Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Empire stops & reflects?

Maybe. At least that's what Eugene Jurecki's new film "Why we Fight" suggests. Jurecki was on The Current (part II), last week and told Anna Maria Tremonti that Americans are digging deep these days, trying to come to terms with why they're in Iraq and--much more broadly--why America "fights" at all. Sure, on first pass they almost always respond: "We fight for freedom." When pressed a bit harder, the answers came much less automatically and forced John & Jane Q. Public to confront some of the uneasy (horrifying? terrifying?) truths about the meaning of war.

I haven't seen the film yet. I notice it's already playing in T.O. (Canada Square, Carlton), so hopefully it will gain broader distribution soon. Judging from his interview with Amy Goodman, and from the trailer, the film begins with the "radical" words of Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address:
My fellow Americans, this evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen. We have been compelled to create a permanent armament industry of vast proportions. Three-and-a-half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. The total influence, economic, political, even spiritual, is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
Aside from his interviews with American citizens, Jurecki also 'infiltrated' some military tradeshows and found the hawkers of bombers, busters, etc. were only too happy to tell him how great they're doing these days. For more sound-clips and interviews, please check out:


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