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My brother's girlfriend has a sticker on the back of her car which
reads 'If you're not completely appalled, you haven't been paying
attention.' This is a movie for those people who are not completely
appalled, because if you've been paying attention then you already know
most of what this movie has to say. Or maybe I've just been paying
attention too much. I never for a second bought the ludicrous story of
weapons of mass destruction, not from day one. I had a friend of
several years in Fresno that I longer talk to because we got in such a
heated discussion about Bush's upcoming war. He thought that at a time
of crisis it was important that America supports it's president, I was
sure, and still am, that supporting a president as he makes such a
massively wrong move could only make it worse. Just because a moron
made his way into the White House is no reason to show the world that
we are an entire country of morons, because we are not.
I like that the movie stays away from the hard line tactics of Michael Moore, placing words in people's mouths and making dangerous assertions in order to get his point across. Moore has good points and its important that people see them, but his methods are not the greatest. Uncovered: The War on Iraq is made up of the testimony of 27 government officials, most of whom were involved in the events that led to this ridiculous war in Iraq, as well as lots of archive footage of top Bush administration officials putting their feet so far in their mouths that they may need to have them surgically removed.
It was mere months before Bush gave Hussein his 48 hour warning that both Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice stated that Saddam had no weapons and no means of obtaining any weapons. Next thing you know he is an imminent threat who could launch WMDs within 45 minutes of giving the order. How can people be so blind? When Fahrenheit 9/11 was released, the right wing, particularly radio talk show hosts (keep your eye out in Uncovered, by the way, for footage of Michael Savage, one of the most hate-filled and nakedly racist men ever allowed near a radio microphone in the history of the medium), were so shocked and frightened that they immediately denounced it as things like a 'pack of lies' (Rush Limbaugh).
My question would be something like, Did Bush ever say 'Some call you the elite, I call you my base'? Did he ever say that or was that another of Michael Moore's lies? In Uncovered: The War in Iraq, Director Robert Greenwald leaves no room for such hollow and weak arguments. The film is literally packed with video evidence of top Bush administration officials stating their reasons for the war, which gradually change as their faulty intelligence becomes apparent. First we went to war to rid Hussein of WMDs, then we were in Iraq to free the Iraqi people, then when that failed too we were there to make America safer, which has also failed. What's next?
Oh yeah, Saddam Hussein is a villain and the world is better off without him. Which renders very difficult to explain the footage of Donald Rumsfeld, the SITTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, SHAKING HANDS WITH HIM. Hussein was a brutal dictator, that is not a subject of debate, but neither is the fact that Iraq and Hussein had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. This has been staring Bush and America in the face since 9/12. Hussein was an ENEMY of Osama bin Laden. But is the world really better off without Hussein in power? I'll be the first to say that the world may very well be better off without him, but there are two things that I can also say for certain Iraq is not better off without him, and America is not better off without him. Iraq has become a haven for terrorists and insurgents and is massively unsafe for everyone within the nation's borders, and Bush has demolished the image of America as a benevolent force in the eyes of the world. We are no longer a benevolent force, we are the bully that no one likes.
Hussein had no weapons on mass destruction and Iraq was not a terrorist nation UNTIL America INVADED AND OCCUPIED IT. As Bush himself said in front of lots of rolling cameras, he wouldn't be happy if he were occupied either. But hey, the first rule of politics is that the man who orders the execution never drops the blade, so Bush's total lack of any kind of military combat experience will make no difference as he sends thousands of young Americans to their meaningless deaths with the flick of a pen and an arrogant smirk for the passing cameras.
Bush went to war in Iraq, among other selfish reasons, to finish what his father left undone when he lost in 1992 to Bill Clinton, and the movie ends with a powerful quote from a book by George H. W. Bush himself, which stated that a ground war in Iraq would have led to an occupation that would result in countless American deaths and no end in sight. Evidently his son is so against accumulating knowledge that he doesn't even read books written by his own father.
Here's something that really gets me, people attack Clinton because bin Laden was offered to him but he wanted to pursue legal means rather than reckless military action, like Bush, so bin Laden wasn't captured and later attacked us on Bush's watch. Rather than go after bin Laden to clean up what supposedly was Clinton's mess, Bush diverts the vast majority of funds and military force AWAY from the pursuit of bin Laden in order to 'use 9/11 as a reason to go after Iraq' (Rumsfeld's words), attacking and removing from power a man who had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Way to go, Bush, because of what you've done, the insurgents planting roadside bombs in Iraq and killing our troops are acting in SELF DEFENSE.
The election, which takes place a mere 8 days after the time of this writing, is the most important election in American history. Lives are at stake, and the mere act of voting Bush out of office can perform miraculous work in repairing at least some of the decades and decades of damage that he has done to this country in his four illegitimate years in office. He has destroyed America's image in the eyes of the world, and in the catastrophic event that he wins a second term (whether by being elected for the first time, or by being wrongly appointed again), we will effectively show the world that we as a country agree with his illegal tactics and arrogant foreign policy.
It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that this does not happen, and films like Uncovered: The War on Iraq are exactly what we need to stop it.
This Greenwald documentary, like Unconstitutional and Outfoxed, is well-composed and remains interesting even for those who are already familiar with the facts, fallacies, and spurious claims. The most remarkable aspect is that the experts are almost entirely very conservative, long-term veterans of the government(Armed Forces, State Dept.Foreign Service, CIA). Their considered, cautionary statements are contrasted with obvious misrepresentations by the administration (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Rice). The real-dynamic of the film arises from this "apolitical" stance in a way that could not be achieved if the administration opponents were liberals or peace-activists. Viewers will walk away with deep concerns about how the policies of the US, both domestic and international, can be made in an environment where government propaganda is uncritically disseminated by an increasingly docile media. Rating 9 of 10
A fairly devastating expose of the tissue of lies which spewed out from
the Bush administration between 9/11 and the Iraq invasion.
What gives this film credibility is that it consists almost entirely of interviews with numerous experts - CIA agents, weapons inspectors and US government officials - who contrast what they knew to be the case with the distortions and blatant lies the US government spun to the public, and which are now unravelling. Everything from the entirely non-existent connection drawn between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein - which thanks to Bush a majority of Americans still believe are related - to the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, for which there never was any solid evidence.
These experts spoke out at the time, but were ignored by the theoretically free but largely patriotic and unobjective American media, which chose instead to toe the government line for far too long. This is why too many Americans continue to have little grasp of the facts (or indeed of foreign affairs generally), and voted Bush back in.
Though I have some admiration for Michael Moore, this is a considerably more intelligent and well-argued film than his, and definitely is the best documentary I have seen so far this year. It's a shame it hasn't received wider exposure.
Having now done the troika of anti-war/anti-bush films --F9/11, Outfoxed and now Uncovered: The War on Iraq I only wish I could force feed this film on all republicans " who I'm sure will never get near it and will hold on to their totally misguided viewpoints. This film presents a phalanx of former CIA and diplomatic heavyweights who proceed to tear apart...shred by shred the misleading "evidence" -- the totally fabricated and false rationale for this totally unnecessary war. It is not very funny like F9/11..it is not investigative as is Outfoxed and WMD --the Danny Schecter film: Weapons of Mass Deception --this film just outlines and delienates,carefully and methodically, using REAL experts the deceit and deception --the lies that this "adminstration" have brought to bear to justify the unjustifiable --it is political, it is "biased" but, it is truthful because the people in it were observers (and, in some cases, participants) to the lies perpetuated on the "american public" ...how can we get people to see it? to be exposed to the truth of what has taken place and caused so much heartbreak and anxiety? See it and make others see it as well. ...this is very important
I expected this to be a scathing analysis of the decision to invade
Iraq, and it was. It made an even stronger case than I expected against
the decision. And it represents a service to the future by its assembly
of archival footage of administration officials saying things that they
undoubtedly will hope that the world will forget they said, given that
they were proved wrong.
But the documentary was a surprise by building the case against the administration from interviews with a large number of mostly recently retired professionals from intelligence agencies, military, State Department, and so on, people who often had decades of experience with the issues at hand. Many of them were conservative and would differ with me on many issues, but their integrity put them on the same side of this issue, and their intelligence and concern for the country was heartwarming. This is a movie I wish people overseas would see as much as my fellow Americans, as it shows two sides of this country in a way I haven't really seen before.
Do you remember us going into Iraq, supposedly in search of Weapons of Mass Destruction? Do you remember when the failure to find any WMDs caused the purpose of the war to shift to Iraqi Freedom? And now that Iraq is NOT free, and it is clear there never was a connection between Saddam and Al Queda, our President says the invasion was ALWAYS about making America, and the rest of the world, a safer place... Don't you believe it. Robert Greenwald's UNCOVERED: The War on Iraq is a thorough, even-handed dissection of what the Bush administration said; when they said it; how they twisted the truth for their own purposes; and how we, as a nation, were manipulated by our own leaders into invading a country, killing thousands of its people, and (justifiably) incurring the outrage of an entire world. And for what? EVERY American should see this movie before they go to the polls in November. Knowledge is power; get powerful.
Robert Greenwald does a very methodical job with this film. It's not sensationalist like Michael Moore's Farenheit 9-11 so it goes at a slower pace but it only serves to drive the point home that Bush and his administration were mistaken to invade Iraq and how intelligence was manipulated. This movie definitely brings up several good points and I recommend that everyone sees this. The interview with Robert Kay was the most impressive one for me for seemed very well thought out and was sent by Bush himself to inspect Iraq for its so called WMD. The quotations from Achmed Chalabi are chilling in retrospect. I challenge all supporters of the war in Iraq to view this film.
The incursion into Iraq by the U.S. and the so-called "Coalition Of The
Willing" that took place on March 19, 2003, and is only starting to
wind down as 2011 draws to a close, proved to be one instigated largely
on half-truths and out-and-out lying on the part of president George W.
Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, and that entire neo-conservative
cabal that had America locked in the grip of fear from the moment of
9/11. The biggest lie of all was that Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein
not only still possessed biological and chemical agents twelve years
after the 1991 Gulf War, but that he had a hand in assisting Al Qaeda
in the attacks of 9/11 that eviscerated 3,000+ in 102 minutes during
that terrible morning in 2001. By the time these lies were found out,
however, it was too late; the Bush/Cheney regime had locked America
onto a course from which, as had been the case with Vietnam, there
would be no turning back even if we wanted it. Just how all of these
lies coalesced into such a debacle that it took Bush's successor to
extricate us from is told in documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald's
incisive 2004 film UNCOVERED: THE WAR ON IRAQ.
Part of a 2003-2004 trilogy known as the "Un" series (UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 ELECTION; UNCONSTITUTIONAL: THE WAR ON OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES), UNCOVERED, released at a time when documentaries of a decidedly liberal slant were erupting out of all corners to challenge the corporate and military fascism of the Bush/Cheney regime, definitively uncovers a lot of evidence of to what extent they lied in order to ensnare us into a conflict that neither gave us revenge for 9/11, nor enhanced national security. It was very well known by United Nations weapons inspectors for several years that Saddam Hussein, as evil and despicable a despot as there has been since the days of Hitler and Stalin, had had his stockpile of "weapons of mass destruction" expunged from existence long after the last shots had been fired in the 1991 war. In essence, he was basically impotent at least until 9/11, when Bush and his minions used the attacks to make it seem like he had suddenly become a direct threat to America. As such, a nation living in fear of being attacked in far worse ways than big jets smashing into buildings placed their trust in a regime where most of the participants, draft dodgers Bush and Cheney especially, had little or no foreign policy acumen, but plenty of misplaced ideologies. To expose these facts, much as Ed Murrow had done with respect to senator Joseph McCarthy's Gestapo tactics at "exposing" Communists during the 1950s "Red Scare", Greenwald utilizes the very words of Bush, Cheney, and the rest, to indict them all; and, as Michael Moore would do in FAHRNEHEIT 9/11, he also shows us footage of Donald Rumsfeld having shaken hands with Hussein on a visit to Iraq in 1983, at a time when Hussein was still America's "friend", and undergoing their own war against the evil Islamist dictatorship next door in Iran.
Adding to this, we also get a whole nest of interviews with people like UN weapons inspectors Scott Ritter and Hans Blix, who had done on-the-ground inspections in Iraq for seven years, and, while they ran into Hussein's stonewalling on any number of occasions, were able to ensure in the end that the Iraqi dictator couldn't use any WMDs on his people or his neighbors; government analysts like Larry Johnson, Chas Freeman, and Ray McGovern, who give very damning assessments of the Bush/Cheney rationale; former ambassador Joe Wilson, who exposed Bush's claims that Iraq was importing yellow cake uranium from Niger as false and saw his CIA agent wife Valerie Plame get exposed as retaliation; and, last but not least, a man who is no stranger to world-class lying, former Nixon special counsel John Dean, who speculates that the amount of lies being told about the war in Iraq by Bush himself could very well have warranted direct impeachment proceedings. This is extremely heavy stuff to take in, and Uncovered does it in less than 90 minutes.
Like so many responses to the Bush/Cheney line that came following the 2003 incursion, UNCOVERED was made the target of the administration and its minions on the Far Right on Fox News, talk radio, and the blogosphere. In the end, however, the truth so smothered the attacks that such a defensive backlash was inevitable; and by the time 2007 rolled around, Iraq was a shambles. Greenwald, even with his very liberal political credentials, was only exposing what the Bush/Cheney junta wanted to keep a permanent secret from the American public. And when all is said and done, while Bush/Cheney will almost certainly be considered the most corrupt presidential administration after Nixon's, Greenwald, and other truth tellers and whistle blowers like him, both liberal and conservative, will come out the big winners. Hopefully, so too will the American people; and even more hopefully, we will come out a bit wiser next time.
19 March 2003. Over three years now since "we" attacked Iraq and we're
still there with hundreds killed in insurgent attacks just the other
day, no real end in sight and the US and UK politicians doing
everything they can to work out how to "cut and run" without making it
look like we're "cutting" or "running". Ironic then that the majority
of those who opposed the war want to stay and ensure we stabilise the
region just shows how sensible these people are because the worst
thing we can do now is just give it all up as a bad job, we did it now
we must pay the price and with Iran now in a more powerful position
in the region than ever, we have yet to really see what that price will
As many of my fellow "cowardly liberals", I watched this film not to really learn something but just to feed my outrage at what has happened over the last five or so years in my name. I was surprised to see those reviewing this film attacking it for ignoring the weapons found and dismissing the film as having been overtaken by evidence discovered after the film was made (2004). Well, I suppose some viewers will have watched it just to pick holes at it. I want to review the film rather than the war but I will say that the case made in this film about the lack of WMD and the manipulation (putting it politely) of intelligence doesn't seem to me to have been a case that has been disproved. I'm not sure if these people disagree with Bush's statement of Dec 05 where he said "many intelligence agencies judged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and it's true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong", because it seems he is backing up this film's earlier claims. Perhaps these viewers also disagree with the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings in Sept 06 that "Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda... refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support" and that "Saddam issued a general order that Iraq should not deal with al-Qaeda - no post-war information suggests that the Iraqi regime attempted to facilitate a relationship with Bin Laden" again something this film claims as well, contrasting nicely with Cheney's assurances in Sept 03 that he had evidence of "Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organisation". This was the same Senate report that reported "post-war findings do not support the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate judgement that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program". Those reviewers also seemed to find it very easy to dismiss David Kay but handily ignore that his replacement Charles Duelfer could find no evidence of movements of WMD out of Iraq and also could not find evidence of a weapons programme. The best he could come up with was evidence that Saddam had a pool of experts that could have been used to start such a programme worrying perhaps but still light years from the claims made by Bush, Cheney, Blair et al.
So if you can know all the knowns we now know and still scoff at the idea that the Iraqi war was planned long before it was justified then this really isn't the film for you because you will only see this as liberal lies and dismiss it as such. Stepping outside of my politics as best I can, this documentary is pretty interesting in how it builds its arguments even if it is very one-sided and not really a discussion so much as a presentation. The opening credits are terrible and made it feel like a cheap TV special and the first 5 minutes spent introducing all the experts was pretty dull but after that the film moves quickly through several subjects using news footage of the Bush administration contrasted with comments and insight from an impressive range of experts. It is very one-sided of course but, unlike Michael Moore, this at least feels like it is a reasoned argument rather than bullying and pushing. Of course it is more enjoyable if you are the choir to be preached to but if there are any neutrals left this film should certainly make a good case.
Overall then an one-sided documentary but a well handled one that brings together expert contributions to build a convincing argument about whether or not we were deceived into going into Iraq. Unlike those that criticise this film for being off-the-mark, I do think time has shown its arguments to be spot on. The delivery could have been a bit more professional but the way it builds its case is engaging and well done.
The difference between the 2004 version and the 2003 version is that they mention the PNAC in the 2004 version. This is very important since this is the group that wished to overthrow Sadaam Hussein and is a large part of the Bush Administration. If you go to their website at www.newamericancentury.Rog and click on "Defense and National Security" then click on the "Rebuilding America's Defenses" PDF link then search "new Pearl Harbor" and read that the "transformation" they wish for would take a while if there is not a "new Pearl Harbor" (and this being written one year before 9/11/01). Then read their "Statement of Principles" and see who signed that document. Then realize that Bush ignored a memo that said Al Qaida was going to attack. You really begin to see clearly that Bush is not only incompetent but also a traitor. (Basically for those who can't do all this, the PNAC wants to take over the world) That is why the 2004 version is better than the 2003 version.
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