Wednesday, January 16, 2008
TBG Reviews No End in Sight
Yesterday, Netflix delivered Charles S. Ferguson's intense documentary on the war in Iraq. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I haven't been following the events over there as closely as I should, so I really wanted something that peels back the partisan rhetoric and provides some semblance of truth.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should probably mention that I was against the conflict from the get-go and that stance hasn't wavered. On the other hand, I work for an unnamed defense contractor and, specifically, on several programs that support the American war effort. That's a whole 'nother post, though. In the interim, the conflicting layers of that dichotomy and why I do what I do can be summed up here.
Anyways…Ferguson's film opens up with President Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech. Admittedly, an easy target and one that charts the movie's direction for the next hour and 40 minutes. But, that's not to say that this is an unfounded hatchet job on the Bush administration. In fact, the hatcheting is quite "founded".
On the backs of several strikingly candid interviews with those who served under Bush during the current Iraq conflict, the film has a sense of credibility that carries it above the knee-jerk, ill-informed "liberalmedia!, liberalmedia!" mantra from the right. And, while the interviewees (including, among others, the former Deputy Secretary of The State Department and Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff) can't completely distance themselves from coming off as disgruntled, their insightful explanations for what's gone wrong is frightening.
Sure, it's one-sided, but that's kind of the point. These are hand-picked associates of the Bush Administration who've been to Iraq, seen the f*ck ups firsthand and felt compelled to share their stories. This ain't Michael Moore's Jive Time Ax Grinding Band.
No End in Sight could be faulted for being cloying or oversimplified, but it's also honest. Or, didn't you know that the war ended four years ago?