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July 31, 2007

No End in Sight

As a statement on what's gone wrong in American foreign policy over the last seven years, it's a bit limited. As a wide-angle view of what's happened in Iraq, it's searing, and unbelievably important/ We spend so much time on the daily atrocities and outrages there that we lose sight of the sheer scope of the incompetence, and the number of mistakes, and the stupidity and malice with which this was all brought off. The movie is, in certain ways, imperfect, but everyone should see it.

July 31, 2007 | Permalink


I agree with your post, as one who protested before the war and railed at the corporate media for carrying Bush's water and praising Powell's speech.

Although there is reasonable concern about the frame of the movie it is a movie that is likely in my opinion to help push us towards the veto proof majority we need to close down this ghastly war.

It is doing terrific box office so far-on two screens in NYC and DC it is second in per screen take to the Simpsons ($15770 vs. $18880 for The Simpsons). That won’t likely scale as did, say Fahrenheit 911, but it is quite an achievment for a straight up exercise in cinematic journalism that is quite unrelentingly tough and bleak.

The most eloquent description I found here:

It details the internecine struggle between the technocrats and military personnel who–whatever their feelings about the wisdom of the invasion hoped to prevent things from completely breaking down–and ‘the cabal’ in Washington (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc.) who consistently sidelined them in ways that led predictably to disaster. One gets the feeling that many of these top officials are themselves baffled by the motivations of the cabal, and might variously ascribe them to incompetence, malice, stupidity, or neocon ideological wishful thinking.

People will not come away from this film thinking that the war was a great idea and so even if Bushco didn’t execute it too well that’s forgivable. It provides an important component for understanding why things are as bad as they are.

The fact that the filmmaker does not have a clear ideological agenda–unlike, say, Michael Moore, will make it far more successful in convincing those not already in the choir that Iraq–and the Bush administration–is a catastrophe. And by interviewing top officials rather than progressive activists the filmmaker insulates himself against charges of partisanship, or lack of access to the inside story.

For those of us who protested from the get go, this movie will not change your mind but will deeply and powerfully confirm the malicious incompetence of BushCo. However, for that relative or friend or rep or senator who will never be able to face the truth that Fahrenheit 9/11 exposed about how we were lied into war, this movie will give them the push the need to argue for ending this mess.

Posted by: calguy | Jul 31, 2007 3:10:02 AM

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