Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why We Fight

While this movie has been out for a while and is no doubt old news to some folks, I just recently got around to watching a movie that has been highly recommended to me - 'Why We Fight' - and I found it to be an excellent documentary. I think every American who gives a damn about their country should watch it. This is definitely not the sort of movie that needs be forgotten.
Whereas Bush advocates liked to point out how personal and partisan 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was against Bush & Co., this movie is much more neutral. It isn't about partisan politics and going after one administration {though it does focus on 9/11 and the Iraq war}, it's about the collusion between the military, industry, and the congress and how it is undermining American values, integrity, and world stability. It's disgusting how war has become a business, human misery a commodity to be traded for profit or political expediency.

It was definitely interesting to see how marketable {and profitable} war is, and how it gets sold to the American public. Administrations have hidden behind such lofty notions as "freeing peoples", "overthrowing dictators", "stopping the spread of communism", and now "spreading democracy".

With the Cold War we traded defending ourselves against aggressors to making war with enemies who are enemies solely because of ideology. So much of the last half of the last century was spent in war to 'stop the spread of Communism'. We seemed willing to pay any price to do this, and in so doing we wrought misery and destruction, propped up ruthless regimes, made the world into the volatile place it is today, and of course made some people a lot of money. Now we have "terror" as the elusive 'ism' that we must fight. And even worse than with communism, our 'war on terror' is creating much more of it than it is neutralizing. And so it goes...

One of the most interesting quotes from the movie was by Chalmers Johnson, a Ph. D. and author who worked for the CIA 1967-1973:
"'Blowback’: it’s a CIA term. Blowback does not mean simply the unintended consequences of foreign operations. It means the unintended consequences of foreign operations that were deliberately kept secret from the American public. So that when the retaliation comes, the American public is not able to put it in context; to put cause and effect together that they come up with questions like, ‘why do they hate us?"
More from Mr. Johnson in a Nation Magazine article: Blowback

The powers that be have whipped up the paranoia and dressed it up as a 'war we must win for our very survival' to the point the Prez and Congress has had a blank check to stifle liberties and wage war virtually at their discretion. It's hard to argue against a war for our survival. As many dissenters know, if you're lucky you're called 'unpatriotic', sometimes 'a treasonous terrorist-sympathizer' from those who are intoxicated with irrational nationalism. Maybe it's a bit dramatic, but to a lot of folks it feels like what one would imagine 1930's Germany to be like with the rise of the Nazis.

What really concerns me most though isn't the harm that has come to this country via the Patriot Act & the Iraq war, it is the harm that is yet to come with the next inevitable terrorist attack in this country. If 3,000 dead in 9/11 can cause this country to usher in all of this police state imperialism, then what will the death of 300,000 or 3 million bring? I can't begin to imagine, but freedom as we have known it will not see the light of day again in this country — in most of the world for generations. The scariest thing of all is that we as a nation will demand a totalitarian state, it won't need to be forced on us.

Wikipedia article: 'Why We Fight'
Official site: 'Why We Fight' (2005)

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