Whenever I watch documentaries like “No End In Sight” that illustrate the gross incompetence and corruption in the U.S. Government’s (USG) senior political leadership ranks, I feel my stomach twisting into knots and I literally want to vomit. It’s like having a family member who is always drunk and belligerent: They keep terrorizing the neighbors and breaking things so frequently that you can never experience any meaningful respect or affection for them.
The film captured the complex factional dynamics between the Shiite majority and Sunni minority in Iraq better than any other documentary that I’ve seen on this topic. This is an important aspect of the post-invasion political landscape, which the morons (Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bremmer) completely ignored when they proceeded to destroy a 6,000+ year old civilization. When the invasion in 2003 began, I had recently left the Air Force (I was a cryptological linguist focused on the Middle East.) and I recall frequently thinking: “These man-children have no f-ing idea what they are doing!” The consequences of their incompetence since then have been even worse than I expected.
Seeing so many humans suffer for literally nothing is infuriating, but the more people see these tragic images, the sooner we can help the remaining zombies understand why U.S. foreign policy is so philosophically and ethically bankrupt. The film did a good job of tastefully integrating the suffering of the Iraqis without coming across as being too exploitative of their suffering for political purposes.
“Human rights and chemical weapons aside, our interests run roughly parallel to those of Iraq.” – Harvard professor, Samantha Power, quoting a 1987 U.S. State Department document in the film. That statement perfectly captures the essence of the International Relations philosophy of Realism and Kissinger’s realpolitik. As distasteful as realpolitik is to me philosophically, compared to the incoherent policies of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, at least Kissinger was intellectually consistent and rigorous in his analysis most of the time.
The film mentioned that Bush Sr. called for the Iraqi people to rise up against Saddam, but when the Iraqi Shiites rose up, Bush Sr. provided no support and watched Saddam suppress them. I was surprised the film did not elaborate a bit more on this. The reason Bush Sr. didn’t help them is because the Shiites are ideologically aligned with Iran. So, Bush Sr. had no interest in helping them. Generally, Bush Sr. was much more rational and competent than his Jr. spawn’s administration, but I still think that was a strategic mistake. The USG should transcend ideology to support genuine democratic movements whenever they emerge because that’s what creates goodwill and mutually beneficial commerce with countries over the long-term.
I appreciated how vividly the film captured the deeply incompetent actions and decision-making processes within the Bush Jr. Administration. I talk about the incompetence of USG foreign and economic policy frequently in my network because this is a plague that has been destroying our economy and the institutional integrity of the USG for decades. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld completely ignored the Iraq experts and the volumes of intelligence estimates and research studies, all of which revealed that the challenges they were dealing with in Iraq were far greater than they were telling the American people.
The segment with Rumsfeld mocking the news reports about how Iraq was falling apart was disgusting. That means the documentary had its intended effect. Over the years, my contempt for Rumsfeld has really blossomed into full-blown hatred. This film does a good job of capturing the evil that both Rumsfeld and Cheney have wrought in Iraq and in American foreign policy over the past four decades.
As far as documentaries go, this film was excellent. It’s difficult to find any significant historical or logical flaws in it. The director sincerely tried to present all sides of the issue and give all the involved stakeholders an opportunity to contribute to the film, even though all the Bush Administration officials declined to be interviewed (likely because their souls are already descending into the fiery flames of Hell). The director was careful to place all the footage in proper context and he generally delivered the information in a logical, compelling fashion. For all those reasons, I highly recommend it.
Shortly after I posted my comments above, somebody accused me of being too harsh on the Bush Administration for calling them “morons.” The following was my response:
You’re right. Anybody who watches that documentary and/or who has real-world experience and historical knowledge about the Middle East knows I was being too charitable. However, “moron” was the most charitable PG-13 word that came to mind when I was describing people who deliberately and systematically deceive billions of humans, systematically slaughter millions of humans (directly through grossly unjust wars and indirectly through starvation and politically-motivated economic sanctions), and systematically and willfully ignore the dire warnings of thousands of experts who know far more about the Middle East and actual nation-building in the real world than those morons do.
Of course, I always understood the USG’s strategic interest in Middle Eastern oil, but when I worked in (and was brainwashed by) the USG, I still believed the morons were just doing their best to do the right thing for the Iraqi and Afghan people. But then I realized that, even if we assume their intentions are good (which is a big assumption), good intentions are not enough. If a big fat guy is accidentally sitting on your face, suffocating you to death, it doesn’t matter what his intentions are if you’re dead. The same is true for people in positions of power over our lives and economies. People need to have enough self-awareness to know their limitations and enough global awareness to grasp the consequences of their actions in the real world; otherwise, they have no business controlling our economic and foreign policies.
When morons ascend to positions of power and metaphorically suffocate humanity with their moronic actions, they should be held in the utmost contempt and held accountable for the atrocities that they commit. That’s the only way to prevent future politicians from engaging in the same moronic behavior and it’s the only way to save humanity from the actions of tyrants who claim to have good intentions while they destroy cultures, political systems, and economies.