Saturday, August 25, 2007
No End in Sight
I have just returned home from seeing a very important film: No End in Sight. It was important to me because it explained things that I was confused about. It laid out questions (and then provided some answers) that most of us have been asking: Why did things go so wrong in Iraq?
The answers were given by people who were formerly in Bush's own administration. Some of them were very senior people in the administration. I was surprised by that. They must feel very passionate about getting their views out. This is not going to endear them with the Bushies and other Republicans. They are heroes in my opinion. As is the filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, who financed the movie.
If you want to read more about Ferguson, go here.
You know right away that this movie is different from most. The names of the filmmaker's bodyguards in Iraq are in the opening credits. As is the name of the security firm he hired in Iraq.
Ferguson does not take up the issue about whether we should have gone to Iraq or not. He's interested in what happened once we had occupied Iraq. It's a talking heads kinda movie ... but it's very well organized AND interesting. You come away knowing a hell of a lot more. And, if you're like me, angry ... very very angry. You understand why Iraqis are so disgusted with the U.S. government and U.S. forces. And, once again, we turned a potentially positive situation into something that creates hatred towards us. Like we did with 9/11. It seems that many Iraqis were hopeful when Sadaam Hussein was toppled. But, man oh man, did we blow it.
"The greatest mystery of post-war Iraq involves.... why the U.S. didn’t do anything to control the looting because in a way, everything that’s been a problem since then started in that first month,” says James Fallows (The Atlantic Monthly editor and author of Blind into Baghdad). As Richard Armitage (former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State) and Barbara Bodine (formier U.S. coordinator for central Iraq) both state, Washington instructed teams in Iraq not to interfere with the looting that Rumsfeld dismissed as the “untidy” effect of freedom.
Paul "Jerry" Bremer is most to blame for this major fuckup ... after the Bushies in their safe little cubbies or, rather, undisclosed locations, of course.
The film ends with Seth Moulton, a Marine lieutenant once stationed in Najaf, saying "Is this the best America can do? Don't tell me that this is the best we can do after my friends died there. Don't tell the marines who fought in Najaf that that's the best America can do. No don't say that. That makes me angry." And he looks visibly shaken.
An off camera question to General Jay Garner asks: "Why were there so many mistakes made?" He doesn't have a very good answer. Sometimes the film uses the word naive. Here's where I differ with the filmmaker. I don't think mistakes were made. I don't think the Bushies were naive. I think it was planned. Greed is the answer.
Take a look at the trailer for this movie.
Please see this film.