View Full Version : "Why We Fight" director says he's no Michael Moore

01-19-06, 06:12 PM
"Why We Fight" director says he's no Michael Moore
By Claudia Parsons

The director of "Why We Fight," a documentary examining why America keeps going to war, would like to emulate the success of "Fahrenheit 9/11" but he says that's all he wants to have in common with Michael Moore.

Eugene Jarecki's movie, whose title echoes Frank Capra's World War Two propaganda films, examines the role of the military industrial complex in U.S. foreign policy.

The film which goes on limited release on Friday may provide ammunition to opponents of President George W. Bush's war in Iraq, but Jarecki says his aim was to be unbiased.

While the Bush administration comes in for some criticism, Jarecki says he is more interested in the trend over half a century, from Korea, to Vietnam, Bosnia and Iraq.

"The forces that my film looks at don't care who's president," he said in an interview.

Jarecki interviews politicians, historians, an ex-CIA operative, members of the U.S. military and Iraqis, offering a range of views without the gimmicks and humor of Moore's film.

"You can argue that half this country saw 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and what happens all too often in America is movies play along party lines," he said, referring to the 2004 anti-Bush film that is the most successful documentary in box office history.

"Why We Fight" starts from President Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 farewell speech when the former World War Two general invented the term "military industrial complex" and warned Americans to be on their guard against its influence.

The film examines links between politicians, think-tanks, arms manufacturers and defense contractors. It argues that with the economic livelihood of voters at stake, members of Congress are inclined to approve greater and greater spending on defense and the government has an economic motive to wage war.

It also examines the argument for the policy of spreading democracy around the world, questioning whether the motive is to open up markets for U.S. companies and secure oil supplies.


Among those who appear in the film are Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record); John Eisenhower, son of the former president; and a former Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski who worked on the Pentagon's Iraq desk.

The character who holds the film together emotionally is retired New York City police officer Wilton Sekzer, whose 31-year-old son Jason died in the World Trade Center attacks.

Sekzer describes in the film how he wanted revenge after 9/11. In 2003, Sekzer e-mailed military commanders to ask them to write the name of his son on a bomb. The Marines agreed and the bomb was dropped near Baghdad in April 2003.

"Right after 9/11 when Bush gave us absolutely every indication that Saddam Hussein was responsible ... if my son had been called upon, I would have said to him 'Yes, go answer your country's call,"' said Sekzer, a Vietnam veteran.

"When Bush said, 'I never said that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with this (9/11),' I almost jumped out of my chair," he said in an interview, describing the film as "an awakening."

The film was screened this week at West Point Military Academy before its Friday release in New York and Los Angeles, and Jarecki said he had found soldiers, whatever their political views, were interested in the questions raised.

"Each time we have a war it is later found out the reasons that were given to the public turn out not to be those that really drove us to battle," Jarecki said. "We have lost our way and the question is how are we going to get back."


01-19-06, 07:25 PM
I'm glad to see the Terrorist's friend, john mccain, is in this thing. Maybe they will explain his pindo ways.