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Why We Fight

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Ratings: 8.17/10 from 24 users.

Storyline

Why We FightIn 1961, as Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his final address to the nation before leaving the office of President of the United States, he warned that America must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence...by the military-industrial complex. Nearly 45 years later, as the United States finds itself waging a war in Iraq for reasons that seem increasingly unclear with the passage of time, Eisenhower's statement becomes all the more pertinent, and the question becomes more apt: has the machinery the United States established to wage war helped prevent conflict, or has it done more to inspire it?

Documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki offers an in-depth look at how the United States has readied itself for battle, and why and how the nation goes to war in the film Why We Fight. Named for Frank Capra's famed series of Defense Department films (which explained the motives behind America's entry into World War II), Why We Fight features interviews with foot soldiers, Army recruits, Pentagon personnel, decorated veterans, members of Congress, national security advisors, top military strategists, and many more as they talks about the core philosophies of American military strategy and how they have changed since the end of the Second World War. Why We Fight received the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Ben

    This is a wonderful documentary. One of the few that I have given out to most of my friends. Lots of well informed and well spoken interviewees. Filmed in a manner that doesn't get boring or seem overly preachy. Strongly recommended.

  • preston, of course

    excellent documentary. great production and narration, the facts and opinions are presented well. this is among my top 5 docs i think everyone should see.

  • Gawk In

    Opening sleeping eyes...thank you.

    To those that hate u.s. and seek revenge:
    It is not just your eyes that are opening, but ours as well. Unfortunately, results will not be as swift as you like.

    Whereas it is a change of this type of power and a re-introduction of our youth to critical thought that is needed, this will unlikely happen during your breaths, nor mine. Without seeing results, you are understandably emotionalized into a state of action. It is your retaliatory actions that will feed the beast even further. Retaliating will only serve their purpose, and your emotional win will be short-lived.

    It is easy to force an enemy to make a move to validate one’s own moves; just as it is easy to force an ego into throwing the first punch to validate one’s own “defense.” Your retaliation is their first punch, as we have seen. Every punch you make will be spun into their “defense” – your punch IS their offense. Hope this is understood.

    The best method to overcome them is to infiltrate, then dismantle, these groups with long term strategies and tactics - but that is unlikely and would require raising a youth for this specifically, which is very un-heartening.

    So, we must breed critical thought that cannot be so easily swayed by the methods in place today. Not brain-washing mind you, but the ability to think and rise above a mass-mind. Teach your children to critically think, as we will teach ours.

    It is our youth that will continue as is, or will neglect mass-mind methods and personal fears to help reverse these tides. All we can do is get them ready.

    I doubt those that hate u.s. will ever get this message, but it is out there nonetheless.

    -Gawk In

  • Walter

    This is a good one.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7SLJX34AQR7AVSC4AH4QP6DYIU Stagger

    There are a lot of people in the US that get this message, sadly, we are vastly out numbered by the sheep of this nation. The governments crippling of the education system along with the self-esteem movement, have made people easily controlled. Going to take something drastic to break them out of it.

  • Ansar11

    Watch this and The Fiat Empire and I dare you to not vote for Ron Paul next year...

  • 0zyxcba1

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time,
    and your government when it deserves it.
    ~ Mark Twain

  • Clix (????)

    Here is perhaps a more fundamental definition of the haughty idea known as patriotism:

    Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it. -George Bernard Shaw

  • oddsrhuge

    I wish just voting for him would make it happen....after the 2000 elections, I have my doubts that even if he cornered 98% of the entire electorate, that it would even make a difference.

  • PoliticalPat

    I like Ron Paul's stance on a lot of issues but he also veers off the tracks of pragmatism when he attacks Social Security, Public Schools and Medicare. But I like his stance on foreign policy and the Treasury.

  • PoliticalPat

    The government under funds the education system because conservatives want private schools and bribe congress to under fund schools so that they fail.

  • PoliticalPat

    There was a great documentary last night(Friday) on MSNBC called "Day of Destruction Decade of War", with Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel. It was Fascinating, Educational, Informative and Interestingly masterfully produced. It is 3 hours long and shows again next Friday, the 9th of Sept at 8pm and again at 11pm. You will want to record this for viewing without commercials. You will love it I think. It also views again on Saturday the 10th of Sept at 4pm. 3 hours. Great documentary.

  • Ansar11

    I'm not for getting rid of public education either, but I think there's a misconception on his ideas about public schools and other laws in general. Our country is so large and our population diverse that it's hard to get a solid majority to agree on one point. The idea is that the federal government only covers laws in the constitution and bill of rights, and you leave the rest to states. So some states could have certain public education laws, and other states other laws.

    I'm not sure about his stance on any public education at all, but he could easily believe it is good, but understands if people in other states don't want it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Andrewspoonn Khuma Spoon

    Amazing documentary.. unbelievable...now i finally know what blowback is

  • markpkessinger

    I had the privilege of seeing this film's premier screening in New York, with the director present in the audience. After the film aired, Mr. Jarecki stood up and introduced himself as the lights were coming up, and proceeded to take questions for nearly an hour. One audience member asked how Mr. Jarecki had managed to get some of the government officials he interviews in the film to speak with such rare, and startling, candor. He attributed it to a combination of those officials' very high level of self-regard along with their perception of him as some nobody independent film director. He added, "Had I been, say, a Michael Moore, I have my doubts whether they would have been so candid in their responses."

  • musbcrazy

    a very well informed documentary with an extremely strong message to be heard and internalized by all in the west! we've been manipulated, used as pawns to achieve foreign policy goals to ensure those cold individuals within the military, weapon industry and parliaments can get rich in both money and power...things rightly belonging to the people! its time to take these precious privileges back before its too late! we have to make people understand how they've been gradually indoctrinated, that its not something they cant change and that they are not responsible, deceitful criminals in high places are and they can and will be held accountable!

    lets make history people to ensure we have a safe and prosperous future!

  • usaignorance

    Why don't they mention who the "think tanks" work for?

  • bfclark1

    Ron Paul!!!

  • Friedlon7

    You Ron paul's are as naive as the Obama's last time around. If this were a game of chess the US should leave it's bases where they are because as the neo con planners realise they're gonna need them in the coming century to secure the supply of energy to maintain US domination in the turmoil that is about to hit. Energy depletion, Climate change, Wall street's betting on Asia not America, Overpopulation. A civilisation emerges cause of it's production of excess energy - Mongols/horses, Egypt/Nile, Rome/Slaves, Inca's/Canals, British/Coal and the US -OIL. Therefore you can't have your cake and eat it too. Left wing/Right Wing - all bullshit. The big game is afoot. Who will control the near future will not do so acting legally/fairly/with human rights in mind. If you withdraw your armies and don't change your uber-consumerist ways you will die as a nation within a decade. Your already on the ropes and china owns you. If it calls in the debt and you don't have the army to tell them to **** off your dead. So wake up from the dream of argueing about climate change and get with reality. Cheny/Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld were b*stards but certainly not st*pid. They were playing the big game - ruthlessly. You can hang on to your ideology but the price is US blood, War and more War. You can't have it both ways. End uber-capitalism or continue to fight.

  • Friedlon7

    I'm afraid votin Ron Paul is as naive as Obama was. You never learn. You believe in the dream but never wake up to reality. If this were a game of chess the US should leave it's bases where they are because as the neo con planners realise they're gonna need them in the coming century to secure the supply of energy to maintain US domination in the turmoil that is about to hit. Energy depletion, Climate change, Wall street's betting on Asia not America, Overpopulation. A civilisation emerges cause of it's production of excess energy - Mongols/horses, Egypt/Nile, Rome/Slaves, Inca's/Canals, British/Coal and the US -OIL. Therefore you can't have your cake and eat it too. Left wing/Right Wing - all bull****. The big game is afoot. Who will control the near future will not do so acting legally/fairly/with human rights in mind. If you withdraw your armies and don't change your uber-consumerist ways you will die as a nation within a decade. Your already on the ropes and china owns you. If it calls in the debt and you don't have the army to tell them to **** off your dead. So wake up from the dream of argueing about climate change and get with reality. Cheny/Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld were bastards but certainly not st*pid. They were playing the big game - ruthlessly. You can hang on to your ideology but the price is US blood, War and more War. Either reform your consumtion and therefore go to the heart of the capitalist project or fight on. You can't have it both ways.

  • Friedlon7

    'A Barbarian is one who believes is way of life is a force of nature' George Bernard Shaw

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001640524956 Mike Miller

    If China calls in its debt, and this causes the dollar to collapse, the Chinese will see their economy implode. All that "debt" will not be worth anything, and their "value" will likewise plummet. Additionally they will lose their largest market for selling goods. You sir, are an *****, and fail to understand the most basic of modern globalized economic conditions: interdependency. In other words China and the US have their economies linked, but even more so China is dependent on us. If China was to falter, and it will, it won't effect the US economy on nearly the same scale. China owns a lot of US debt, but not as much as Starbucks revolutionaries like yourself seem to think. In fact China owns about the same amount of US foreign debt as Japan, and in terms of total US debt, owns a very small portion. The US Federal Reserve owns over 70 percent of US debt, and the remaining 30% is then divided among domestic holders of US bonds and foreign holders. And THIS is why Ron Paul is so important. He is the ONLY candidate that sees the threat the Federal Reserve poses to us.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RYKH2FRX6FEWOFRDFDDKFFXS6Q nys

    Jesus is our savior. Wait and see ...doesn't matter if you breath and live, you will meet him any ways. Gnashing of teeth going on big time, you know it.

  • Achems_Razor

    Don't stick your Jesus deity in here it is not a religious doc.

  • InnerCynic

    I always find it ironic that the Fed "holds debt" that it itself created out of thin air. With blank checks of that sort who wouldn't splurge for as long as they could using other peoples so-called "money".

  • InnerCynic

    Oil shortages are pure B.S. I've worked in the industry for decades and the only shortages are artificial and entirely man made. And with the help of government getting in the way of allowing or even promoting more refineries to be produced is exactly why there is this mythical "shortage". It's all smoke and mirrors meant to keep the hoi-polloi up in arms and constantly off kilter and fearful. And it works!

  • HerkSingh

    WHY WE FIGHT (along with THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, COUNTDOWN TO ZERO, THE FOG OF WAR, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE and THE CORPORATION) is one of the greatest achievements in the documentary medium. If I had the resources and the permission of the filmmakers I would like to film a companion piece called WHY WE SHOULD NOT FIGHT. Instead of centering the piece on the words of President Eisenhower, I would chose General Smedley Butler's anti-war classic WAR IS A RACKET as the focal points. For instance, he theorized that "the only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nation's manhood can be conscripted," for the same monthly wage as the lowest paid soldier and that if we "give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time time, there will be no war." However, even if WE THE PEOPLE were somehow free to remove the profits out of war (an impossibility while the Electoral College remains to keep a stranglehold against true democracy- remember that the definition of democracy is that every vote is equal; not having electors give you the choice of just two war party candidates every four years), there is the sinister actions of the CIA that have to be eliminated as well; who are free to commit murder, treason and crimes against Humanity without repercussions under the guise of National Insecurity and spreading (at gunpoint) democracy (gangster-capitalism). I hear and read a lot of rhetoric about 'taking the country back' from the elites but almost no real solutions (Ron Paul's anti-war and pro-nuclear disarmament stance aside) at the highest level. With this in mind, I propose a simple two-step solution; first, abolishing the Electoral College (so for once in our history WE THE PEOPLE can have a free and fair election) and then a mass boycott of all the pro-war candidates (and the shameless whores for the Big Money Bandits as well) for Leader of the Unfree World. For those of you not content with our current voting system and/ or foreign policies I humbly urge you all to sign the online petition @abolishtheelectoralcollege.org and I welcome all (whether you be a voter freedom lover or a hater of the warmongers) to read my essays @campaignforliberty.org (this website was set up with funds from the first Ron Paul run for the presidency). In the words of General Butler "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND TO HELL WITH WAR!"

  • HerkSingh

    The point you make is valid in regards to anti-war candidates "cornering" a larger percentage of the popular vote and still being ineffective, however, if WE THE PEOPLE can come together to abolish the tyranny that is the Electoral College, perhaps one day a new generation of voters could make a worthwhile difference- namely the dismantling of the Global Domination War Machine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.george.16 Robert George

    this documentary should be shown in every school in america to show our young children that war isn't always about "fighting for our freedoms" and that others hate us because of our freedoms

  • brianrose87

    This is in my top 10 greatest docs of all time. Your average citizen has only watched 10 docs in their entire life; I am not one of them, and I've literally watched hundreds on this site (thank you Vlatko!).

    The beautiful thing about this documentary is that its message doesn't diminish with time. President Eisenhower's last speech as President warned explicitly against the growth of the military-industrial complex. He invented that term, and as a five star general and president of the U.S. he couldn't be more qualified to illuminate that growing reality in 1952. I'd say his warning was the result of tremendous knowledge on his part.

    This doc does an incredible job of telling the story of the military-industrial complex. It is not a partisan documentary, and relies on facts instead of rhetoric. Enjoy!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QXCU6D3P6BHJJ5DUWZJDQ7OMOM Daniel

    This is if not my favorite, one of my favorites documentaries, its powerful, the support is really good, very well developed, the analisis helps to address US foreigh policy on decition making, it's information that can't be found easily.

  • malcolm urlich

    awesome we don't have it as bad here in New Zealand I'm gratefull and what you have stated is the reason why i wouldn't want to live in the U.S any time in the future, even if i won the lotto here in NZ.

  • Michael Bender

    The quote by Eisenhower from his valedictory address is from 1961, not 1952.

  • Juci Shockwave

    I see Ron Paul as the modern Andrew Jackson, just not as aggressive. Andrew Jacksons' security men had to protect the assissins from being beaten to death by him and his cane. NOW there's a presisent we ought to prop into the White House. When Andrew was in office, the U.S. owed nothing to anyone and throughout his administration he was able to keep the International Federal Bankers away from U.S. economy system... and I heard this was a guy who died in penniless with huge debts of his own. He knew little of money, but knew hugly about the horrors of allowing outside rich *beep*s to control the U.S. banking system. Now all presidents are a bunch of *beep*ing puppets to the corporations and outside bankers. If Andrew Jackson were still alive or here right now, he would tell the U.S. citizens that they're all retards and to all *beep* themselves (he was notorious with having bouts of anger now and then). In modern times, He would be ashamed to call himself a member of the United States, because of the cluster *beep*ing mess the average U.S. citizens allowed to brood uncontrollably.

  • Juci Shockwave

    We have only ourselves to blame for this mess. The whole country is at fault for allowing the monetary system to be run by corporations themselves and bankers. To allow them to abuse the system and change the game to benefit their greedy buns. This is why we have wars, famine, diseases and deaths. All of these are profitable to sick minds... and when they end up with debts they just bail themselves out. Meanwhile, the poorest of humanity continue to suffer in poverty, while the richest contemplate whether to spend their money on a $100,000 hand bag or on a $4,500,000 car. It's not just revolting, there is no single exact word to describe this. It would take all day to enlist what this is called.