It may seem devastatingly defeatist to even consider attending a film about Iraq titled No End in Sight; especially if you believe your mindset is well-represented by a bumper sticker that reads: “I’m already upset about the next war.” But don’t let such thoughts prevent you from taking in this brief, powerful, historical tour of the quagmire created by this administration that’s presently sinking our precious youth, our world reputation, and several trillion of our tax dollars.
First-time film director Charles Ferguson offers stark facts and eloquent witnesses-many present at the formulation and execution of this war. Using ample and damning quotes from not only journalists and observers, but Pentagon senior advisers, generals, and members of the team put together to ensure civilization’s return to Iraq, Ferguson follows step-by-step the systematic ideological arrogance that led Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfeld to use 9/11 as an excuse to hunt down Saddam Hussein. Ferguson suggests that a combination of petty revenge and enormous hubris opened the doors to this disaster. Worse, though, the film chronicles the many mistakes made in the first weeks after Hussein’s statue toppled, with an administration’s callow refusal to police-much less aid-the country it “liberated.”
If there is any part of the story Ferguson slights, it may be the role played by the thousands of American, European, and Asian citizens who took to the streets before Bush invaded, begging him to reconsider. But everybody seems to be forgetting how much more prescient the public was than the international media. Nonetheless, the filmmakers find many voices within the government itself that now express dismay on-camera, or are willing to confess their sins of omission.
Is it enough? Of course not. The damage is done and the cogs of history will grind this debacle’s wreckage for many more years; but better this reminder than the lukewarm campaign promises we hear. We need this clear vision of the past to help prevent that seriously funny bumper sticker from ever coming true.