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Why We Fight

Rating: 2 stars
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 25, 2006
2.0 2.0 Stars

FIGHT CLUB: Sloppy thinking parallels sloppy style.As Eugene Jarecki’s documentary of the same title points out, Why We Fight was originally a series of propaganda movies produced by Frank Capra during World War II. They didn’t call for depth or subtlety. Neither does Jarecki’s film, and he’s no Capra, or even a Michael Moore. He argues that the fears expressed in Ike’s famous “military/industrial complex” in 1960 have come true and then some, dooming America to a perpetual policy of war and military spending. To support these claims he musters a range of talking heads that includes such neo-cons as Richard Perle. Fair enough, but when he lets go unchallenged Gore Vidal’s claim that Japan was dying to surrender the whole last year of WW2, he starts to lose me. So that’s why they blew themselves up in caves on Okinawa instead of flying a white flag. Sloppy thinking parallels sloppy style; the latter is dominated by montages of explosions and Cruise missiles. Those on Jarecki’s side will nod in weary resignation; those who are not will find reason to fight on.

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