Why We Fight (2005)
Director: Eugene Jarecki.
Terrific movie. It is a documentary with a political message: the United States has such a huge military-industrial complex (along with corrupted politicians and political think tanks to justify as well as be apologists for unnecessary wars) that the nation is constantly looking for a chance to intervene in conflicts to the liking of the conservatives. I especially like the inclusion of the conservative think tanks as part of the problem, as the men and women who work for these think tanks spend a great deal of time working negatively to start wars and once they are started, to justify them.
What were the funniest parts of the movie were listening to the lies and one-sided arguments of Bush, Cheney and their henchmen saying things like Iraq and Al Qaeda were linked, Iraq had nuclear weapons, and we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq. These men are living in a dream world, totally out of touch with reality.
Conservatives say we cannot use the words lies and liars (even though they said that and much more about Clinton over the Lewinsky affair), but they can't intimidate me (since I have no official position) and I can say the truth.
The movie was good, but it overlooked a big reason for the situation we find ourselves in: the voters. In the 2004 election, the entire old Confederacy voted for the Republicans. The northeast voted for the Democrats. That old division between the solidly racist south and the somewhat less racist north still continues to plague us. The split in America started before the American Revolution, was made part of our constitution and government and is still active today.
The main support for the Republicans are the rednecks of the south primarily (although rednecks can be found all over the nation) and the cowboys out in the west. But the South is the leading supporter of the Republicans. And they twice elected a redneck, born-again governor of Texas as their president. The Southerners have always been paranoid. After all, the South had nearly 350 years of slavery and apartheid in their region of the country. They were always afraid because they had the job of forcing the blacks to stay in their place. They were afraid of the slaves running away or the whites themselves being killed in their sleep in a slave rebellion (see Mary Chestnut's Diary from Dixie.) Then they were afraid their apartheid system might fall apart if blacks got uppity and out of their place. And since the civil rights movement, they are afraid they are going to have to live near blacks.
American conservatives have to have a bogey man. If they don't have a real one, they will create one, such as Iraq with its fictional weapons of mass destruction. They like to appear to live in fear and spread fear because fear justifies their terrible actions.
So we have a massive military-industrial complex used and led by racist conservative voters and corrupt, racist politicians backed up by a redneck culture.
So to modify the the thesis of the movie, one could say that the United States is a reactionary, aggressive, warlike/racist, redneck nation.
I could even go further. Most Democrats and liberals have no voice in this redneck nation. The Democratic leaders have reason to be fearful because the conservative have the power to overrun them and so the leaders are so cautious that they never say anything remotely like what the liberals would like to say. The United States may be moving to the old political pattern of the South: a one party state where the political choice is not between Republican and Democrat but in the primaries between conservative Republican and very conservative Republican. The choice will be between one redneck and another damned redneck. This will make for a semi-fascist government using fear and intimidation to silence virtually all dissent.
So, all I can say is: Thank God for movies like Fahrenheit 9-11 and Why We Fight for they tell a truth that no liberal leader can say.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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