Sunday, July 29, 2007

Why we fight?

Recently I watched a documentary entitled "Why We Fight" from acclaimed filmmaker Eugene Jarecki. The message found within it is that while there may be some who sincerely believe that America's various military engagements (in Iraq, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, and elsewhere) since World War II are the product of our God-given duty to spread freedom and halt the influence of evil ideologies around the world, the real reason we fight is that war is good business. For some of you that may be old news, but for me it was stomach turning.

One of the disturbing things in the film was the mere mindset that the US is the modern day Roman Empire. Ruling through conquest and power. Ensuring that Americans are the ultimate authority and "way of life".

There was also this heart wrenching story told by a NYC cop who lost his son in the attacks of 9/11 that was "gung-ho" for the war in Iraq because he was led to believe by the president that it was our countries reaction to the terrorists attacks. Later the president changed his statements and claimed that he never said the war in Iraq was associated with 9/11. This father felt so used and ashamed. (When you see it, this will make more sense.)

Another thing that hit me was the statement "there is no exit strategy for the war in Iraq because our government never intends to leave." They are establishing permanent bases in Iraq as we speak.

Here is what one summary said about it:

"Beginning with President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s prescient 1961 speech warning of the rise of the "military industrial complex," Why We Fight moves far beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper questions of why America seemingly is always at war. What are the forces – political, economic, and ideological – that drive us to clash against an ever-changing enemy? Just why does America fight? Unforgettable, powerful and at times disturbing, Why We Fight will challenge viewers long after the last fade-out."

Anyway, I know how this documentary made me feel but I would rather leave you guys to your own opinions. Go check it out and gather your own ideas about why our country chooses to fight.


Orval Osborne said...

I am so glad to read this post from you! You have made a very significant observation. Congratulations for having the courage to even see that movie. Most people find it easier to stay in denial, enforced ignorance of the true nature of their country.

I have read tons of material on this and related subjects. If you are still looking for book recommendations, how about:
"Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins, or
"Manufacturing Consent" or "Hegemony or Survival" by Noam Chomsky, or
"A People's History of the US" by Howard Zinn. They should be available at your local library. Or I could loan or give them to you.

I would be interested in talking to you more about your thinking about the ramifications of the movie content.

Orval Osborne said...

On Democracy Now! today (August 7) there is a great speech about journalism and war.

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