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Rush to War (2004)

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In today's post-9/11 world, director Robert Taicher searches for the rationale behind the war in Iraq, exploring the failed policies of several administrations in an expertly crafted ... See full summary »

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Daniel Berrigan ...
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Dick Cheney ...
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Richard Clarke ...
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Molly Ivins ...
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In today's post-9/11 world, director Robert Taicher searches for the rationale behind the war in Iraq, exploring the failed policies of several administrations in an expertly crafted full-length documentary. What he presents is a raw, provocative look into America's "War on Terror" and its effect on our society, our credibility, and most importantly, our security. As America fights the wrong war at the wrong time, comes a riveting eye-opener. The right film at the right time. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

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Between Iraq and a Hard Place

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Documentary | War

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29 October 2004 (USA)  »

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Den forhastede krig  »

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Another anthem for the anti-Iraq War choir
4 December 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

Created by Robert Taicher, a veteran narrative filmmaker trying his hand at documentaries for the first time, this film is an expertly crafted, well edited account of the run up to the Iraq War. For members of "the choir," i.e., people who have followed this whole story and already formed a negative critical opinion of President Bush's decision to go to war, there is not much in this film that is new. For those unfamiliar with the story, on the other hand, "Rush to War" may be quite edifying. It is not surprising that this film has been well received in Europe, as Mr. Taicher, who attended the Idaho Film Festival screening that I viewed, told us.

Particularly instructive were Taicher's references, early in the film, to instances of our efforts to overthrow democratically elected governments in the past: in Guatemala and Iran in the 1950s, and in Chile in the early 1970s. It's a useful beginning and could have been enlarged upon, perhaps alluding to U.S. conduct in Vietnam and military aid to Israel (used against Palestinians) and Turkey (used against Turkish Kurds). But then this would have become a different film perhaps, or at least a much longer one.

To broaden domestic viewer appeal, I wonder if a less "polarizing" title is needed. Something more neutral like: "Steps to War" or "The Path to War," or even the well known quip that Taicher uses on his website for the film: "Between Iraq and a Hard Place."

The talking heads are for the most part good choices. I especially liked the long interview segments with George McGovern, a wise man whom we see too little of these days. Mr. Taicher told me after the screening that he intends to interview the liberal historian Howard Zinn soon and add his comments to others in an epilogue to the present cut. That should nicely complement the footage of Zinn in the version of the film that I saw, which is taken from one of Zinn's old speeches.

I loved in particular two quotes that Taicher offered in text stills. This one by Adolf Hitler: "What luck for the leaders that men do not think." The other is from W's father, the first President Bush, on his basis for deciding not to take out Saddam in 1991. Bush the elder said in so many words that to capture or kill Saddam would have caused major loss of life and destabilized the country to a degree that would require our occupation for years to come, that there was no clear exit strategy. I had not heard this deeply prophetic statement before. If only the son could have followed the wisdom of his father. My rating: 7/10 (B). (Seen on 10/02/05). If you'd like to read more of my reviews, send me a message for directions to my websites.


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