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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Uncovered: The War on Iraq

Posted By on Wed, Sep 15, 2004 at 12:00 AM

This is the documentary Michael Moore should have made. He should have made it because it makes an impervious case that the Bush administration either a) flat-out lied, b) purposefully misled or c) was totally ignorant in throwing America into a disastrous war that has left more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers and countless combatants and civilians dead. Moore should have made this movie because it is journalism instead of ego and emotion, and allows the high-level government experts (some of whom were or are Republican) to do the talking. Moore should have made it because he possesses the pop-cinema savvy and star power to get his documentary seen and heard.

And it’s too bad, because Uncovered: The War on Iraq, by Cinema Libre Studios of California and MoveOn.org, won’t be showing in theaters nationwide to record-breaking crowds. But absolutely every American should see this film — especially if they’re considering voting for President Bush.

Documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald explores the administration’s case for war using news clips and televised statements by Bush and his Cabinet members leading up to the Iraq invasion. Juxtaposed with Bush’s alarmist rhetoric, Greenwald interviews senior intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials who question the war rationale and say it was common knowledge in the intelligence community that presidential statements were unfounded. Among those interviewed are the former director of the CIA; U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter; the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and the CIA official in charge of finding weapons in Iraq after the invasion, David Kay; and even President Bush’s secretary of the Army.

The remarkable thing about Uncovered is the history of blatant propaganda it documents. Most chilling are the televised statements by Bush, Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld threatening the country and the world with an imminent and specifically horrific attack from Saddam Hussein in the form of, alternately, a nuclear “mushroom cloud,” nerve gas and chemical and biological weapons. A sickly humorous moment comes when footage from months before 9/11 shows Rice and Powell stating that Iraq posed no threat to its neighbors.

Another sparkler: Rice says on a news show that when Bush said in his State of the Union address that Iraq tried to buy nuclear material from Africa, the known false statement was the result of an oversight — someone just “forgot” to take it out of his speech.

This documentary doesn’t play around, and it can get a little dry. Unlike Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, it won’t leave you sobbing. But it’ll leave you mad as hell. And anyone who watches it and still considers Bush electable — instead of impeachable — is, well, a person who is willing to blindly follow a dictator into a bloody war for no good reason.

Showing at the Main Art Theatre, 118 N. Main, Royal Oak. Call 248-263-2111 for more info.

Lisa M. Collins is the arts editor of Metro Times. E-mail lcollins@metrotimes.com.

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