Ebert:1/2 New York Times:1/2 TV Guide:
will be revealed!
This film should be required viewing for every citizen of this country. It
should have mandatory screenings in all schools and colleges nationwide
and be shown, unedited, on TV 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Comprehension of this movie should be a pre-requisite of anyone
voting in the November 2004 Presidential election.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is his most scathing and incendiary film to date and with good cause. The clock is ticking. We have less than 5 months, as of this writing, to get rid of the most incompetent, corrupt, and dangerous presidential administration the world has ever known. There is no way to estimate how many more will die and how much further we will fall as a Nation if George Bush and his ilk are allowed a second term in office.
Moore's gift to us, with Fahrenheit 9/11, is a 2 hour window of clarity that unflinchingly exposes the absolutely criminal and abhorrent atrocities that have been and are still being carried out by our own government. The film begins with a brief history of how this illegitimate regime stole the 2000 election from the rightful winner and people's choice, then Vice President, Al Gore. We then see how Bush spent most of his first months in office on vacation. Then on September 11th, 2001 Bush is given a chance to show his quality but instead sits lame as planes crash and buildings topple and burn. After overcoming his stupor, instead of going after known terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and those responsible for the attack, he assembles his dark forces and begins the first machinations for the invasion and conquest of Iraq. Why Iraq? Because there's money to be made there for Bush family and friends and because U.S. imperialism has no interest in avenging those lost on September 11th.
We next see the insane number of direct connections that the bin Laden family has to the Bush family and their associates. This is a huge piece of information that was never sufficiently exposed or examined by the U.S. media. The citizens of this country would be appalled by the cozy alliance between these two families. And it was this alliance that allowed all members of the bin Laden family and other Saudi royals in the U.S. a free pass to fly out of the United States during and immediately after the 9/11 attacks while all other flights were grounded.
One of the highlights of the film shows Bush sitting in that Florida classroom as the World Trade Center towers burned and the Pentagon was under attack. These 7 minutes have been a hot topic among the pundits since the film's release. While they are difficult to watch, it is more difficult to imagine the 7 months prior to the attack when the Bush administration did nothing, despite high level warnings from top advisors like White House counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke.
After bringing to light countless ties between the Saudi's and The Bush family, including how they helped the Saudi's in their defense against a lawsuit initiated by the relatives of 9/11 victims, the film then turns it's focus on the war in Iraq. We see some of the gruesome every day massacres of children and innocents that are never, ever reported on mainstream U.S. networks. A man holding a dead, burned and blood-soaked baby corpse in his arms weeps and asks 'why this child had to die'? We see other Iraqis digging through rubble in search of their loved ones who represent only the statistics we have come to know as collateral damage. These are the images that are broadcast throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world. Is it really any wonder why we are hated and despised?
The film interviews soldiers in Iraq. Some who believe in their mission and gleefully torture their prisoners and bash down the doors of Baghdad homes while their occupants cower and beg for mercy. Also interviewed are a number of soldiers who do not believe in the mission, have no idea what they are doing there, and feel angry and betrayed by their Commander and Chief.
We also meet the families of some of these soldiers. We see their blind patriotism as their sons and daughters are shipped off to fight and spill their lives, limbs and blood for Iraqi oil. We see parents as they receive letters from their children that question the mission, and we see as they receive notification from the military that their child's life has been wasted for nothing.
It is important to note that despite the protests of conservatives, Republicans, and other right wing scum, Fahrenheit 9/11 is not pro-Kerry or even really pro-Democrat. In fact the Democrats that are currently in office are at least partially responsible for the creation of the Patriot Act and endorsing the completely irrational pre-emptive war against Iraq. Despite their armchair protests after the fact, it was their votes that helped approve all of this. There is a very interesting moment near the beginning of the film where only one Senator is needed to challenge the decision to place Bush in the White House and not one Senator from either party steps up to possibly change the course of history.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is not as funny as the other Moore films. Moore himself narrates but is not front and center in this movie. There are funny moments, such as Attorney General John Ashcroft singing an original song, but this film is much darker. It is important that you not leave the theater feeling happy.
We can't change what has been done but we can change the people who are directly responsible for it. If you have not seen the film I highly recommend that you do. Especially if you are undecided or typically a non-voter. There has never been a more important election in the history of this country. What we do in November will forever affect the lives of countless soldiers and civilian innocents all over the world.
I read in the news recently that over $28 million has been set aside in the current defense budget to begin the process of reinstating the draft in the U.S. If Bush is re-elected he will approve this new draft. He has to. Military enlistment is at an all time low and attrition is inevitable as more and more soldiers are sent off to die on foreign soil. The new draft will include both men and women and do not believe for a second that civil service within the United States will be an option that they can choose. Think about how many National Guard troops who enlisted for domestic service one weekend a month and two weeks a year have been shipped off to Iraq for 12-18 month rotations. With the reinstatement of the draft Bush has placed a gun against the head of every child in America and a vote for Bush in November is the same as pulling the trigger of that gun.
Go see Fahrenheit 9/11. Do whatever you can to get others to see it as well. And whatever you do make sure you vote against Bush in November. You do not have to like Kerry. But you do have to vote for him, if only in protest and to remove George Bush from the job he never should have had in the first place.
States Military Casualties in Iraq: