Friday, April 14, 2006


Take a Friend... or Serve It with Tea

We're just back from the movies, specifically Eugene Jarecki's Why We Fight. The title hearkens back to Frank Capra's old propaganda series for the second world war.

This new incarnation is a moving if disturbing one. Jarecki begins the film with Eisenhower's 1961 farewell address, the one in which he first used his newly coined phrase, themilitary-industrial complex. He warns his fellow citizens of its creation and cautions them that only an informed citizenry will be able to keep it in its place.

It's always amazed me that the phrase was Eisenhower's. I guess I underestimated the impact of war on that five-star general. He wished that the atomic bomb hadn't been invented and was opposed to its use.

The film's focus extends in several directions: to a retired cop who lost his son in the world trade tower, a young man who feels that his only shot at a future lies in the military, a retired Pentagon officer who witnessed the build-up of the selling of the Iraq war and can describe, from the inside, the role that think tanks and defense contractors play in perpetuating America's continuing compulsion to take military action.

In the unfolding of this last dynamic Jarecki does a good job of distinguishing between democracy and capitalism, a distinction that we in the so-called free world have difficulty making.

Why We Fight shows a drive that isn't exclusive to the Bush Administration, although no neocon was ever better served by 9/11 and the pretext for aggression that it has provided. It's a worthy film, and one that should be viewed by more than those of us already singing in the choir. It probably won't be coming soon to a multiplex near you, but keep an eye on your local university's film series. Perhaps it'll show up there.

Go. Go. Go.

We saw "Why We Fight" a few weeks ago. It's definitely an important documentary that explains why America always has to have her beak in someone else's business.
Our economy is based around the military industrial complex and war makes great business sense.
Alas, to those of us who abhor war, too bad.
No president of either ilk has tried to change the paradigm. It's as if war is hardwired into presidential brains.
You're right, Lulu, it's an important film all should see.
Glad you went. I was thinking of you when I titled this serve it with tea. It would be a nice centerpiece for a tea party, no?
I can just imagine a beautiful tea party with little watercress sandwiches and pastel petifours, then the ladies centering around the flat panel TV and watching this movie.
"Oh, my."
I want to see this movie now..alas, its not playing in the red county I live in..I will have to drive over the mountains to see it in Hell-A I guess.

Thanks for the writeup about it Lulu :)
And yes, it amazes me that Dwight was so smart about the "military industrial complex" and how it would affect us. He actually seems very anti-war in retrospect.
It's interesting... Ike was concerned about people becoming involved with it who had no experience of war. He knew how very hellish it was.
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