"unfairenheit 9/11"

Guest TheProudDuck

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I refused to click the link. I suspect that it speaks ill of Michael Moore and that just won't do.

Come my brethren, let us worship at the altar of far-left demagoguery... say it with me now Winnie:

"Forgive me Michael for we have sinned..."

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Michael Moore is an overrated opporunist at best. The reason he is so controversial is becasue he makes so much money at it. But he has the right to film whatever his heart desires. I don't like the fact that he released this film at such a critical time in our history because we need to be as one as we go thru this. But he had to because he would make more money on it now, rather than if he waited till after the war (if there is an end). I don't like him personally but he has his rights too.

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BTW I was suprised to see that I still have moderator status. It's been over a year since I've even visited this site. I'm suprised it hasn't been removed. It should be though.

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Originally posted by Mat@Jun 23 2004, 12:37 AM

BTW I was suprised to see that I still have moderator status. It's been over a year since I've even visited this site. I'm suprised it hasn't been removed. It should be though.

I will check, Mat. We purged the board in October and deleted anyone who hadn't posted for at least 2 months.

I or one of the other moderators/administrators will get back to you.

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But he had to because he would make more money on it now, rather than if he waited till after the war (if there is an end). I don't like him personally but he has his rights too.

Michael Moore doesn't care about anybody but himself. he has made a life of stirring up trouble. He says it's because he wants to make a change. He just wants to get some kind of publicity for being the hero he thinks he is. The good part about this is that most people seem bored of his antics. He's anti-Bush (and will be Anti-Kerry is that situation occurs), and basically he is anti-America. He is a jerk who has a public opinion, nothing more. He's no different than people who come on boards like this, give their opinions, don't listen to other people's points, and acts like he is superior. But this guy seriously needs to hit the gym, and learn to groom himself if he is going to appear in public.
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The lies of Chris Hitchens:

"If you happen to know Judith Miller personally, could you send her a message? Tell her there's a new hack in town. She's now number two behind Chris "Hatchet" Hitchens, who accuses people of lying but doesn't deliver the evidence. This Slate article, good people with brains in your heads, is some of the shoddiest 'journalism' I've seen. And it comes to you from a guy who wrote an article not long ago defending Ahmad Chalabi, double agent to the Iranians, fabricator of WMD stories, and wanted bank defrauder, saying "if there has to be a 'Mr. Shiite' in Iraq, I can think of worse candidates than Chalabi."

I can't."


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Guest TheProudDuck

Originally posted by punaboy@Jun 23 2004, 09:14 PM

The lies of Chris Hitchens:

"If you happen to know Judith Miller personally, could you send her a message? Tell her there's a new hack in town. She's now number two behind Chris "Hatchet" Hitchens, who accuses people of lying but doesn't deliver the evidence. This Slate article, good people with brains in your heads, is some of the shoddiest 'journalism' I've seen. And it comes to you from a guy who wrote an article not long ago defending Ahmad Chalabi, double agent to the Iranians, fabricator of WMD stories, and wanted bank defrauder, saying "if there has to be a 'Mr. Shiite' in Iraq, I can think of worse candidates than Chalabi."

I can't."


Now that's a great rebuttal. Ignore Hitchens' arguments, quote from a posting on an obscure Hollywood gossip web site by a writer with a Paul Bunyan-sized axe to grind, and characterize a statement of opinion as evidence of "lies" by Hitchens -- when the statement doesn't even accuse Hitchens of lying. (It accuses him of failing to back up his accusations of dishonesty with evidence acceptable to the writer -- which, of course, is exactly what Michael Moore and virtually every leftist in the country has done in claiming BUSH LIED!!!! when he repeated the consensus about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Hey guys -- knowledge of falsity is an essential element of fraud. Still waiting for your demonstration that Bush knew Saddam's WMD were gone.)

"Wanted bank defrauder" -- Of course, if an American were tried in absentia by an American military tribunal, the Left would fall all over themselves denouncing the verdict as illegitimate. But when an opportunity arises to slam a political opponent, they divest themselves of their principles faster than a cheap whore divests herself of a miniskirt.

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Unorthodox says:

"It must be nice for you guys to think (or pretend) you know the truth about these issues."

I agree, it would be nice to think I know the truth about these issues, or even pretend to know. But I don't.

But I am learning, and I like to look at many differing views.

PD says:

"Now that's a great rebuttal. Ignore Hitchens' arguments, quote from a posting on an obscure Hollywood gossip web site by a writer with a Paul Bunyan-sized axe to grind, and characterize a statement of opinion as evidence of "lies" by Hitchens -- when the statement doesn't even accuse Hitchens of lying. (It accuses him of failing to back up his accusations of dishonesty with evidence acceptable to the writer -- which, of course, is exactly what Michael Moore and virtually every leftist in the country has done in claiming BUSH LIED!!!!"

Sorry PD, but I read your link and mine, and Hitchen's "arguments" just seem weak, and poorly founded. And why attack the quality of my posting, when I merely linked to an article (which, btw, rebuts Hitchens thoroughly), just as you yourself did.

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since I am faulted for posting a mere link, here is some text from another Hitchen's rebutter:

"The Lies of Christopher Hitchens

By Anthony Wade

I approach every article as a chance to learn, unfortunately what I sometimes learn is that the writer has an agenda and the truth be damned, that is what he/she will stick with. Such is the case of a “review” done by Christopher Hitchens on June 21, 2004 of Michael Moore’s new movie, Fahrenheit911. As I was reading this alleged review I realized that Mr. Hitchens must have written it with a thesaurus handy, to throw in as many big words as possible to confuse those who may be trying to actually formulate an opinion.

The verbosity aside, please forgive me as this may be long, only because his review was exceptionally long, justifying this response. To break up the monotony, I will provide little breaks throughout to let you know what some of the ridiculously obscure words are that Mr. Hitchens used.

Since I will be trying to respond to most of the criticism in his “review”, here is the link to it, so you can play along at home:


First off, I do want to give credit for his title, “Unfairenheit 911”, very creative. Now lets move on. Mr. Hitchens begins with an absolutely ridiculous assertion that somehow the left has an image, even a self-image, of being too boring, solemn, and mirthless (as well as other thesaurus driven adjectives). Now, I am the first to say that Orinn Hatch must be a blast to party with, but I am not ready to claim the left as the side of the boring. I am sure that between covering up statues breasts and doing karaoke, that John Ashcroft must be the life of any pro-life party, but I am again not ready to claim the left as the party of the boring. Then unfortunately Mr. Hitchens goes right off the deep end by stating, “Who will be our Rush Limbaugh?” As if there are plotting Democrats somewhere trying to figure out how to craft a Democratic blowhard who not only rationalizes torture to the point of death, but makes it akin to a hazing ritual. Sorry Mr. Hitchens, but I hope I speak on behalf of the ENTIRE left, when I say that we do not ever want to be associated with a man who preaches about putting drug abusers away while slamming OxyContin like Pez, and talks about the lack of morality while filing for his third divorce. No thanks, next?

Thesaurus Break: Lugubrious = Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree.

Eventually, Mr. Hitchens actually gets to the movie he claims to be reviewing, after just a few more lugubrious moments. He basically states that the movie is beyond dishonest and then says it is a piece of crap, with a caveat to cover himself from having called it a piece of crap. Well, I guess we see where this review is heading, right down the toilet. Lets proceed.

After telling us many things this movie can or cannot be called, he finally summarizes it this way:

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness.

Wow, that’s a lot of words to basically say the following: I don’t like the politics of this movie. Dissecting his summary we see he believes that the movie is:

Sinister exercise = threatening evil

Moral frivolity = making a mockery of what is moral

Crudely disguised = pretending to be

Exercise in seriousness = serious

Sorry, using Dictionary.com, this is the best I can come up with. Somehow, it is Mr. Hitchens conclusion that Mr. Moore has created an evil movie, which takes liberties with what can be considered moral, while pretending to be serious.

This not being enough, and quite frankly it was not; he continues to say this movie is:

“a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.”

Ahhh, I don’t need Dictionary.com for this one. Basically, he is stating that Mr. Moore is a political coward, by disguising himself as being brave by daring to dissent from the mainstream. Unfortunately for Mr. Hitchens, what he fails to recognize is that the majority of Americans do not agree with this Administration about these wars, and even 9-11. So, the notion that somehow Mr. Moore is pretending to be bravely dissenting is not supported. By the way, even having the nerve to think about going against an administration that outed Valerie Plame over the yellowcake in the Niger clearly indicates that Mr. Moore is not a coward. Anyway, lets keep going and see if he provides any proof, or if he just delves back into his thesaurus.

Thesaurus Break: Turgid = Excessively ornate or complex in style or language.

Hey! Mr. Hitchens is turgid! I get it! It is called projection Chris; check the works of Sigmund Freud.

Okay, recapping we have used hundreds of words, some of which were used for the sake of using them, to basically say that he thinks Mr. Moore is a coward and that this movie is potentially evil. I can’t wait for the proof Chris.

He opens up by revisiting a debate he held with Mr. Moore, nearly two years ago, where he expressed two things. First, that Bin Laden is innocent until proven guilty. Considering that is the basis for all of our laws, I will abide by that one. Secondly, that the Afghanistan war was unjustified. Again, since we now know that this administration had actually planned to invade Afghanistan well before 9-11, that the Taliban had indeed visited Bush in Texas, and that they were promised to be buried under a “carpet of bombs” for not complying with the pipeline dreams of the Neocons, well I am afraid I have to give that one to Mr. Moore as well.

Mr. Hitchens then launches into his perceived points that Mr. Moore is trying to make about Bin Laden and Afghanistan. Without knowing if he is even accurate about Mr. Moore’s desires:

1) The relationship between the Bin-Laden’s and the Bush empire, and the Carlyle Group, are not “convoluted” Mr. Hitchens and they should be of grave concern to any citizen. The fact that the Bin Laden’s (supposedly minus Osama the black sheep) were in the country on 9-11 and had to be flown out of the country when there was a ban on air traffic looks, smells, and is suspicious.

2) The amount of money going both ways between the Saudis and the US is unsettling.

3) Do you honestly not find it interesting that Bush and the Neocons were trying to negotiate with the Taliban for a pipeline before they changed their minds and decided to bury them in the previously mentioned “carpet of bombs?”

4) I can only assume that the inference Mr. Moore is making is that Bush purposefully sent too few ground troops because he wanted Al Qaeda and the Taliban to escape.

5) If the “Coalition of the Willing” is a farce, Americans should know about it.

6) Mr. Hitchens, if our young people died in Afghanistan, to seal a business deal gone bad, decided months before 9-11, and then blamed for 9-11, that would mean their lives would have been wasted. Lastly, don’t you dare make light of Mr. Moore wanting to dedicate the film, to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the most insidious of reasons. Even that is beneath you, I hope.

Mr. Hitchens then tries to point to these facts together and say that they are not cohesive, and therefore, they must be untrue. The truth of the matter is that this is a documentary film Mr. Hitchens. It doesn’t have a plot that Mr. Moore can neatly tie together because it is all still unfolding day after day. The truth is, we do not know what the Saudi money connection might mean. The rest of this though makes cohesive sense. Let me walk you through it:

A) Taliban meets with GW Bush and the Neocons about a pipeline through their country. Taliban turns them down, they are promised to be buried in a carpet of bombs.

B) 9-11 happens, and lo and behold the first country we invade is Afghanistan, even though they had nothing to do with 9-11. We are told it is the evil Taliban (the one we just met with folks for a business deal) that we must get. We then proceed to bury them under a carpet of bombs.

C) Bush sends in enough troops to win, but not enough to actually capture anyone significant, thus leading to speculation about if he wanted to capture anyone. After all, Osama Bin Hiding is a lot scarier than Osama Bin Captured. Without fear, Bush can’t get elected again.

D) A liberated Afghanistan joins the Coalition of the Bribed, shocker.

That seems pretty cohesive to me. Then Mr. Hitchens apparently waxes joyfully of the immense progress made in Afghanistan since the war, as a justification of the war. Unfortunately, it is about as accurate as everything else coming out of this administration. Allow David Corn to enlighten you (from June 4, 2004 article):

Financial aid to Afghanistan has been paltry, despite Bush's earlier promises. Measured per capita, financial assistance to Afghanistan has been lower than for Kosovo, Palestine, Haiti, and Rwanda, according to the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.

Opium poppy production is dramatically on the rise, and poppy harvests are estimated to account for almost half of the gross domestic product. The Washington Post recently reported that the residents of Wardak province, which is near Kabul, have become resentful of the United States and the Afghan government because of the ongoing (and not-too-successful) anti-poppy efforts. "The government has taken away our guns, and now it is destroying our livelihoods," one told the newspaper. "We have agreed to turn in our weapons in the name of peace, but we don't have enough water to grow any other crops but poppy. Why are they bringing this cruelty upon us?" The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that area of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has grown from 1685 hectares in 2001 to 61,000 hectares in 2003.

Attacks from the Taliban are up. Aid workers have been targeted, and nongovernmental organizations have pulled out of Afghanistan, slowing down the already slow reconstruction efforts. After five men who worked for the National Solidarity Programme, an NGO working southeast of Kabul, were killed, the group ended its work in 72 areas in the country. Ihsanullah Dileri, the organization's head of coordination, told The Independent of London, "This is a very bad, very desperate situation. We had $60,000 to spend on each of those 72 areas. Now this cannot be done. All these areas are badly deprived, with poor people lacking basic facilities. But I am afraid the security simply is not there for us to continue with our work. It is too dangerous." Barbara Stapleton of the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, which represents 90 aid agencies in Afghanistan, said, "We are very concerned about security and deterioration of the situation. Impunity rules in the country. It's not just the NGO community, but the Afghan people at large who are exposed to these levels of insecurity."

As for women's rights, Amnesty International reports, "two years after the ending of the Taliban regime, the international community and the Afghan transitional administration, led by President Karzai, have proved unable to protect women. The risk of rape and sexual violence by members of armed factions and former combatants is still high. Forced marriages, particularly of girl children, and violence against women in the family are widespread in many areas." After the war, a number of girls' schools opened (or reopened) throughout the country. But since then, Islamic extremists have used intimidation to shut down many.

Recent talks between Karzai and warlords have raised the possibility of a power-sharing agreement between Karzai and these militia leaders that could undermine the democratic elections scheduled for September.

Drugs, warlordism, a surge in fundamentalism--Afghanistan remains an unfinished, daunting and complicated challenge, as American GIs continue to lose their lives fighting the Taliban remnants and searching for Osama bin Laden. But Bush made it seem all is swell. What is it about him? Last fall, he declared his administration had "put the Taliban out of business forever." At that time, Taliban attacks were increasing, and US troops were being killed in pursuit of the Taliban. Now Bush tells us things are going fine in Afghanistan because there is a gleam in the eyes of Afghans. And, no doubt, they are all humming, "The Future's So Bright I Got To Wear Shades."

So before you go and criticize Moore, realize that he chose to address the realities, not the spin coming out of DC. Then, Mr. Hitchens uses the fact that Richard Clarke assumed responsibility for flying out the Bin-Ladens, as some kind of mea culpa by Moore that his logic is faulty when considering the enormous impropriety of flying them out at all. Mr. Hitchens, does it bother you at all that the Bin Laden family, who conveniently ousted Osama, was in this country the day of the attacks? Does it bother you at all that they were having meetings with this administration during this time? Does it bother you at all that this administration actually denied this for months until they were faced with the truth? If you answered no to those questions, then there was no point in even watching the movie, as your mind has already been firmly made up.

Thesaurus Break: Herbivorous = plant eating

Ahhh, ok where were we, that’s right, Mr. Hitchens now begins to berate without proof, stating that Mr. Moore has based this move on a big lie, which “can only sustain itself by a dizzying succession of smaller falsehoods, beefed up by wilder and (if possible) yet more-contradictory claims.” Unfortunately, Mr. Hitchens does not provide us with the alleged big lie, nor the little ones that support it. A statement for the sake of making a statement does not make that statement fact. He then proceeds to talk about how the film points out that Bush spent so much time on vacation, as some kind of proof. The fact is that President bush spent approximately 48% of his first year, on vacation, while this nation was about to be attacked. That should bother you.

As for the assertion of Bush making a boilerplate response to terrorism, and then driving the golf ball, Mr. Hitchens is being disingenuous. This was not a boilerplate response when the country is hanging on every word. It is vital that we see that this President can feign sincerity and interest, while all the time, just being fake. That is what that scene was about Mr. Hitchens. Lastly, Clinton and FDR would not have done such a stupid thing.

Next up, we have the infamous non-reaction scene. The President is just told that the nation is under attack. He doesn’t react at all Mr. Hitchens and that is the damning part of this footage. He reacts as if he is merely being told what he already knew was going to happen. He then proceeded to lie about that reaction, more than once. This is not paranoia. The amount of insider trading that occurred around 9-11 clearly indicates that this was a known event. Mr. Hitchens is hoping that by just saying the word paranoid, that people will associate any such theory in that light. Unfortunately, as the truth continues to come to light, we see that what was considered conspiracy theory, is becoming all too real.

I realize this is dragging on, but it is only fair to respond to all of the inanity from Mr. Hitchens. Next up, he decries the scenes from Iraq, as being somehow fake. As if there are no children who played in Iraq. As if the US has not killed thousands upon thousands of civilians, including children. We have attacked weddings and communities and then claimed they were safe houses, only to be proven wrong. These are the realities of war Mr. Hitchens, and while I guess you would prefer your war in sound bites such as “bring em on”, I think you need to see the dead children who had nothing to do with 9-11, and are now dead because of our policies. That is not propaganda, it is reality.

Mr. Hitchens then continues to compare Saddam alleged atrocities from 20 years ago, as proof of his evil nature and thus justification for the current war. Of course, the convenient truth is that back then, we actually supported Saddam, under Republican regimes and sold him most of the weapons we still cannot find. Either way, the issue is not whether Saddam housed some terrorists in the 1980s, the issue is whether he did anything NOW that justified this invasion. No WMD, means he actually had complied with the UN, and that our war is based on lies. Then Hitchens refers to the “hideous invasion of Kuwait” and the alleged attempt to take out Bush Senior as an actual rationale for Bush to conduct this war. Are you serious? It is ok in your mind to send American kids to die because someone may have tried to construct an assassination plot against your father? Send your own kids Mr. Hitchens; maybe then you can gain some perspective.

Next on the correction parade Mr. Hitchens, is that Iraq is not the only country to publicly celebrate the 9-11 tragedy. Palestine and Saudi Arabia did as well as most middle eastern countries. Considering our history with these countries, you can’t really blame them. Then, is this inaccurate blurb about “Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi moved from Afghanistan to Baghdad and began to plan his now very open and lethal design for a holy and ethnic civil war.” This is apparently directly out of the Vice President’s book of lies and half-truths. It is an established fact that Zarqawi is a loner, who does not and did not work with Saddam, nor Iraq. Stop peddling this administration lies Mr. Hitchens.

Mr. Hitchens then proceeds to make a conclusion, and apply it to Moore, by saying that he is trying to say that Saddam was “no problem at all”. No Mr. Hitchens, that is not what he is saying. I don’t pretend to speak for Mr. Moore, but I believe what he is saying is that when you look at the fact that Saddam had NO working relationship with Bin Laden, or Al Qaeda, had no WMD, and tried his best to avoid this conflict, what exactly are we there for? Why do we see our kids die every day? President Bush stated it was because of this insidious connection that now his own Republican led commission concludes is simply not there.

On the subject of counter-terrorism, Mr. Hitchens yet again has missed the point and tries to blur the lines. If the President has still not properly funded first responders, AND issues too many vague “Magenta Alerts”, those are not competing prospects that cancel each other out. The fact is that every time the President needs a boost in the polls, there is another Lavender Alert to remind us that we need to remain properly scared, should be pointed out. The fact that this President talks out of both sides of his mouth and has not even finished paying New York the money promised after 9-11 needs to be told to the American people.

Now, in the next paragraph, he claims to “make these elementary points is to collapse the whole pathetic edifice of the film's "theory." Unfortunately, the points he makes have nothing to do with the majority of the film. He asks questions about the Saudis again, as if their decision to not join the coalition clearly vindicates the administration from being in bed with them. Please. The fact that the Bush dynasty is in bed with the Saudis is not a fact in dispute Mr. Hitchens, and has no relevance to the edifice of this film’s “theory”. This is the kind of misdirection that Mr. Hitchens hopes no one will point out. Of course, by this time, most people who have survived this far along in his article are very confused and are wondering what sub-Brechtian could possibly mean…

Thesaurus Break: Sub-Brechtian = German poet and playwright who developed “epic drama,” a style that relies on the audience's reflective detachment rather than the production's atmosphere and action. His works include The Threepenny Opera (1928) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1948). The “sub” part obviously means beneath this.

Sorry, I digress. Back to the nonsense. At this point, Mr. Hitchens apparently is gearing up for a big finish (God I hope so). He begins to rattle off things that Moore points out, and downplays them so people can think that they are common knowledge and thus, have no merit being discussed. Unfortunately for Mr. Hitchens, I think they warrant being discussed. I will respond to two of these lame points:

- “The capitalist nature of American society” – again, through misdirection, Mr. Hitchens hopes you don’t realize that Moore is actually talking about the capitalist nature of this administration, not the country. It is ok for companies to want to make profit in the free marketplace. It is not ok when the administration hands out billions in no-bid contracts to companies he either used to work with, or have supported his campaign. That is crony capitalism.

- “Poor people often volunteer to join the army, and some of them are duskier than others.” – using a cute word, to describe minorities, Mr. Hitchens again crosses the line. Yes, the poor are often the ones sent to die, and minorities are often the poor. The point he doesn’t want you to see is that the powerful and rich make policy to send kids to die, because it is not their kids. Moore brings this point poignantly home.

He chooses at this point to belabor the racial overtone his article has now taken. By brilliantly comparing black Americans who wanted the right to fight in the Civil War, to the socioeconomic point that Moore is trying to make. Good job Chris, so because black Americans wanted to fight in the Civil War, they now get what they deserve? Once again, trying to dodge the point, it is a statement that Moore is seeking to make. If there was an equal draft, meaning that the rich couldn’t get deferred, than a lot of these chickenhawks would be changing their minds if it was their children going off to die for Halliburton.

Unfortunately, Hitchens was not done. He now switches to blaming Moore for not discussing the bravery aboard the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania. While I guess you can blame Moore for not including what you want to see in this movie, he then goes further, to call Moore a “silly and shady man who does not recognize courage of any sort even when he sees it because he cannot summon it in himself.” What has led our effusive reviewer to make such an attack? Well, he states “The Pennsylvania drama also reminds one of the self-evident fact that this war is not fought only "overseas" or in uniform, but is being brought to our cities.” Bravo Mr. Hitchens, you have successfully supported Mr. Moore’s effort. You see that is exactly the point. If we are to believe the entire story from this administration then we are to believe that 19 men, mostly from Saudi Arabia, hijacked four airplanes and led them off course for over an hour and a half with no response from Norad or this administration. During this time, the President thought the best course of action would be to continue reading a book about a pet goat. Then, after our crack intelligence community that couldn’t prevent the attacks, now knows exactly who the 19 people are, 9 of them are proven to still be alive. After all of this, this administration decides the prudent thing to do is start wars with two countries that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ATTACKS, while handing out billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to political friends. The point is Mr. Hitchens that this war was brought to our shores, but not by the people we are currently killing.

Not satisfied with the attempted hatchet job thus far, Mr. Hitchens proceeds to slam Moore for hiring people to protect him from attacks well, such as this one. He correctly points out that Mr. Moore has threatened to sue, but lies by saying “if anyone insults him or his pet.” This is patently false. He has threatened to sue if they make slanderous statements, as is his right. As for the response team, you cant blame him when the Republican PR machine that managed the recall Gray Davis efforts and the strong-arming to get CBS to cancel the miniseries, The Reagans, started to target Moore with their ridiculous moveamericabackwards website. He at least recognizes that this right-wing, anti-bill of rights group is thuggish, but then states that Moore’s response, which is simply to protect himself, not to be an aggressor, is equally thuggish in return. Please.

Hitchens then makes the most telling statement of this whole dissertation. “I think we can agree that the film is so flat-out phony that "fact-checking" is beside the point.” We can agree? Based on what? The fact that you have not bothered to mention the facts in this article? This sums up his point perfectly. In his attack of Moore, he absolutely has not bothered to check those annoying little facts.

It appears at this point that Mr. Hitchens has approached the end of his thesaurus and needs to start wrapping it up (please, I pray). He waxes prophetically about how Moore has betrayed his craft because he has no objectivity and has lied, blah blah blah. Of course the problem with this premise is that he hasn’t proven that Moore has said anything untrue. Thus I have made this elementary point, collapsing the whole pathetic edifice of this article’s "theory”.

He then concludes by trying to make Moore seem foolish by quoting Orwell toward the end of the movie. His point is again a last ditch effort to utilize his new thesaurus and leaves the reader going, what? He wraps up that train of thought by derailing with his opinion that Moore has “engaged in a sophomoric celluloid rewriting of recent history.” Unfortunately, as has been highlighted at many points in this article, Mr. Hitchens has not proven anything other than his own pomposity and verbosity. Concluding with more drivel that Moore would prefer that Milosevic would still be in power, and Saddam would still own Kuwait, yada yada yada. To respond to this by saying it is a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental, to use his own words against him. Unfortunately, Mr. Hitchens has proven beyond a doubt that he is a lugubrious, turgid, herbivorous writer, who desperately needs to put his thesaurus down, and back slowly away from his madness.

Anthony Wade is an independent writer from New York. Email to [email protected] "

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Guest TheProudDuck

Now I see why they say brevity is the soul of wit. And why the writer is an "independent writer" instead of one with a steady paycheck.

The original link didn't work, so that was the first time I got to read the piece. I still don't see where the "independent writer" accuses Hitchens of "lying." I only see him arguing that Hitchens hasn't provided sufficient evidence of Moore's dishonesty.

For my part, I think Moore's whole approach is structurally dishonest. He has actually acknowledged that the ordinary rules of accuracy and integrity don't apply to him -- he says his work is comedy, and "How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?" (CNN, "Lou Dobbs Moneyline," April 12, 2002.) He clips together sound bites, ignoring important context that in many cases completely changes the meaning of what his targets actually say. I recognize that whining that one has been "taken out of context" is often the last refuge of a scoundrel caught in a gaffe, but context does matter. Moore is a kind of political Ed Decker, the dissolute Leni Riefenstahl of the Left, propagandizing for the enemy.

The argument of cui bono ("Who benefits?") is often a good way to determine where to start looking for evidence -- but it shouldn't substitute for actual evidence. Moore points to a convoluted business relationship (and yes, it is convoluted, just as most corporate relationships are convoluted -- I know from experience; untangling them so I know whom to sue is my job) involving Bush family members, the Carlylye Group company, and various wealthy Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family -- none of which (Osama excluded, of course) have ever been accused of terrorist involvement, to the best of my knowledge. He then concludes that this relationship is driving the Bush adminstration's strategy in the war on jihadist terror. Pretty thin, my friend -- especially in light of the fact that the administration just dropped a bomb on Carlyle by cancelling its subsidiary's lucrative Crusader artillery vehicle contract. If Bush and Carlyle are such corrupt bedmates, why was Carlyle on the receiving end of virtually the only major defense contract cancellation by the present administration?

It seems to me that Moore and this writer ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the room where the war on terror is being discussed. If I were trying to decide what motivated the administration to fight in Afghanistan -- the fact that the country was harboring and providing support to a terrorist who'd just killed 3,000 Americans, or the fact that Unocal was knocking around the idea of routing an oil pipeline through the country, I think I'm going to go with the obvious motivation. Occam's razor is quite helpful. Of course, if you've caricatured your political opponents as evil plutocrats and are ideologically biased in favor of assuming that everything they do is designed to make more money, then you may decide to rest the razor and grow a nice Occam's beard. But that isn't without its costs.

In a democracy, the citizens have a responsibility to be on guard that their leaders don't engage in misconduct. At the same time, if charges of corruption are made wantonly, without substantial evidence, goodwill is lost, discourse becomes pointless, emotion takes over, civility disappears, and ultimately you have people dressing up in gray and blue and shooting at each other. On the one hand, you don't want to be the Germans of 1933; on the other hand, you don't want to be Jefferson Davis, either. There's plenty of room between those two extremes for honest debate and disagreement, but Moore is way over the Jefferson Davis side of the line.

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hmmm, yeh, I didn't know the link didn't work, maybe cuz of board censorship of the word "b++++" in the url. But the link is to a different article than the one posted as text. I will try to get another url for the first article, or just post it in full.

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Originally posted by punaboy@Jun 25 2004, 03:56 PM

hmmm, yeh, I didn't know the link didn't work, maybe cuz of board censorship of the word "b++++" in the url. But the link is to a different article than the one posted as text. I will try to get another url for the first article, or just post it in full.

please do..i like scrolling forever just to read comments...
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at your service, and no comment :)

Defending Truth: Chris Hitchens does a hatchet job on Michael Moore...

by Chris Parry

"Well, it didn't take long. The partisan hacks were out for blood on Bowling For Columbine within days of its release, but with Fahrenheit 9/11, they're out before the flick is even in theaters. Slate's resident Bush apologist (who once did a negative piece about Mother Theresa!), Chris Hitchens, did a total kneecap job on Michael Moore yesterday with an article entitled Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore. In it, he wrote all manner of allegation about Moore's new film, peeing on it from a great height, calling it "crap", and alleging that the film shared the same standards as the propaganda films of the Nazis. For a while I thought about responding to Hitchins' article, being as it is so rife with laughable comments. Then I thought to myself, "No man, that's one long rambling piece. It'd take forever to disassemble it... it's a lone voice in the wilderness, it'll be forgotten soon, let it go." But then my buddy Chuck Tatum read Hitchens' piece and took the position that it must be true and that Michael Moore can't be trusted and that there was no way he would see this film. Well, I couldn't let that stand, so now, for the sake of all that is good, I must speak out. I'm cracking my knuckles as you read.

"One of the many problems with the American left, and indeed of the American left, has been its image and self-image as something rather too solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring. How many times, in my old days at The Nation magazine, did I hear wistful and semienvious ruminations? Where was the radical Firing Line show? Who will be our Rush Limbaugh?"

Hitchens exposes his bias in the first few lines of this piece. In calling lefties dull and mirthless, and wondering where their version of Rush Limbaugh will come from, he's announced where he's coming from in no uncretain terms. Need I say, on behalf of all those who claim a leftist affiliation out there, that when a lefty version of Limbaugh comes along we want nothing to do with it. Limbaugh fights without facts, he alleges and abuses, he makes statements that he knows are untrue, simply because nobody can refute them to his large audience without coming on his show. And nobody is likely to do that unless they like being talked over.

But what Hitchens is setting up here is the theory that Michael Moore IS the left's version of Limbaugh. And it only gets worse from here.

"With Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, however, an entirely new note has been struck. Here we glimpse a possible fusion between the turgid routines of MoveOn.org and the filmic standards, if not exactly the filmic skills, of Sergei Eisenstein or Leni Riefenstahl."

Wow. Second paragraph and he's calling Moore Nazi-esque. Talk about setting the tone...

"In late 2002, almost a year after the al-Qaida assault on American society, I had an onstage debate with Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival. In the course of this exchange, he stated his view that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. This was, he said, the American way... Something—I cannot guess what, since we knew as much then as we do now—has since apparently persuaded Moore that Osama Bin Laden is as guilty as hell. Indeed, Osama is suddenly so guilty and so all-powerful that any other discussion of any other topic is a dangerous "distraction" from the fight against him."

A simplistic attempt at 'Gotcha'. Allow me to explain Moore's motivation, as if it needed explaining to anyone with a concept of logic, law and due process. Bin Laden IS innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. That IS the American Way. Indeed, it's the World Way. But in order to prove his guilt, one much capture him and put him to trial. Moore's point was clear - in order to make a military move on another government, people or person, you need to have your ducks lined up legally. You can't just say "he's evil, so we're gonna get him," no matter how evil he may actually be. If you've got to build a case against Jeffery Dharmer, you've got to build a case against Bin Laden.

But in F9/11, Moore has a different point to make. What he's saying in F9/11 is, "Why, exactly, when the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden is completely justified, have only 14,000 troops been sent after him, while ten times that number have been sent into Iraq to take over a country that had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11?"

Has Michael Moore ever made a statement that he might later have regretted? I'm sure. Perhaps something like "Mission Accomplished" or "bring 'em on" might qualify... hmm?

"Fahrenheit 9/11 makes the following points about Bin Laden and about Afghanistan, and makes them in this order:

1) The Bin Laden family (if not exactly Osama himself) had a close if convoluted business relationship with the Bush family, through the Carlyle Group.

How do you get 'close and convoluted' exactly? The business relationships that Moore points out run far more frequently than a single 'convoluted' connection at the Carlyle Group. In fact, Bush's first private company, a Texas oil drilling company, was invested in heavily by Osama Bin Laden's brother when the firm was in dire financial straits. Bush promptly drove the newly funded company to bankruptcy regardless, but it wouldn't be his last "close and convoluted" connection with the Bin Ladens. His father knows the Bin Ladens well too, since a Bin Laden sat on the Carlyle Group's board of directors while Bush Sr was on the same board, and while that comfortable connection was growing, Carlyle gave Bush Jr an airline catering company to run... which he promptly ran into the ground. Again.

On the day before September 11 2001, Bush Sr was meeting with the Carlyle head honchos, including Mr Bin Laden, to talk business in New York, but Poppy left early for a remote part of the Midwest. The next day, the WTC towers would tumble, and three days later, while the rest of us were stranded at airports and bus stations, the Bin Ladens (including the Carlyle director) were picked up by private jets authorized by the White House and whisked off (without questioning) to Paris 'for their own protection'.

Now, you tell me if that connection is "close and convoluted", because to me it looks pretty damn close, and not at all convoluted.

2) Saudi capital in general is a very large element of foreign investment in the United States.

Yes. 7% of all wealth in the United States, according to Moore's figures. That would include Citibank (yes, the largest bank in the world is owned by the Saudi royals), and large parts of Time Warner (you know them, the owners of CNN) and even Disney (who refused to let Fahrenheit 9/11 be shown in their theaters). The Carlyle Group just yesterday purchased Loews Theaters. Hmm... Wonder why...

3) The Unocal company in Texas had been willing to discuss a gas pipeline across Afghanistan with the Taliban, as had other vested interests.

Wow. Talk about being disingenuous. Moore's point was far clearer than Hitchens gives credit for. In the years before September 11 2001, the Clinton government passed a directive that no business be done with the Taliban, for they had been harboring and protecting Osama Bin Laden's al Queda organization. That meant NO business would be done with them - period. But when Bush came to office, not only did he send the Taliban $43m in aid, he also brought in a delegation of Taliban honchos that came to Texas to discuss a pipeline that would take gas from the Caspian Sea to Pakistan - through Afghanistan.

The prime movers behind this plan were Unocal, who Moore shows again and again Bush had majors ties to. After September 11 happened, when we duly went in and overturned the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan, who did Bush put in their place? Khamid Karzai - an employee of Unocal. And one of Karzai's first acts of office was to sign the papers agreeing to send that pipeline through 'his' country for his old employers.

How fortunate for them.

4) The Bush administration sent far too few ground troops to Afghanistan and thus allowed far too many Taliban and al-Qaida members to escape.

I'm sorry, but I thought this was considered fact. When American generals opted to send Kurdish rebels into the caves and holes of the Afghan mountains, we all sat back waiting for the inevitable dead body to emerge. Instead, Osama Bin Laden got through the kurds, as well as the few hundred Americans behind them, and was spirited off to Pakistan where he remains to this day. He's not hiding in a cave, he's laughing. He's watching Matrix DVDs and sipping Jolt Cola. He's playing X-Box and ordering pizza, people.

Bush's response to that? He took troops out of Afghanistan and sent them instead to go get Saddam Hussein. Think about that - they know roughly where Bin Laden is, but rather than make his capture a priority, they went after someone else. With TEN TIMES the number of troops that they took to Afghanistan.

If that doesn't warrant mentioning, I'm Dutch.

5) The Afghan government, in supporting the coalition in Iraq, was purely risible in that its non-army was purely American.

I'm not even sure what Hitchens is trying to say here. The Afghan government had no army to speak of, because we blew it apart. Even today, the government itself only rules small portions of that country, while the rest is down to tribal warlords who do their own thing (such as grow more opium poppy than ever before). Suffice to say, when the US says "jump", Khamid Karzai says, "would you like oil with that?"

6) The American lives lost in Afghanistan have been wasted. (This I divine from the fact that this supposedly "antiwar" film is dedicated ruefully to all those killed there, as well as in Iraq.)

Hitchens 'divines' wrong. I have to say that I was shocked and pleasantly surprised by exactly how pro-soldier Fahrenheit 9/11 is. It shows the soldiers as just doing their job, with minimal supervision, questionable directives from commanders, incredible stresses and no clear objective. It shows them asking the question, again and again, "Why are we still here?"

And it shows them in hospital, with limbs blown off, annoyed that their benefits have been slashed by Bush in the time since they volunteered to fight. Some of them even make a point of vowing to do whatever they can for the Democrats from this moment on, despite having always voted Republican.

And it shows their funerals, which Bush has never yet attended.

And it shows their parents, beaming with pride that their child is in the military, then devastated when that child is reported as dead.

And it shows the veterans that have come home and refuse to return to Iraq for another tour of duty, not willing to kill innocent people for a war based on a lie, even if it means they'll be sent to prison.

And it shows conferences of US corporate contractors heading to Iraq, where a speaker says such things as "whatever it costs, the government will pay it," and "when that oil flows, there's going to be a lot of money there."

So yeah, American lives in Afghanistan have been wasted. As they have in Iraq. The boys who went to fight for what they thought was right have been sacrificed so 'the have's and the have more's' (or, as George likes to call them, his base) can profit.

"And these are simply observations on what is "in" the film. If we turn to the facts that are deliberately left out, we discover that there is an emerging Afghan army, that the country is now a joint NATO responsibility and thus under the protection of the broadest military alliance in history, that it has a new constitution and is preparing against hellish odds to hold a general election, and that at least a million and a half of its former refugees have opted to return. I don't think a pipeline is being constructed yet, not that Afghanistan couldn't do with a pipeline. But a highway from Kabul to Kandahar—an insurance against warlordism and a condition of nation-building—is nearing completion with infinite labor and risk. We also discover that the parties of the Afghan secular left—like the parties of the Iraqi secular left—are strongly in favor of the regime change. But this is not the sort of irony in which Moore chooses to deal."

That's perhaps because there is no irony inherent. Never in Moore's film does he say that troops shouldn't have gone into Afghanistan. If he did say that once at a film festival two years ago, it's not in his film today - so why is this the primary point of Hitchens' article?

It seems that Hitchens is intent on critiquing this film not for what is in it, but for the fact that it doesn't follow with statements the filmmaker made in 2002, to a room of maybe twenty people. Is Moore not allowed to make a film unless every statement he's ever made has been vetted and qualified and cross-referenced against it? Is he not allowed to point out 90 truths if one of them doesn't match with something he once said during a film festival panel? This is ridiculous, and the most petty basis for attack in the entire Hitchens piece.

But then, that's what the right does so well - point out the flip-flops of others while ignoring their own. Going to war with Afghanistan for harboring terrorists is one thing. Going to war against Iraq for oil is another altogether, and only someone with a partisan ax to grind couldn't (or wouldn't) see that. Like it or not, formerly liberal Chris Hitchens is very much now a member of the Republican right.

"In a long and paranoid (and tedious) section at the opening of the film, he makes heavy innuendoes about the flights that took members of the Bin Laden family out of the country after Sept. 11. I banged on about this myself at the time and wrote a Nation column drawing attention to the groveling Larry King interview with the insufferable Prince Bandar, which Moore excerpts. However, recent developments have not been kind to our Mike. In the interval between Moore's triumph at Cannes and the release of the film in the United States, the 9/11 commission has found nothing to complain of in the timing or arrangement of the flights. And Richard Clarke, Bush's former chief of counterterrorism, has come forward to say that he, and he alone, took the responsibility for authorizing those Saudi departures."

Okay, so Hitchens calls Moore tedious and paranoid for pointing out something that Hitchens himself admits to having pointed out? Double standards anyone?

It's true that Clarke says he authorized the Saudi planes to leave US airspace. But Clarke worked not for the FBI, who desperately wanted to interview those family members (as interviews with agents in F9/11 point out), rather he worked for George Bush's White House. As for the 9/11 commission having nothing to complain about in that respect, Hitchens might be better served to note that the commission has said that their only mandate is to investigate the CAUSE of 9/11 - not the subsequent actions that may have helped capture (or free) the organizers of the attack. That means that such questions are outside their arena of interest and are a waste of their time.

But then, to admit such wouldn't serve Hitchens' real point here - that Michael Moore is on the other side of the political spectrum from he and that means he must be smeared at all costs, so that Republicans can point to Hitchens' article and say "See? The movie is all crap! It's lies! Lies, I tell you!"

"President Bush is accused of taking too many lazy vacations. (What is that about, by the way? Isn't he supposed to be an unceasing planner for future aggressive wars?) But the shot of him "relaxing at Camp David" shows him side by side with Tony Blair. I say "shows," even though this photograph is on-screen so briefly that if you sneeze or blink, you won't recognize the other figure. A meeting with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, or at least with this prime minister, is not a goof-off."

Now, I just don't get this at all. According to figures compiled by the Washington Post, to August 2003 from the time he took office, Bush had taken 250 days off. That's 27% of his presidency to that point spent on vacation. In his father's entire term of office (four big years), he took 543 vacation days at Camp David and in Kennebunkport. Ronald Reagan? He went off the clock for 335 days during his eight years in office. Jimmy Carter only took 79 days off during his Presidency, while Bill Clinton spent only 152 days kicking back during his two terms in the top job.

Think about that for a second - in barely 2/3 of one Presidential term, George Bush Jr took more days off than Clinton and Jimmy Carter did in a combined TWELVE YEARS!

Is that not worth mentioning? Would Hitchens find such behavior from a Democratic President similarly understandable?

Hitchens takes issue with a shot that he admits is only a split second, because it has Tony Blair in the background. Perhaps Blair was on vacation too? Perhaps on one of the other several dozen vacations Bush has taken Blair wasn't present?

The fact is that Bush, along with taking more vacation days than any other President but his father,.has also attended more fundraising functions that any other President by a country mile.

And all that during a time of war?

"The president is also captured in a well-worn TV news clip, on a golf course, making a boilerplate response to a question on terrorism and then asking the reporters to watch his drive. Well, that's what you get if you catch the president on a golf course. If Eisenhower had done this, as he often did, it would have been presented as calm statesmanship. If Clinton had done it, as he often did, it would have shown his charm."

Not if he'd said it while the nation was at war, it wouldn't.

"More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse."

Where on earth is Hitchens getting his crack? You don't need to rush to war to actually be "doing something". Surely Bush could have done more, while the jets were still in the air and heading to New York City and Washington, than sit in a children's classroom for fifteen minutes reading "My Pet Goat". The nation was under attack for crying out loud! And those were the EXACT words whispered in Bush's ear as he SAT THERE looking scared out of his brains. He heard we were under attack and he did nothing. He sat and waited it out. Then he took questions from the children. Meanwhile, in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, Americans were dying.

Now, let's be clear. There were many things Bush could have done that day. The first one might have been to cancel the school photo op when he'd heard that the first plane had hit the WTC (something he admitted to having known when he told a reporter on the way into the school, "that's one bad pilot, huh? I'll talk about it later.")

He might also have got out of that classroom and hit the phones. He might have authorized the hijacked planes to be shot down by F-16's, or even make sure that F-16's were shadowing the hijacked planes (they never did, even though there was more than an hour between the first hijacking being reported and the last plane hitting a field in Pennsylvania).

Or heck, he might have even pulled a Rudy Giulliani and got on the TV to tell us all that it was going to be okay. But he did nothing. And Hitchens, in trying to say that the only thing he could have done that day was rush to war, is not just being disingenuous, he's being totally and morally dishonest. And YOU know it, no matter who you vote for.

"In fact, I don't think Al Jazeera would, on a bad day, have transmitted anything so utterly propagandistic. You would also be led to think that the term "civilian casualty" had not even been in the Iraqi vocabulary until March 2003."

Clearly Hitchens hasn't seen the excellent Control Room, or he wouldn't have made the unfortunate Al Jazeera dig. But in terms of civilian casualties, Hitchens is amazingly flip with the lives of innocent people. Were the dead in the World Trade Center towers not 'civilian casualties'? Are the civilian casualties on one side of the political divide more important than those on the other? And to what end have we inflicted those civilian casualties on Iraq; For their freedom? For their democracy? For their Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Why? Why are we there? Why aren't we in Afghanistan? That's Moore's point, and it is well made.

"I'll just say that the "insurgent" side is presented in this film as justifiably outraged, whereas the 30-year record of Baathist war crimes and repression and aggression is not mentioned once. (Actually, that's not quite right. It is briefly mentioned but only, and smarmily, because of the bad period when Washington preferred Saddam to the likewise unmentioned Ayatollah Khomeini.)"

If I were an editor who wanted to twist Hitchens' words here, I could have changed the above passage to: "Moore mentions the 30-year record of war crimes and repression of Saddam's Baath Party, while pointing out that the Bush cabinet members that very much wanted to go to war against him also once sold him chemical weapons, financed his army and called him their great friend in the Middle East" - and it wouldn't be a lie. That's exactly what Moore says, but Hitchens prefers to twist it so he looks eville.

Hitchens is essentially admitting the same thing Moore is saying - that the US built Saddam, and that the blood of those Iraqis he killed and tortured is on that country's hands. But he says it in such a way that anyone who hasn't seen the film could say "Yeah! That Michael Moore, he's a liar!"

Which is the title of the piece yet, remarkably, we haven't actually got to a single lie yet. Let's see if any pop up in the rest of the article...

"Moore asserts that Iraq under Saddam had never attacked or killed or even threatened (his words) any American. I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible. Baghdad was for years the official, undisguised home address of Abu Nidal, then the most-wanted gangster in the world, who had been sentenced to death even by the PLO and had blown up airports in Munich and Rome."

As an objective writer (yes, I do consider myself as such), I have to point out when something that doesn't help my side of the argument is factual, and this is indeed a blooper from Moore. Certainly I know what the filmmaker was trying to say - that Iraq was no threat to us on or after September 11 2001, but he said it in a way that makes him easy to shoot down.

Fact, Saddam Hussein had often boasted of offering rewards to the families of terrorists, most specifically in Israel. Fact, Saddam's men tried to off Poppy Bush after he'd been removed as President of the United States. Fact, Iraq took US citizens hostage during the Gulf War. Fact, American soldiers died during the Gulf War.

But the following must be added:

* Israel-based terrorism were never the object of the attack on Iraq by America. The 9/11 terrorists were, and as we now know in a big way, Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. In Bush's own words, "We have no evidence that Saddam was involved in the September the 11th."

* While Saddam's agents tried to off Bush Sr after he had stepped down from office, that was after Iraq had been told by Bush Sr's government that the US took "no position" on the country's dispute with Kuwait. Iraq warned loudly that they may decide to attack the Kuwaitis over a border dispute that involved Kuwait 'angle drilling' into ground that was under Iraqi territory. Iraq objected to these actions, saying Kuwait was stealing their oil. Kuwait told them to get stuffed, so Iraq decided to make it interesting. And that's where the US said "we have no position on this dispute." So Saddam attacked. Then we called him a villain and attacked him. So yeah, Saddam's men went out to get Bush Sr. Considering their history, it's kind of understandable, don't you think?

* Yes, Iraq took hostages during the war (who were all released unharmed) and Americans died fighting in the conflict - but they WERE no threat to Americans until we doublecrossed them and decided to invade. And, if you want to get all factual, more Americans died atthe hands of fellow Americans in the Gulf War than died from Iraqi fire. Friendly fire was by far the biggest killer in that war, just as it was in the Afghanistan invasion, and the attacks on Serbia during the Clinton years.

So yeah, Moore overplays the case with his statement, but it's certainly defensible.

"Thus, in spite of the film's loaded bias against the work of the mind, you can grasp even while watching it that Michael Moore has just said, in so many words, the one thing that no reflective or informed person can possibly believe: that Saddam Hussein was no problem. No problem at all."

Oh Chris, he says no such thing. What he says is that we built Saddam, then when he was no longer our buddy and 9/11 happened, it suddenly became easier to justify invading a sovereign nation. And yes, as much as Saddam was a ######, he was the leader of a sovereign nation. And we invaded that nation. And today we occupy it.

And hey, let's not forget, we've also tortured their people. And we've selected their leaders. And we've closed their newspapers. And we're taking their natural resources to pay for the action we took against them. Viva democracy!

"We are shown some American civilians who have had absurd encounters with idiotic "security" staff. (Have you ever met anyone who can't tell such a story?) Then we are immediately shown underfunded police departments that don't have the means or the manpower to do any stop-and-search: a power suddenly demanded by Moore on their behalf that we know by definition would at least lead to some ridiculous interrogations. Finally, Moore complains that there isn't enough intrusion and confiscation at airports and says that it is appalling that every air traveler is not forcibly relieved of all matches and lighters. (Cue mood music for sinister influence of Big Tobacco.) So—he wants even more pocket-rummaging by airport officials? Uh, no, not exactly. But by this stage, who's counting?"

I am. If Hitchens can't see Moore's point in all this, he's either trying hard not to or he's just flat out dumb. By pointing out the ridiculous stories of encounters with overzealous security staff, then pointing out that the State of Oregon only has eight state troopers on duty at certain times through the week, leaving huge swathes of coastline unprotected, then pointing out that three matchbooks and two lighters is a-okay to take on a plane but four matchbooks and two lighters is not (despite the evidence showing that shoebomber Richard Reid would have succeeded in blowing up a civillian flight if he'd had access to a lighter), Moore is making a very salient point. That point is that homeland security is a JOKE.

You can see that, right? Because I saw it clearly.

"Circling back to where we began, why did Moore's evil Saudis not join "the Coalition of the Willing"? Why instead did they force the United States to switch its regional military headquarters to Qatar?"

Because, and I'd be surprised if Hitchens truly doesn't know this, the Saudi royals are far from 'in control' at home. Their close ties to the US are the subject of much local dissension, and bombings of US buildings in Saudi Arabia are a very regular occurrence. In fact, for many years those bombings were blamed on westerners who the Saudis accused of running 'illegal alcohol rings." It was a turf war, they said, and they arrested random westerners and held them in prison for years, torturing them and beating them for confessions, all so they could put forth the spin that there was no internal problem in Saudi Arabia.

Well, there is. There's a big problem, and had the Saudi leaders allowed America to run its attack on Iraq from that country, chances are you'd have seen open revolt against the house of Saud. That's why they didn't let the US base their forces there, and that's why Osama Bin Laden got annoyed with the US in the first place (along with the call for a Palestinian homeland, Bin Laden's big demand is that the US get out of Saudi Arabia, which is considered the Arab holy land). It's also why the US didn't make a bigger deal about the refusal - in essence, they understood the delicacy of the situation.

"There's more. Poor people often volunteer to join the army, and some of them are duskier than others. Betcha didn't know that. Back in Flint, Mich., Moore feels on safe ground. There are no martyred rabbits this time. Instead, it's the poor and black who shoulder the packs and rifles and march away."

Is Hitchens really going to hang his hat on this? In F9/11, Moore follows a couple of Marine recruiters as they hit the local shopping mall (the poorer mall, where the minority folks shop) in search of new blood. They can be heard talking about how to corner someone trying to get away from them, they're seen taking down the name and address of someone who says they're not interested, "so we know not to bother you again..." Puh-lease.

And most interestingly? The recruitment candidates are mostly black. They're mostly unemployed. They're mostly people who have nothing going on in life and are being offered schooling, which they can otherwise in no way afford. And to illustrate that point, Moore talks to a Flint woman in gainful employment (in a town with nearly 50% unemployment), a white woman at that, who boasts proudly about her family's military tradition, and how she had been telling her children from a young age that the military was the only way they could get out of Flint and get an education.

Did I mention that woman's son died in Iraq?

The truth is that the people serving in Iraq are, by and large, either volunteers from poor backgrounds trying to get some sort of possibility of education in their lives, or middle class white folks who signed up to the National Guard back in the day when doing so meant you WOULDN'T be sent overseas. There's also another contingent in the US armed forces that perhaps you didn't know about - the foreigners. Yes, America's armed forces now feature Mexicans who want citizenship in the US and are prepared to be shot at to get it. Foreign nationals in America's armed forces - but hey, Moore shouldn't point such things out because whitey might feel slighted, right Hitchens?

"In the film, Moore says loudly and repeatedly that not enough troops were sent to garrison Afghanistan and Iraq. (This is now a favorite cleverness of those who were, in the first place, against sending any soldiers at all.)"

Uh, no. He doesn't. He says not enough troops were sent to Afghanistan - which is correct, evidenced by the fact that we didn't catch Osama Bin Laden, who killed 3000 of our own. But Moore is NOT saying there should have been more troops sent to Iraq, he's saying that the US went in underprepared. There's a big difference between the two positions - one says "we should flood the country with our men and get the bastards!" while the other says, "You idiots, you sent our kids in there, in numbers too small to effectively control the place, when you shouldn't have been sending in troops at all!" The latter is Moore's point, and it's a very clear one.

Hitchens is being intellectually dishonest here on a grand scale. He's pulling the right wing move that we've seen time and again where you manipulate words and scenarios to suit your own needs, and anyone who sees Moore's movie will see, front and center, that this is the case.

And they really will. I mean, good grief, a woman who sat next to me during this film, a respected newspaper writer in this town, cried at what she saw on screen. She cried. Not quietly, not a single tear quickly sucked back in - she cried LOUDLY.

Is this woman merely someone so weak of mind that she could be snowed by some clever editing and emotional background music? Of course not. What she saw were images we're not allowed to see as a matter of course in American life any more. She saw babies covered in burns, missing limbs, being thrown on trucks. She saw US soldiers singing "the roof is on fire" as Baghdad buildings burned behind them. She saw soldiers standing in the desert wondering what the hell they got themselves into, and why.

And she saw a pattern of deception, hubris and elitist manouveuring that saw the western world descend into war for NO REASON other than the profit of a small number of people. She saw lives destroyed so that Halliburton could see their stock rise. She saw parents grieving, caskets returning, and innocent Iraqi civilians calling for our deaths because, heck, after you've flattened someone's home with their family inside, they tend to get a littly pissy.

"However, I think we can agree that the film is so flat-out phony that "fact-checking" is beside the point."

Excuse me? What did he just say? "Fact-checking is beside the point"?

No sir, fact checking IS the point when you accuse someone of lying. And you, sir, have not proved one single lie here, only a bunch of inferences that exist in your head and nowhere else. Hitchens is saying that F9/11 is an awful movie simply because it doesn't take his perspective on things. He claims lies have been told, but can only find one statement that could even be inferred as untrue, and even that's a stretch. As for the rest, he seems to think if he can smear a little doody on Michael Moore's reputation at the top of the article, he doesn't have to prove it in the bottom.

If you happen to know Judith Miller personally, could you send her a message? Tell her there's a new hack in town. She's now number two behind Chris "Hatchet" Hitchens, who accuses people of lying but doesn't deliver the evdience. This Slate article, good people with brains in your heads, is some of the shoddiest 'journalism' I've seen. And it comes to you from a guy who wrote an article not long ago defending Ahmad Chalabi, double agent to the Iranians, fabricator of WMD stories, and wanted bank defrauder, saying "if there has to be a 'Mr. Shiite' in Iraq, I can think of worse candidates than Chalabi."

I can't. "

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I was watching Fox News last night..I HIGHLY doubt this movie will cost Bush the election...

It's chock full of distorted facts and blatant lies...Moore likes to use only half of what someone said to make his point..yet he convienently leaves out pertinent info from the rest of the story...

Too many people see this movie for what it is...but then again, if you hate Bush...it's right up your alley..lol..i wouldn't waste my hard earned money...and good thing too, it's rated R ha ha ha ha

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Originally posted by Faerie@Jun 25 2004, 11:14 PM

It's chock full of distorted facts and blatant lies...Moore likes to use only half of what someone said to make his point..yet he convienently leaves out pertinent info from the rest of the story...

IF that's true, then perhaps he learned his craft from the same folks who wrote much of your church history.
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Originally posted by Faerie@Jun 26 2004, 12:14 AM

I was watching Fox News last night..I HIGHLY doubt this movie will cost Bush the election...

It's chock full of distorted facts and blatant lies...Moore likes to use only half of what someone said to make his point..yet he convienently leaves out pertinent info from the rest of the story...

Too many people see this movie for what it is...but then again, if you hate Bush...it's right up your alley..lol..i wouldn't waste my hard earned money...and good thing too, it's rated R ha ha ha ha

I realize that Moore stretches the truth, but he doesn't just make it all up out of thin air. If only half of it is true, it will be damning to him. Do yourself a favor and get your news from another source. I enjoy Shepherd Smith's show, but I try to get my news from several sources. Fox News is about as balanced as this movie!
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I saw this movie today. I did roll my eyes at a lot of it, where Moore was obviously stretching the truth. But I was shocked at some of the things I learned. I had no idea that the Bush's had such strong ties to the Bin Laden family. I also did not know that we have so many financial ties to Saudi Arabia.

Even if you love Bush, you should see this movie (those of you who will see R's, although the only reason it's rated R is because of a few gruesome photos, during which part I looked away - oh, and a couple soldiers say the 'f' word). Just because you see it doesn't mean that you believe everything that Moore says. Take away from it what you will.

And Faerie, I definitely disagree with what you said in a previous post about it not affecting Bush winning the election. Of all the people who have any doubts about Bush, if they see this movie, I'd say 95% of them will not vote for him. And a lot of people are seeing it. Every show (4 different times a day) is selling out. We had to buy tickets this morning, or would have not gotten in.

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here is an excerpt from an interview w/ moore from ABCNEWS.com...hardly a crazy right-wing institution..

Having his say

and one of Moore's critiques is that we were too aggressive, yet there was a huge argument on another thread that we weren't aggressive enough..damned if you do, and you know the rest :D

I'm sorry...but I lend little credit to someone who calls Americans "the dumbest people on the planet."

Another good review:

FAKEN-heit 9-11: Michael Moore’s Latest Fiction

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Originally posted by Faerie@Jun 26 2004, 10:25 PM

here is an excerpt from an interview w/ moore from ABCNEWS.com...hardly a crazy right-wing institution..

Having his say

and one of Moore's critiques is that we were too aggressive, yet there was a huge argument on another thread that we weren't aggressive enough..damned if you do, and you know the rest :D

I'm sorry...but I lend little credit to someone who calls Americans "the dumbest people on the planet."

Another good review:

FAKEN-heit 9-11: Michael Moore’s Latest Fiction

From your second link:

"Those surrounding me were literally the "Great Unwashed." They smelled as if they hadn’t taken a shower in weeks, not because they couldn’t afford running water, but because it’s cool to be dirty and nasty in the far-left. Not for any good reason, but just because they can. With their awful stench wafting universal, they want to make the rest of us as miserable and skanky as the Hate-America crowd."

Yeah, that's some real great journalism... come on! Talking about how the crowd in the theater stink, because they don't agree with her?

Neither of these articles say anything that I did not say. Moore exaggerates.

Most viewers are intelligent enough to weed out the BS, and learn something from it. I learned a lot of things I did not know. Another thing the movie does is show that the Iraqi people are not monsters. They are just like us. They have normal kids who play, the families watch TV together, go to weddings, and eat out. They may have been ruled by a brutal dictator, but so are many other countries. We can't fix the whole world.

You can only judge a movie so much until you see it. If you do, then lets continue to discuss it.

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Guest TheProudDuck

Originally posted by shanstress70@Jun 25 2004, 07:31 PM

Anyone see this movie tonight? We tried to go, but it was sold out. I don't really like Michael Moore, but I am interested in seeing it. I think there is a chance that this movie could singlehandedly cost Bush the election. It will be interesting to see how Bush's camp refutes it.

I have a feeling that Moore is mostly preaching to the choir. He's established such a reputation as a one-sided propagandist of the Left that the vast majority of the people attending would vote for anyone over Bush. So I doubt many minds or votes are going to be changed.
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