Fahrenheit 9/11: Michael Moores Imperfect Masterpiece
By Bonnie Weinstein
I just saw Fahrenheit 9/11. And I do have some criticism of this film. For one thing, Moore makes no mention of Palestine and the similarities between the treatment of the Palestinian people by Israel and the treatment of the Iraqi people by the United States. He makes no mention, either, of the 5 billion U.S. tax dollars being used to arm and defend Israels occupation of Palestine each year. And he ignores the fact that Israeli troops have been training American troops in Iraq in the fine art of brutally controlling Iraqs populationa practice at which they have become particularly skilled.
I was also disturbed by Moores almost satanic portrayal of the Saudis and his subtle implication that this is the country we should have bombed. But if we had, how would we justify the slaughter of innocent Saudi people, who must live under this oppressive U.S.-supported regime? They are not to blame for the actions of their leaders any more than we are to blame for the actions of ours.
Moore seems to imply that its the Saudis who are controlling Bush and the United States and not the other way around. This is reminiscent of the argument that Israel is controlling the U.S. government and thats why we give them the $5 billion a year! Both arguments ignore the bigger picturethe true picture of the U.S. goal of world dominationespecially domination of the oil reserves of the entire Middle East region.
I was also annoyed by Moores implication that the Bush administration is not doing enough to seek out and destroy those they blame for 9/11. Surely Moore must understand that for every person they identified as a terrorist, there are nowafter what we have done in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in view of our continued support to the slaughter of Palestinianshundreds more ready to sacrifice their lives. And the hatred toward our government is growing exponentiallywith good reasonthroughout the world.
Certainly Moore cant deny why that may be. The U.S. government plays dirty with corrupt government leaders throughout the world, not just the Saudi rulers, always leaving the poor and downtrodden of those very nations oppressed and at povertys doorstep while reaping huge profits for U.S. corporations. Moore knows this.
Still, in spite of the films serious flaws, its overall impact on its viewers will have ramifications far into the future. It is a think piece that American workers have been starving for in a sea of mass media, mind-numbing gibberish.
You cant come away from this film without acquiring a deep disdain for the whole American political apparatus and the politicians that keep it going.
I didnt think a film could have the effect of making the war more real to me, but Fahrenheit 9/11 did. Watching the bodies of dead Iraqi civilianschildren, women and menbeing loaded onto a pick-up truck made me weep, and the tears were of fierce anger as well as sorrow. The image of an American mother, who has lost her son in Iraq, standing in front of the White House screaming, I want my son right now! made me feel that a loved one of mine had died. I cannot stop my tears.
But that is how we should feel. Many loved ones have died as Bush plays golf and the senators and congressmen, both Democrats and Republicans, bicker over insignificant details while supporting and voting for Bushs proposals and actions. Their hands are dripping with the blood of the dead and wounded.
This film has given millions of ordinary Americans a partial, though somewhat flawed, picture of the way the U.S. government works and whom it really represents. It has given all of us food for thought. But, can this film alone combat the tremendous mass media blitz of lies our government pours out on a daily basis? The answer is no! And that makes extremely critical the job of those who want to eradicate from our beautiful planet the war-mongering, ruthless and bloodthirsty system responsible for this warcapitalism.