A Lie By Any Other Medium

Fahrenheit 9/11 is out. Woo hoo! I can’t wait to see this movie… in the bargain bin at Walmart.

You can’t pay for this kind of opposition. If all goes well the left will manage to make Michael Moore the face of anti-bush liberalism. I must admit I have no affinity for Michael Moore, but he does make my ‘right-wing’ and ‘quasi-libertarian’ rantings look lucid and sane in comparison.

There is no question that Moore's political thesis, in the form of this movie, will get a full airing and I fully expect that it will be rejected as the radical propaganda that it is by ordinary Americans all over this star spangled land. In the process it may just discredit the anti-war cause itself.

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery. -slate.msn.com

I must say that Christopher Hitchens has been growing on me. Didn't he used to write for the Nation?

From Fahrenheit 9/11 you can glean even more astounding and hidden disclosures, such as the capitalist nature of American society, the existence of Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex," and the use of "spin" in the presentation of our politicians. It's high time someone had the nerve to point this out. There's more. Poor people often volunteer to join the army, and some of them are duskier than others. Betcha didn't know that.

Despite the film's apparent thrust being that Osama is evil, that Bush let Osama go, and the Saudi's exert influence over the Bush administration, Hitchens recounts Moore actually saying in a debate that Osama is innocent until proven guilty and that obviously he hasn't had his day in court.

In late 2002, almost a year after the al-Qaida assault on American society, I had an onstage debate with Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival. In the course of this exchange, he stated his view that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. This was, he said, the American way. The intervention in Afghanistan, he maintained, had been at least to that extent unjustified.

Moore is a millionaire now and expects to make a Mel-Gibson-like fortune off of his latest adventure into Goebbels filmmaking. As a capitalist, I applaud Michael Moore for making this movie in the pursuit of profit, and I thank him for his contribution to the re-election of GW, 'the merciful and compassionate' (conservative).

Christopher Hitchen's counter-quotes Moore's Orwell references:

The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States...

And that's just from Orwell's Notes on Nationalism in May 1945. A short word of advice: In general, it's highly unwise to quote Orwell if you are already way out of your depth on the question of moral equivalence. It's also incautious to remind people of Orwell if you are engaged in a sophomoric celluloid rewriting of recent history.

Since the movie is dedicated to all those who have died in the 'illegal' wars of Bush, I'll end with a Moore quote that explains his view of who is fighting for freedom and who must die to make it right.

The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush? You closed down a friggin' weekly newspaper, you great giver of freedom and democracy! Then all hell broke loose. The paper only had 10,000 readers! Why are you smirking?

...I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.

Posted by Eric Simonson at June 24, 2004 1:13 AM