Release Date: January 20th, 2006 (Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas) by Sony Pictures Classics.
Directed by Eugene Jarecki.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the political and financial motivations behind America’s military decisions.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Writer/direct Eugene Jarecki approaches the hot, timely topic of war with fervor, logic, as well as fearlessness. He’s not afraid to open the film with forty year-old footage of Dwight D. Eisenhower warning America of the dangers of what he calls a “military-industrial complex”. Throughout the years, America has been dominating much of the world with the spread of industrialism. Try to find one town throughout the world where you can’t by an American product like Coca-Cola. Jarecki’s point is that those whose who are behind our military decisions don’t really care about American’s interests, but rather—and not surprisingly—money.. In an interview, a father whose son died on 9/11 discusses how his viewpoint on the war has changed. At first, he thought “eye-for-an-eye” would be a good approach, but after America wrongly targeted Iraq for having “weapons of mass destruction” instead and, meanwhile, killed innocent civilians, he became opposed to war. In other instances, Jarecki points out how America looks arrogant and foolish because of its failed military operations—even with the use of more advanced and “accurate” missiles. Interesting interviews with Dan Rather, Richard Perle, and John McCain also help to buttress his point. Eisenhower’s last statement about how the American empire will not last forever is very frightening and powerful. Fortunately, unlike Michael Moore, Jarecki doesn’t just try to make fun of George W. Bush and other politicians. By examining the actual roots of the issue, he makes for a compelling and logical argument without coming on too strongly.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: If you disagree with the main argument that America is an arrogant empire that foolishly goes into war because of monetary and industrial reasons, you won’t be persuaded by Why We Fight .Jarecki does a good job of proving his point about one side of the coin, but he’s slightly unfair to the other side that caters to the Conservatives who are pro-war. After all, our politicians are not evil or tyrannical in any way. However, America’s foreign policy strongly influences the image of our country. When we attack another country, back away and say “sorry, we thought you had weapons of mass destruction”, that doesn’t really make us look too good around the world. Jarecki’s argues that the “thinking tanks” who decide our military operations mainly have money on their mind. It’s well known the money is the root of all evil. Then again, money is also what makes the world go ‘round. It would have been more thought-provoking and fair if Jarecki would suggest realistic alternatives to the military decisions in America’s past. As of yet, Jarecki hasn’t necessarily proven that he would do better for America if he himself were in the “thinking tank’s” shoes.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Doesn’t examine the politics of war from the pro-American side enough.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Compelling, provocative, and fearless! However, it’s too one-sided to persuade Conservatives.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Conservatives- VHS/DVD
The "W" Menu