Thursday, July 08, 2004

Go find the young men never to fight again. Bring up the banners from the days gone by. Sweet moderation. Heart of this nation. Desert us not, we are between the wars.

Fahrenheit 9/11 proved to be a big surprise.

I expected the normal Michael Moore knock about stuff. The stunts to embarrass the stupid white men, the oh-so-sincere voice over and the lampooning of Bush.

What I didn't expect was the intelligence of his argument and how he managed to find a point to make that I hadn't heard before.

There were plenty of memorable moments in the film. There was the crying mother who had lost her son, there was the soldiers bombing Iraq while gleefully listening to hard rock and there was the depiction of Dubya as the absolute illiterate fool that he is.

But the one sequence that stuck most in my mind was the recruiting of US squaddies to the cause. The scene depicted two senior soldiers, in full dress uniform, prowling the malls and back streets of run down areas.

They were picking off the young black men one by one. See him, he looks a likely candidate. Hey son, over here. You want to join the military?

Each line that the young men came up with was met with another from the recruiters. Join the army, see the world. You want to play basketball? Army is the best place for that. You know xxxx (insert well known player here), he started in the military. You didn't know that did you? Hey, sign here.

It was like tales of medieval times with the King's shilling being swapped for a life in uniform.

Speaking to a group of black teenagers, Moore asked them to raise their hands if they had a family member in the armed forces. They nearly all did. The irony being as Bush further cuts budgets, the less chances these men have, and the more likely that signing up to the military is their only escape from poverty.

I found it difficult to be objective about how good the film was. Just how entertaining can war be? A couple of scenes could have been cut and it would have been slicker and more watchable. Then again every scene felt like vital information. Information that everyone should know about.

I didn't notice any glaring inaccuracies. But there was one ridiculous omission. When talking about the coalition of the willing, Moore ridicules the list of minnows who have supported the USA.

Strangely the UK never gets a single mention. Why? Okay it would ruin his argument that only minor countries were behind Bush, but then again it would have been a simple matter of saying: "While Britain was seemingly behind the war, a million people marching in London would suggest a different story."

The scenes in Iraq were pretty harrowing. Moore cut pictures of everyday family life before the war, with scenes of shock and awe. The unmentioned subtext was that the happy, smiling families, we had previously seen, were underneath those bombs somewhere.

But, as I said, it was Moore's wider point that really stuck with me.

To emphasise this Moore finishes the film on a note of brilliance with this Orwell quote:

"It does not matter if the war is not real. For when it is, victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, but it is meant to be continuous.

"A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or east Asia but to keep the very structure of society intact"

In other words, the victims of this war and of the Bush regime are not just the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, they are also the poor who have been left with no other choice in life than to sign up to the military. They are also the people who are losing out on health, education and welfare in order to pay for the war effort. While Bush and his chums enjoy the fruits of war and make their millions, it's the poor, as always, that are the losers.

I have been feeling guilty recently that I have not blogged enough about the war. It is easy to become tired of the same arguments and the same images and to fall for Blair's current argument that: "You're against it, I'm for it - but let's put it all behind us because what is done is done."

If we put this behind us, then there will be another Iraq before we know it. There will be more innocent third world citizens killed in the name of the oil and weapons industries We cannot allow this to happen.

I didn't watch Moore's film with an open mind. I was against the war before seeing it and remain so now. Moore didn't really tell me anything I didn't know but he told the story and laid out his arguments in such a way that I, once again, feel that I must do everything in my power to demonstrate my anger at the Bush/Blair regimes and their evil wars.

Moore deserves great credit for this. If Fahrenheit 9/11 does not move you then you should ask yourself why? Has the spin and deceit already worn your down? Have you already handed over your free will and powers of individual thought to your Government?

Moore has made me angry again. I don't ever want to stop being angry. He has also reinforced my belief that there is only one war for the rest of us to fight. It is the war for human rights. Human rights for everyone. Rich, poor, Iraqi, American, British, black or white, we all deserve the same chance in life.

If we don't do our own bit to fight the fight, then the pool of stupid white men will grow richer by the day as the rest of us lose everything.

We need more Michael Moores.

We need more films like Fahrenheit 9/11.

Love, light and peace,


I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites. It's wrong to wish on space hardware. I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.