How ironic that I should see Fahrenheit 9/11 on the anniversary of 9/11 itself. It just so happened that my acquaintance, Erick, who’s an author and a believer in conspiracy theories,lent me a DVD copy of this film which the whole of America is talking about. The documentary is moderately long but I don’t have any regrets at all spending my Saturday night watching writer/producer/director Michael Moore‘s incendiary attacks on President Bush and his administration.
The docu, which won the Palme d’Or (Best Picture) in the 2004 Cannes Film Festival is as engrossing as it is very interesting. You have no reason not to watch it just because you are not an American because ultimately, it is American policies which can drive up a war and affect the rest of the world.
Fahrenheit grips you on the first scene by alleging that Bush did not really win the crucial Florida primaries that sealed his presidency. Now, does cheating and electoral disenfranchisement sound closer to home?
Next, George W is portrayed as being overly fond of taking vacations and prefers fishing over more important national security concerns. Backed up by documentation, the movie posits that it was the Bush administration’s failure to recognize as serious prior FBI and other security warnings about an impending terrorist attack that led to 9/11. More on this on the fact sheet of the 9/11 Commission Report.
Most curiously, the movie examines the business association of the Bush family to the powerful Bin Ladin family of Saudi Arabia (of which Osama is a part), the Taliban government of Afghanistan and the Carlysle Group which is now a major arms dealer in Iraq. In the aftermath of 9/11, there were indications that the Saudis funded the terrorist attack (15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals) but Bush chose to look the other way because his family has historical business ties with the Bin Ladins.Instead, he trains his sights on Saddam Hussein which led to the costly war in Iraq (more than 1000 US soldiers dead and counting).Even though a UN inspection team itself has found out that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the war goes on because it is fueled by oil and other vital American business interests.
Indeed, the docu focuses more on the Iraq War than 9/11 and gives a biting statement on how the lives of young men and women are being sacrificed to pursue the agenda of Big Business.
The movie has been described as the Atomic Bomb of the present US presidential campaign. It will be interesting to know how it will affect the campaign, considering that 20 million people have seen it. Will Bush do another Florida or will the voters vote for John Kerry this time? Let’s wait and see.