UQ Wire: Thank You, Michael Moore
Sign up for the wire at:
Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.
Thank You, Michael Moore
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 25 June 2004
"The light at the end of the tunnel could be the bulb in a film projector."
- Jeanette Castillo
Screens in Bartlett, Chattanooga, Jackson, Knoxville and Memphis, Tennessee will be showing it. Screens in Layton and West Jordan, Utah will be showing it. If you find yourself in Leawood, Merriam, Shawnee or Wichita, Kansas, you can see it. The same goes for Centerville, Fairfax and Abington, Virginia. If you happen to be in Akron, Bexley, Dublin or Elyria, Ohio, you're all set. Hoover, Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama will not be left out.
Laramie, Wyoming? It's there. Bozeman, Montana? Indeed. Should you call home Grand Island, Lincoln or Omaha, Nebraska, you have not been forgotten. The largest mall in the country, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, will have it in its theater. If you are a soldier at Camp Lejune or Fort Bragg, about to be shipped to Iraq, you can see it in nearby Fayetteville, North Carolina.
These towns, large and small, along with towns large and small from sea to shining sea and straight through the American heartland, will begin screening Michael Moore's documentary, 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' beginning at 12:01a.m. Friday morning, the 25th of June, 2004. For the majority of people who will see this movie, in those towns large and small, the experience will be nothing short of a mind-bomb.
The Who once sang about how the hypnotized never lie, but as we have seen, people hypnotized by television and deliberately enforced fear can certainly support a war, and a President, which are fundamentally at odds with basic American decency. In fact, people hypnotized by television and deliberately enforced fear will feed themselves into the meat grinder with "God Bless America" on their lips.
Michael Moore's film will snap that hypnosis, but good. Those Americans who believed what their President told them because they saw it on the TV will, after less than two hours in their local theater, look at both their television and their President with doubt and loathing when they walk from the darkness into the bright light of day. There are millions of Americans who believed what they were told - about 9/11, about Iraq, about George W. Bush himself - who will come into that bright light with the realization that they have been lied to.
Speaking personally, none of the data in this film surprised me. Having spent every day of the last three years working to expose as many Americans as possible to the truth of the man they call President, Mr. Moore was unlikely to explode any shells across my bow. The connections between Bush, the Saudis, the Carlyle Group and the 9/11 attacks were there. The connections between Cheney and Halliburton were there. The connections between Enron, Unocal, natural gas pipelines, the war in Afghanistan and a little-known country called Turkmenistan were there. I enjoyed the fact that Moore showed off unredacted copies of Bush's military service record, allowing us to see the parts of those documents which had been blacked out. I found no fact, no assertion in this film to question or doubt. I have done my homework, and as was made painfully clear, Michael Moore did his.
Most Americans don't know about this stuff, and seeing it fully documented and meticulously researched on the big screen will be, to say the least, revelatory. Yes, Virginia, there are billions of dollars to be made off this Iraq war for Bush's friends. The second door on the left is the recruiting office. Sign on the line that is dotted, and be the first kid on your block to die for the benefit of Carlyle's stock options. Be sure to save your pennies beforehand, however, because the Army will dock your pay for the days you are dead. It's policy, you see.
Mr. Moore put two daggers into me with this film, the first of which had to do with American soldiers. Trooper after trooper spoke frankly for Moore's camera, condemning both the war and the people who thrust them into it. Several scenes graphically explained what happens to a soldier's body when it is caught in an explosion. The result is ruinous, and the cries of the wounded and the dying will ring in my ears forever.
The most wrenching scenes in the film center around a woman named Lila, who loves her country, loves her flag, and above all loves her children whom she actively persuaded to join the armed services. We learn that Lila has a son in Iraq, and because of that, she despises those protesting the invasion. We find out later that her son was killed in Karbala on April 2nd, when his Blackhawk helicopter was shot down. We watch her read her son's last letter home, in which he rages against Bush and the war. We last see Lila standing at the gates of the White House, tears boiling from her eyes, as she discovers her true enemy, the one who took her baby from her.
The other dagger Moore put into me came during his montage of the media coverage of the war. Journalist after journalist is shown rhapsodizing Bush, his administration and the war. Each and every one of them carried forth that which we now know to be bald-faced lies: That Iraq had WMDs, that Iraq was a threat, that we had to go, and that everything is fine. It was a slideshow of the nonsense Americans have been spoon-fed for far too long.
If you doubt this, Sidney Blumenthal's aggressive and effective actual journalism, as found in his most recent report titled 'Reality is Unraveling for Bush,' should help you along. "Most of the media was on the bandwagon or intimidated," writes Blumenthal. "Cheney himself called the president of the corporation that owned one of the networks to complain about an errant commentator. Political aides directed by Karl Rove ceaselessly called editors and producers with veiled threats about access that was not granted in any case. The press would not bite the hand that would not feed it."
With a single stroke, Michael Moore has undone three years of poor, slanted, biased, factually bereft, compromised television journalism. This, in the end, is the final greatness of 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' Not only will Americans get a sense of the depth of the deception they have endured, but 'journalists' all across the country will be forced to endure the humiliation they so richly deserve.
I was privileged to see this film in the company of three groups - Military Families Speak Out, September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and Veterans for Peace - which have stood against this disastrous war from day one. Many in the theater had family in Iraq, or had lost family in Iraq, or had lost family on 9/11 and seen their beloved dead used as an excuse for unwarranted war, and there was not a dry eye in the house.
'Fahrenheit 9/11' is not a victory for anyone. We the People should have known better, We the People should have been given the facts before sending 851 of our children to die. We the People have been betrayed, by our leaders and by a media that profited, and profits still, from the daily sale of lies. This film drove that horrid fact home with a mallet, and it hurt.
I was reminded, as I filed out with this company of heroes, of a portion of Shakespeare's rendition of Henry's speech before Agincourt:
He that outlives this day and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Many of us were not hypnotized. Millions of us took to the streets in this country and around the world, to try and stop this madness before it was unleashed. The people in that theater with me had done this, had never stopped doing this, though their President and their media named them traitor. They were right. They were right. They were right.
Michael Moore has unleashed a wolf within Mr. Bush's fences. There is no getting around it. Perhaps, now that it is far too late, we as a nation will wake up. On the day of that awakening, those of us who never stopped standing, never stopped marching, learned to live without sleep, learned to live in a nation that scorned truth for televised fantasy, those patriots I was with tonight in that theater can pause for breath. We can sit upon the grass on a bright day, strip our sleeves, and show our scars.
William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead writer for truthout. He is a New York Times and international bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'
STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: UnansweredQuestions.org does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.