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Unhappy Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

I wanted to share this with those interested, but didn't know where to post it. So.......... sorry for the clutter of a new thread.

This is a review of Michael Moore's film about Bush's reaction to 9/11.

Frank Rich: Beautiful minds and ugly truths

Frank Rich NYT

Friday, May 21, 2004
NEW YORK "But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer." - Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003.
.
She needn't have worried. Her son wasn't suffering. In one of the several pieces of startling video exhibited for the first time in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," we catch a candid glimpse of President George Bush about 36 hours after his mother's breakfast TV interview - minutes before he makes his own prime-time TV address to take the nation to war in Iraq. He is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. A makeup woman is doing his face. And Bush is having a high old time. He darts his eyes about and grins, as if he were playing a peek-a-boo game with someone just off-camera. He could be a teenager goofing with his buds to relieve the passing tedium of a haircut.
.
"In your wildest dreams you couldn't imagine Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 seconds before declaring war, with grave decisions and their consequences at stake," said Moore in an interview before his new documentary's premiere at Cannes last Monday. "But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave." As we spoke, the consequences of those decisions kept coming. The premiere of "Fahrenheit 9/11" took place as news spread of the assassination of a widely admired post-Saddam Iraqi leader, Ezzedine Salim, blown up by a suicide bomber just a hundred yards from the entrance to America's "safe" headquarters in Baghdad, the Green Zone.
.
Whatever you think of Moore, there's no question he's detonating dynamite here. From a variety of sources - foreign journalists and broadcasters (like Britain's Channel Four), freelancers and sympathetic American TV workers who slipped him illicit video - he supplies war-time pictures that have been largely shielded from our view. Instead of recycling images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, once again, Moore can revel in extended new close-ups of the president continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to elementary school students in Florida for seven long minutes after learning of the attack. Just when Abu Ghraib and the savage beheading of Nicholas Berg make us think we've seen it all, here is yet another major escalation in the nation-jolting images that have become the battleground for the war about the war.
.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is not the movie Moore watchers, fans or foes, were expecting. (If it were, the foes would find it easier to ignore.) When he first announced this project last year after his boorish Oscar-night diatribe against Bush, he described it as an exposé of the connections between the Bush and bin Laden dynasties. But that story has been so strenuously told elsewhere that it's no longer news.
.
Moore settles for a brisk recap in the first of his film's two hours. And, predictably, he stirs it into an over-the-top, at times tendentious replay of a Bush hater's greatest hits: Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, Harken Energy, AWOL in Alabama, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, the lazy Crawford vacation of August 2001, the Patriot Act. But then the movie veers off in another direction entirely. Moore takes the same hairpin turn the country has over the past 14 months and crash-lands into the gripping story that is unfolding in real time right now.
.
Wasn't it just weeks ago that we were debating whether we should see the coffins of the American dead and whether Ted Koppel should read their names on "Nightline"? In "Fahrenheit 9/11," we see the actual dying, of American troops and Iraqi civilians alike, with all the ripped flesh and spilled guts that the violence of war entails. We also see some of the 4,000-plus American casualties: those troops hidden away in clinics at Walter Reed and at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they try to cope with nerve damage and multiple severed limbs. They are not silent. They talk about their pain and their morphine, and they talk about betrayal. "I was a Republican for quite a few years," one soldier says with an almost innocent air of bafflement, "and for some reason they conduct business in a very dishonest way."
.
Perhaps the most damning sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the one showing American troops as they ridicule hooded Iraqis in a holding pen near Samara in December 2003. A male soldier touches the erection of a prisoner lying on a stretcher underneath a blanket, an intimation of the sexual humiliations that were happening at Abu Ghraib at that same time. Besides adding further corroboration to Seymour Hersh's report that the top command has sanctioned a culture of abuse not confined to a single prison or a single company or seven guards, this video raises another question: Why didn't we see any of this on American TV before "60 Minutes II"?
.
The New York Times reported in March 2003 that Americans were using hooding and other inhumane techniques at CIA interrogation centers in Afghanistan and elsewhere. CNN reported on Jan. 20, after the U.S. Army quietly announced its criminal investigation into prison abuses, that "U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners." And there the matter stood for months, even though, as we know now, soldiers' relatives with knowledge of these incidents were repeatedly trying to alert Congress and news organizations to the full panorama of the story.
.
Moore says he obtained his video from an independent foreign journalist embedded with the Americans. "We've had this footage in our possession for two months," he says. "I saw it before any of the Abu Ghraib news broke. I think it's pretty embarrassing that a guy like me with a high-school education and with no training in journalism can do this. What the hell is going on here? It's pathetic."
.
The movie's second hour is carried by the wrenching story of Lila Lipscomb, a flag-waving, self-described "conservative Democrat" from Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan, whose son, Sergeant Michael Pedersen, was killed in Iraq. We watch Lipscomb, who "always hated" antiwar protesters, come undone with grief and rage. She clutches her son's last letter home and reads it aloud, her shaking voice and hand contrasting with his precise handwriting on lined notebook paper.
.
Sergeant Pedersen thanks his mother for sending "the bible and books and candy," but not before writing of the president: "He got us out here for nothing whatsoever. I am so furious right now, Mama." By this point, Moore's jokes have vanished from "Fahrenheit 9/11." So, pretty much, has Moore himself. He can't resist underlining one moral at the end, but by then the audience, crushed by the needlessness of Lipscomb's loss, is ready to listen. Speaking of America's volunteer army, Moore concludes: "They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?"
.
A particularly unappetizing spectacle in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is provided by Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of both the administration's Iraqi fixation and its doctrine of "preventive" war. We watch him stick his comb in his mouth until it is wet with spit, after which he runs it through his hair. This is not the image we usually see of the deputy defense secretary, who has been ritualistically presented in the U.S. press as the most refined of intellectuals - a guy with, as Barbara Bush would have it, a beautiful mind.
.
No one would ever accuse Moore of having a beautiful mind. Subtleties and fine distinctions are not his thing. That matters very little, it turns out, when you have a story this ugly and this powerful to tell.
.
The New York Times



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NEW YORK "But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer." - Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003.
.
She needn't have worried. Her son wasn't suffering. In one of the several pieces of startling video exhibited for the first time in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," we catch a candid glimpse of President George Bush about 36 hours after his mother's breakfast TV interview - minutes before he makes his own prime-time TV address to take the nation to war in Iraq. He is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. A makeup woman is doing his face. And Bush is having a high old time. He darts his eyes about and grins, as if he were playing a peek-a-boo game with someone just off-camera. He could be a teenager goofing with his buds to relieve the passing tedium of a haircut.
.
"In your wildest dreams you couldn't imagine Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 seconds before declaring war, with grave decisions and their consequences at stake," said Moore in an interview before his new documentary's premiere at Cannes last Monday. "But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave." As we spoke, the consequences of those decisions kept coming. The premiere of "Fahrenheit 9/11" took place as news spread of the assassination of a widely admired post-Saddam Iraqi leader, Ezzedine Salim, blown up by a suicide bomber just a hundred yards from the entrance to America's "safe" headquarters in Baghdad, the Green Zone.
.
Whatever you think of Moore, there's no question he's detonating dynamite here. From a variety of sources - foreign journalists and broadcasters (like Britain's Channel Four), freelancers and sympathetic American TV workers who slipped him illicit video - he supplies war-time pictures that have been largely shielded from our view. Instead of recycling images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, once again, Moore can revel in extended new close-ups of the president continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to elementary school students in Florida for seven long minutes after learning of the attack. Just when Abu Ghraib and the savage beheading of Nicholas Berg make us think we've seen it all, here is yet another major escalation in the nation-jolting images that have become the battleground for the war about the war.
.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is not the movie Moore watchers, fans or foes, were expecting. (If it were, the foes would find it easier to ignore.) When he first announced this project last year after his boorish Oscar-night diatribe against Bush, he described it as an exposé of the connections between the Bush and bin Laden dynasties. But that story has been so strenuously told elsewhere that it's no longer news.
.
Moore settles for a brisk recap in the first of his film's two hours. And, predictably, he stirs it into an over-the-top, at times tendentious replay of a Bush hater's greatest hits: Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, Harken Energy, AWOL in Alabama, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, the lazy Crawford vacation of August 2001, the Patriot Act. But then the movie veers off in another direction entirely. Moore takes the same hairpin turn the country has over the past 14 months and crash-lands into the gripping story that is unfolding in real time right now.
.
Wasn't it just weeks ago that we were debating whether we should see the coffins of the American dead and whether Ted Koppel should read their names on "Nightline"? In "Fahrenheit 9/11," we see the actual dying, of American troops and Iraqi civilians alike, with all the ripped flesh and spilled guts that the violence of war entails. We also see some of the 4,000-plus American casualties: those troops hidden away in clinics at Walter Reed and at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they try to cope with nerve damage and multiple severed limbs. They are not silent. They talk about their pain and their morphine, and they talk about betrayal. "I was a Republican for quite a few years," one soldier says with an almost innocent air of bafflement, "and for some reason they conduct business in a very dishonest way."
.
Perhaps the most damning sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the one showing American troops as they ridicule hooded Iraqis in a holding pen near Samara in December 2003. A male soldier touches the erection of a prisoner lying on a stretcher underneath a blanket, an intimation of the sexual humiliations that were happening at Abu Ghraib at that same time. Besides adding further corroboration to Seymour Hersh's report that the top command has sanctioned a culture of abuse not confined to a single prison or a single company or seven guards, this video raises another question: Why didn't we see any of this on American TV before "60 Minutes II"?
.
The New York Times reported in March 2003 that Americans were using hooding and other inhumane techniques at CIA interrogation centers in Afghanistan and elsewhere. CNN reported on Jan. 20, after the U.S. Army quietly announced its criminal investigation into prison abuses, that "U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners." And there the matter stood for months, even though, as we know now, soldiers' relatives with knowledge of these incidents were repeatedly trying to alert Congress and news organizations to the full panorama of the story.
.
Moore says he obtained his video from an independent foreign journalist embedded with the Americans. "We've had this footage in our possession for two months," he says. "I saw it before any of the Abu Ghraib news broke. I think it's pretty embarrassing that a guy like me with a high-school education and with no training in journalism can do this. What the hell is going on here? It's pathetic."
.
The movie's second hour is carried by the wrenching story of Lila Lipscomb, a flag-waving, self-described "conservative Democrat" from Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan, whose son, Sergeant Michael Pedersen, was killed in Iraq. We watch Lipscomb, who "always hated" antiwar protesters, come undone with grief and rage. She clutches her son's last letter home and reads it aloud, her shaking voice and hand contrasting with his precise handwriting on lined notebook paper.
.
Sergeant Pedersen thanks his mother for sending "the bible and books and candy," but not before writing of the president: "He got us out here for nothing whatsoever. I am so furious right now, Mama." By this point, Moore's jokes have vanished from "Fahrenheit 9/11." So, pretty much, has Moore himself. He can't resist underlining one moral at the end, but by then the audience, crushed by the needlessness of Lipscomb's loss, is ready to listen. Speaking of America's volunteer army, Moore concludes: "They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?"
.
A particularly unappetizing spectacle in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is provided by Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of both the administration's Iraqi fixation and its doctrine of "preventive" war. We watch him stick his comb in his mouth until it is wet with spit, after which he runs it through his hair. This is not the image we usually see of the deputy defense secretary, who has been ritualistically presented in the U.S. press as the most refined of intellectuals - a guy with, as Barbara Bush would have it, a beautiful mind.
.
No one would ever accuse Moore of having a beautiful mind. Subtleties and fine distinctions are not his thing. That matters very little, it turns out, when you have a story this ugly and this powerful to tell.
.
The New York Times
NEW YORK "But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer." - Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003.
.
She needn't have worried. Her son wasn't suffering. In one of the several pieces of startling video exhibited for the first time in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," we catch a candid glimpse of President George Bush about 36 hours after his mother's breakfast TV interview - minutes before he makes his own prime-time TV address to take the nation to war in Iraq. He is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. A makeup woman is doing his face. And Bush is having a high old time. He darts his eyes about and grins, as if he were playing a peek-a-boo game with someone just off-camera. He could be a teenager goofing with his buds to relieve the passing tedium of a haircut.
.
"In your wildest dreams you couldn't imagine Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 seconds before declaring war, with grave decisions and their consequences at stake," said Moore in an interview before his new documentary's premiere at Cannes last Monday. "But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave." As we spoke, the consequences of those decisions kept coming. The premiere of "Fahrenheit 9/11" took place as news spread of the assassination of a widely admired post-Saddam Iraqi leader, Ezzedine Salim, blown up by a suicide bomber just a hundred yards from the entrance to America's "safe" headquarters in Baghdad, the Green Zone.
.
Whatever you think of Moore, there's no question he's detonating dynamite here. From a variety of sources - foreign journalists and broadcasters (like Britain's Channel Four), freelancers and sympathetic American TV workers who slipped him illicit video - he supplies war-time pictures that have been largely shielded from our view. Instead of recycling images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, once again, Moore can revel in extended new close-ups of the president continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to elementary school students in Florida for seven long minutes after learning of the attack. Just when Abu Ghraib and the savage beheading of Nicholas Berg make us think we've seen it all, here is yet another major escalation in the nation-jolting images that have become the battleground for the war about the war.
.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is not the movie Moore watchers, fans or foes, were expecting. (If it were, the foes would find it easier to ignore.) When he first announced this project last year after his boorish Oscar-night diatribe against Bush, he described it as an exposé of the connections between the Bush and bin Laden dynasties. But that story has been so strenuously told elsewhere that it's no longer news.
.
Moore settles for a brisk recap in the first of his film's two hours. And, predictably, he stirs it into an over-the-top, at times tendentious replay of a Bush hater's greatest hits: Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, Harken Energy, AWOL in Alabama, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, the lazy Crawford vacation of August 2001, the Patriot Act. But then the movie veers off in another direction entirely. Moore takes the same hairpin turn the country has over the past 14 months and crash-lands into the gripping story that is unfolding in real time right now.
.
Wasn't it just weeks ago that we were debating whether we should see the coffins of the American dead and whether Ted Koppel should read their names on "Nightline"? In "Fahrenheit 9/11," we see the actual dying, of American troops and Iraqi civilians alike, with all the ripped flesh and spilled guts that the violence of war entails. We also see some of the 4,000-plus American casualties: those troops hidden away in clinics at Walter Reed and at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they try to cope with nerve damage and multiple severed limbs. They are not silent. They talk about their pain and their morphine, and they talk about betrayal. "I was a Republican for quite a few years," one soldier says with an almost innocent air of bafflement, "and for some reason they conduct business in a very dishonest way."
.
Perhaps the most damning sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the one showing American troops as they ridicule hooded Iraqis in a holding pen near Samara in December 2003. A male soldier touches the erection of a prisoner lying on a stretcher underneath a blanket, an intimation of the sexual humiliations that were happening at Abu Ghraib at that same time. Besides adding further corroboration to Seymour Hersh's report that the top command has sanctioned a culture of abuse not confined to a single prison or a single company or seven guards, this video raises another question: Why didn't we see any of this on American TV before "60 Minutes II"?
.
The New York Times reported in March 2003 that Americans were using hooding and other inhumane techniques at CIA interrogation centers in Afghanistan and elsewhere. CNN reported on Jan. 20, after the U.S. Army quietly announced its criminal investigation into prison abuses, that "U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners." And there the matter stood for months, even though, as we know now, soldiers' relatives with knowledge of these incidents were repeatedly trying to alert Congress and news organizations to the full panorama of the story.
.
Moore says he obtained his video from an independent foreign journalist embedded with the Americans. "We've had this footage in our possession for two months," he says. "I saw it before any of the Abu Ghraib news broke. I think it's pretty embarrassing that a guy like me with a high-school education and with no training in journalism can do this. What the hell is going on here? It's pathetic."
.
The movie's second hour is carried by the wrenching story of Lila Lipscomb, a flag-waving, self-described "conservative Democrat" from Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan, whose son, Sergeant Michael Pedersen, was killed in Iraq. We watch Lipscomb, who "always hated" antiwar protesters, come undone with grief and rage. She clutches her son's last letter home and reads it aloud, her shaking voice and hand contrasting with his precise handwriting on lined notebook paper.
.
Sergeant Pedersen thanks his mother for sending "the bible and books and candy," but not before writing of the president: "He got us out here for nothing whatsoever. I am so furious right now, Mama." By this point, Moore's jokes have vanished from "Fahrenheit 9/11." So, pretty much, has Moore himself. He can't resist underlining one moral at the end, but by then the audience, crushed by the needlessness of Lipscomb's loss, is ready to listen. Speaking of America's volunteer army, Moore concludes: "They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?"
.
A particularly unappetizing spectacle in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is provided by Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of both the administration's Iraqi fixation and its doctrine of "preventive" war. We watch him stick his comb in his mouth until it is wet with spit, after which he runs it through his hair. This is not the image we usually see of the deputy defense secretary, who has been ritualistically presented in the U.S. press as the most refined of intellectuals - a guy with, as Barbara Bush would have it, a beautiful mind.
.
No one would ever accuse Moore of having a beautiful mind. Subtleties and fine distinctions are not his thing. That matters very little, it turns out, when you have a story this ugly and this powerful to tell.
.
The New York Times
NEW YORK "But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer." - Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003.
.
She needn't have worried. Her son wasn't suffering. In one of the several pieces of startling video exhibited for the first time in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," we catch a candid glimpse of President George Bush about 36 hours after his mother's breakfast TV interview - minutes before he makes his own prime-time TV address to take the nation to war in Iraq. He is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. A makeup woman is doing his face. And Bush is having a high old time. He darts his eyes about and grins, as if he were playing a peek-a-boo game with someone just off-camera. He could be a teenager goofing with his buds to relieve the passing tedium of a haircut.
.
"In your wildest dreams you couldn't imagine Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 seconds before declaring war, with grave decisions and their consequences at stake," said Moore in an interview before his new documentary's premiere at Cannes last Monday. "But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave." As we spoke, the consequences of those decisions kept coming. The premiere of "Fahrenheit 9/11" took place as news spread of the assassination of a widely admired post-Saddam Iraqi leader, Ezzedine Salim, blown up by a suicide bomber just a hundred yards from the entrance to America's "safe" headquarters in Baghdad, the Green Zone.
.
Whatever you think of Moore, there's no question he's detonating dynamite here. From a variety of sources - foreign journalists and broadcasters (like Britain's Channel Four), freelancers and sympathetic American TV workers who slipped him illicit video - he supplies war-time pictures that have been largely shielded from our view. Instead of recycling images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, once again, Moore can revel in extended new close-ups of the president continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to elementary school students in Florida for seven long minutes after learning of the attack. Just when Abu Ghraib and the savage beheading of Nicholas Berg make us think we've seen it all, here is yet another major escalation in the nation-jolting images that have become the battleground for the war about the war.
.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is not the movie Moore watchers, fans or foes, were expecting. (If it were, the foes would find it easier to ignore.) When he first announced this project last year after his boorish Oscar-night diatribe against Bush, he described it as an exposé of the connections between the Bush and bin Laden dynasties. But that story has been so strenuously told elsewhere that it's no longer news.
.
Moore settles for a brisk recap in the first of his film's two hours. And, predictably, he stirs it into an over-the-top, at times tendentious replay of a Bush hater's greatest hits: Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, Harken Energy, AWOL in Alabama, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, the lazy Crawford vacation of August 2001, the Patriot Act. But then the movie veers off in another direction entirely. Moore takes the same hairpin turn the country has over the past 14 months and crash-lands into the gripping story that is unfolding in real time right now.
.
Wasn't it just weeks ago that we were debating whether we should see the coffins of the American dead and whether Ted Koppel should read their names on "Nightline"? In "Fahrenheit 9/11," we see the actual dying, of American troops and Iraqi civilians alike, with all the ripped flesh and spilled guts that the violence of war entails. We also see some of the 4,000-plus American casualties: those troops hidden away in clinics at Walter Reed and at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they try to cope with nerve damage and multiple severed limbs. They are not silent. They talk about their pain and their morphine, and they talk about betrayal. "I was a Republican for quite a few years," one soldier says with an almost innocent air of bafflement, "and for some reason they conduct business in a very dishonest way."
.
Perhaps the most damning sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the one showing American troops as they ridicule hooded Iraqis in a holding pen near Samara in December 2003. A male soldier touches the erection of a prisoner lying on a stretcher underneath a blanket, an intimation of the sexual humiliations that were happening at Abu Ghraib at that same time. Besides adding further corroboration to Seymour Hersh's report that the top command has sanctioned a culture of abuse not confined to a single prison or a single company or seven guards, this video raises another question: Why didn't we see any of this on American TV before "60 Minutes II"?
.
The New York Times reported in March 2003 that Americans were using hooding and other inhumane techniques at CIA interrogation centers in Afghanistan and elsewhere. CNN reported on Jan. 20, after the U.S. Army quietly announced its criminal investigation into prison abuses, that "U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners." And there the matter stood for months, even though, as we know now, soldiers' relatives with knowledge of these incidents were repeatedly trying to alert Congress and news organizations to the full panorama of the story.
.
Moore says he obtained his video from an independent foreign journalist embedded with the Americans. "We've had this footage in our possession for two months," he says. "I saw it before any of the Abu Ghraib news broke. I think it's pretty embarrassing that a guy like me with a high-school education and with no training in journalism can do this. What the hell is going on here? It's pathetic."
.
The movie's second hour is carried by the wrenching story of Lila Lipscomb, a flag-waving, self-described "conservative Democrat" from Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan, whose son, Sergeant Michael Pedersen, was killed in Iraq. We watch Lipscomb, who "always hated" antiwar protesters, come undone with grief and rage. She clutches her son's last letter home and reads it aloud, her shaking voice and hand contrasting with his precise handwriting on lined notebook paper.
.
Sergeant Pedersen thanks his mother for sending "the bible and books and candy," but not before writing of the president: "He got us out here for nothing whatsoever. I am so furious right now, Mama." By this point, Moore's jokes have vanished from "Fahrenheit 9/11." So, pretty much, has Moore himself. He can't resist underlining one moral at the end, but by then the audience, crushed by the needlessness of Lipscomb's loss, is ready to listen. Speaking of America's volunteer army, Moore concludes: "They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?"
.
A particularly unappetizing spectacle in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is provided by Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of both the administration's Iraqi fixation and its doctrine of "preventive" war. We watch him stick his comb in his mouth until it is wet with spit, after which he runs it through his hair. This is not the image we usually see of the deputy defense secretary, who has been ritualistically presented in the U.S. press as the most refined of intellectuals - a guy with, as Barbara Bush would have it, a beautiful mind.
.
No one would ever accuse Moore of having a beautiful mind. Subtleties and fine distinctions are not his thing. That matters very little, it turns out, when you have a story this ugly and this powerful to tell.
.
The New York Times
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 03:30 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

Hahaha he cracks me up....I loved Bowling For Columbine so I wouldn't mind seeing this!!!
Congrats to him for winning the award in Cannes too!!!


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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 03:43 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

Thank you very much Star for that article. What can I say, I can wait to see that movie. I really liked Bowling for Columbine. I was really glad to hear yesterday that he won the Palme d'or at Cannes. Hopefully it's going to be a little bit easier now for him to show that movie in the States.

When he went at the Oscar ceremony last year and said his speech I couldn't beleive most of the people were ashame of him. After the Oscar I watched some of his interviews on telly and journalists and interviewers were talking to him like he was a non patrotic mad man...I was so in shock and was really impressed by his courage of going out there and say no to war when everyone were bashing you if you say you were against it. Even if his movies have some flaws at least they open discussions in a society were discussions about war was almost prohibited a year ago.

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

Yes. He's courageous.

He's very emotional and biased and has an agenda. But unlike most people, he freely admits it. And no matter how flawed his movies are, he at least is making movies about very serious things, and not just for making millions of dollars.

I'm sure this will be a very difficult movie to watch.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

Oh and did I mention how much and for how long I have despised "Saint" Barbara Bush?

She has been portrayed as this sweet motherly white-haired woman, but I saw her once on a panel with former first ladies, and was shocked at her venom and bile in comparison with Roselyn Carter and Betty Ford who were modulated and intelligent and had interests and causes to talk about.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 03:53 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

That's a huge review!
I'll read it all in the morning( Its 1am and I have to be up at 6... I dunno why I'm still up.
On the radio tonight they played us a little tape of some American radio station. The DJ's were horrified that he'd won the award, were basically hissing at him like he was the scum of the earth. "Anti-American propoganda" LOL! I find his point of view rather refreshing.

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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

I don't always agree with Moore's every twist and turn, but his movies do have the effect of making one think. Even if those who disagree are forced to think.

But, I am sure that the fox news types will think this is just one more insult from France.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 06:54 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

The point everyone seems to miss with iraq is they were sold weapons years ago by usa and the hardcore of american people are lovely people and had nothign to do with all this shit but now you got some grey hair gorilla saying i love you people and my duty to protect you (seeing as hes factory produced twat that puts a country under threat)

And Bush is a guy who would have been in there trading and a total arsehole just like tony blair, but i do like to read these articles and have big interest.

Seriously anything to do with Blait and Bush I am getting to end of my fuse, just want them both voted out and 2 human beings put in their place.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 06:58 PM
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aaahhhh, you europeans are priceless. What you don't know is that America hates Michael Moore.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 07:02 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

no i just hate bomb dropping and innocent lives killed to prove what point??????

and how u get taxes shoot sky high and billed for war u never wanted and had no CHOICE in...it only takes two pratts who cant grow up and stop playing toy soldiers but i guess they will have their supporters..
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 07:04 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbpgbp02
aaahhhh, you europeans are priceless. What you don't know is that America hates Michael Moore.

us europeans??? whats that supposed to mean?? you already got us all catogerised in one bracket then????
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 07:10 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

yeah pretty much, denim
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 08:36 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

As if gbpgbp02 speaks for all americans.

Sounds like this movie is going to help bury the Bush administration for fucking up completely. Sounds good to me. I can't wait to see it.

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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbpgbp02
aaahhhh, you europeans are priceless. What you don't know is that America hates Michael Moore.
America hates Michael Moore?

It's quite a big country, you know, and I don't hate him, and I know many people who don't hate him. I don't worship him. He's got big flaws, but I'm glad he's around and making movies and in general I agree with him.

I wish this would bury Bush, but not enough people will see the movie. Disney refuses to release it, and it has to be bought from Disney before anyone can release it in this country. What would bury Bush is for gasoline prices to continue to climb sky high. But of course if that happens congress is also going to approve oil drilling in the Denali preserve, and anywhere else in Alaska that it can.

Last edited by star; 05-23-2004 at 10:25 PM.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 10:33 PM
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Re: Farenheit 9/11 (Bush & Iraq)

http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html Read this and tell me if you still respect the wonderful documentary filmmaker Moore. I can't wait to see this one picked apart as well. Oh and this rag the NY Times is the same rag that will review every single liberal book and film but hasn't review a conservative publication in a long time. Just keep that in mind folks.
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