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June 28th, 2004


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04:28 pm - Fahrenheit 9/11
Over the weekend, I saw Fahrenheit 9/11.

Oh, this might just make me unpopular, and I've thought about the implications of posting this, but I don't think I should pull punches. That would make me more unpopular.

Anyone who refuses to see this movie is a dolt.

Anyone who can watch this movie and not be affected is jaded, closed-minded, and probably couldn't get a hard-on watching Marylin Monroe take off her clothes.

Anyone who believes this movie is 100% factual is an idiot.

Anyone who believes this movie is unbiased is a moron who should go back to smoking more pot.

That said, I really liked it. It was fun to watch. It was engaging. It was the longest political ad I have ever seen. It struck at the heart and often won out over the mind. It was well-timed and wonderfully critical. It was boring and had me checking my watch, and sometimes exciting and funny.

It was obvious. It took cheap shots. It plodded along over the same ground over and over again. It didn't make logical sense.

It was fresh and sharply critical, and made excellent arguments. It stood on its own merit, yet never left the crutches far behind. My eyes rolled as I conceded good, thoughtful points.

Can you tell that my entire experience was just a bit conflicted?

Anyway, here's the deal: Michael Moore makes a genuinely entertaining, fun, thoughtful look at the events of 9-11, but often the movie (I'm not sure I'm ready to call it a "documentary" yet) descends into simple attacks on people, not actually addressing the issues raised.

Some things I liked:

1) Making W. look stupid. Of course, that's not really anything to get excited over, as you could tell very simply that the stupidity was obviously something W. does on a regular basis. Still, it was good to see that.

2) Bringing up good points about where the money is, who suffers during war, and the effect that the war has had on all sorts of people.

3) It's emotional and strong. You really want to believe what he's saying.

4) They didn't show people jumping out of the WTC. I was afraid he'd do that.

5) Michael Moore was not often on screen. This is a huge blessing (no pun intended) to many of us.

What I didn't like:

1) Annoying doubletalk. We have too much security on airplanes, but we don't have enough. It's appalling that a woman would have to drink breast milk to make sure it's safe, but equally appaling that secrurity isn't tighter about lighters and matches. We shouldn't be in Afghanistan or Iraq, but we obviously don't have enough troops over there. Osama escaped because we didn't send enough troops to Afghanistan, and yet we shouldn't have been there, right? Then, of course, there are the Saudis, who really want us to go to war, because this apparently lines their pockets, but yet the Saudis complain to no end about us attacking Iraq. Why wasn't that mentioned?

2) Factual errors/stretches. "Iraq has never harmed or even threatened a US citizen?" (paraphrased) Wtf? Did I dream the assasination attempt on Bush Sr.? What about the funding of Palistinian suicide bombers, or the planes that were shot at in the no-fly zones over Iraq? Heck, is genocide of Kurds not enough of an excuse, we need them to threaten us?

". . . relaxing at Camp David. . .", the words spoken as a shot of W. and Tony Blair walk down a path. I know they're close, but I have a hard time believing that the two guys aren't talking about something state-related as they stroll.

The bin Ladens flying out on Sept. 13 is apparently strange and frightening for some reason that I fail to divine. The movie insinuates, through its language and the images presented, that they were the only people flying at that time. Not true. I remember (yes, I was around then) that there were flights that day. It doesn't seem irregular at all that high-profile Saudis would be flown out. It certianly doesn't seem sinister.

"Biggest attack on American soil" my ass. We owned Pearl Harbor. It is a military base, and thus it *is* American soil. I'm sorry, but we were slightly worse off after Pearl Harbor, what with an organized, highly dangerous enemy hanging out on our doorstep and us with a navy that couldn't sail out of a paper bag that day. Sept. 11 was nothing in comparison. I'm ashamed to think that schoolchildren will be writing essays on the similarities between the two attacks for years to come.

There's a scene in there where an Iraqi woman is crying about her children and cursing America for killing civilians. The microphone she's screaming into is Al-Jazeera's. This doesn't make it false, but I've seen enough schlock come from them that I'm unswayed by the statement.

I'm not even going to argue WMD's. It's not worth it.

3) Ignoring details for the sake of a good story. Ooh, look at our list of allies! Haiti, Granada, and a bunch of other tiny republics. Did I miss Britain, Australia, Japan, S. Korea, and Spain (before they changed their minds?)

4) Flogging a dead horse. Oh, my. An election was lost 4 years ago! This is news! Amazing! Why didn't anyone tell me before! I thought Gore was president! And, ohmygods! Fox News won the election for Bush! Geez. Get over it and move on. I can't roll my eyes enoough about 10 minutes of flogging that horse. Someone get the ASPCA.

5) Asking Congressmen to send their sons to war. Yes, I know the statement he wanted to make, but what would you do if someone said, "Hey, you should send your son to war just because you're in Congress!" Would you stand there dumbfounded? I sure would. And so, apparently, would the congressmen.


Honestly, go see it. It's good. I mean it. Just take it with a small Siberian salt mine.

Now, here's the thing that irks me most about the movie, though: No one who needs to see the movie is going to go see it. Try to find a Republican in the crowd. Try to find someone who's really unsure of what he/she is going to do with their vote.

Everyone in that theatre, I suspect, already knows what to do and who to vote for. Seriously.

That is the fatal flaw of the movie. It will fall on deaf ears.

Gods willing, though, someone will get out and vote because of it.
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
Current Music: "Buttermilk Grove", -JB
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[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:June 28th, 2004 01:41 pm (UTC)
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Overall, I agree with much of what you said. However, a few quibbles:

"Iraq has never harmed or even threatened a US citizen?" (paraphrased) Wtf? Did I dream the assasination attempt on Bush Sr.? What about the funding of Palistinian suicide bombers, or the planes that were shot at in the no-fly zones over Iraq? Heck, is genocide of Kurds not enough of an excuse, we need them to threaten us?

With the exception of the Bush Sr. issue (which is still questionable from what I've heard, so I need to see more documentation), the rest doesn't affect Americans. What happens to Palestinians, Israelies, Kurds, or Kuwaties isn't my concern. It shouldn't be America's concern. Why should we fight everyone else's war? We didn't get into WWII until we were attacked, which is exactly as it should be.

Washington was right--avoid foreign entaglements.

Yes, I know the statement he wanted to make, but what would you do if someone said, "Hey, you should send your son to war just because you're in Congress!" Would you stand there dumbfounded? I sure would. And so, apparently, would the congressmen.

Hey, they're the ones who decide to send kids off to war, to draft kids, they should be sending their own kids first.

Now, here's the thing that irks me most about the movie, though: No one who needs to see the movie is going to go see it. Try to find a Republican in the crowd. Try to find someone who's really unsure of what he/she is going to do with their vote.

True. It almost makes me feel as though it's not worth it, really. I feel that this country is torn down the middle and won't be fixed.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 28th, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
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What happens to Palestinians, Israelies, Kurds, or Kuwaties isn't my concern.

So, genocide of a particular group of people isn't a valid reason to go to war? A holocaust, so long as it's in another country, is fine? That's what was happening to the Kurds. It wasn't industrialized, but it was still systematic and constant.

I suppose we, technically, could stand by and watch. Or turn off our TV's. Whichever one is more comfortable doing.

And Americans have been killed in suicide bombings. And those planes that patroled the No-Fly zones had Americans. There were hostages taken in the invasion of Kuwait.

Then again, by this reasoning, we should also have invaded Ireland.

they're the ones who decide to send kids off to war, to draft kids, they should be sending their own kids first.

When did they decide to draft kids? They'd make the arguement that the kids knew what they were signing up for, or they should have. Joining the military and then complaining about being deployed doesn't speak of courage or intelligence to me.

Of course, I don't agree with the implementation, but a soldier should expect to be deployed, not to be given free money.

I feel that this country is torn down the middle and won't be fixed.

Oh, it can be fixed. I don't think that Moore can do it, or that we'll see him pull it off with this movie, but at least I have some hope.

Make sure you're registered to vote, of course :)
[User Picture]
From:anivair
Date:June 28th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)
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The bin Ladens flying out on Sept. 13 is apparently strange and frightening for some reason that I fail to divine. The movie insinuates, through its language and the images presented, that they were the only people flying at that time. Not true. I remember (yes, I was around then) that there were flights that day. It doesn't seem irregular at all that high-profile Saudis would be flown out. It certianly doesn't seem sinister.

I think it's not nessisarily sinister so much as it's a really really poorly handled situation. I can understand the desire to keep the Bin Ladens out of harm's way, but do we have to get them out of the country? Can't we at least keep them in US coustidy for 24 hours to ask them questions about osama? How about 12 hours? Ten minutes maybe? or just long enough to show them a picture and say, "Any idea where this guy is"? Whatever. If my cousin blew up the world trade center I'd be handcuffed and ass-lubed so fast it would make my nostrils spin.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 28th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I seem to remember everyone having theories but no hard evidence that it was Osama. I don't even remember hearing his name for about a week. Is it possible that they didn't think it was him?

I certainly didn't. I'm still not sold on it.
[User Picture]
From:kstanley
Date:June 28th, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC)
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The bin Ladens flying out on Sept. 13 is apparently strange and frightening for some reason that I fail to divine.

I actually didn't get the sense that they were the only ones being flown out at the time. I got the sense that once planes were permitted to fly out, the bin Ladins were put on half a dozen (or however many) planes and permitted to leave the country.

The reason I find it sinister is because so many other foreign nationals with far more tenuous connections to Al Quaida were not permitted to leave—are in fact still being detained at Quantico.

Also, as Craig Unger stated, the bin Laden family members were only briefly interviewed and were permitted to leave. Why not detain them for a few days and interview them longer? Courteously of course. The reason is that Bush and his inner circle are deep in bed with Saud family who are related to these bin Ladens and therefore they get special treatment. That is not right and should be called out and questioned. The rich and powerful friends of the Bush family shouldn't be given special treatment especially when other people of Arab and Persian descent were incarerated (and many are still incarcerated).

In my mind, MM is showing how Bush and his inner circle protect themselves and their wealthy friends at other people's expense.

"Biggest attack on American soil" my ass. We owned Pearl Harbor. It is a military base, and thus it *is* American soil.

2400 people died in Pearl Harbor. 2752 died on 9/11. I don't know the figures on the financial cost of Pearl Harbor, but obviously, even adjusting for inflation, 9/11 cost a lot more. I'm not sure how else one would measure "biggest attack".

An election was lost 4 years ago! This is news! Amazing! Why didn't anyone tell me before! I thought Gore was president! And, ohmygods! Fox News won the election for Bush! Geez. Get over it and move on.

I saw F9/11 as a slow building of the case against Bush starting with the election. How odd it would have been if the election had been left out of this film. I have never seen the footage of the Congressmen referring to Al Gore as Mr. President and standing up to the entire Senate. Personally, I find it very inspiring and thrilling.

I will never move on from the 2000 election. What happened was wrong and I think it would foolish to ever forget it and let it fade into the background. People in this country have very short memories in my opinion—dangerously short.

"Hey, you should send your son to war just because you're in Congress!" Would you stand there dumbfounded? I sure would. And so, apparently, would the congressmen.

It was Congress, people that we elected, whose salary is paid by our taxes, who authorized Bush to attack Iraq if they refused to give up their WMDs. And since there were no WMDs to give up, obviously Iraq was unable to supply them, and we find ourselves in the situation where we now with 130,000+ American soldiers in Iraq with no end in sight.

I think it is very easy to turn a blind eye to war when you can ignore the true cost. If more Congressmen had had their children in the armed services or in the Gulf War, I am willing to bet that it would have been a lot harder to pass Resolution 296-133.

Challenging Congressmen—embarassing them is a classic, non-violent method of forcing them to look at this issue in a different light. I think they should be made to feel uncomfortable. Everyone should be shown every picture of the violence, of the destruction, of the carnage of this war with Iraq. No one should be permitted to pretend that things are okay while so many of our fellow Americans are dying—not to mention so many innocent Iraqis.

Congress has a role in what is going on in Iraq and they need to take their medicine.

Try to find someone who's really unsure of what he/she is going to do with their vote.

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the impact of this film on the undecided. I mean unless you have some sort of evidence/facts that I am not aware of ;)
[User Picture]
From:kstanley
Date:June 29th, 2004 04:46 am (UTC)
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are in fact still being detained at Quantico

I actually had a dream last night where Jack Nicholson was yelling at me for not being able to handle the truth. Of course I meant to say Guantanamo, not Quantico. Too much true crime on the brain I'm afraid.

I couldn't get your post off my mind and even had trouble sleeping. Of course I know better than to read LJ before bed ~smacks forehead~

We have too much security on airplanes, but we don't have enough. It's appalling that a woman would have to drink breast milk to make sure it's safe, but equally appaling that secrurity isn't tighter about lighters and matches. We shouldn't be in Afghanistan or Iraq, but we obviously don't have enough troops over there. Osama escaped because we didn't send enough troops to Afghanistan, and yet we shouldn't have been there, right? Then, of course, there are the Saudis, who really want us to go to war, because this apparently lines their pockets, but yet the Saudis complain to no end about us attacking Iraq. Why wasn't that mentioned?

The airplane security thing was mentioned briefly, but I don't draw the same conclusion you did. I don't believe Moore said that there is too much or too little security on airplanes. He simply raised the question: Why is breast milk a threat and lighters and matches not? I think it's a good question. There have been many people who think that the security measures taken on airplanes are ineffective and I think Moore was attempting to illustrate that.

I also had a different impression about Moore's comments about Afghanistan. Moore is attempting to illustrate that Bush and his inner circle went to war with Iraq for reasons other than getting al Quaeda. First he has to talk about Afghanistan. He mentions that even though we knew that Afghanistan was harboring bin Ladin and had always known, it still took us two months to muster a response to the attack on 9/11. If we had sent in special forces, which many in the CIA and the military thought was the best way to deal with Afghanistan, in theory, we would have been able to get at al Quaeda without bombing and killing so many Afghanis. So not only did Bush respond slowly to 9/11, he responded ineffectively, despite being advised to do things differently by people who would know. This isn't Moore's theory, there have been many articles and even some books written about how Bush screwed up in Afghanistan. Moore is asking the question: Why was Afghanistan handled this way? It's a good question.

And as far as Iraq goes, I got the impression that Moore thought the case for going there hadn't been made and that it was a bad a idea. No WMDs have been found, no chemical weapons facilities, and no connection between al Quaeda (and those *were* the three reasons that Colin Powell gave to the UN Security Council for going into Iraq immediately with military force). And now we that we are in Iraq, we see that there is no way we can keep Iraq secure with the number of soldiers we have there. I don't Moore was saying that we should send more soldiers. He was pointing out how foolish it was to go in in the first place—that it has done more harm than good. He has to talk about what happened after we went into Iraq because so many people keep saying, "Well we got Sadaam, so the World is a little safer," feeling that his capture justifies all the death and the destruction and ill will that the war in Iraq has created. Moore doesn't think that's true and he is asking the question: Why did we go into Iraq? Did it make the world safer? Are the Iraqis better off? Has it been worth it?

As far as the Saudi's go, Moore implied that the Saud family wanted the war in Iraq since it would permit that oil pipeline to be built. The Royal Saud family that rules Saudi Arabia is not the same thing as the Saudi people. Many Saudi *people* have been against the war in Iraq.

If it sounds like I am jumping on your chronarchy, I apologize, because I really don't mean to. I just had a different reaction to the film than you did, and I wanted to share some of my opinions with you hoping that maybe they might give you a different way of looking at some of this.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about this stuff.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 29th, 2004 06:07 am (UTC)
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2400 people died in Pearl Harbor. 2752 died on 9/11. I don't know the figures on the financial cost of Pearl Harbor, but obviously, even adjusting for inflation, 9/11 cost a lot more. I'm not sure how else one would measure "biggest attack".

Gotta remember, I'm a military history major, so my view of the attack is going to be very different than some. I don't think about it in body-counts or total dollars, but rather the impact on the country's psyche (where they could, potentially, match up) and the amount that we are left open to further attacks, multiplied by the damage that those attacks can do. It's not a hard, fast formula, but it compares strategic loss to tactical loss.

Both attacks had a high impact on America, spreading fear and anger. Interestingly, even our reactions were similar: this is an act of war, let's put everyone of X descent into an internment camp. Both attacks were considered declarations of war, and both were surprises, but the similarities really end there.

The Japanese destroyed our ability to strike back. They opened a road that, had they acted upon it in a timely manner, could have lead to invasion and very bloody conventional warfare on American soil. In short, we suddenly had no military power whatsoever in the pacific. We couldn't do a damnthing about it.

The terrorists knocked down a couple of buildings that were symbolic to the rest of the world (not necessarily to all Americans) of America's commercial might. They killed a bunch of people in the process, and damaged America's sense of security. Did they have the chance to follow it up? No. If they had, we would have had much larger losses. In most ways, I consider Sept. 11 a military failure for the terrorists. They didn't do anything they could capitalize on, it didn't seem well-coordinated, and it didn't strike me as well-planned.

Both destroyed a symbol of American superiority and (perhaps) imperialism, but only one truly had the potential to continue its threat.

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the impact of this film on the undecided. I mean unless you have some sort of evidence/facts that I am not aware of ;)

Well, if I weren't already decided on the issue of gay marriage, this film wouldn't have made me want to vote Bush out. Of course, I like my safe, secure Republicanism, so maybe I'm not the best fence-sitter out there, but I entered willing to listen to the message and came out with more questions than answers.

The rich and powerful friends of the Bush family shouldn't be given special treatment especially when other people of Arab and Persian descent were incarerated (and many are still incarcerated).

My understanding is that the couter-terrorism guy (what's his face, worked for Bush?) took the fall for that one, and said that the President and his staff had no role in getting them out of the country. That admission, if we don't start into conspiracy theories (which might be true) pokes a big hole in about 30 minutes of the documentary.
From:ceolnamara
Date:June 28th, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I can always rely on you for unbiased commentary. I've been hemming and hawing about seeing this because of all the hype.

I'm still not sure if I am going to or not.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:June 28th, 2004 11:01 pm (UTC)

Why not?

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I don't understand the reluctance to see it. Why not go and decide for yourself what to think of it?
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 29th, 2004 05:11 am (UTC)
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Hehe. I'm not unbiased. I'm a Republican, remember? I'm terribly biased.

I just pretend not to be, and do my damnedest to see both sides of the issue.

I highly recommend you go see it.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:June 28th, 2004 11:42 pm (UTC)

Your problems with the film

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I haven't seen the film yet, but I think I can address some of your issues. Some of them have been adequately addressed by others, so I'll skip those; a few I just don't know enough about to comment on.

The airplane security thing is a matter of the type of security. (Read the book Beyond Fear by Bruce Schneier.) There's too much fake/show security that does no good except make people feel good, and not enough real security that might actually help address potential problems. And the way some things are restricted and other things aren't just demonstrates that it's only fake security, since if it were real security they'd be more consistent.

Relatively speaking, very few people are saying we shouldn't have gone into Afghanistan. Quite a few people were and are saying that we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. Big difference.

As for Iraq's threat, I think maybe you and Moore could be using different definitions of "threatened". The word can mean an explicit threat -- someone saying "I'm going to kill you" -- or an implicit one -- someone having the capability to kill you. Either one could exist without the other, and most knowledgable people now agree that had no no actual capability. I suspect (again, without seeing the movie yet) that Moore meant the latter definition. But you certainly can't rebut Moore's statement with arguments about Iraq's threat to people other than U.S. citizens, since (according to you) Moore explicitly said U.S. citizens. You can certainly argue that a threat to others is worth going to war, but that's a policy argument rather than a factual one -- an argument that must consider the consequences of a policy to invade every nation that poses a threat to others. (This list is quite long, and includes our own nation.)

If you really want to investigate something, you generally don't help the relatives of a suspect to leave the country ASAP. You make sure they're available for questioning. In many cases this administration has taken the concept to extremes by holding people at Gitmo for months or longer in hopes of getting information out of them.

Al-Jazeera is no more schlocky than Fox News or CNN or MSNBC. They just have a different bias. Everyone has a bias, and everyone promotes what's more likely to confirm that bias, while minimizing what contradicts that bias. Including sources with different biases in the mix is the best way to approximate the whole story. (This is why I like Google News.)

Allies - Britain was the only other one with a significant force doing significant work. Japan doesn't even have a military because of Pearl Harbor. It's interesting that many countries DID change their minds about helping; those governments listened to their citizens, who were overwhelmingly against the war. And compare the list of allies to, say, the list of UN members or even the list of NATO members; it's quite a small list by comparison, and omits some pretty important players.

I have mixed feelings about the dead horse. On the one hand I agree that rehashing the 2000 fiasco gets tiresome, and people need to deal with the reality of the electoral college and that Bush is president. (Those who want to abolish the electoral college should imagine needing to do a national recount!) On the other hand, there really ARE serious unresolved questions about what went on, beyond what was publicly addressed in the aftermath. There is plenty of evidence of shady things going on, as well as signs that those things and more will happen again this year.

Finally, while I think you make a good point about people going to see it already having their minds made up, I think you underestimate the number of fence-sitters who will see it, as well as the number of people who will see it and be persuaded to vote rather than stay home, or to talk to their friends rather than staying silent.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 29th, 2004 05:28 am (UTC)

Re: Your problems with the film

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Relatively speaking, very few people are saying we shouldn't have gone into Afghanistan. Quite a few people were and are saying that we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. Big difference.

Yes, but in both cases, I got the sense from the film that we shouldn't be in either one, and yet we didn't send enough troops. The idea I got, seriously, was that we should have flooded both countries with as many troops as possible, and that *really* doesn't fit with his position on not sending kids to war.

But you certainly can't rebut Moore's statement with arguments about Iraq's threat to people other than U.S. citizens, since (according to you) Moore explicitly said U.S. citizens.

My point there is that genocide should be enough of an excuse to go to war. Nation-building and topling governments that daddy didn't fix should not. Heck, empty theats to US citizens shouldn't, either.

Al-Jazeera is no more schlocky than Fox News or CNN or MSNBC

Well, I'll definitely agree on Fox News. They might be worse. But CNN and MSNBC at least make an attempt at not being biased. And they don't happen to constantly be in places where people are killed.

Japan doesn't even have a military because of Pearl Harbor

Not true, actually. They do have a military, and they can and have deployed. They are, though, an ocupation force for the most part.

As for Iraq's threat, I think maybe you and Moore could be using different definitions of "threatened".

When you get to see it, listen to him. He says three things that Iraq never did in relation to US citizens. I *think* they were: kill, threaten, and minded their own business (note: that could be totally wrong). Lemme know if I got it wrong.

I think you underestimate the number of fence-sitters who will see it

Honestly, I hope they buy it hook, line, and sinker, but I worry that they will, too. People accept things without question too often.
[User Picture]
From:tosk
Date:June 29th, 2004 07:03 am (UTC)
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We live in a world where politics and propaganda have become common allies. Moore's film, just like Bowling, is a piece of Propaganda, some truth, some half-truth, some questionable statements and somwe outright twisting and spinning. Is this a sad commentary on the intelligence of most of our voting public, I think so.

But, it isn't limited to the dissidents. The Federal Drug Czar, John Walters, recently sent a letter to prosecuters (telling them how evil and bad marijuana was, and how to fight legalization), one of the Republican prosecutors in Texas, read it and sent it off to the GAO for review. He pointed out that the Drug Czar made false statements, lied and twisted half-truths. The GAO replied that the Drug Czar could do whatever he felt necessary to accomplish his objective, even outright lying.

Whewn the federal government is permitted to lie to the public on issues, what difference does it make if some overweight entertainer makes a silly movie?

Yet, just as many believe that people die from marijuana, that its addictive and causes psychosis, many will watch F 9-11 and believe that its gospel truth.

America is only as smart as its electorate, and as J.R. "Bob" Dobbs once said:

"You know how dumb the average guy is?
Well, mathematically, by definition,
half of them are even dumber than that."

Now Bob may have confused the mathamatical terms 'average' and 'median' but the I have to think he's on to something.

Hail Eris!
Queen of Chaos.
Hail Eris!
Spreader of Spin
Hail Eris!
From:mmefrufru
Date:June 29th, 2004 08:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
I thought you gave a very good critique. I didn't want to give a big one in my post, but everything you brought up was valid and I pretty much agree with the points you brought up.

If you are curious, you should watch the film "Control Room" about Al-Jazeera. It's pretty fascinating.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:July 1st, 2004 11:03 pm (UTC)

Saw it tonight

(Link)
Some things I can speak on better having seen the film....

1) Doubletalk?
a) Moore never said or even implied that we shouldn't be in Afghanistan. He did say that Bush had to go to Afghanistan before Iraq, since the Taliban was known by all to support Al Qaeda.

b) He didn't say that the Saudis wanted us to go to war in Iraq. He talked about how close the Bushes and Saudis are, and how much money is involved in the relationship. He also talked about our installed government in Afghanistan helping out the oil companies.

2) Facts
a) He didn't say Iraq never threatened a US citizen. He said Iraq never harmed or threatened the US, and never killed an American. Neither threats against Bush I nor harm against other nations invalidate the truth this statement.

b) You're right that the movie seems to imply that nobody else was flying when the bin Ladens left, but then it goes on to make an explicit point about a good investigation wanting them to stick around for questioning. I think the explicit point ends up overshadowing the apparent false implication.

c) I don't think it matters whether it's Al Jazeera's microphone or Fox's microphone that the woman shouts into. It's one person's grief. I suppose it could be staged, but I don't see why it would be; I certainly believe the emotional authenticity when Fox News shows someone giving their opinion that disagrees with my own.

d) I was actually disappointed that Moore didn't bother making the case himself about the lack of WMDs and lack of connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. He seems to assume that his audience is both familiar with and believes those authorities disputing the Bush administration's assertions. This alone risks preaching to the converted without winning over new people.

3) Details
I think Moores point with the coalition segment was that a number of our allies in this adventure were pretty useless and inconsequential. Yeah, he ignored some more consequential ones, but if you believe the administration you'd think that all of the "coalition of the willing" was as important as Britain, or at least useful in the war effort.

4) Dead horse
Actually I hadn't realized that Fox was the first to call Florida for Bush. At the time Fox didn't have the reputation it has now. If the same thing happened today I think everyone (particularly Fox's competitors) would be more likely to question it, since everyone who's paying attention now knows Fox's bias.

5) Sending sons to war
It's not "send your son to war just because you're in Congress." It's "send your son to war because you sent other people's sons to war." I'd expect any reaction except being dumbfounded -- they should expect such questions if they voted for the war. If that question was truly a strange concept to them, they have no business making those decisons for the country. I have more respect for the ones who avoided Moore than for the dumbfounded one(s).


By the way, I loved the music, especially the Neil Young song ("Rockin' In The Free World") during the closing credits.

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