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Military Industrial Complex

A year ago I ran across "Why We Fight (2006)", but somehow got it mixed up with the old propaganda films from 1943-1945, and dismissed it. I just looked at the 2006 documentary again and the interviews with the author Eugene Jarecki. The film and interviews are great.  I added the original films for historical measure.

Why We Fight

"Why We Fight" by Eugene Jarecki, is a 2006 documentary film about the military-industrial complex. [1:38:41]

eugene-jarecki american-way-of-war
DN | "Why We Fight" director Eugene Jarecki on the Election 2008 [8:54] TRNN | The American Way of War - Eugene Jarecki is an award-winning documentary filmmaker (03/22/09) [15:17], Part 2 [15:00], Part 3 [15:47]

WWII Why We Fight


Why We Fight Part 1 - "Prelude to War" (1942) [52:07]
Why We Fight Part 2 - "The Nazis Strike" (1943) [42:20]
Why We Fight Part 3 - Divide and Conquer (1943) [56:30]
Why We Fight Part 4 - The Battle of Britain (1943) [51:56]
Why We Fight Part 5 - The Battle of Russia (1943) [1:19:55]
Why We Fight Part 6 - The Battle of China (1944) [1:02:32]
Why We Fight Part 7 - War Comes to America (1945) [1:05:29]

Why is Obama leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq? (03/03/09) [12:37], Part 2 [13:01]

Supporting Information

Eugene Jarecki, is a 2006 documentary film about the military--industrial complex.

Why We Fight, directed by Eugene Jarecki, is a 2006 documentary film about the military--industrial complex. The title refers to the World War II-era eponymous propaganda movies commissioned by the U.S. Government to justify their decision to enter the war against the Axis Powers.

Why We Fight 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. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, however, it received a limited public cinema release on 22 January 2006, and 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 was 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 stories 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 in Iraq; and that of a twenty-three-year-old New Yorker who enlists in the United States Army because he was poor and in debt, his decision impelled by his mother's death; and a female military explosives scientist who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee child from Vietnam in 1975.

Why We Fight is a series of seven propaganda films commissioned by the United States government during World War II.

Why We Fight is a series of seven propaganda films commissioned by the United States government during World War II to demonstrate to American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the war.

Most of the films were directed by Frank Capra, who was daunted yet also impressed and challenged by Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda film Triumph of the Will and who worked in direct response to it. The series faced a tough challenge: convincing an only recently non-interventionist nation of the need to become involved in the war and ally with the Soviets, among other things. In many of the films, Capra and other directors spliced in Axis powers propaganda footage—recontextualizing it so it promoted the cause of the Allies instead.

Why We Fight was edited primarily by William Hornbeck and is among the best examples of stock-footage montage ever produced, although some parts were re-enacted "under War Department supervision" if there was no relevant footage available. The animated portions of the films were produced by the Disney studios -- with the animated maps following a convention of depicting Axis-occupied territory in black.

The films were narrated by Academy Award winning actor Walter Huston. This narration, though factual for the most part, is replete with nationalist and racist rhetoric describing implacably warlike Germans and "blood-crazed Japs." Conversely, it lionizes the courage and sacrifice of the British, Soviets, and Chinese.

At the end of each film, the quotation from Army Chief of Staff George Marshall that "...the victory of the democracies can only be complete with the utter defeat of the war machines of Germany and Japan." is shown on screen, followed by a ringing Liberty Bell over which is superimposed a large letter "V" zooming into the screen, accompanied by patriotic or military music on the soundtrack. Why We Fight also contains many scenes from Triumph of the Will when talking about the Nazis.

Why We Fight Part 1 - "Prelude to War" (1942) [52:07]

Prelude to War (1942) - this film examines the difference between democratic and fascist states, and covers the Japanese conquest of Manchuria and the Italian conquest of Ethiopia. The following background information is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_We_Fight

03.25.2012. 07:34

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