If Big Brother is reading this, don’t worry so much. Even though I may be a foreigner in the States, these are just my thoughts. So don’t put me down in one of your “could cause trouble” lists and send the FBI knocking on my door, or stop me from flying.
Now that I’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, I feel better. Or do I?
I just finished watching Fahrenheit 9/11 and that has what has prompted this post. My first impression of the documentary is that Michael Moore makes good emotional arguments, has some good points, but he is just lacking the facts. The evidence presented is inconclusive. A rational thinker would not be swayed by this movie. It is definitely not going to make Bush supporters switch sides (which could be his intent). And it has scenes that may anger some people enough to cause them to sway. If you are reading this, you know who you are. The documentary itself sways and jumps around a lot. Moore has done a poor job in finding and stating the issue clearly. Unlike Bowling for Columbine, which seemed very well thought out, with ideas clearly laid one after another building to a good argument, this documentary jumps from one point to another.
According to Moore the Washington Post reported that in the first 8 months of in office, Bush spent 42% of that time on vacation. But the Washington Post is known to lean leftwards. Even so, I fail to see how this has direct relevance to the issue in the documentary. Is he trying to say that had Bush spent more time working, the events of September 11, 2001 would not have occurred?
The “Bush-Bin Laden-Cheney-rich Texas oil company-rich Saudi family” connections are definitely suspicious. I think Moore is hinting that because of the money involved in the business deals that were made in between these families Bush allowed 24 members of the Bin Laden family to leave the USA on September 13, 2001. But I don”t think he ever states that outright.
I did like the section on the Iraq war. I always believed that the premise that the war against Iraq was based on was false. Why wasn’t more done in Afghanistan, where Bin Laden was known to be? Why were lies told about Saddam Hussein stock-piling WMDs and chemical weapons? The strikes against Afghanistan were short lived, and apparently only 11,000 US troops were sent there. There are more than 11,000 policemen and women in Manhattan alone. The war against Iraq was always about oil. Bush knew that he was coming into office in a period of recession and 9/11 did nothing to improve it. A war would certainly provide the necessary impetus to force the economy to pick itself up. There were some video clips of American CEOs talking about the money they would make from rebuilding Iraq. The way they spoke was disgusting! “Come and get a peace of the action. The oil is flowing. Now is the time to jump in.”
There are some cuts of Bush that show him to be a vain and conceited bastard. Addressing a gather he says, “You are a gathering of haves and have-mores. You are my base.” This is him acknowledging that he works for the rich, and not for the people of the land.
Many times I’ve said that this country runs on fear. And Moore reiterates that in this documentary. Turn on the local news and the only reports are of the gangs causing trouble. The “special reports” are generally on how to keep you and your family safe from xyz, or how not to fall victim to abc. Keep the masses ignorant. Feed them silliness like a bunch of colors that signify how threatened they are. Or try to sell them parachutes that’ll save them if they jump out the 10th floor of a building. Encourage them all to own guns. And tell them that a country half way around the world owns weapons that could destroy hick-town, Virginia, with a population of 2000. Keep the country afraid, because that is the only way to keep them from the truth.
May I indulge in some (more) Bush-bashing?
It has to do with all those people, whether innocent or guilty, locked up in Guantanamo Bay and Kandahar and other US detention establishments. They claim that these people have been detained in order to prevent them from going out and committing acts of terror, but how does that justify locking them up without a fair trial? The US has no regard for international human rights law, they even tried to gain immunity for their military personnel from international persecution for war crimes. There is evidence that Guantanamo Bay detainees have been tortured, some even have succumbed to agreeing with US charges even though MI5 came along later and proved there was no way they could have been where they were alleged to be.
Honestly though, such practices only create a perception that the US is a ruthless enemy, this will only ensure more and more people are recruited into these terrorist organisations. Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine are prime examples.
Bush is no Churchill, he’s no Reagan even. I find many speeches of his laughable, especially the ‘we’re good, they’re all evil’ ones.