June 30, 2004
Michael Moore's "Un-Fair-enheit"
The movie ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' starts off with a flashback at the presidential election in November, 2000. Al Gore and company were celebrating their victory in Florida, the state where Gore thought he had won. Moore narrates as if it were just a dream. He accuses the alleged evil empire, Fox News, of making CNN and MSNBC fold under its pressure to announce Bush as the winner and Florida Governor Jeb Bush for rigging the votes in Florida while allegedly ignoring Black votes. Despite the argument of the Black voters and certain congressmen, not one Democratic or Republican senator supported the accusation. Michael Moore attempts to get sympathies from his audience rather than provide the facts.
The film goes on to accuse the president of many different things. One of the allegations is that the GOP is currently scaring Americans with the terrorist alerts. It seems hypocritical since Moore blamed Bush for not doing enough before 9/11 and now blames him for scaring people from living their daily lives. I also find it ironic that in late 2002, Moore had a debate with Christopher Hitchens at the Telluride Film Festival about Osama bin Laden's role in the 9/11 attacks. Moore said that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. That indicates that we should not have gone into Afghanistan until we had the facts. Yet for whatever ''unknown'' reason, Moore now believes that bin Laden is indeed guilty. I can understand that Michael Moore made a mistake and had changed his feelings about someone like bin Laden, but how could he go after Bush in the same way? He blamed Bush for waiting three months to retaliate against the Taliban regime.
Michael Moore does a better job of mocking his opponents than he does of showing any facts about them. He sarcastically lists the small countries in the ''coalition of the willing,'' but mysteriously leaves out England, Spain, and Australia.
One of the most ridiculous remarks in ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' was when Michael Moore made Iraq sound like a peaceful place before the coalition's invasion. As suspected, Moore is confused about what freedom is if he can't tell the difference between democracy and dictatorship. He made Iraq to be a place where life was happy and then suddenly, he showed the imperial United States bombing the innocent country of Iraq. Moore also said that Saddam was no threat to America at all. For the sake of all the readers, including Michael Moore's ilk, let's list exactly how sovereign and terror-free Iraq really was.
- Saddam's regime was the only one in the region that openly celebrated the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. and described them as just the beginning of a larger revenge.
- 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 Vienna and Rome.
- Dec. 1, 2003, the New York Times reported--and the David Kay report had established--that Saddam had been secretly negotiating with the ''Dear Leader'' Kim Jong-il in a series of secret meetings in Syria, as late as the spring of 2003, to buy a North Korean missile system, and missile-production system, right off the shelf.
- Human rights groups state that hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed under Saddam Hussein's regime
- Hussein sponsored terrorism in Israel and sheltered a key figure in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.
The movie took an interesting turn when Moore interviewed former White House counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke. During the interview, Moore points to President Bush's rumored relationship with Saudi officials as the motivating factor in the president allegedly allowing relatives of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden to fly out of the country following the Sept.11, 2001 terror attacks. Richard Clarke has been one of the many critics of President George W. Bush, and Clark's testimony during the 9/11 Commission was that the FBI approved the flights for the bin Ladens and Saudis. However, Clark would contradict himself in a big way. Clarke bashes the FBI for releasing the bin Laden and Saudis after 9/11 even though Clarke admits he was responsible for letting them go and is not sorry for his decision.
According to ''The Hill'' newspaper:
The decision to approve the flights, Clarke admitted last week, had been his own. The request "didn't get any higher than me," he told The Hill.
"On 9-11, 9-12 and 9-13, many things didn't get any higher than me. I decided it in consultation with the FBI," Clarke said of the plane flight carrying bin Laden's relatives.
"I take responsibility for it. I don't think it was a mistake, and I'd do it again," he added. The Saudis and bin Laden's relatives were flown from the U.S. out of fear for their safety following the terror attacks.
In some of the most laughable scenes, Bush is on a golf course, making a stern statement to a question on Palestinian terrorism and after his statement he tells reporters to watch his drive. Moore tries to bury Bush at this point in the film by making him look insensitive, but it's actually called calm statesmanship. A lot of the presidents played golf such as John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and Bill Clinton. But it gets even funnier when Michael Moore stupidly asked members of Congress to sign their children up for the military. Besides the fact that parents cannot send their children off into the military like that, Moore fails to say that Congressional Representative Mark Kennedy has a nephew in the military and was willing to help Moore pass out recruitment brochures because he believed the War in Iraq was a noble cause.
Since we are on the topic of war, Moore goes back to his roots in Flint, Michigan, as he depicts poor African-Americans being persuaded to join the military by two men in uniform. It's funny that for over a century-and-a-half African-Americans insisted on their rights to join the U.S. Army and when they are being recruited, it's considered wrong despite the opportunities that would be granted to them. Before this scene, Moore made a point that few soldiers were in Afghanistan and Iraq and now he is criticizing recruitment.
In other various scenes, Moore tries to put religion on his side by using a poor Christian mother who lost her child in Iraq. You truly can't help but to feel sorry for the woman, but when did Christianity ever play into Michael Moore's views? Would a person for the war be non-Christian? How about when Moore was stopped by the Secret Service outside the Saudi Arabian embassy? He acts like a victim, but could you blame these men? After all, Michael Moore is okay with terrorist support from the Middle East terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The only thing consistent about Michael Moore's film is that it is inconsistent. Not only does he not provide another side, he pretends that there isn't even another side. Despite if ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' portrays truth or propaganda, one thing is for certain: he made millions of dollars. It toped the box office with over 21 million dollars for its opening week and Michael Moore is laughing all the way to the bank. Moore got what he wanted and to him, that's all that matters.