Monday, July 26, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 and Me

I have an earlier post regarding this film.

So now I've seen the film twice. My opinion of it hasn't changed, it's an entertaining movie, and although it has it's subjective bias (what doesn't), it remains an important film for highlighting the influence of corporate profiteering within American foreign (and domestic) policy.

Bethany and I "won" tickets on a local talk radio program called The Morning Ritual with Garret Lewis. We met Garret and two other couples at the theater Friday night where the film was playing. Together we sat, we watched, and we discussed the movie afterward. It was clear that I was the "lib" of the group. Garret is, well, a conservative talk radio host. Don't get me wrong, he's a very nice guy, and I certainly find his show more entertaining than Rush, Hannity, et al. Garret is a year younger than me (he's 27), and after crossing paths with him on several occasions, I think he's a "liberal" in conservative's clothes. Perhaps he wears the face of a partisan pundit for the sake of his job, but deep down inside, he's a liberal. The other couples came from a military background, and although I appreciate their service to the country, their history has "shaped" their political preferences. They were staunch Bush supporters, and everyone within our group, except my wife and I, dismissed Fahrenheit 9/11 as fun, fallacious, and the product of the usual "liberal" propaganda. It was clear to me that they missed the point.

Garret asked us to come into the studio Monday morning to do an on air recap of our opinions regarding the film. As it turned out, it was just us guys in the studio; our wives had better things to do. Once we hit the air, the dialogue was fluid and well moderated by Garret. My only regret is that we didn't have more time to discuss our thoughts. During the progress of the conversation, it became clear to me that the three "cons" were fabricating their reasons for dismissing the relevance of the film. Basically, they were "making up" ideas to refute the ones that they accused Moore of "making up". Now, I believe that our "reality" is subjective, and that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but what they were truly doing was maintaining the posture of a closed mind. Heck, they're conservatives, after all.

Fahrenheit 9/11, despite the subjective narrative "fluff", contains many sobering facts that every American should be aware of. Interestingly, when I brought some of these up, no one in the studio refuted them, and one of the commentators, a gentleman named Ed, picked up on one of my points before I even said it (regarding the CIA's support of Bin Laden in the eighties during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). I also mentioned Bush's profound financial relationship with the Saudi Royal family, the fact that the U.S. supported Saddam during the eighties, and that the drive for oil was the main motivating factor concerning American foreign policy in the middle east. No one argued against these. These are all in Moore's film. Of course, there's so much more to history than a handful of facts, but if one were to look deeply into the root of our "war on terrorism" regarding American "neo-imperialism", one would find some very dirty laundry. Saddam was one "soiled blouse" that had to go, and our reward for "liberating Iraq" is the world's second largest oil reserves. Oil and capitalism had everything to do with our invasion of Iraq. It wasn't over WMD, if that were true, we'd go after Iran, North Korea, and Israel. It wasn't because of our "war on terrorism". If that were true, we'd go after Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Israel. We placed 11,000 to 15,000 troops in Afghanistan to track down Al Qeada . If Bush was serious about fighting the "war on terrorism", he would've sent the 130,000 soldiers that ended up in Iraq. Instead, Bush has only made things worse in the name of personal economic gain for him and his cronies.

Near the end of his film, Moore says something to the effect of: "our troops have volunteered to lay down their lives for the sake of America's defense. The only thing they ask is that we don't place them in harm's way unless it's absolutely necessary...

Will they ever trust us again?"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sourmonkey,
I have not seen the film, nor will I likely I haven't gone to the movies in a long long time. So I probably should not post a comment to begin with, but....I take issue with your dismissing all facts as subjective. Our opinions are certainly subjective, but we must deal with the facts. Telling some facts and omitting others can in fact become misleading. It strikes me that much propaganda is in fact the misrepresentation of facts. Half truths are more difficult to refute. I think it is a bit ridiculous to suggest that President Bush or Senator Kerry for that matter is not serious about addressing the terrorists like Osam Bin Laden. The war in Iraq has led to the deaths of many innocent civilians. We should not lose sight of this. War is always a horrific reality. We also should remember that many leaders around the world are themselves war mongers on their own people. The late President Asad of Syria killed 30,000 innocent civilians in Hama in 1982. Does anyone talk about that? My wife is from Burma. Regularly there are naive Americans who call the Burmese rebels to engage in non-violent protest. Of course they don't get tortured to death.


9:34 PM  
Blogger sourmonkey said...

Good to hear from you, Luke!

"Our opinions are certainly subjective, but we must deal with the facts"

Well, I'm all about dealing with the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11, and I have a problem with people who dismiss those facts as "liberal propaganda."

As far as "facts" go, truthfully, there's no such thing (hint, I'm a bit of a "relativist"). What defines a "fact" other than the correlation of information from multiple (preferrably unbiased) perspectives?

But, having said this, I like your post and I agree with much of it. I don't see many movies either. I worked as a projectionist for four years of my life, and I've seen far too many BAD movies. I'm burned out, so they say, but I think Fahrenheit 9/11 is a unique film and worthy of some recognition.

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