Sunday, August 05, 2007

No End In Sight when the peace movement gets behind crap

Richard Armitage and Jay Garner are hardly folks in the "peace" camp, but> what they say in this documentary is pretty shocking. Please, go see this> movie. Watch and understand so it doesn't continue to happen.

The above was e-mailed, from a peace activist, to The Common Ills. Ava was the first to find the e-mail (Ava and Jess work the e-mail accounts for The Common Ills) and we all wished we could quote it. C.I. surprised us all by saying yes. Noting the number of e-mail accounts the thing was sent to, C.I. says it's no different than spam.

Are we joining the voices telling you to go see the movie?

No, because we weren't born stupid.

No End In Sight is a bad movie. It's a bad movie for the peace movement, especially, but it's a bad movie by any standard. The first-time 'director' is a member of the Council for Foreign Relations which, you may remember, supported the illegal war, cheerleaded it before it started. He is also a baby of the Brookings Institute and, if you missed it, they've been taking to the op-ed pages and your TV screens recently to sell the illegal war all over again.

The director has replied to the question of whether the (illegal) occupation could have worked, "That is the 64 thousand, million, billion, trillion dollar question. I've spoken to an enormous number of people about this question, and there's a wide array of perspectives and views about it. But I would say the center of gravity of expert opinion, and the opinion of people who were there was that this could have worked. Worked not in the sense of a neoconservative, democratic paradise. That couldn't have happened. This was a terribly scarred, troubled country that had lived under a brutal dictatorship since 1979, and had lived under extremely draconian economic sanctions for more than a decade. So it was a very messed-up place, and it wasn't going to be perfect overnight. But it could have become basically a normal, stable society. It didn't have to be the way Iraq is now."

It could have worked? If you're not getting it, non-director Charles Ferguson supported the illegal war.

If you're not getting it, elements of the peace movement are gearing up to promote a really bad film (by any standard) that is not opposed to the illegal war and that argues the illegal war could have been 'won.'

Excuse us, "the war."

That's the main problem with this film. It doesn't question the legality of the war. It wants to sell you on the lie that the starting point is after the war started.

Appearing on Uprising July 31st, Ferguson wanted everyone to know the problem was not enough 'boots on the ground' and, had the US illegally started the war with more troops, If there had been more troops, Ferguson wants to postulate, museums might have been protected, blah blah blah might have been protected. It's a complete and utter lie. The number of troops did not matter. The goal, as Naomi Klein explained in 2004, was "Baghdad Year Zero" (Harper's magazine). What is happening today is not an accident. It's greater chaos than the administration wanted, but to LIE and say that this was about helping Iraqis is beyond belief. It's also beyond belief that a White House consultant under Poppy Bush, a Defense Department consultant is getting 'good lip' from elements of the peace movement.

"In some sense perhaps it was done with good intentions," explained Ferguson on Uprising, while lamenting that good intentions requires being careful in the planning what to do on the ground after the illegal war starts.

At the last big DC peace march, a number of activists we spoke with at the rally kept insisting that "occupation" was the term to use and not war. Considering that the troop levels have risen, that point is one we still can't agree to. But our refusal to simply call the illegal war an "occupation" is because we're fully aware how damaging that is.

If we all agree to split the illegal war into two phases, we have the war and we have the occupation. When that happens, the war gets far less attention (and who's even seriously and loudly questioning the legality today?) because it's "over." Equally important, by not questioning it, we accept the premise that the war was okay, it was the "occupation" where things got screwed up.

That is a bold face lie. It's a lie based on Naomi Klein's outstanding work and it's a lie based on the fact that that not calling out the illegal war (in total) allows the next one to be sold. If we all agree the occupation was the screw up, what the US needs to do is to work on that aspect before launching the next illegal war.

That elements of the peace movement want to get on board with this SH*T is appalling. They shouldn't be doing mass e-mailings to get the word out on seeing the film, they should be doing mass e-mailings on how awful this film is and how it is endorsing illegal war.

Illegal war is illegal. No End In Sight wants to avoid that aspect (the filmmaker, again, supported the invasion) and tell audiences, "The invasion went great and was good. Here's where the US screwed up."

The illegal war itself is where the US screwed up. Anything that doesn't acknowledge that has no business being promoted by elements of the peace movement.

To maintain that crippling Iraq was not part of the plan for illegal war rewrites history and eliminates the reason why support for this illegal war was pushed by Big Business.

Ferguson is selling illegal war and if you can't grasp that, you're making yourself either useless or a War Hawk in training. Explaining his film on Uprising, Ferguson stated his film was needed to explain "in a very broad general way how we got into this" and yet it doesn't address "how we got into this" in any manner. It's starting point is that the illegal war (which he doesn't call illegal) was a noble thing and then, after it began, it got screwed up.

If you're not grasping how that is not a peace movement film, then you have some serious comprehension issues.

War Hawk Ferguson says of the illegal war "if this had been done competently, it could have turned out much, much differently." That should raise questions as should the fact that the War Hawk traveled around Iraq in three armored cars. Most first-time film makers couldn't get that kind of money. In fact, most documentary film makers couldn't get that kind of money period. But somehow, Ferguson was able to travel in a caravan -- an armored caravan -- and with multiple bodyguards.

What of tomorrow? It's going to be ten, twenty, forty years before Iraq can become" stable but it's the US' responsibility to "control" it. He doesn't have "much hope" for this administration but has hopes for the next one. If you're missing it, he's preaching endless war in Iraq and US forces on the ground. "Some level of American military presence is going to be required for a very long time," he offered on Uprising. Buy a clue, DUMB ASSES, this is not a movie the peace movement needs to support.

The illegal war started for one reason and one reason only: greed. It is about one nation (a "super power") ignoring all known laws and declaring a war of choice to be 'legal'.

George Packer's little buddy got his film endorsed by "Drew Erdmann, former Director for Iran, Iraq and Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, former Coalition Provisional Authority Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education" who calls it "powerful." If you're not already questioning Erdmann's judgement note this from him:

One of the success stories and I would argue there were two. One is that there was extensive prewar planning for the humanitarian relief of Iraq. We may forget that there was a fear that there would be mass dislocations of refugees. There was actually coordination with NGO’s about how to handle that, prepositioning of equipment. Luckily, that did not happen. But there was extensive planning and preparation for that.

A fear was "mass dislocations of refugees" and "Luckily, that did not happen." That's from an interview last month. Apparently, Erdmann is not only a poor film critic, he also doesn't follow the news or he'd know that over four million Iraqis are refugees today with a little over two million displaced to other countries and the remaining displaced inside Iraq. Apparently, he's unaware that the United Nations has been attempting to address this large crisis.

That someone so willfully blind or so eager to avoid the truth would endorse the film is not surprising. That mass e-mailings are going out from segments of the peace movement endorsing this awful film are. The peace movement needs to get serious.

If you need to see a new documentary, a real one, not a faux one, we'd suggest you make a point to check out War Made Easy.
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