The film takes you from 1992 when the neo-conservatives first proposed their faith in unliateral military action and were laughed out of Washington to their gradual ascent to power and now the execution of their worldview of American Empire. Along the way be bump into our usual gang: Mailer, Chomsky, Kwiatkowski, Chalmers Johnson, Scott Ritter and many others who have talked up this topic in other films in the past four years.
But the execution of this film is harsh, driven and unforgiving. There is no Michael Moore ego to crowd the films central thesis: When we invaded Iraq, they were just getting started.
I know opponents will dismiss all the handwringing about the neo-cons as a conspiracy theory. But how can it be a conspiracy when they announced what they’ve wanted to do since the early nineties and published many papers detailing their goals and once they ascend to power they execute those goals? A conspiracy implies there’s a sense of shame.
I always come back to the choice of fear or hope. After 9/11 the world over gave the US an outpouring of love, support and goodwill. And we threw it all away. 2 years later the largest war protests in history were staged all over the world. The Bush administration chose fear. And shopping. Be scared shitless, but for God’s sake keep shopping.
Sure, many of these documentaries and books cover the same content and events but I feel like I get a deeper view of things each time I watch a different take on how this all fits together.
What most frightens me right now is how the neo-con vision of American Empire, the Bush family’s vision of corporate exploitation and the fundamentalist Christian vision of a new Christendom (and the ensuing Rapture) all fit together and drive each other along parallel tracks.
I know I’m gonna be called out on a Godwin but the movie opens with this quote from Herman Goering, a Reichmarshall of the Third Reich, between sessions of the Nuremburg Trials:
Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.