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Why We Fight
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Why We Fight (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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Why We Fight -- Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.


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Eugene Jarecki (written by)
View company contact information for Why We Fight on IMDbPro.
It is nowhere written that the American empire goes on forever.
Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(140 articles)
User Reviews:
A framework of understanding: Why We Fight compared to Fahrenheit 9/11 See more (98 total) »


Ken Adelman ... Himself
John Ashcroft ... Himself (archive footage)

Osama bin Laden ... Himself (archive footage)

George Bush ... Himself (archive footage)

George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Byrd ... Himself (archive footage)

Frank Capra ... Himself (archive footage)
Dick Cheney ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Cirincione ... Himself

Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage)
Anh Duong ... Herself
Gwynne Dyer ... Himself

Dwight D. Eisenhower ... Himself (archive footage)
John S.D. Eisenhower ... Himself
Susan Eisenhower ... Herself
Donna Ellington ... Herself
Dennis Hastert ... Himself (archive footage)

Saddam Hussein ... Himself (archive footage)

Chalmers Johnson ... Himself

Lyndon Johnson ... Himself (archive footage)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)
Ayatollah Khomeini ... Himself (archive footage)
William Kristol ... Himself
Karen Kwiatkowski ... Herself
Charles Lewis ... Himself

John McCain ... Himself

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage)

Bill O'Reilly ... Himself (archive footage)
Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Perle ... Himself

Colin Powell ... Himself (archive footage)

Dan Rather ... Himself

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage)

Condoleezza Rice ... Herself (archive footage)
James G. Roche ... Himself

Donald Rumsfeld ... Himself (archive footage)

Tim Russert ... Himself (archive footage)
Wally Saeger ... Himself
Wilton Sekzer ... Himself
Naj Sheesan ... Himself
William Solomon ... Himself
Franklin Spinney ... Himself
Joseph Stalin ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Treadway ... Himself (as Col. Rich Treadway)
Harry S. Truman ... Himself (archive footage)
Michael Valentine ... Himself

Gore Vidal ... Himself
Paul Wolfowitz ... Himself (archive footage)

Directed by
Eugene Jarecki 
Writing credits
Eugene Jarecki (written by)

Produced by
Roy Ackerman .... executive producer
Prudence Arndt .... archive producer
Hans Robert Eisenhauer .... executive producer
Julie Fischer .... line producer: post-production
Nick Fraser .... executive producer
Mette Hoffman Meyer .... executive producer: TV 2/Danmark
Eugene Jarecki .... producer
Alessandra Meyer .... associate producer
Susannah Shipman .... producer
Original Music by
Robert Miller 
Cinematography by
Étienne Sauret 
May Ying Welsh 
Brett Wiley 
Film Editing by
Nancy Kennedy 
Production Management
Nora Calkins .... production manager (as Nora Colie)
Samara Levenstein .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Brian Buckley .... additional sound
Scott Burnell .... additional sound
Joe Caterini .... sound re-recording mixer
Joe Caterini .... supervising sound editor
Jim Gallup .... additional sound
Matthew Haasch .... dialogue editor (as Matt Haasch)
Sheila Louis .... additional sound
Mark Mandler .... additional sound
Peter Miller .... sound
Tom Paul .... sound re-recording mixer
Jeff Rowe .... sound effects editor
Paul Rusnak .... sound
Rob Silverthorne .... additional sound (as Robert Silverthorne)
Robert Sullivan .... additional sound (as Robert 'Sully' Sullivan)
Rufus Tureen .... additional sound
Max Demetrio .... assistant sound (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Brian Scott Benson .... Inferno artist (as Brian Benson)
Tony Lee .... graphics: Digifreak
Tony Lee .... visual effects: Digifreak
Melinda Shopsin .... additional graphics
Tamara Shopsin .... additional graphics
Camera and Electrical Department
António Abreu .... additional camera operator (as Anto io Abreu)
Dodge Billingsley .... additional camera operator
Plinio Cabrera .... additional camera operator
Sam Cullman .... additional camera operator
Hayder Mousa Daffar .... camera assistant (as Hayder Daffar)
Joe di Gennaro .... additional camera operator
Tom Donatelli .... camera assistant
Ed Dooley .... additional camera operator
Douglass Gibran .... camera assistant
Dan Hersey .... additional camera operator
Will Knox .... additional camera operator
Joe Lawler .... additional camera operator
Christopher Li .... additional camera operator (as Chris Li)
Rodney Mitchell .... additional camera operator
Krista Pastecchi .... additional camera operator
Yana Rafailova .... additional camera operator
David Sperling .... additional camera operator
Rick Weber .... additional camera operator
Foster Wiley .... additional camera operator
Animation Department
Benjamin Murray .... stills animator
Editorial Department
Joseph Borges .... assistant editor: high definition
Benjamin Murray .... high definition editor
Scot Olive .... colorist
Music Department
Elena Barere .... musician: violin
Lori Cheatle .... music consultant
Lori Cotler .... musician: singer, mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Dinklage .... musician: violin and viola
Susan Jacobs .... music supervisor
Wolfram Koessel .... musician: cello
Joe Mendoza .... score mixer
Joe Mendoza .... score recordist
Robert Miller .... musician: piano
Vera Pandolfo .... score production executive
Seth Rothschild .... assistant music supervisor
David Weiss .... musician: wood flutes
Valerie Wilson .... musician: singer, soprano
Other crew
Mohammad Al-Ami .... arabic translation services
Mahmoud Baghdady .... arabic translation services
Claudia Becker .... key advisor
Joe Beirne .... technical supervisor
Rob Berkey .... macintosh services: Small Dog Electronics
Amanda Brown .... production assistant
Nora Calkins .... archival researcher (as Nora Colie)
Cletus Dalglish-Schommer .... creative advisor
Erin Heidenreich .... sales agent
Troy Kingsbury .... macintosh services: Small Dog Electronics
Hermes Laoudas .... production accountant: Shine & Cimpany LLP
Pearl Lieberman .... research advisor
Adnan Malik .... production assistant
Alessandra Meyer .... archival researcher
Ibrahim Naboulsi .... arabic translation services
Dana O'Keefe .... sales agent
Mary-Jane Robinson .... field correspondent
Peter Schmidt-Nowara .... creative advisor
Melinda Shopsin .... researcher
Lora Stanbridge .... production assistant: Los Angeles
Mark Steele .... production angel
Robert Stein .... additional legal services: Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn LLP (as Bob Stein)
Robert Stein .... legal counsel
Tim Taylor .... additional legal services: Withers
Tim Wells .... production accountant: European Taxation Services Ltd.
May Ying Welsh .... field correspondent
Edward Eglin .... special thanks (as Ed Eglin)
Jeremy Rabb .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for disturbing war images and brief language
USA:98 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Charles Lewis:We have this idea that we have lots of information available. There's so much that's not available and so much of the truth, quote, unquote, is obscured by political actors who don't want the world to see what they're doing.See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Battle of Russia (1943)See more »
Not Dark YetSee more »


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97 out of 116 people found the following review useful.
A framework of understanding: Why We Fight compared to Fahrenheit 9/11, 22 January 2006
Author: ( from United States

I was disappointed with Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. As someone with deep concerns about American foreign policy specifically and the direction of American culture and discourse generally, I thought that movie generated more heat than light. It did not spark conversation; it extinguished it. Yeah, I think Bush and his cronies are doing indelible harm to America, but I felt like I was being asked to swallow large gulps of rhetorical kool-aid and endorse a somewhat histrionic script in order to appreciate what Moore was saying. It turned off a lot of other people too -- people who might have been able to come away with some new perspective on current political dynamics, but for a tone befitting Fox news (in reverse) were unable to see past the Bush-bashing.

Why We Fight is everything that F9/11 is not. Where F911 told, WWF explains. Where F911 ridicules, WWF allows items of fact speak for themselves. Why We Fight makes the assumption that its audience is educated and capable of examining multiple facets of an issue without resorting to unnecessarily polar characterizations of people or ideas. Just to be clear: WWF's take on these issues is unmistakable, but if F911 is a declaration, WWF is fundamentally a question.

Why We Fight asks its audience to consider Eisenhower's presidential farewell address, and amount of it he devoted to warning against the rise of the "military-industrial complex," coining a new phrase.

"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society." (1961)

Viewers of Why We Fight are consistently returned to this warning as they are reminded of the last fifty years of American military conflicts.

We are introduced to an ex-NYPD cop, Vietnam vet and father of a 9/11 victim who wants revenge on the bastards who killed his son. We meet an Air Force Lt. Colonel who resigned her post in intelligence at the Pentagon when political urgencies began to warp and distort her work of 20 years. The pilots who dropped the first bombs on Baghdad in 2003 talk about their mission. We hear commentary from think-tankers Bill Kristol and Richard Perle, and candid reservations about American military power from Senator John McCain. All have something valuable to say about the conflict in which the United States is engaged.

Fundamentally Why We Fight asks questions of involvement and influence: who are the players, what are their interests, and what are the stakes? It's not about one man, a group of men, or a political party. There are no conspiracy theories; merely a serious question. How much military might is necessary? Given the amount of money spent on defense, the number of jobs the industry provides, the numbers of congressmen in office due to contracts being brought home to their constituents, should we be concerned how the business of war drives the politics for war? Are the needs of a defense corporation different than those of humans? Who is in control, and how much power should they have?

On the surface, the movie is about how we got into Iraq. Deeper, it is asking what the future holds: American military supremacy? For how long? How long did the English or the French or the Soviets hold on to their hegemonies? Just how did we get from Iranians, Jordanians and Frenchmen proclaiming "we are all Americans" in the days following 9/11, to being seen around the globe as the single biggest threat to peace in the world? Can we ever get back?

Richard Perle makes a statement I found chilling largely because I find it hard to disagree. He says something to the effect of, "people think that you can just elect a new man to office, and everything will change. It's already a different world. We have already changed." The degree of truth of that statement is worthy of debate, and that's why I wholeheartedly recommend this movie.

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