Why We Fight 2006 (Complete documentary)
Why We Fight is a 2006 prize winning documentary film about the US military-industrial complex. The title refers to the World War 2 era eponymous propaganda movies commissioned by the U.S. Government to justify their decision to enter the war against the Axis Powers.
The film was first screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival on 17 January 2005, exactly forty-four years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address in which he warned the American people of the dangers from the “military-industrial complex”.
It won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary but only received a limited public cinema release (on 22 January 2006.) It was then was released on DVD on 27 June 2006 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The documentary also won one of the 2006 Grimme Awards in the competition “Information & Culture”. The prize is one of Germany’s most prestigious for TV productions.
Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military–industrial complex and its fifty-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date, especially its 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
The documentary asserts that in every decade since World War II, the American public has been misled so that the Government (incumbent Administration) could take them to war and fuel the military-industrial economy maintaining American political dominance in the world.
Interviewed about this matter, are politician John McCain, political scientist and former-CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson, politician Richard Perle, neoconservative commentator William Kristol, writer Gore Vidal, and public policy expert Joseph Cirincione.
Why We Fight documents the consequences of said foreign policy with the story of a Vietnam War veteran whose son was killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and who then asked the military to write the name of his dead son on any bomb to be dropped on Iraq.
It also follows the experiences of a twenty-three-year-old New Yorker who enlisted in the United States Army because he was poor and in debt, his decision impelled by his mother’s death.
The final personal story is from a female military explosives scientist (Anh Duong) who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee child from Vietnam in 1975.
The producer’s list included “more than a dozen organizations, from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to the United Kingdom’s BBC, Estonia’s ETV and numerous European broadcasters” but no U.S. names.
The Sundance Institute did, however, provide completion funding. Writer and Director Jarecki said “serious examination of Eisenhower and the aftermath of his speech proved ‘too radical’ for potential American funders for his film” and except for Sundance, he “could not raise a dollar in the U.S.”
Political Contributors and Representatives:
Senator John McCain
Elected to the United States Senate in 1986, he is a former U.S. Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war.
Richard Perle, Chairman, Pentagon Defense Policy Board (2001–2003)
Worked the U.S. Government for three decades, and is an architect of the G. W. Bush Administration’s foreign policy. As a writer, he regularly is published in conservative news publications.
William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard
A political theorist identified with the neoconservative movement, co-founder of the Project for the New American Century think tank in 1997.
Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell
From 1984 to 1987, Col. Wilkerson was Executive Assistant to Admiral Stewart A. Ring, U.S.N., Director for Strategy and Policy (J5) USCINCPAC.
In the 1990s Col. Wilkerson was Director of the U.S.M.C. War College, Quantico, Virginia. He has written much about military and national security affairs in mainstream and professional journals.