View Full Version : Why We Fight: An Examination Of War Says: Follow The Money

03-10-2006, 10:30 AM
Why We Fight: An Examination Of War Says: Follow The Money


(Gold9472: The original BBC version of "Why We Fight" is available in the "YBBS Video Collection (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/videos1.htm)". I strongly recommend it.)

By Christy Lemire
Associated Press

"Why We Fight": The title seeks an answer to a question that is all too timely, as fighting in Iraq continues with seemingly no end in sight. But as Eugene Jarecki shows in his documentary with often sobering insight, such a discussion would have been relevant at any time over the past half-century.

His theory springs from President Eisenhower's 1961 farewell speech, in which he introduced the term "military-industrial complex." The film suggests that war happens not for ideological reasons but for economic ones: War benefits certain corporate interests, regardless of the enemy or the political affiliation of the president in office.

It's an intriguing concept, and as Jarecki moves from current and former military officers to a father who lost his son on Sept. 11, his film unfolds as a calmer, more thoughtful version of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

You'll find no snarky voiceover here, no ironic use of music. If scenes from a defense contractors' trade show come off as uncomfortably upbeat, it is solely the responsibility of the participants involved.

That same approach, though, too often renders the documentary dry and didactic. At times it feels like just a litany of talking heads -- Gore Vidal, Sen. John McCain, Richard Perle, even Eisenhower's son John, who looks strikingly like Ike -- interspersed with maps and footage of high-tech military machinery.

Not surprisingly, Jarecki's movie is most compelling when it focuses on the human element of why we fight. He introduces us to Wilton Sekzer, who was a New York City policeman for 35 years and whose son, Jason, died in the World Trade Center. Sekzer's acceptance of the rightness of the Iraq war later gives way to disillusionment.

So we do we fight? Jarecki poses that question to a series of children attending an air show, several of whom respond, "freedom."

Clearly it isn't that simple.

As Eisenhower left office 45 years ago, he said: "God help the country when somebody sits at this desk who doesn't know as much about the military as I do."