Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why We Fight

WHY WE FIGHT, the new film by Eugene Jarecki which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, is an unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine, weaving unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a "who's who" of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Richard Perle and others, WHY WE FIGHT launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire.

Inspired by Dwight Eisenhower's legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase "military industrial complex"), filmmaker Jarecki (THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER) surveys the scorched landscape of a half-century's military adventures, asking how -- and telling why -- a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war.

The film moves beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper questions of why -- why does America fight? What are the forces -- political, economic, ideological -- that drive us to fight against an ever-changing enemy?


Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military--industrial complex and its fifty-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date, especially its 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

The documentary asserts that in every decade since World War II, the American public has been misled so that the Government (incumbent Administration) could take them to war and fuel the military-industrial economy maintaining American political dominance in the world.

Interviewed about this matter, are politician John McCain, political scientist and former-CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson, politician Richard Perle, neoconservative commentator William Kristol, writer Gore Vidal, and public policy expert Joseph Cirincione.

Why We Fight documents the consequences of said foreign policy with the story of a Vietnam War veteran whose son was killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and who then asked the military to write the name of his dead son on any bomb to be dropped on Iraq.

It also follows the experiences of a twenty-three-year-old New Yorker who enlisted in the United States Army because he was poor and in debt, his decision impelled by his mother's death.

The final personal story is from a female military explosives scientist (Anh Duong) who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee child from Vietnam in 1975.

Producer's List:

The producer's list included "more than a dozen organizations, from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to the United Kingdom's BBC, Estonia's ETV and numerous European broadcasters" but no U.S. names.

The Sundance Institute did, however, provide completion funding. Writer and Director Jarecki said "serious examination of Eisenhower and the aftermath of his speech proved 'too radical' for potential American funders for his film" and except for Sundance, he "could not raise a dollar in the U.S."

Main Characters:

Wilton Sekzer -- Officer, NYPD
Fuji & Tooms -- Stealth Fighter Pilots, U.S. Air Force
Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski -- Officer, Pentagon Middle East Desk
William Solomon -- New Recruit, U.S. Army
Anh Duong -- Explosives Expert, Indianhead Naval Center Others
(in order of appearance)

Sen. John McCain (R/AZ)
Chalmers Johnson, CIA 1967-1973
Joseph Cirincione, Carnegie Endowment for Peace
Gore Vidal, Author
Charles Lewis,Center for Public Integrity
Richard Perle, Pentagon Advisor
William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard
Col. Richard Treadway, Commander Stealth Fighter Squadron
James Roche, Secretary of the Air Force
John S.D. Eisenhower, Son of Dwight Eisenhower
Susan Eisenhower, Granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower
Gwynne Dyer, Military Historian
Donna Ellington, President, Raytheon Missile Systems
Col. Wally Saeger, U.S. Air Force Munitions Directorate
Franklin Spinney, Pentagon Systems Analyst (ret.)
Dan Rather, CBS News..."

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