[Mb-civic] "Why We Fight" --new film now playing
ean at sbcglobal.net
ean at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jan 24 19:28:23 PST 2006
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or
unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for
the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
-- President Eisenhower, in his Farewell Address
Dear Mha Atma S:
Thirty five years ago this week, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
made his famous Farewell Adress to the nation, in which he
popularized the phrase "military-industrial complex." The
following 35 years have shown us that Ike didn't know the half
Including war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan and mandatory
defense related spending, America's defense budget is over
$750 billion. Our national priorities have been shaped in part by
this spending. Yet many Americans remain ignorant of the
costs of our defense establishment.
That's why director Eugene Jarecki wrote and filmed 'Why We
Fight.' The documentary won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize
at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been called "absorbing"
by the New York Times. Entertainment Weekly's Owen
Glieberman called it "nimble" and "brilliant," and said, "I defy
anyone not to be staggered by it."
The film is a look at our national military culture. It weaves
unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a "whos
who" of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain,
Gore Vidal, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Richard Perle
and others, 'Why We Fight' launches a bipartisan inquiry into
the rise of the American Empire.
But 'Why We Fight' is not really focused on the Washington
insiders we've come to expect. In the film, we meet Wilton
Sekzer, a former NYPD Sergeant and Vietnam Veteran who
lost his son on 9/11. We meet Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, who
was at her desk in the Pentagon's Middle East Desk on that
day. From stealth bomber pilots to the CEO of the company
making the stealth bombers, from designers of the new
generation of weapons, to those firing those weapons, to Iraqis
who face the devastation those weapons cause, we see the
effects of our $750 billion military budget.
Perhaps most impressively, it manages to examine these
issues without falling into the trap of polemics. Jarecki quietly,
calmly and beautifully lays out the costs and the reasoning for
war. Not just our current war, but all of the wars of the past half
century. No US President in that period has managed to avoid
sending troops to a shooting war zone. Jarecki simply asks,
'Why We Fight' is opening this week in New York and Los
Angeles, and around the country starting February 10. And
because we think 20/20 Vision supporters are bound to be
interested in it, we've gotten the release schedule and posted it
I believe that this film is going to be one that is talked about for
years to come. I was lucky enough to see a screening, and I
personally consider it one of the finest films I've seen in the last
year. I can't recommend it strongly enough. I urge you to make
plans now to see this during its limited release, and to tell your
friends and neighbors about it. I think you'll find yourself
discussing it long after you've left the theater.
Ron Zucker, 20/20 Vision
During World War II, the U.S. government commissioned a series of
propaganda films (some directed by Frank Capra) entitled 'Why We
Fight.' Now, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki turns that premise on its head,
using the same title to take an incisive, unflinching look at the
convention of warfare. Using as his starting point Dwight D.
Eisenhower's declaration that a responsible government "must guard
against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or
unsought, by the military-industrial complex," Jarecki charges that in
the current political climate, the government's ambitions -- stated or
otherwise -- in going to war are often starkly different from the best
interests of its citizens. Why do we lack the sense of wartime purpose
that previous generations proudly upheld? How large a role do political
and corporate agendas play in influencing a U.S. call to arms? These
questions and more are addressed in a powerful film that transcends
polemical scapegoating, forcing us to confront a new brand of
imperialism that cannot easily be justified or ignored.
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"A war of aggression is the supreme international crime." -- Robert Jackson,
former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor
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