Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Snips of Ike: Eugene Jarecki’s Why We Fight

Snips of Ike:
Why We Fight

by Henry Edward Hardy

Eugene Jarecki’s Why We Fight takes as its framework snippets from President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous televised farewell to the nation in 1961, often called the “military-industrial complex” speech. Jarecki is best known for The Trials of Henry Kissinger.

One may or may not be sympathetic to the premise of the film, that the United States has become an American Empire, and as such, is behaving badly in the world. Why We Fight makes clever use of icons of the Republican Party such as John McCain and Eisenhower and neoconservatives such as William Kristol and Richard Pearle to make its points.

Why We Fight is also the title of a series of films made for the U.S. government by Frank Capra during World War II. They were commissioned in response to the Nazi use of mass media in films like Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. Since then the title has been (mis-)appropriated a number of times, such as the book by former “Drug Czar” William J. Bennett subtitled “Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism”, and the name of a popular Danish rock band.

Jarecki’s Why We Fight has not been widely seen in the U.S. It was shown on the BBC in March 2005 and won the American Documentary Grand Prize at Sundance in 2005. The film would be stronger if it were better-organized and had a less transparent point to make. For those unfamiliar with some of Eisenhower’s later and more progressive thinking, this film is an interesting introduction.

A version of this article appeared previously in Current Magazine and on Electric Current

Copyright © 2006-2007 Henry Edward Hardy

Submit to del.icio.usSubmit to BluedotSubmit to ConnoteaDigg it!Submit to FurlSubmit to newsvineSubmit to RedditSubmit to FurlSubmit to TechnoratiSocial Networking Icons Help

27 February, 2007 - Posted by | archives, capitalism, corporations, Eisenhower, Eugene Jarecki, Ike, industry, media, military, military-industrial complex, movies, news, peace, politics, reviews, scanlyze, video, war, Why We Fight

1 Comment »

  1. The full BBC version of “Why We Fight” is available on GoogleVideo
    (I linked to it: http://antwerp.wordpress.com/2007/02/15/why-we-fight-the-movie-the-dirty-economics-of-us-warfare/)

    Comment by Peter N. | 8 March, 2007 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: