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Thinkpost - Moore Bush

Thanks to nemesisbecoming and serendipity for the inspiration for this post.

I have to say I'm still a little angry with Michael Moore. His film Fahrenheit 9/11 had some very valid points to make about what The President did and did not do, the decisions he did and did not make, his personality and how that changes what he is willing to hear and how he will react, and the underlying points of what we were doing before and are continuing to do now, in Iraq.

The problem was Moore ladeled on a lot of extra sauce that had little to do with the actual issues in order to make a film that was more glib, or incendiary, or comedic or tragic. Ultimately, he is a filmmaker who is out to get people to come to the theaters. But when you package something as a "documentary," you don't let the opponents attack something unrelated to defend their position.

By presenting the story of Fahrenheit 9/11 in the way Moore did, he effectively allowed the people who support Bush's decisions the opportunity to criticize Moore himself, the film, the concepts, the format, everything but the facts, which Moore admittedly played fast and loose with at the time.

And yet... and yet now people are starting to get the idea. The idea that a lot of us had at the very beginning... or really BEFORE the beginning. Before we even set foot in Baghdad, some of us knew this wasn't accomplishing anything.

There are people who constantly say, "we eliminated an evil dictator, and the Middle East is much better for it." Well, ok. That *might* be true. And I say might because the jury is still out on whether the Middle East truly is "better" for it. Really, the more accurate statement is that ridding Iraq of Hussein is better for the West's version of what they want the Middle East to be.

A revolution is a very personal thing. Imagine, if you will, the Mid to late 18th Century. The tyrannical George III was mishandling the colonies, taxing them for everything and treating them worthlessly. What would have happened if say France or Spain came in and said, Hey, we've got an idea for you! You need to overthrow this dictator and become a democracy. We're going to move in, help you fight and install a new form of government.

Oh, and by the way, we'll be staying here for an indefinite period of time, and we will be using our industries to rebuild your place, because there's going to be a lot of bombing and street fighting. And we may have to kill some of your citizens and civilians, your women, your children. Hey! It's collateral damage! And, we kinda, sorta, expect to get a very VERY nice reward at the end of all this. Do you happen to have any natural resources lying around? If so, just pump them into our tanks and everything will be fine. Now, shut up, stay in your homes and do everything we say, because we're going to set you free.

Of course that didn't happen, then. Not only that, but I dare say we would have fought those that might have attempted to try it!

Sound familiar?

It should, because it is happening now. We have a president that does not listen. We have a president that ignores the problem, who focuses, instead, on the easy things he can do, to make himself feel "presidential." If there is no easy way to do it, like that far-out concept of trying to track down Osama bin Laden, forget about it! Sure that was the plan that he, himself said we would do in the days following 9/11/01. But we were just, you know, theorizing back then.

Even the Republicans are starting to murmur about exit strategies and what the next step in the "plan" will be.

But even though Michael Moore did distort things a bit with his movie, the apparent reality of the situation is the film is still at least that much closer to the truth than the Bush rhetoric. And if you didn't like or support the film, and you're understanding the points that Moore was making, it can't be a good feeling.

But yes! The President is on a 5 week vacation. A FIVE WEEK VACATION? I wonder if Lincoln or FDR or even fellow Texan LBJ ever took more than a month off during a war to just recharge the batteries, have a laugh with their cronies and enjoy the fact that anytime is fun time.

How do people think this is ok, with our sons and daughters dying there? Even the GOP has to think this is a bad PR move, right? With the president not even acknowledging the loss of life, honoring the families of the soliders he sent by having an audience with them. Not sending his own children to this "noble cause" but perfectly willing to make yours go. It's a farce.

I wish Michael Moore hadn't been so "entertaining" with his subject matter. But as more and more of our young die, more and more families are starting to side with the people who thought this never should have happened in the first place. Already it's too late for some who have lost their loved ones to this travesty. How much more will we lose before it's all over?

Maybe we should let the troops have a five week vacation. After all, they're the ones who really need it.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
nemesisbecoming
Aug. 8th, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
(really quick since I'm not able to read the whole thing...)

The only immediate danger Hussein posed was to the Iraqi people at large. Now the Iraqi situation threatens everyone.
penpusher
Aug. 8th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC)
Clearly, Hussein & Sons posed a severe threat to the Iraqis at large. But that doesn't explain a lot of things: The claim that this was a "humnaitarian" effort... the claim that we were looking for WMDs and that we refused to let the UN finish their job before rushing in... it's all a part of this charade.

There are many regimes that are abusive to their citizens, all over the world. We just needed to stop this one.

No US President has been able to handle the Middle East correctly, because none of them understand the mindset, and refuse to learn about it, either because they're too arrogant, too stupid or both. Unfortunately, we currently have one that's both.
bronxelf_ag001
Aug. 8th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
There are many regimes that are abusive to their citizens, all over the world. We just needed to stop this one.

Why yes.

We live in one. Sad, aint it?

penpusher
Aug. 9th, 2005 12:32 am (UTC)
What a brilliant first comment to welcome you to my journal!

You should have been here long ago, but you're here now and I couldn't be more glad.
bronxelf_ag001
Aug. 9th, 2005 12:33 am (UTC)
Aww shucks. You flatter me, but I'm happy to be here. :)
sparkle_shortz
Aug. 8th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
Did we ever actually declare war? I don't think so. And that's the beautiful thing about this war, if you're Bush. It is and it isn't real.

Not, of course, to the Americans and Iraqis and American allies who are getting killed, but he doesn't care about them.
penpusher
Aug. 8th, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC)
This draws the Vietnam parallel. I don't think there was ever a declaration of war in that case, either! But clearly everyone knew that soldiers shooting people and/or coming home in body bags is just a case of semantics. "Action," "event," "conflict."

The fact that it hasn't been officially declared does permit the five week vacation!

He got us on one of them "technologic-alities," to put it in his terms.
sparkle_shortz
Aug. 8th, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC)
Ha ha. BTW, your Merc Retro post is going to have to become a memory for me since I keep going to it for reassurance.
penpusher
Aug. 9th, 2005 12:34 am (UTC)
There's always something good about every phenomenon... it helps to remember there are times that are better for certain things than they are for others. Just like it's not good to plant your seeds in late autumnn, so too it's not good to try to do other things at other times!

As we have stated... just one more week!
dreama
Aug. 8th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
Tut, tut.
But yes! The President is on a 5 week vacation. A FIVE WEEK VACATION? I wonder if Lincoln or FDR or even fellow Texan LBJ ever took more than a month off during a war to just recharge the batteries, have a laugh with their cronies and enjoy the fact that anytime is fun time.

"But in his first days away, Mr. Bush was relatively busy. He gave a speech on Wednesday in Grapevine, Tex., and met with the president of Colombia at the ranch on Thursday. He is to travel to New Mexico today, meet with his economic advisers and hold a news conference at the ranch tomorrow, travel to Illinois on Wednesday, meet with his foreign policy team and hold another news conference back at the ranch on Thursday, go to a Republican fund-raising lunch at a neighboring ranch on Friday and attend a Little League championship game in Waco, Tex., on Saturday." - NY Times - 08/08/2005

I'm far from being an uber-conservative-right-winger, but I hated the Moore film.

Kind of why I don't talk about politics very much - most people seem polarized these days. Crazies on BOTH sides scare me.
penpusher
Aug. 9th, 2005 01:30 am (UTC)
Re: Tut, tut.
Hi, Ms. E!!

Thanks for making a comment. I agree, I don't believe in the crazies, and sure there are some on each side of the aisle. And thanks for posting the current itenerary of President Bush.

Speech giving. Well, I do wonder if he writes his own speeches. Forget writes... I wonder if he READS them before he delivers them!

Economic advisers. I don't know. Who are they?

News Conferences. Maybe if he actually ever answered a question put to him, I'd be impressed.

The last two don't even count. Eating lunch and attending baseball games qualify as things one would do "on vacation!"

I bring this up because there seem to be two different Americas here. We have the one that President Bush resides in and the one that the "little people" are stuck having to deal with his policies.

There hasn't been any protests a la Vietnam, because there are a lot of Bush supporters who were with him when all of this started, and because the message was put out there that "protests were negative toward the troops."

Aha.

That's where we have our problem. Protests are not "negative toward the troops." We all want our troops to be successful and to come home safely. But the problem is that the policy that sent the troops there was wrong. Bush mixes it up for his own advantage.

However, now, people are losing their children for this. And eventually, the protests are gonna start. Will it happen before the end of the year? By next summer? We know we'll still be in Iraq at that time, and maybe even straight through the entire Bush White House.

I agree that the Moore film wasn't great. If I were making it, I would have done several different things. I prefer the fair and clear-eyed approach, demonstrating exactly what this administration has done and has not done.

Normally, I would say that should be enough, but with the spin doctors that helped get him a second term, maybe I'm just kidding myself!
albadore
Aug. 8th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
Normally I would try to add something to the discussion, but you said anything I would have wanted to say. Hear! Hear!
penpusher
Aug. 9th, 2005 12:34 am (UTC)
Well, that icon adds a little something special!! So thanks for that!
ex_muzer409
Aug. 8th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
Yup.

(To further imitate Iraqs' present reality, our liberators in the past would not have spoken english, but would have yelled at us in Spanish or French and gotten very frustrated when we couldn't understand.)
penpusher
Aug. 9th, 2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Good catch! Because everyone all over the world speaks French and Spanish! If they don't, just shoot 'em!
cinematograph
Aug. 9th, 2005 01:21 am (UTC)
Please please please try to read "Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent and the Stifling of Democracy" by Lewis Lapham - it's got points for you to discover!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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