Fahrenheit 9/11 : A Liberal's War on Terror

The 'War on Terrorism' has failed. The peculiar nature of the enemy the USA claims to be fighting - Islamic fundamentalism - is that, the more you fight it, the worse it gets. You can terrorize some people into submission, but not the world's Muslims. However, the rulers of the USA are as arrogant as I am, and not as smart, and they haven't figured that out yet. But they are not completely stupid. They have collectively decided that the way the war is currently being fought is not leading to the expected results. In just one week, the party line has changed, and the sheep are bleating a shrill, moral, liberal bleat instead of a harsh, aggressive, conservative one.

In a blitz of negative publicity, the Bush regime is being ridiculed from all quarters. The CIA are fighting back against Dubya's attempts to blame them for the fiasco in Afghanistan, the disaster in Iraq, and the coming catastrophe in Saudi Arabia. If I were Dubya, I'd avoid downtown Dallas en route for Crawford. Even the media, like a mangy mutt kicked once too often, has turned on the current occupants of the White House and the Pentagon. Its weapon is Michael Moore's movie.

I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 in a packed house in a typical American shopping mall on July 4th. Everyone applauded except me. Most of the population of the land of the free believe exactly what they are told. America was the only country the majority of whose population believed that Iraq was responsible for September 11th - and many still do!! Now they are being told there's a better way to fight terrorism, and they will believe that too. Moore spends twenty minutes on the links between Bushes and the bin Ladens, and the fact that bin Laden's family were 'allowed' to fly out of America to escape possible retribution in September 2001. He believes America's hate crimes should be directed at rich foreigners instead of poor ones. His movie prepares the public for an invasion of Saudi Arabia. To be fair, he does quote Orwell to the effect that the purpose of continuous war is to attack the poor at home, but his stereotypes of rich Arabs, not Orwell, will stick in moviegoers' minds.

I felt closer to the cynical Congressmen who won't send their sons to die than to the moralistic Moore. As for Dick Cheney, he uses politics to advance his business interests. I'm shocked. Shocked! Moore unintentionally shows that Bush is not as dumb as he appears. Unlike John Kerry, he dodged the Vietnam war. I can't see why I should identify with dumb, poor people who believe in sending their sons and daughters to die (but only when its absolutely necessary), when there are clever, rich people who've seen through this nonsense, like I have. To paraphrase Wilde, you would need a heart of stone to be able to see, without laughing, the tears of a mother who lost her son in Iraq. Doesn't she know that wars kill people? I don't care about Lila Lipscomb and her son, but one moment of Moore's moralizing touched me. The charred bodies of Iraqi civilians, contrasted with the US tank crew who listen to heavy metal music while spreading death and destruction, reminded me I could never really support the Bushes and Kerrys of this world.

Some reviews of Fahrenheit 9/11 have pointed out Moore's failure to mention Israel in his film. Here's one: www.tompaine.com/articles/blind_or_a_coward.php. They miss the point. Moore is a coward (he attacks unpopular, but innocent, people, like bin Laden's family), but he is not blind. He is a propagandist for the American ruling class, which is currently subservient to Israel. If he did turn his lens on the influence of Israel, he would produce a series of images of rich Jews manipulating dumb Americans. He wouldn't do this, but he knows he can get away with doing the same thing to Arabs. Rich Arabs, rich Jews - unpatriotic foreigners running our country - where have we heard this before? I won't descend to comparing anyone to Hitler, but the Nazis were adept at adopting leftist prejudices to their own purposes.

History has given the American working class the task of defeating the most powerful and dangerous class society the world has ever seen. If Moore's heroes - honest, patriotic, hard-working ordinary people - are any indication, history has made a mistake. Moore is effectively saying the working class cannot rise above sentimentality, morality and patriotism. Let's prove him wrong.