Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Why we fight?

This is the title of the documentry I saw last night. A really ambitious documentry by Eugene Jarecki. The film title was a title that was used a series of educational films produced by the US govt in the 60s' to talk to the public about why they went into wars. "Why we fight?" was the question that the Director keeps asking. Through interviews of different people, including veterans, government officials of the white house, a dropout student about to go to services, head of organization of Public Intergrity as well as a refugee from Vietname war, to draw an argument of why Americans need to go to wars. It is certainly no sercret to most of us that, the true reason behind the smoke screens of fighting for freedom, is to support the enormous industry of manufacturing weapons and military services at ground zero.

The most interesting point of the movie though, is not the apparent motive, but the speech of the former US president, Dwight Eisenhower. He predicted the consequences of the "military industrial complex" in 1950's. To put this into context, the Sept 11 event is clearly the classic example of the consequences that Eisenhower was referring to, 50 years ago. Watching this film, studying history texts or watching news, doing any of the above just reminds me of how forgettful is human race. When you only focus on your daily lives on a micro point-of-view, you tends to forget the seeds of wrongdoing you planted 20 years ago might end up resulting some castrophrophic incidents.

Another striking part of the film was the interview with the refugee of the Vietname war, Ann Duong. Her identity was captioned as the Muition Specialist in the US gov't lab (scientist for who studies explosives to be used in bombs for wars). As a refugee herself, she was probably glad to start new lives in the States when she was 13, who was thrilled to have the opportunity to get education, to receive a schlorship to go to Ivy League, and handed a well-paid job in the gov't. Yet, to look at the whole thing in a macro scale, she was just in the midst of the cycle of helping the state to make a better war in another countries, which in turn would result in more refugees like herself. This particular story really hits me. It's almost tragic to see as human, we are likely be trapped in our fates.

The theme of what comes around goes around shines through in the story of the Vietnam war veteran, who also the retiree of the NYPD, whose son was killed in Sept 11.

After hearing all these stories from Amercians dissecting the intentions and motives of wars, I can't help but feel deeply empathic to them. They are in a way betrayed by their gov't who exploit their patriotism to support a cunning agenda of the very privleged group of members in the society, who use wars as a banner to fight for freedom, but indeed to support their infinite greeds for personal net worth.

On that note, is military industry the ultimate way to make money? Is profit the ultimate answer? Why can't we think of a better business idea like organic farming or something to do with better energy conservation technology. Throughout the film, I notice the Director interviewed someone from this organization called The Center for Public Intergrity. I did a google search and found out it's an advocacy group that teach us to be more viligent about what are we being fed by the media/press. Further to this line of researching, I found few other sites that service the similiar educational purpose.

Here are the links:

So why they fight? The retiree of the US defense dept. answered it, because no one threw the towel and say "I am not doing it anymore." Most Americans are interwined in the mesh of this military-industrial complex in some way, at all levels, it's almost impossible to just call it quit at the stake of their survival.

Once a little while, in my comfortable world of status quo, it's crucial for me to watch a movie that reminds me of what the world is made of. Keep me consicous of my surroundings and to be interrogative about the landscape of world politics. As it might seems it's not something that should concern me as much. It is, however, everyone's responsbilities to at least be aware of, and alert about, what's really going on.

Jeez, that was an intense Tues evening to watch a movie that will make me ask so many questions. My brain is hurting...

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