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Foggy War

It is finally in the headlines today - Bush has no intention of pulling out of Iraq before 2009 and since he isn't running for reelection, he doesn't care what we think about it (doesn't mind "spending political capital"). I am not surprised but only because I recently saw the movie "Why we Fight" - which points out we are currently building eight military bases in Iraq.

That was one of the high points of "Why we fight".

Watching Eisenhower's speech about the infamous "military industrial complex" was another reason to catch this film. It also helped me grasp the history about how we moved from pre-war depression to post war boom, made mostly by weapons. It was a slippery slope and we slid on down.

Sadly, the movie isn't above giving a one sided version of history - such as saying President Truman refused to let Japan surrender after WWII because he really wanted to drop an atomic bomb. I studied Truman a bit and this didn't seem in character. I asked a knowledgeable friend about it and he replied that the first part of the sentence was true but we didn't let them surrender because they wanted to do so with terms - something we had already denied Germany. Later in the film, using a map, they list and point out all the battles and wars the U.S. has fought since 1945. This list is dramatically over-simplified. The USSR isn't mentioned once. I am not defending our actions on a mass level - that would be over-simplification too - but since the Soviet Union has fallen people forget what a threat it used to pose. Any discussion of our increase in weapons manufacturing and technology should include how the arms race with the USSR motivated this race for over forty years.

Thus, although the movie shows us sliding down the slope into a military economy, there isn't a lot of examination as to the causes that dragged us down and what other routes may have been feasible. Thus I recommend watching this film, but with a grain of salt. Before you argue points examined in the movie, be sure to research the issue a bit to get a broader perspective.

I really enjoy the trend of documentaries examining war, but Fog of War continues to rise above the rest in terms of quality, fairness, and accountability.

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