Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How I Wasted Last Night

We watched Fahrenhype 9/11 for the first time last night. I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 a couple of weeks ago, and we figured that we ought to give the other side a hearing.

I thought it would make me angry. But besides a lot of the stupid points various people made, for a lot of it, I was wondering what it had to do with rebutting Fahrenheit 9/11 at all. Most of it seemed to be an emotional jerk off. Mostly I found it, especially after two years, nearly entirely irrelevant.

Although you do have to credit the filmmakers with holding out an entire 57 minutes before invoking Godwin's Law. Then they really laid on the Nazi/Hitler references thick.

I did think it made some good points, though. I found the Afghanistan pipeline theory questionable, for instance. And I wasn't much persuaded by Moore's "single Trooper on the Oregon coastline" bit, either.

The filmmakers also made a lot of Michael Moore's statement that "there is no terrorism threat." Ed Koch and Dick Morris were particularly disgusted by this notion, and after Coulter said that we'd been attacked by terrorists continuously for 20 years, Pither had to pause the DVD so I could have a mini rant.

I can't speak for Moore's meaning as gleaned from Fahrenhype, but he went on after that statement to acknowledge there have been and will continue to be terrorist attacks, therefore acknowledging that terrorism is a threat. So how might one reconcile this apparent contradiction?

Terrorists had been attacking us for over 20 years and had not managed to do a goddamned bit of real harm to the U.S. It wasn't until this large and stunning act of violence that the Administration and its enablers started eroding the Constitution and Bill of Rights, arguing for a unitary Executive, dismantling our system of government. With all due respect to the victims of 9/11, America is not groups of people, buildings or airplanes. It is the system of government, the enumerated rights we have. Terrorists can't touch the latter, only we can. In that sense, terrorism is as meaningless to our way of life as wind sheer, lightening strikes or serial killers.

I find it interesting that the film had no problem showing the interviews of soldiers and their families who were proud to lay down American lives in Iraq, but then balked at the idea of putting their own lives on the line by holding onto our most basic liberties and rights, such as Habeas Corpus. If a terrorist attack now and then slips through, that's a price we have to be willing to pay for not having the government declaring us enemy combatants and imprisoning us indefinitely without charge in stress positions. If dying in Iraq is somehow tenuously tied to giving one's life to preserve American freedom and rights, dying on American soil because one refused to allow the government to spy on all Americans without warrant is equally as noble a sacrifice.

Just a couple of other stupid points people made that I remember: 1) Oh my god, the Russians are corrupt?!?!?! It's a good thing the U.S. was overseeing those Oil for Food contracts, then, just like the U.S. was overseeing the CPA; 2) Ron Silver saying that the War on Terror could end up worse than 1945 because we might have a nuclear bomb detonated in a major city. I think he means the War on Terror could end just like 1945; "[Moore's] un-American, he's un-British ... he must be French." WTF!?

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