Why We Fight

Movie Type: Documentary

Director: Eugene Jarecki

Year: 2005 (I saw it on DVD)

Length: 98 minutes

Rating: **** ½


Why We Fight is a fantastic documentary that looks at America’s military-industrial complex starting with President Eisenhower’s farewell speech in 1960 until midway through the Iraq war.  This isn’t Fahrenheit 9/11, Jarecki lets people and facts speak for themselves.  He lays out for the viewer what the military-industrial complex is, how it’s funded, and the heavy role it plays in the wars America fights.  There are numerous interviews with figures from the right and left, the military, the government, industry, and regular citizens.  The most poignant is the retired New York cop who lost his son on 9/11 and his quest to get his son’s name on a bomb in the Iraq war.  There are also interviews with Richard Perle, the ubiquitous Billy Kristol, Gore Vidal, a former Lt. Colonel who was at the Pentagon on 9/11, fighter pilots who dropped the initial bombs on Iraq, a former CIA agent, and a young man who enlists in the Army after his mother dies.  This movie will give you a fuller picture of America’s military decisions and how our government really works.


Highly recommended.  Anyone else seen this? And? What did you think?


[One caveat: Gore Vidal says something about Japan in WWII that made me want to stop the film and ask for evidence. I don’t doubt what he said might be true, but I wanted some proof.]


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