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Rant on "Fahrenheit 9/11" SPOILERS!


Guest homerjfry
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Guest homerjfry

Just got back from seeing the flick and I must say I was very impressed. Without looking at this like a typical movie, lets see the pro and cons of it. ASSUME SPOILERS, AND RANTING WITHIN (I apologize for the ranting nature of this in advance. I am probably opening myself for SUPER flamage, but what the hell)

The movie told a very good story with so many twists and elaborations it made my head spin. I was NEVER aware of so many connections between the Bush's and the Saudi's for so many years. I heard the basics, but the connections between companies and aquaintances was simply shocking.

The arc with the mother who worked in Flint was really well done as she started with one stance and as the horrors of war actually hit her she changed her tune. I gurantee whe will never recommend the army as a viable option for her children or any other children anymore.

Finally get different opinions from the troops themselves in Iraq. We have all seen the troops who are happy to be there killing Iraqis, but Moore showed the realities and the absolute brutality of war, and how it hits the troops most of all. It is seriously a wake up call for these kids who sign up and assume that it isn't that bad. They got a newsflash...it was worse.

He showed the absolute sleazebag nature of recruiters who connive and weasle their way into the heads of kids who don't know any better. Take my word for it: it was disgusting and pathetic on the levels of a desperate guy trying his best to get a girl to go out with him. The recruiters offered to pick a guy up and even convinced a gullable fellow that the Marines could help him with his singing career and convinced another guy that they needed his phone number and address to "check him off the list and make sure they already asked him to join." He didn't realize that he will be hounded by them for months. He also showed how they prey on the poor by avoiding suberbia and going right to the poor part of town. I hate these guys and have ever since I've had a drunken encounter with them at the mall.

He proved what we all have known for years: W is a fucking moron. How anyone can walk out of this movie and still think that he is just the normal "guy next door" when this guy is a FUCKING IDIOT. He lies and spews bullshit along with his administration and it is ALL here. Sure it is skewed but SO IS EVERY DOCUMENTARY. Moore has never said that he is offering a fair and balanced look at America. He is offering a skewed view-his view-and nothing else. Sure it paints Bush negatively but all of this is straight from the horses mouth. All of these come from clips of the people themselves being buried in their own hypocrisy.

One might argue that Moore only shows democrats and liberals being interviewed in the movie and therefore, whatever they say doesn't compute since that is what they are expected to say. But the problem lies in the fact that if he interviewed a conservative, all they would do is jerk Bush off and NEVER admit Bush has even seen drugs let alone crammed grams of it up his nose (in fact that's the truth). Another problem is that since it is a Michael Moore movie, NO CONSERVATIVE ON THE PLANET will find themselves agreeing with anything he has to say since he is a lying devil as he is the only person with political party affinity who EVER lies about things. As we all know Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter tell the truth 100% of the time since they are all fair and balanced. Anyone who still calls Moore a liar as a criticism of his work is simply put, stupid since every person who writes or makes films skews their views to their affinity. This is why the guy who runs "Michael Moore Hates America" is just a big a douche as he accuses Moore to be. An excerpt from something I wrote on the trailer (found HERE) of his movie if I may:

The trailer is not only hypocritical, it plays into exactly what patriots want to see. He accusses Moore of lying (which EVERY documetition does in EVERY documentary, doesn't make it ok, but it is a fact of life), yet I am sure this guy will never accuse Bush of lying to the American public would he, even though there is film evidence to prove the fact that he and his administration has done so. I am not a big fan of Moore at all times (i do enjoy his writing, but he is one part genius and one part giant dipshit), but this guy feels that he has "hot a nerve" by hounding Moore for an interview. I am sure if someone with a website dedicated to me hating America was hounding me, I would NOT do an interview with him and I would have a bitter reaction to him. Why do an interview when he would just take everything being said as out of context and radical anti-American rhetoric? "Why do you hate America Mr. Moore? Then why do you make movies about hating America Mr. Moore? Admit that you hate America Mr. Moore" is how I see this interview turning out.

Of course he wants to tell the "truth" about America, yet he has pictures in his trailer (shot in what looks like a bright pastelesqe lens to increase the beauty of it all) show people playing roller blade, the beautiful lights and scenery, and everyone just having fun. Exactly what America is like all the time.

What this guy and Moore do not understand is middle ground. They do not seem aware that people are not radically left wing or radically right wing, or even moderately left or moderately right. If someone can say that they are JUST left or right I believe them to be rather ridiculous. I really hate uber conservatives just as much as I hate uber leftists. Their arguments are so skewed and radically affected to their cause that they end up looking like morons most of the time. I do feel that Michael Moore offers at the basest of levels, an argument that is important for the right to see what is being hidden from them in a sense. This can lead to a middle ground mentality but of course it will only lead to Moore being verbally assulted even more as anti-American, and Moore will continue to make his radically left wing movies to counteract the influx of this hate, and bullshit from guys like Michael Wilson who use Moore as a launching pad to fame and to tap into the veins of American pride to further advance their cause. I think a film like this is very good, as it shows the other side of things, but in the end it just won't work, because people have gotten the right wing bullshit for YEARS.

To quote Wilson's site:

"Contrary to its title, Michael Moore Hates America isn’t a hatchet job on the filmmaker. It’s a journey across the nation where we meet celebrities, scholars and average folks alike, and we find out whether the American Dream is still alive! In the process, we’ll look at Michael Moore’s claims about the country, its people, and our way of life."

So in his own site he admits that his title is bullshit, and is a hatchet job to Moore (the title of the movie, not the film itself), to get people to watch his film by using America against itself for people to come and buy into the film itself. The title is deliberately misleading. "Hey, this movie praises our America and it deals with that villian Michael Moore who hates America, let's go watch it." This guy is a fucking hypocrite plain and simple. If you are going to make a propaganda film, make it, just like Michael Moorse does, but don't try to convince yourself that you are not doing something when you clearly are, and don't accuse Moore of being a lying scumbag who uses propaganda and lies to fuel his film making when you are doing the exact same thing.

This leads me to a part of Moore's movie that I didn't like. Much like Wilson's movie, Moore uses idyllic pictures of Iraq to hammer (and I mean HAMMER) the point across that Bush and his coalition bombed the shit out of Iraq in the middle of harmonious bonding all across the country. This was unnecessary for Moore and is reaked of attempts at evoking mass sympathy for the Iraqi people, but the problem is that we already have sympathy for them due to the Bush administrations lying about the WOMD (shown in the movie from Colin Powell's OWN mouth in a clip from 2001) and the mass destruction of their country.

While Moore also didn't show the amount of people happy about the liberation of Iraq, since that was shown by ALL of the US news outlets, he did show the utter destruction many innocent families went through from the loss of property to the loss of family members, including many heartbreaing moments involving Iraqi children. This reminds me of the moments in which the Bush administration was bombing Bhagdad and the news announced in a rather jovial voice that Udai and Qusay were killed along with a 14 year old relative. The exact words were "We got them" without a moments hesitation that a 14 year old was killed in the blast too.

Anyway, I can already hear the thoughts of people labeling myself and many others who found this movie rather interesting and fantastic, as "UnAmerican" and how much we would rathe rlive in Iraq and all of that other bullshit. Please, get your head out of your asses if this is the case. We all can agree that America is a damn great country with some ridiculous flaws, and an adminstration that blatantly lies to it's people. Clinton more or less got impeached for lying about a blowjob and trying to get Monica to do the same. Bushes lies have cost upwards of 900 deaths of soldiers who no longer want to be there. Bush and his administration has withheld the truth from the people and blatantly lied to the public through their reports about 9/11 and the information they have provided us, showing us the ultimate form of brainwashing through fear and loathing all across America. Bush swears that the terrorists hate our freedom, which might possibly be true in a sense, but from one of the women from the movie, I assume they hate our ability to drop bombs on their houses and kill their children too. She was summoning Allah to reign destruction on America and give victory to the Iraqi's so we see the inherent problem that this gives us: while Bush ironically tries to force democracy on Iraq through violence, the people pray to a higher power to doom the Americans and give the power back to the people. It seems as if this is just a lose, lose situation for the administration.

What I find this film to be is ultimately futile in one hand and the ultimate triumph in the other. It is futile because no conservative will see this movie because: A. It is about bashing George Bush, and B. It is made by Michael Moore. Nobody will watch this movie unless they agree with the viewpoints or if they have to. Word was that Bill O'Reilly walked out of a screening of it claiming that it started late or something of that nature. So the problem is that the only people watching this for the most part is liberals and people who agree with Moore. This is not going to change any conservatives minds. As a positive, this will easily become the highest grossing documentary of all time and it will show the amount of people coming out as a sign of the unity against Bush and the administration at this moment. It is actually a form of protest if you look at it.

I was really shocked by the amount of Saudi money in America. I am not sure about the monetary amount, but I remember it being something like 7% of the amount of money in America or something like that. It was insane.

I really enjoyed the message of Moore's about the troops and how we all must support them and "not put them in harms way." I thought it was a very touching moment, juxtaposed with the idea that Bush, who swears support for them, cuts their money and the money for veterans. This was capped off by a disgusting moment, where the son of the woman in Flint, died in combat and his last paycheck was sent to his family. The army actually docked his pay for the last 5 days of the month before they sent it to his family because he had died before the monthly pay cycle had finished. Insane. This woman then travelled to D.C. and was acossted by a bitch on the street who seemed to accuse the woman of lying about her sons death and then left her with the touching words, "Lots of people have lost their kids. Blame Al Queda." Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

I was telling my friend that this is the perfect time for Moore to bring back "The Awful Truth" as his popularity has never been higher and might be good for it to come back.

Anyway, I forgot some stuff and I must apologize for the length and the rantyness of this "review" (I feel dirty using that word because it turned into a political agenda). But I must sum up with these few words, Saddam: good that he is gone, nobody will argue, but the process was shady at best. America: great country that is criticized for a reason. Fahrenheit 9/11: one of the best documentaries of all time, and well worth everyone in America seeing, just to get a differing look on the facts that most of us rarely ever see.

8/10

Edited by homerjfry
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Nice rant, glad you liked it because i personally loved it. Even my friend who hates Moore had to admit that he really liked the movie. I'm surprised at just how popular this movie is, the theater I saw it at had it on two screens and all shows were sold out, we saw it at a 11 pm showtime, which sold out too. Another interesting note is that the movie got what must have been a 5 minute standing ovation from my theater.

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Guest homerjfry

Thanks. 3 of the showtimes in the theatre I saw were sold out as well. I also really liked how he criticized the democrats for being pussies and lazy, allowing Bush and the administration to do as they wish pretty much. It was insane.

I also forgot that Ashcroft was the man who lost to the dead guy in the last election in his home state. Simply remarkable.

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I also forgot that Ashcroft was the man who lost to the dead guy in the last election in his home state. Simply remarkable.

Heh, yeah, Robin Williams mentioned it in his HBO special. "The choices were, John Ashcroft, dead guy.....and the people were like 'sorry John, the dead guy scares us less.'"

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That sucks, as for me, I'll be watching it tomoorw....which is technically today. This movie took the number 1 spot this Friday, with 8 million. Which is amazing for a Documentary

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This movie took the number 1 spot this Friday, with 8 million.  Which is amazing for a Documentary

Amazing is an understatement. It's only showing on 850(?) screens this weekend and is already set to break Columbine's record for highest-grossing documentary in it's first 3 days. (Columbine took 6 weeks to earn it, I believe....Not to mention that BFC took 25 weeks or so to get to it's final total.)

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The first one is a little lengthy, but both focus on the same main idea; the hypocrisy and spin prevalent in the 'documentary'. I haven't seen it yet, but these reviews come as no surprise to me. I was told F 9/11 was more objective than Bowling For Columbine. Apparently I was lied to.

FYI: Hitchens is a notably left-wing columnist

The lies of Michael Moore.

By Christopher Hitchens

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.

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. Something—I cannot guess what, since we knew as much then as we do now—has since apparently persuaded Moore that Osama Bin Laden is as guilty as hell. Indeed, Osama is suddenly so guilty and so all-powerful that any other discussion of any other topic is a dangerous "distraction" from the fight against him. I believe that I understand the convenience of this late conversion.

Fahrenheit 9/11 makes the following points about Bin Laden and about Afghanistan, and makes them in this order:

1) The Bin Laden family (if not exactly Osama himself) had a close if convoluted business relationship with the Bush family, through the Carlyle Group.

2) Saudi capital in general is a very large element of foreign investment in the United States.

3) The Unocal company in Texas had been willing to discuss a gas pipeline across Afghanistan with the Taliban, as had other vested interests.

4) The Bush administration sent far too few ground troops to Afghanistan and thus allowed far too many Taliban and al-Qaida members to escape.

5) The Afghan government, in supporting the coalition in Iraq, was purely risible in that its non-army was purely American.

6) The American lives lost in Afghanistan have been wasted. (This I divine from the fact that this supposedly "antiwar" film is dedicated ruefully to all those killed there, as well as in Iraq.)

It must be evident to anyone, despite the rapid-fire way in which Moore's direction eases the audience hastily past the contradictions, that these discrepant scatter shots do not cohere at any point. Either the Saudis run U.S. policy (through family ties or overwhelming economic interest), or they do not. As allies and patrons of the Taliban regime, they either opposed Bush's removal of it, or they did not. (They opposed the removal, all right: They wouldn't even let Tony Blair land his own plane on their soil at the time of the operation.) Either we sent too many troops, or were wrong to send any at all—the latter was Moore's view as late as 2002—or we sent too few. If we were going to make sure no Taliban or al-Qaida forces survived or escaped, we would have had to be more ruthless than I suspect that Mr. Moore is really recommending. And these are simply observations on what is "in" the film. If we turn to the facts that are deliberately left out, we discover that there is an emerging Afghan army, that the country is now a joint NATO responsibility and thus under the protection of the broadest military alliance in history, that it has a new constitution and is preparing against hellish odds to hold a general election, and that at least a million and a half of its former refugees have opted to return. I don't think a pipeline is being constructed yet, not that Afghanistan couldn't do with a pipeline. But a highway from Kabul to Kandahar—an insurance against warlordism and a condition of nation-building—is nearing completion with infinite labor and risk. We also discover that the parties of the Afghan secular left—like the parties of the Iraqi secular left—are strongly in favor of the regime change. But this is not the sort of irony in which Moore chooses to deal.

He prefers leaden sarcasm to irony and, indeed, may not appreciate the distinction. In a long and paranoid (and tedious) section at the opening of the film, he makes heavy innuendoes about the flights that took members of the Bin Laden family out of the country after Sept. 11. I banged on about this myself at the time and wrote a Nation column drawing attention to the groveling Larry King interview with the insufferable Prince Bandar, which Moore excerpts. However, recent developments have not been kind to our Mike. In the interval between Moore's triumph at Cannes and the release of the film in the United States, the 9/11 commission has found nothing to complain of in the timing or arrangement of the flights. And Richard Clarke, Bush's former chief of counterterrorism, has come forward to say that he, and he alone, took the responsibility for authorizing those Saudi departures. This might not matter so much to the ethos of Fahrenheit 9/11, except that—as you might expect—Clarke is presented throughout as the brow-furrowed ethical hero of the entire post-9/11 moment. And it does not seem very likely that, in his open admission about the Bin Laden family evacuation, Clarke is taking a fall, or a spear in the chest, for the Bush administration. So, that's another bust for this windy and bloated cinematic "key to all mythologies."

A film that bases itself on a big lie and a big misrepresentation can only sustain itself by a dizzying succession of smaller falsehoods, beefed up by wilder and (if possible) yet more-contradictory claims. President Bush is accused of taking too many lazy vacations. (What is that about, by the way? Isn't he supposed to be an unceasing planner for future aggressive wars?) But the shot of him "relaxing at Camp David" shows him side by side with Tony Blair. I say "shows," even though this photograph is on-screen so briefly that if you sneeze or blink, you won't recognize the other figure. A meeting with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, or at least with this prime minister, is not a goof-off.

The president is also captured in a well-worn TV news clip, on a golf course, making a boilerplate response to a question on terrorism and then asking the reporters to watch his drive. Well, that's what you get if you catch the president on a golf course. If Eisenhower had done this, as he often did, it would have been presented as calm statesmanship. If Clinton had done it, as he often did, it would have shown his charm. More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse. The other half would be saying what they already say—that he knew the attack was coming, was using it to cement himself in power, and couldn't wait to get on with his coup. This is the line taken by Gore Vidal and by a scandalous recent book that also revives the charge of FDR's collusion over Pearl Harbor. At least Moore's film should put the shameful purveyors of that last theory back in their paranoid box.

But it won't because it encourages their half-baked fantasies in so many other ways. We are introduced to Iraq, "a sovereign nation." (In fact, Iraq's "sovereignty" was heavily qualified by international sanctions, however questionable, which reflected its noncompliance with important U.N. resolutions.) In this peaceable kingdom, according to Moore's flabbergasting choice of film shots, children are flying little kites, shoppers are smiling in the sunshine, and the gentle rhythms of life are undisturbed. Then—wham! From the night sky come the terror weapons of American imperialism. Watching the clips Moore uses, and recalling them well, I can recognize various Saddam palaces and military and police centers getting the treatment. But these sites are not identified as such. In fact, I don't think Al Jazeera would, on a bad day, have transmitted anything so utterly propagandistic. You would also be led to think that the term "civilian casualty" had not even been in the Iraqi vocabulary until March 2003. I remember asking Moore at Telluride if he was or was not a pacifist. He would not give a straight answer then, and he doesn't now, either. I'll just say that the "insurgent" side is presented in this film as justifiably outraged, whereas the 30-year record of Baathist war crimes and repression and aggression is not mentioned once. (Actually, that's not quite right. It is briefly mentioned but only, and smarmily, because of the bad period when Washington preferred Saddam to the likewise unmentioned Ayatollah Khomeini.)

That this—his pro-American moment—was the worst Moore could possibly say of Saddam's depravity is further suggested by some astonishing falsifications. Moore asserts that Iraq under Saddam had never attacked or killed or even threatened (his words) any American. I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible. Baghdad was for years the official, undisguised home address of Abu Nidal, then the most-wanted gangster in the world, who had been sentenced to death even by the PLO and had blown up airports in Vienna* and Rome. Baghdad was the safe house for the man whose "operation" murdered Leon Klinghoffer. Saddam boasted publicly of his financial sponsorship of suicide bombers in Israel. (Quite a few Americans of all denominations walk the streets of Jerusalem.) In 1991, a large number of Western hostages were taken by the hideous Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and held in terrible conditions for a long time. After that same invasion was repelled—Saddam having killed quite a few Americans and Egyptians and Syrians and Brits in the meantime and having threatened to kill many more—the Iraqi secret police were caught trying to murder former President Bush during his visit to Kuwait. Never mind whether his son should take that personally. (Though why should he not?) Should you and I not resent any foreign dictatorship that attempts to kill one of our retired chief executives? (President Clinton certainly took it that way: He ordered the destruction by cruise missiles of the Baathist "security" headquarters.) Iraqi forces fired, every day, for 10 years, on the aircraft that patrolled the no-fly zones and staved off further genocide in the north and south of the country. In 1993, a certain Mr. Yasin helped mix the chemicals for the bomb at the World Trade Center and then skipped to Iraq, where he remained a guest of the state until the overthrow of Saddam. In 2001, Saddam's regime was the only one in the region that openly celebrated the attacks on New York and Washington and described them as just the beginning of a larger revenge. Its official media regularly spewed out a stream of anti-Semitic incitement. I think one might describe that as "threatening," even if one was narrow enough to think that anti-Semitism only menaces Jews. And it was after, and not before, the 9/11 attacks that Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi moved from Afghanistan to Baghdad and began to plan his now very open and lethal design for a holy and ethnic civil war. On Dec. 1, 2003, the New York Times reported—and the David Kay report had established—that Saddam had been secretly negotiating with the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il in a series of secret meetings in Syria, as late as the spring of 2003, to buy a North Korean missile system, and missile-production system, right off the shelf. (This attempt was not uncovered until after the fall of Baghdad, the coalition's presence having meanwhile put an end to the negotiations.)

Thus, in spite of the film's loaded bias against the work of the mind, you can grasp even while watching it that Michael Moore has just said, in so many words, the one thing that no reflective or informed person can possibly believe: that Saddam Hussein was no problem. No problem at all. Now look again at the facts I have cited above. If these things had been allowed to happen under any other administration, you can be sure that Moore and others would now glibly be accusing the president of ignoring, or of having ignored, some fairly unmistakable "warnings."

The same "let's have it both ways" opportunism infects his treatment of another very serious subject, namely domestic counterterrorist policy. From being accused of overlooking too many warnings—not exactly an original point—the administration is now lavishly taunted for issuing too many. (Would there not have been "fear" if the harbingers of 9/11 had been taken seriously?) We are shown some American civilians who have had absurd encounters with idiotic "security" staff. (Have you ever met anyone who can't tell such a story?) Then we are immediately shown underfunded police departments that don't have the means or the manpower to do any stop-and-search: a power suddenly demanded by Moore on their behalf that we know by definition would at least lead to some ridiculous interrogations. Finally, Moore complains that there isn't enough intrusion and confiscation at airports and says that it is appalling that every air traveler is not forcibly relieved of all matches and lighters. (Cue mood music for sinister influence of Big Tobacco.) So—he wants even more pocket-rummaging by airport officials? Uh, no, not exactly. But by this stage, who's counting? Moore is having it three ways and asserting everything and nothing. Again—simply not serious.

Circling back to where we began, why did Moore's evil Saudis not join "the Coalition of the Willing"? Why instead did they force the United States to switch its regional military headquarters to Qatar? If the Bush family and the al-Saud dynasty live in each other's pockets, as is alleged in a sort of vulgar sub-Brechtian scene with Arab headdresses replacing top hats, then how come the most reactionary regime in the region has been powerless to stop Bush from demolishing its clone in Kabul and its buffer regime in Baghdad? The Saudis hate, as they did in 1991, the idea that Iraq's recuperated oil industry might challenge their near-monopoly. They fear the liberation of the Shiite Muslims they so despise. To make these elementary points is to collapse the whole pathetic edifice of the film's "theory." Perhaps Moore prefers the pro-Saudi Kissinger/Scowcroft plan for the Middle East, where stability trumps every other consideration and where one dare not upset the local house of cards, or killing-field of Kurds? This would be a strange position for a purported radical. Then again, perhaps he does not take this conservative line because his real pitch is not to any audience member with a serious interest in foreign policy. It is to the provincial isolationist.

I have already said that Moore's film has the staunch courage to mock Bush for his verbal infelicity. Yet it's much, much braver than that. 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. Back in Flint, Mich., Moore feels on safe ground. There are no martyred rabbits this time. Instead, it's the poor and black who shoulder the packs and rifles and march away. I won't dwell on the fact that black Americans have fought for almost a century and a half, from insisting on their right to join the U.S. Army and fight in the Civil War to the right to have a desegregated Army that set the pace for post-1945 civil rights. I'll merely ask this: In the film, Moore says loudly and repeatedly that not enough troops were sent to garrison Afghanistan and Iraq. (This is now a favorite cleverness of those who were, in the first place, against sending any soldiers at all.) Well, where does he think those needful heroes and heroines would have come from? Does he favor a draft—the most statist and oppressive solution? Does he think that only hapless and gullible proles sign up for the Marines? Does he think—as he seems to suggest—that parents can "send" their children, as he stupidly asks elected members of Congress to do? Would he have abandoned Gettysburg because the Union allowed civilians to pay proxies to serve in their place? Would he have supported the antidraft (and very antiblack) riots against Lincoln in New York? After a point, one realizes that it's a waste of time asking him questions of this sort. It would be too much like taking him seriously. He'll just try anything once and see if it floats or flies or gets a cheer.

Indeed, Moore's affected and ostentatious concern for black America is one of the most suspect ingredients of his pitch package. In a recent interview, he yelled that if the hijacked civilians of 9/11 had been black, they would have fought back, unlike the stupid and presumably cowardly white men and women (and children). Never mind for now how many black passengers were on those planes—we happen to know what Moore does not care to mention: that Todd Beamer and a few of his co-passengers, shouting "Let's roll," rammed the hijackers with a trolley, fought them tooth and nail, and helped bring down a United Airlines plane, in Pennsylvania, that was speeding toward either the White House or the Capitol. There are no words for real, impromptu bravery like that, which helped save our republic from worse than actually befell. The Pennsylvania drama also reminds one of the self-evident fact that this war is not fought only "overseas" or in uniform, but is being brought to our cities. Yet Moore is a silly and shady man who does not recognize courage of any sort even when he sees it because he cannot summon it in himself. To him, easy applause, in front of credulous audiences, is everything.

Moore has announced that he won't even appear on TV shows where he might face hostile questioning. I notice from the New York Times of June 20 that he has pompously established a rapid response team, and a fact-checking staff, and some tough lawyers, to bulwark himself against attack. He'll sue, Moore says, if anyone insults him or his pet. Some right-wing hack groups, I gather, are planning to bring pressure on their local movie theaters to drop the film. How dumb or thuggish do you have to be in order to counter one form of stupidity and cowardice with another? By all means go and see this terrible film, and take your friends, and if the fools in the audience strike up one cry, in favor of surrender or defeat, feel free to join in the conversation.

However, I think we can agree that the film is so flat-out phony that "fact-checking" is beside the point. And as for the scary lawyers—get a life, or maybe see me in court. But I offer this, to Moore and to his rapid response rabble. Any time, Michael my boy. Let's redo Telluride. Any show. Any place. Any platform. Let's see what you're made of.

Some people soothingly say that one should relax about all this. It's only a movie. No biggie. It's no worse than the tomfoolery of Oliver Stone. It's kick-ass entertainment. It might even help get out "the youth vote." Yeah, well, I have myself written and presented about a dozen low-budget made-for-TV documentaries, on subjects as various as Mother Teresa and Bill Clinton and the Cyprus crisis, and I also helped produce a slightly more polished one on Henry Kissinger that was shown in movie theaters. So I know, thanks, before you tell me, that a documentary must have a "POV" or point of view and that it must also impose a narrative line. But if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your "narrative" a problem and throw in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don't even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft. If you flatter and fawn upon your potential audience, I might add, you are patronizing them and insulting them. By the same token, if I write an article and I quote somebody and for space reasons put in an ellipsis like this (…), I swear on my children that I am not leaving out anything that, if quoted in full, would alter the original meaning or its significance. Those who violate this pact with readers or viewers are to be despised. At no point does Michael Moore make the smallest effort to be objective. At no moment does he pass up the chance of a cheap sneer or a jeer. He pitilessly focuses his camera, for minutes after he should have turned it off, on a distraught and bereaved mother whose grief we have already shared. (But then, this is the guy who thought it so clever and amusing to catch Charlton Heston, in Bowling for Columbine, at the onset of his senile dementia.) Such courage.

Perhaps vaguely aware that his movie so completely lacks gravitas, Moore concludes with a sonorous reading of some words from George Orwell. The words are taken from 1984 and consist of a third-person analysis of a hypothetical, endless, and contrived war between three superpowers. The clear intention, as clumsily excerpted like this (...) is to suggest that there is no moral distinction between the United States, the Taliban, and the Baath Party and that the war against jihad is about nothing. If Moore had studied a bit more, or at all, he could have read Orwell really saying, and in his own voice, the following:

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.

If Michael Moore had had his way, Slobodan Milosevic would still be the big man in a starved and tyrannical Serbia. Bosnia and Kosovo would have been cleansed and annexed. If Michael Moore had been listened to, Afghanistan would still be under Taliban rule, and Kuwait would have remained part of Iraq. And Iraq itself would still be the personal property of a psychopathic crime family, bargaining covertly with the slave state of North Korea for WMD. You might hope that a retrospective awareness of this kind would induce a little modesty. To the contrary, it is employed to pump air into one of the great sagging blimps of our sorry, mediocre, celeb-rotten culture. Rock the vote, indeed.

And another, along similar lines.

June 23, 2004 -- For all its clever slickness, Michael Moore's "Fahren heit 9/11" does not stack up to such brilliant but evil art as Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda films for Hitler. But it is art in the sense that any piece of effective political propaganda — Julius Streicher's "Der Sturmer" magazine, the famous Che poster from Alberto Korda's photo, even the anti-Goldwater mushroom-cloud TV ad put out by LBJ — can be taken as art.

Alert critics will doubtless point out its artistic flaws. For example, its most moving sequence — which features audio from the World Trade Center attacks played over a black screen — is a direct ripoff of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 11-minute segment in the 2003 film "9/11/01"

What makes "Fahrenheit 9/11" notable is that feature-length movie-house agitprop is a relatively rare and new thing, and that so far it has been treated (for instance by the Cannes Film Festival jury) as something more than the clever (if breathtakingly sleazy) political propaganda that it is.

And the film does offer some valuable lessons for everyone — though not in its topics: 9/11, Osama bin Laden, Iraq, the "stolen" 2000 election, the Bush administration's fondness for the Saudis, the U.S. armed forces' supposed recruiting from the "starving" unemployed masses or any of the mutually exclusive conspiracy theories the movie puts forward.

No, the lessons of "Fahrenheit 9/11" have to do with the general degradation of our political discourse, the gross dishonesty of our most feted "documentary" filmmaker and with what Michael Moore's super-popularity in Hollywood and France adds to what we already know about the ignorance and intellectual poverty of the movie industry and the pathetic, spiteful hostility of our French "allies."

That said, the Bush administration might want to consider how the Department of Homeland Security's silly color-coded terror alerts play neatly into the hands of its most paranoid or devious opponents (especially when those alerts coincide with adverse poll results).

And the "forgotten" soldiers who have lost arms and legs in the Iraq and Afghan wars (there's some moving footage of amputees) should neither be forgotten nor remembered only by people like Moore, who would use that suffering for their own ends.

But you certainly don't have to be a fan of Bush or his policies to be offended by "Fahrenheit 9/11" lies, half-lies and distortions, or by Moore's shockingly low expectations of his audience:

* Moore's favorite anti-administration interviewee is former National Security Council aide Richard Clarke. Yet the film never mentions that it was Clarke who gave the order to spirit the bin Laden family out of America immediately after 9/11. Moore makes much of this mystery; why didn't he ask Clarke about it ?

* At one point of the film, he portrays GIs as moronic savages who work themselves up with music before setting out to kill. Later, he depicts them as proletarian victims of a cynical ruling class, who deserve sympathy and honor for their sacrifice.

* The film's amusing (if bordering on racist) Saudi-bashing sequences rely for their effect on the audience having forgotten that President Bill Clinton was every bit as friendly with Prince Bandar (or "Bandar Bush," as Moore calls him) and the Saudi monarchy as his successor. In general, the movie is packed with points that Moore assumes his audience will never check, or are either lies or cleverly hedged half-lies:

* Moore says that the Saudis have paid the Bush family $1.4 billion. But wait —the Bushes aren't billionaires. If you watch the film a second time you'll note Moore saying that they paid $1.4 billion to the Bush family and (added very quietly and quickly) its friends and associates.

* Moore asserts that the Afghan war was fought only to enable the Unocal company to build a pipeline. In fact, Unocal dropped that idea back in August 1998. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are looking at the idea now, but nothing has come of it so far, and in any case Unocal has nothing to do with it.

* In a "congressmen with no kids at war" stunt, Moore claims that no one in Congress has a son or daughter fighting in America's armed services, then approaches several congressmen in the street and asks them to sign up and send their kids to Iraq. His claim would certainly surprise Sgt. Brooks Johnson of the 101st Airborne, the son of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). And for that matter the active-duty sons of Sen. Joseph Biden and Attorney General John Ashcroft, among others.

The most offensive sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11"'s long two hours lasts only a few minutes. It's Moore's file-footage depiction of happy Iraq before the Americans began their supposedly pointless invasion. You see men sitting in cafes, kids flying kites, women shopping. Cut to bombs exploding at night.

What Moore presumably doesn't know, or simply doesn't care about, is that the building you see being blown up is the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad. Not many children flew kites there. It was in a part of the city that ordinary Iraqis weren't allowed to visit — on pain of death.

And if Moore weren't a (left-wing) version of the fat, bigoted, ignorant Americans his European friends love to mock, he'd know that prewar Iraq was ruled by a regime that had forced a sixth of its population into fearful exile, that hanged dissidents (real dissidents, not people like Susan Sontag and Tim Robbins) from meathooks and tortured them with blowtorches, and filled thousands of mass graves with the bodies of its massacred citizens.

Yes, children played, women shopped and men sat in cafes while that stuff went on — just as people did all those normal things in Somoza's Nicaragua, Duvalier's Haiti and for that matter Nazi Germany, and as they do just about everywhere, including in Iraq today.

Moore has defended deliberate inaccuracies in his prior films by claiming that satirists don't have to tell the exact truth. Fair enough. But if you take the lies, half-lies and distortions out "Fahrenheit 9/11," there isn't much of anything left.

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I refuse to watch the movie, but not because I like Bush or Kerry or hate Bush or Kerry. Quite frankly, I have been doing research on my own about both candidates, and a little movie bad mouthing Bush is not going to make me change my way of deciding to vote. Seeing these two above articles makes me weary of seeing it, due to the fact there are so many holes in the movie. The fact of the matter is, yes, go ahead and go watch the movie, enjoy it. But, when it comes time to vote, don't use that as the main reason for your choice, cause it is just stupid. Go do research on both Kerry and Bush. Do you support gay marriage? Find out which one of them does, and use that. Do you support the right to have an abortion? Find out who does and doesnt. Right now, don't look to the past. Mistakes have been made, and the president is not going to let them happen again. Look to the future, and who will benefit YOU the most, not who Hollywood wants you to THINK will benefit you.

At the risk of getting flamed, I am also going to say that right now, I am leaning towards voting Kerry. So it is not that I am a "liberal" or whatever, but I think that Kerry can get plenty of votes with just his views on things, and he doesn't need some stupid, poorly done documentary to win the election. Thank you.

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Hmmm, unfair you say?

Wow, perhaps you could even say Moore intended it to be that way.

Oh right, cause he did. He's said it when anyone has asked him abou the movie. He's said "Yes its unfair and totally bias because its my opinion."

So, thanks captain obvious, I eagerly await your next review of a movie you haven't seen and know nothing about.

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Hmmm, unfair you say?

Wow, perhaps you could even say Moore intended it to be that way.

Oh right, cause he did.  He's said it when anyone has asked him abou the movie.  He's said "Yes its unfair and totally bias because its my opinion."

The film is supposed to be a 'documentary'. You can't make a documentary that is completely and utterly one-sided. You can't flat-out lie on a documentary.

Considering Moore criticises Newsweek magazine for making "completely false and misleading statements about facts and issues contained in Fahrenheit 9/11", I don't think it's amiss to point out the hypocrisy in his film.

Like I said, I haven't seen it yet, so I'm not sure to what extent the issues raises mar the film as a whole.

So, thanks captain obvious, I eagerly await your next review of a movie you haven't seen and know nothing about.

I didn't write the review, Sherlock.

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Yes, but you gave your thoughts on it, which is as much of a review as you can give without seeing it.

Moore has never claimed its a documentary. The media tagged it as such so they can then say its not a documentary because its bias. Moore himself refers to it as "My movie" "The movie" or "this movie" and has never called it a documentary.

Get your facts straight and stop buying what the media tells you.

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I'll take the "Leonard Maltin" stance on this one....

The movie is not a documentary. It's only called that because we have no other way to classify it. It's propaganda.

The same could be said for Super Size Me(on a much smaller scale).

I only read the first half of the first posted article, so I can't really comment on those things....other than the fact that the guy who wrote article #1 seems to have something against Michael Moore on a personal level and doesn't seem to be providing any more "less bias" info than Moore himself.

Edited by Numbahs
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Moore calls it a film and not a documentary. As far as the pipeline in Afhanistan is concerned I think that should be researched more into. There's oil to the North of Afghanistan as well and the pipeline would make sense. The Karzai links make htem even more interesting. I'll dissect this in it's entirety later on today. I've only read a few of those points in that article you gave and I found holes in them already. I'm sure I'll find more when I read it from start to finish later. Moore does not say that no congressman has a child in the armed forces. He did say there was one. So that's a ridiculous lie right there. Kids flying kites is supposed to represent their innocence. In the very next sequence he shows kids killed in the bombings.

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I caught a 11 AM showing this morning and the place was only half filled but the energy in the theatre was amazing. It's definite a must see and definitely go with a group of people if possible. I'm probably gonna catch it again one more time at a time the theatre is packed. Despite the emptiness at 11 AM it drew a huge ovation at the end from the crowd that was there. By the time I got out there was this huge line waiting to get in. Definitely a great sign given the troubles Moore faced in getting this released. As for the Saudi money in the US economy, the # Moore gave was 854 Billion Dollars. What's funny though is people try to dissect the negativity in the other thread found here: http://www.ewbattleground.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=4084

I only took a quick glance right now and was able to see flaws in there. Recommend those of you who have seen it to go correct them as well.

Edited by sahyder1
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Jesus, why jump down Jimmy's throat? Because he posted articles that took an opposing viewpoint to one held by much of this community? He never said anything about his personal opinion of "Fahrenheit 9/11", all he said was that he wasn't surprised to hear about inaccuracies in it. Judging from Moore's past work, neither am I. Maxx, to tell him to "get [his] facts straight and stop buying what the media tells [him]" is utterly ridiculous. Nobody's allowed to question something that supposedly of an esoteric nature?

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Guest homerjfry

It still remains true: You can't criticize America without being labled a traitor or a "coward" and you can't be a patriot without loving George Bush. Nice.

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It still remains true: You can't criticize America without being labled a traitor or a "coward" and you can't be a patriot without loving George Bush. Nice.

And apparently, you can't criticize a left-winger without being labeled a sheep.

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Guest homerjfry

And apparently, you can't criticize a left-winger without being labeled a sheep.

I hope you are not talking about me, because I didn't mention anything about this. Extreme left wingers deserve criticism just as much as the extreme right.

I assume that was directed towards Maxx though.

Edited by homerjfry
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The movie is not a documentary. It's only called that because we have no other way to classify it. It's propaganda.

No problem with that. America has been full of it for decades.

Hell, the American government has been shoving so much of it down everyones neck, its hard to believe anything they say. According to them over the last few decades, Communism is this evil force that turns good hardworking Americans into evil Soviet loving zombies, the war in Iraq was perfectly justified, the Black Panthers were an evil terrorist organization, and there were enough connections between Al Queda and Iraq to justify the deaths of several thousand innocent people.

My point being - Michael Moore could be accused of making propaganda, but he is no different from the US government.

On a similar note - Anyone else finding some of the conservative reactions to the movie funny? I have heard from at least 20 conservatives on the internet who say they are going to see the movie and expose its "lies". What a great idea - Expose Moores "lies" and at the same time funding his next movie. I just don't get some people.

Edited by FunkAsPuck
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We also discover that the parties of the Afghan secular left—like the parties of the Iraqi secular left—are strongly in favor of the regime change. But this is not the sort of irony in which Moore chooses to deal.

And they are a very small minority.

The president is also captured in a well-worn TV news clip, on a golf course, making a boilerplate response to a question on terrorism and then asking the reporters to watch his drive. Well, that's what you get if you catch the president on a golf course.

Um....not when you're talking about a serious issue like people dying. That's Moore's point right there. Bush does not understand the sensitivity of the issue.

If Eisenhower had done this, as he often did, it would have been presented as calm statesmanship. If Clinton had done it, as he often did, it would have shown his charm.

Um...No. When did Clinton make an attempt at humor when talking about Dead soldiers, etc. Clinton would've been eaten alive by the "liberal" media.

More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse.

Why war? The President getting a briefing on 2 civilian aircrafts crashing into big buildings wouldn't be justified right there? No one would blame him if he got a briefing at that time or got in touch with his advisors etc. This is plain ridiculous.

In this peaceable kingdom, according to Moore's flabbergasting choice of film shots, children are flying little kites, shoppers are smiling in the sunshine, and the gentle rhythms of life are undisturbed. Then—wham! From the night sky come the terror weapons of American imperialism. Watching the clips Moore uses, and recalling them well, I can recognize various Saddam palaces and military and police centers getting the treatment. But these sites are not identified as such.

The kids are meant to represent the innocent civilians who they show dead in the next sequence. What's wrong with that?

Moore asserts that Iraq under Saddam had never attacked or killed or even threatened (his words) any American. I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible. Baghdad was for years the official, undisguised home address of Abu Nidal, then the most-wanted gangster in the world, who had been sentenced to death even by the PLO and had blown up airports in Vienna* and Rome. Baghdad was the safe house for the man whose "operation" murdered Leon Klinghoffer. Saddam boasted publicly of his financial sponsorship of suicide bombers in Israel.

Suicide bombings in Israel do not target Americans. They're meant to target Israelis.

In 1991, a large number of Western hostages were taken by the hideous Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and held in terrible conditions for a long time.

First of all hostages is a ridiculous term here. People were barred from entering or leaving the country shortly before the first Gulf War. The country is about to be attacked....what do you want them to do? And all those foreign "hostages" were returned to their countryes prior to the start of the Gulf War.

the Iraqi secret police were caught trying to murder former President Bush during his visit to Kuwait. Never mind whether his son should take that personally. (Though why should he not?) Should you and I not resent any foreign dictatorship that attempts to kill one of our retired chief executives?

Wanting to go to war because your president was threatened.....and wanting to go to war because your father was threatened are two different things. Especially if you give a lie as a reason when using option #2.

In 2001, Saddam's regime was the only one in the region that openly celebrated the attacks on New York and Washington and described them as just the beginning of a larger revenge. Its official media regularly spewed out a stream of anti-Semitic incitement. I think one might describe that as "threatening," even if one was narrow enough to think that anti-Semitism only menaces Jews.

Celebrating when a country that's put you through hell for a decade is attacked is not that uncommon around the world. You'd do the same if the roles were reversed. Anti-Semetic incitement again is anti-Israel......where's the US connection?

The same "let's have it both ways" opportunism infects his treatment of another very serious subject, namely domestic counterterrorist policy. From being accused of overlooking too many warnings—not exactly an original point—the administration is now lavishly taunted for issuing too many. (Would there not have been "fear" if the harbingers of 9/11 had been taken seriously?) We are shown some American civilians who have had absurd encounters with idiotic "security" staff. (Have you ever met anyone who can't tell such a story?) Then we are immediately shown underfunded police departments that don't have the means or the manpower to do any stop-and-search: a power suddenly demanded by Moore on their behalf that we know by definition would at least lead to some ridiculous interrogations. Finally, Moore complains that there isn't enough intrusion and confiscation at airports and says that it is appalling that every air traveler is not forcibly relieved of all matches and lighters. (Cue mood music for sinister influence of Big Tobacco.) So—he wants even more pocket-rummaging by airport officials? Uh, no, not exactly. But by this stage, who's counting? Moore is having it three ways and asserting everything and nothing. Again—simply not serious.

Wow, is this section retarded or what (not that the others aren't)? Moore points out that these police departments are undermanned and if it really was about a security threat wouldn't there be more cops out there? Or atleast attempts made to put more cops out there? He interviews a lady who was forced to drink her own breastmilk in order to prove that it wasn't some deadly material. Yet people are allowed to board planes with 4 matchbooks and 2 lighters. That's what his point was. What does this have do with more pocket searches? They were taking those matches and lighters in the open. That section was mixed with the anti-war group that was breached and the guy at the gym who was questioned because he talked about how 9/11 was handled.

In the film, Moore says loudly and repeatedly that not enough troops were sent to garrison Afghanistan and Iraq. (This is now a favorite cleverness of those who were, in the first place, against sending any soldiers at all.)

Yeah, because his beef is with the government and not the soldiers. He doesn't want to see military casualties.

Does he think that only hapless and gullible proles sign up for the Marines? Does he think—as he seems to suggest—that parents can "send" their children, as he stupidly asks elected members of Congress to do?

He never said that only those groups enter the military. His point was that the military is the only option for a lot of poor people to even earn some money. He points to the unemployment rate in his hometown. He also follows the marine recruits who go to the poor part of town instead of the rich part.

The film's amusing (if bordering on racist) Saudi-bashing sequences rely for their effect on the audience having forgotten that President Bill Clinton was every bit as friendly with Prince Bandar (or "Bandar Bush," as Moore calls him) and the Saudi monarchy as his successor. In general, the movie is packed with points that Moore assumes his audience will never check, or are either lies or cleverly hedged half-lies:

Bandar Bush is a name given by the Bush family and commonly used in the media. Moore did not create the name.

* Moore says that the Saudis have paid the Bush family $1.4 billion. But wait —the Bushes aren't billionaires. If you watch the film a second time you'll note Moore saying that they paid $1.4 billion to the Bush family and (added very quietly and quickly) its friends and associates.

Man this guy has selective hearing. He said that the Saudis mysteriously poured money over time to save Dubya's oil business and he kept blowing the money. That's 1.4 billion over a long time. Not just past 2-3 years.

Moore asserts that the Afghan war was fought only to enable the Unocal company to build a pipeline. In fact, Unocal dropped that idea back in August 1998. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are looking at the idea now, but nothing has come of it so far, and in any case Unocal has nothing to do with it.

Care to explain the Taliban officials visiting him in Texas?

In a "congressmen with no kids at war" stunt, Moore claims that no one in Congress has a son or daughter fighting in America's armed services, then approaches several congressmen in the street and asks them to sign up and send their kids to Iraq. His claim would certainly surprise Sgt. Brooks Johnson of the 101st Airborne, the son of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). And for that matter the active-duty sons of Sen. Joseph Biden and Attorney General John Ashcroft, among others.

Moore does not say that no congressman has a child in the armed forces. He did say there was one serving in Iraq.

Oh yeah, Boulder needs to calm down. That guy posted an article and he got responses to it.

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Oh yeah, Boulder needs to calm down. That guy posted an article and he got responses to it.

Actually, he posted an article and he was attacked on a personal level. That offended me. Perhaps if I agreed with you, I wouldn't be asked to calm down?

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