The main contribution of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" is that it pours into the public forum incendiary material that should have been there all along. The long silence is the fault of a media so paranoid about being called "the liberal elite" that they felt the Saudi/Bush connections were as deep as a pot of glue and way too hot to touch. After 9/11, they marched dutifully behind the fife and drum corps to Bush's war tunes. They did nothing to fuel the public debate with facts.
A great deal of personal vitriol has been spewed Moore's way by administration loyalists. None that I know of has undermined the content of his film. The White House has issued no denials. Moore did his research.
So we end up with a powerful editorial. It was
not Moore's intent to hew to journalistic standards or objectivity. He wants to
do all he can to remove George W. Bush from the presidency, and he is trying to
enlist the audience in his effort. His effort is weakened only by his
tendency to turn specific situations into bigger generalizations.
A slow awakening is washing over the American public -
that there were no WMD, that the administration was determined to oust Hussein
when Bush first came into office, that Hussein was not a partner to 9/11, that
Wolfowitz, Rice, Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld ("There are no good targets in
Afghanistan; let's bomb Iraq.") were determined to invade.
What Moore does is to make all the connections by
cutting and pasting them artfully into a devastating portrait of a Bush family
up to its ears in Bin Ladens, Big Oil, and the Saudi royal family. Of 19
hijackers, 15 were Saudis, and yet shortly after September 11th, 142 Saudis,
including Bin Laden family members, were given safe passage from this country.
Moore's film argues that the administration implemented
a meticulous plan after the attack to soften the country into a state of fear
and compliance - John Ashcroft, the Patriot Act, the colored alerts - in order
to attack Iraq, rout Saddam Hussein, and then rebuild the country to their
liking with Haliburton, The Carlyle Group and other defense contractors who sit
comfortably in their pockets.
To those who cry unfair, remember, Moore does not pretend to objectivity. He wants to convince and persuade. Decide for yourself whether it's a federalist paper or propaganda - does it matter? Michael Moore has built a case that has not been denied. He forces questions: How did this man become president? How did corporations become nation builders? How did we get a Texan who dares to don a uniform and proclaim victory? A man who cries, "Smoke 'em out, bring em on" as war strategies? You might want to watch quietly as the president of the U.S., after being told of the attacks, listens to schoolchildren read "My Pet Goat" for seven minutes - waiting, waiting, waiting - for someone to tell him what to do.
Copyright (c) Illusion
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