Fahrenheit 9/11: Why the Far Right is Trying to Keep Americans From Seeing It and the Lies, Frauds and Deceptions They're Using
By Anthony Wade
Is there any doubt left in America about the shamelessness on the right? I have read all week long about Michael Moores new film Fahrenheit 911. I read about how there was a Republican PR machine behind a bogus grass roots website that was making threats to theater owners. I read, and responded to, a ridiculous hatchet job by Christopher Hitchens. I read about how there is now a documentary being made called Michael Moore Hates America. I thought, wow, there is really going to be a split in this country over this documentary. Now that I have seen it I am left wondering only one thing. How in the world can any reasonable thinking person see this movie and not be completely stirred, and wish to move toward changing the road we have gone down over the past three years?
I have heard the arguments and they simply do not fly in the face of the realities of this picture. Is this propaganda? The dictionary defines propaganda as information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause. Michael Moore has made it abundantly clear that his goal is to enlighten people to the corruption of this administration, in the hopes of regime change, starting at home. To that end, this movie is, no doubt, propaganda. However, so are the attempts to smear him, the attempts to use McCain-Feingold to shut down the advertisement of this film, and all of the rhetoric coming out from the right, who despicably are using the soldiers for their political benefit. Propaganda is at the heart of all things political. Does that mean the movie loses value? Of course not, that would be silly.
The issue then becomes, is the movie accurate? Do the Saudis own 7% of this country? Does the Presidents family have deep ties to the Bin Laden family? Did the President arrange for the Bin Laden family to be flown out of this country on 09/13, while there was a ban on flights, and then lie about it for two years? Have they made the billions of dollars from the Saudis that Moore asserts? Did the Taliban meet with GW Bush in the late 90s to discuss a pipeline through Afghanistan? Did GW Bush sit in that classroom reading My Pet Goat while we were under attack? Did he use macho tag lines, while soldiers were dying, such as bring em on and were gonna smoke em out? Did the White House really turn over the Presidents military records with the name of James Bath crossed out with marker? Did the Patriot Act get passed without being read? Did that mother lose her son in Iraq? Did those children die, and are they still dying in Iraq? Did Halliburton make billions upon billions of dollars in no-bid contracts from this war? Did Dick Cheney used to run Halliburton? Is that profiting, from a war, which some are calling war profiteering? Was the man GW Bush named to run Afghanistan, Hamid Karzi, a consultant for Unocal, the same company that wanted that infamous pipeline? Is there more than one Senator who has a kid in Iraq right now? Did Bush spend 42% of his first year on vacation? Did he not read the intelligence briefings, which may have tipped him off to 9-11? Were the soldiers lied to about how long they would be in Iraq? Is the predatory nature of recruitment for the armed services aimed at minorities and the poor? These are just some of the facts asserted in this movie and I challenge anyone to actually prove any of these wrong. I understand that the right desperately wants to prevent the American people to connect the dots, but that does not take away from the credibility of the film. They can parse words and confuse the issues but at the end of the day, these are facts and they are not disputable.
Having established that it is propaganda, as is everything in politics and that this movie deals with the truth, where does that leave us? It leaves us wondering why there are so many people on the right who are trying so hard to minimize the amount of people seeing this movie. To summarize:
The PR firm that handled the Recall Gray Davis effort and the banning of The Reagan's miniseries, started a website, pretending to be a grass-roots effort to stop this film. Efforts included harassing theater owners, including threats.
In response to this documentary, there is now in development, a documentary called Michael Moore Hates America, which is an obvious attempt to smear him, and thus take away some of the legitimacy from this movie.
A conservative group, Citizens United, has filed a complaint to stop advertising for this movie, using the campaign finance laws. Ironically, the ads wouldnt be in violation, even if it is found to have substance, for another two months.
Right wing pundits and assassins, such as Hitchens are dispatched to discredit the film, before it even opens.
This is a lot of effort to try and stop you from seeing this movie. You have to ask yourself why? Is it so bad that you might get a dissenting opinion from this movie to counteract the daily spoon-fed media drivel? Why would so many people, go to such extreme lengths to stop you from seeing this film?
To hear some of these people explain it, they are angered at Moores film, as a statement against the soldiers fighting the war in Iraq. The reality of course couldnt be farther from that. Not only did Michael Moore dedicate this film to those soldiers, but also he brings up the most salient point of this movie towards the end, about these brave young men and women. To paraphrase, he asks how ironic it is that those people who are raised in the poorest areas, with the least opportunity, are the first ones to jump at the chance to defend the way of life that perpetuates that cycle, and all they ask in return is that they are not sent into harms way, unless it is absolutely necessary. Considering all of the reasons this President has said we went into these wars have proven to be false, I am afraid we have broken that covenant.
This movie is not anti-soldier. Moore understands that they are simply trapped in a bad policy. They are trapped in a war that was based on lies, and is now too big business to simply back out of. He poignantly captures the grief of a mother who lost her son in this war, for nothing. No, I am sorry, but if you go to this movie with an open mind, you will come out of it a better person, but be prepared to not like what you hear about your country.
This movie is not anti-soldier, it is anti-war profiteering. There are a lot of people mobilizing to prevent you from hearing that message. They stand to make a lot more money from these wars continuing. They think if they wrap themselves up in the soldiers, smear Moore as unpatriotic man who hates America, then they can keep you from seeing the truth. It is time for you to stand up and say that you can make your own mind up.
Go see the movie, but be prepared to weep. This nation continues to weep, and it needs it quite frankly.
Anthony Wade is an independent writer from New York. Email to email@example.com