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.
Chronological look at the fiasco in Iraq, especially decisions made in the spring of 2003 - and the backgrounds of those making decisions - immediately following the overthrow of Saddam: no occupation plan, an inadequate team to run the country, insufficient troops to keep order, and three edicts from the White House announced by Bremmer when he took over: no provisional Iraqi government, de-Ba'athification, and disbanding the Iraqi armed services. The film has chapters (from History to Consequences), and the talking heads are reporters, academics, soldiers, military brass, and former Bush-administration officials, including several who were in Baghdad in 2003. Written by
As a military brat, I wanted to see if it was the military or the Cabinet that was making poor decisions about the Iraqi invasion and the years of occupation. Charles Ferguson presented a well laid out chronological story from 9/11/2001 (the Pentagon scenes were especially tearful, we forget that was hit by a plane as well) to the present. Especially interesting was the history between Iran and Iraqi, and I remember the day in 1979 when we knew of American military families that had to leave in the middle of the night from Tehran. America's backing of Hussein then caught up with us in the 90's. Bush's administration was looking for a connection - WMDs, Al-Qada, something.
I was impressed with the candor of Richard Armitage, Col Paul Hughes, and even with Walter Slocombe. The interviews were interesting, honest, and true.
Last week I watched "Saving Private Ryan" for the first time, and understood that we sent in 350,000 troops to Normandy during and after D-Day. Our ability to have that kind of troop deployment is over, as is the Cold War. Instead we are creating a ticking time bomb (much like we did in backing Hussein against Khomeini in 1980) that I hope will not create instability world wide.
I'm planning on buying multiple copies of this DVD - it is that important, not only for now, but in campaign issues in the next year.
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