This week for Let’s Go to the Movies, we are choosing a powerful, multi-award-winning 2007 documentary that chronicles the Bush Administration’s policy decisions following the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
The documentary—with the arresting title No End in Sight—has renewed resonance for us today, as the United States enters into a new military intervention in the Middle East in support of Israel. Although the film (based on over 200 hours of footage) chronicles the chain of events around the U.S. invasion and the early years of its occupation of Iraq, its tough lessons are not limited to the country or period it covers. Indeed, the film can be seen as a warning to us in 2023, showing exactly where short-term thinking, hubris, vested interests in a chain of command, and political and military interventions in the Middle East lead—to a breakdown of law and order and the unleashing of dangerous forces and factions bent on destruction.
Written, produced, and directed by Charles Ferguson, the documentary is easy to follow; rather than play on viewers’ emotions, Ferguson lays out the film’s arguments and supporting evidence in a methodical and clear-sighted way. Distressing scenes of violence and suffering are presented matter-of-factly but never gratuitously, with the majority of the documentary consisting of “talking heads”—persons directly involved in this period who were willing to go on record. Even with its steady tone, the documentary is jaw-dropping and highly recommended for viewers who want to see through the “fog of war.”
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