I remember holding my head in my hands, watching shock and awe descend upon Baghdad, and thinking no-no-no-nooooooo, folly, all folly! Sometimes, with all that's happened since that day, and the way it has been constantly revised and recolored, it's a struggle to remember the exact segments of bullshit that led us here. But fortunately, we don't have to rely on our own memories. That's because there is a film that documents this path, using only archival news footage, without commentary or opinions. It leaves you as the viewer in control of your own responses.
Here is a brief synopsis from the website, Leading to War:
"How does a government lead its people to war? How does it communicate to its citizens – and to the wider world – the reasons and rationale for initiating military conflict? What rhetorical devices and techniques are employed? And how is a nation brought to support the profound decision to wage war against another nation? These are the questions that LEADING TO WAR seeks to explore.
"This 72-minute film shows the evolution of the United States government’s case for military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime, leading to the Iraq War which began in 2003. LEADING TO WAR is comprised entirely of archival news footage – without commentary, without voiceover – presented chronologically from President Bush’s State of the Union address in January, 2002 (the “axis of evil” speech), and continuing up to the announcement of formal U.S. military action in Iraq on March 19, 2003.
"Covering these 14 months, the film presents selected interviews, speeches, and press conferences given by President Bush and his administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, as well as by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and others.
"This compressed, chronological view offers a unique opportunity to examine the media record from a historical perspective, allowing the material to speak for itself. Footage was licensed from major news sources, including ABC, AP, BBC, CNN, ITN, and NBC. LEADING TO WAR is also intended as a historical record for future generations, who will not have had firsthand experience of the precise, incremental steps taken by the government in presenting its case for war."
If you are interested in seeing this documentary, you can purchase a DVD on the official website linked above. Or you can watch it for free online, if you don't mind sitting at your computer for 72-minutes. Just click here and follow the red arrow to start the film in english. After the film begins, you can expand it to full screen with the little compass icon in the right corner. I watched it with growing unease.
For me, it's not just a matter of reliving the outrage while watching documentation of the lies, it is also a matter of witnessing the methods a government can and will use to sell its agenda to its citizens. I live in hope that perhaps documented film evidence like this of how we got here will help ensure that this type of unnecessary war will never happen again.
Unfortunately, examining how we got here does not automatically lead to understanding exactly how we will get out. There are no good options, no easy ways out of this mess. To me, this is one of the best signs of a deliberate act, an action that once embarked upon, effectively narrows the choices left to successors. We have a sliver of path left open to us now. It won't be easy. It will involve much pain, for both us and the Iraqis. It is NOT a path open to the GoP.
While we as individuals may not have had much choice in our country's headlong rush into this morass, we sure as hell don't have to be a part of allowing McWarDog to get a chance to brush it all under the rug. We must insist our new president and congress investigate the various crimes of the Bush administration. We must expose the corruption of those unbid contracts of Halliburton and KBR and Blackwater. We must examine & assign blame for this disasterous war where it belongs, or we will leave behind us a legacy of criminal villains and thieving murderers that makes a mockery of every principle our country was founded upon.
Here's some additional links to lies from Leading to War:
No weapons of mass destruction found; No mobile biological weapons labs; Iraq did not seek to acquire yellowcake uranium; Aluminum tubes not for nuclear weapons; Mohamed Atta did not meet with Iraqis; Iraq did not provide training to al-Qaeda; No collaboration between Iraq and al-Qaeda; Iraq was not involved in the attacks of 9/11.