Greenwald and team's new documentary takes the public inquiry into the real causes for policy decisions made in Washington over the past eight years . . . well, maybe a lot longer to a new level. The film attempts to detail explicitly the activities of the four biggest war profiteers: Haliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root, CACI, and Blackwater, and examine the results of the privatization of war. The film and the twenty minute section on the DVD which records the failed attempts made in Congress by Senators Dorgen, Leahy and other Democrats to regain the type of Congressional oversight that the putative representatives of the American people had back in the late 1940's/early 1950's under the Truman Commission.
The implications of the ramifications of this unbridled corruption are perhaps even more terrifying than the tragic testimonies which are recorded to justify the exposition and argument made in the film.
The film does the great service of detailing for a mass audience, with more essential specifics than presented in this medium before, the depth of the control these war profiteers exert over our elected representatives and the danger they have brought to our front door, all in the blind pursuit of more almighty dollars than anyone could ever possibly spend. Even combat veteren General Smedley Butler, who was the first, I believe to coin the phrase "WAR IS A RACKET", could not have imagined the surreal proportions to which war profiteering has been taken in Iraq, all at the expense of the American tax-payer and a bunch of innocent people now dead.
Greenwald, in my opinion, has always been a rather conservative film-maker with an ability to get to the root of the big problems, but frankly, not a whole lot of dramatic flair (ala Micheal Moore, Erroll Morris, or the makers of "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm"). Determined to reach to the hearts in the Heartland, he seems absolutely adverse to showing any sort of partisanship at all, almost too responsibly objective, a style which, to my eye, somewhat enervates the presentation. But perhaps, there is more wisdom to his approach than I would care to admit. For instance, in 'Outfoxed', while doing a pretty good job of exposing the hypocrasy, dishonesty, deceptiveness, and bullying techniques of that now venerable vehicle of fascist propoganda, he does not beat the drum for the fact that Murdock is a dangerous foreign national, with extreme right wing verging on monarchist, oligarchic, political leanings operating in the US. Greenwald, does, however, in a sort of understated way, point to the incredible danger to our Democracy presented by Fox News Network, America's favorite babysitter (believe me, more of Reagan's Robots are coming of than the Gipper ever would have dared to dream for - all nursed on Hannatty's and O'Reilly's Goebbelesque rantings. "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices" was a much happier affair as an investigative documentary - really hard hitting in its best moments - and his best effort dramatically. Again, Greenwald and his crew, through a sort of explanatory expose, make us aware of the root of a REALLY BIG PROBLEM.
These films make you aware and they make you mad. 'Iraq for Sale' shares with them - the same, slow paced - non dramatic - deliberate - consciously non-partisan style. And you will get angry - furious. But, will it get the American voting public to finally do something about the problem come November?
True to the filmaker's form, "Iraq for Sale" does not spend a second on the speculation that the Iraq venture was consciously planned years in advance to profit those who are discussed in the film. It does spend almost the entire duration detailing how those profits were eventually made and continue to be made, the type of suffering so far engendered, and why no oversight has been established to stop the bleeding.
Farenheit 9/11 was released in the Summer before the 2004 elections. Although it was by far the most viewed film world-wide that season, the majority of Americans did not see it! A shocking truth. And this one, folks - for better or worse - will not jerk you out of your seat as that monumental effort did for many. Rather, like Inconvenient Truth - it's more of an explanatory type of document - and to wit - much of it is basically already known by many, though perhaps not in such specific detail - however, it's a real service to have it all in one place - to show to as many folks as possible before the November elections. One wishes, we could print millions of dvds and dump them in places like Pennsylvania, Virgina, the deep South, Texas, Oklahoma, the Sun Belt, before they all go out and do it again! But, at least, if you care, buy a copy, and show it to some people before election day (or on it - outside the polling booth!)
Unquestionably, "Iraq For Sale" is team Greenwald's most important venture to date dealing with the ROOT (no pun intended) of THE BIGGEST PROBLEM, and should be seen by every American, especially those who actually believe they're doing their patriotic duty by voting Republican -because they've bought the argument that by supporting certain American business interests, America is going to stay strong, and that somehow by not supporting them, America's military is going to be weakened. The film succeeds is revealing this deceit for what it is, perhaps the most destructive lie ever bought by the majority of American voters.