIA analyst Jack Ryan learns from a radiation assessment team that the nuclear blast shows signs of the bomb being manufactured in the U.S., not Russia, while another team tracks down information on Olson. They manage to infiltrate Olson’s computer and learn that Dressler was the man responsible for the bombings, and Ryan manages to get a message through to the Pentagon convincing U.S. President Robert Fowler that Russia is not the true enemy. The Russian President Alexander Nemerov is also convinced to stand down his forces and Fowler promptly does the same, foiling Dressler’s scheme.
Having failed to instigate his war, Dressler attempts to escape while his fellow co-conspirators (including Olson and Dubinin) are assassinated by the CIA and Nemerov’s men. After forcing his bodyguard to check his car for a potential car bomb, Dressler gets into the vehicle and takes out a cigarette, unaware that the cigarette lighter installed in the car has been rigged by Nemerov’s senior adviser Anatoly Grushkov. As a result, the car immediately explodes as soon as Dressler activates it, killing him instantly.
Dressler giving a speech to his followers
Dressler buying an unexploded nuclear bomb from an arms trafficker named Olson
Dressler conversing with his co-conspirators, before having one of them killed
Dressler making a speech on camera about his plans to wipe out the U.S. and Russia
Dressler about to make his escape after his plan is foiled by Jack Ryan
Dressler unwittingly activates a rigged cigarette lighter inside his car
Dressler is killed instantly when his car explodes