The debut of Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11" juxtaposed with the turnover of power to the Iraqis by the coalition authority in Baghdad represent the reality and the fiction of the Iraq War. But which is which?
In less time than it takes to speed to the corner 7-11 and buy a chili-cheese dog and a six-pack, the coalition hastily and secretively handed over "full sovereignty" to Iraqi Prime Minister without the Iraqi people even knowing about it. In a 5-minute ceremony attended by only a few selected officials and journalists, held in the fortified U.S.-controlled green zone, kept secret from even the coalition authority's senior staff and not shown on Iraqi television, the surprise "transfer of power" was accomplished two days ahead of schedule. U.S. policymakers were concerned that insurgent attacks timed to coincide with the scheduled date of the transfer would have spoiled the press coverage of the changeover. The timing, secrecy and intense security surrounding the ceremony are the best indicators of just how much the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated in the face of a worsening insurgency and how little control the United States and the new Iraqi government have over events in Iraq.
Nevertheless, in his relentless quest to put lipstick on a pig, President George W. Bush crowed that, "the Iraqi people have their country back." Similarly, Paul Bremer, the outgoing proconsul, patted himself and his Bush administration employers on the back by bragging that there was "no question the liberation of Iraq was a great and noble thing." Unfortunately, Iraqis are not feeling so liberated and have not been fooled by the faux handover of governance. There was no outburst of celebratory gunfire typical for joyous occasions in Iraq. Only a Bush administration in a convenience store-induced sugar coma could believe that the Iraqis could be so duped.
Under the new regime, the Iraqi people will see little difference in their day-to-day lives, except perhaps an increase in lawlessness, mayhem and death-as U.S. forces increasingly keep a low profile to reduce casualties before the upcoming American election. Ayad Alawi, the new Prime Minister, may be an Iraqi, but he is also a former CIA asset who was handpicked by the United States and who thus has no credibility among the Iraqi people. In addition, the Iraqi government will theoretically take control over prisoner Saddam, but he will remain effectively guarded by U.S. forces. Almost 140,000 U.S. troops and U.S. advisors implanted in the Iraq ministries will ensure that new Iraqi government's policies don't stray too far from the massive new U.S. embassy's wishes. In fact, the symbolic transfer of power may merely end up a way for the Bush administration's "defenders of freedom" to have the new Iraqi puppet government declare martial law so that they can keep their hands clean.
It is sad when art depicts reality more closely than one's own government. Yes, Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11"is probably excessively partisan. But even less political citizens, who are trying to make heads or tails of their government's bizarre entanglement in an Iraqi quagmire, should take the time to wade through that partisanship to appreciate key aspects of the film. The film allows the public to see how the Bush administration cynically manipulated the 9/11 crisis to build public support for invading a country that had nothing to do with that tragic and heinous attack. Unfortunately, the most important part of the movie shows actual grisly photos of wounded and dying Iraqis and U.S. forces and the grieving families of the dead. Americans are rarely allowed to see such jolting pictures on the main television networks. As a result, for most Americans, war has been sanitized into a glorious and patriotic videogame featuring cool high-tech weapons. That also seems to be the perspective of the senior Bush administration officials who were the architects of the war. Very few of them have seen the horror of war first-hand. Moore's film brings home that reality in what was an invasion of a sovereign nation that never posed a real threat to the United States. Moore's film should cause all Americans to share a Big Gulp over the unnecessary war in Iraq.
Ivan Eland is the Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California and author of the book, Putting "Defense" Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World.
I think its about time muslim should get involve in local government. Every politics is local and we have to bring changes to the grass-root level and perhaps create 'Mulim Public Affair Committee' or MPAC locally.
Here is an MPAC I was part of and I think we must replicate through out the country.
disproved any major point in that movie and
it's been showing around the world for many
weeks. Therefore, since it's all true, no matter
how biased it is, there is no excuse for
misleading the fine American people who are
so proud of their past national heritage. The
current administration comes across like a
contradiction to what the Founding Fathers of
the USA had in mind. They believed that the
people should be honestly informed so that
they can elect truly representative leaders. The
current leaders in the USA are not
representing the people. They have their own
agenda. History will show whether their end
will ultimately justify their strange means.
Meanwhile, our children will pay for all of this
for many years to come.
If you watch the film, take notes on the points made. When you get home, draw a diagram with circles for each of the points and then put arrows from each to the other points that that one supports. Put a plus sign on the arrow in which the support is positive and a negative sign on the arrows in which the support is by way of removing opposition. You may find being a little conspiracy theorist minded might help, just don't go overboard.
You might get a better understanding doing this, or you might just find what you want to find. Support from independent facts can be helpful in telling which is which.
Also, Michael Moore does not say anything about the Israeli connection to the Iraq war, as the war itself was fought for the security of Israel and ofcourse for OIL as well.
Nonetheless, the film does depict how ghastly the war is and who are the real winners and losers in a war. I have seen the film and every bit of it was absorbing, though i always had a thought at the back of my mind that the film still does not raise issues that it should have. However, it's a good attempt to influence the voters to vote against George Bush and one should appreciate it. Come November 2nd and it should be clear what impact the film has had on the voters. If at all the film succeeds in throwing George Bush out of office, I think for muslims in general, it only means going from a greater evil to a lesser evil.