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March 3, 2021
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No End in Sight
(2007-10-24)
(wgvu) - USA (2007-10-04) No End in Sight is a documentary that details how the war and occupation in Iraq descended into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality, and anarchy. Written and Directed by Charles Ferguson, who was initially a supporter of regime change in Iraq, it presents the voices from within the Bush administration, many of whom are speaking out for the first time on the devastating mistakes that were made. (clip) What makes this film vital is that it isn't a partisan ideological attack on President Bush, but rather a sober, and straight forward detailing of what the Bush administration did and did not do. Those featured aren't liberal activists but rather the folks from inside. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine, and the initial Coalitional Provisional Government officials Gerald Burke, Colonel Paul Hughes, and General Jay Garner who was initially in charge. They tell about all the original planning that was put together by countless departments and hundreds of people, only to have it ignored by those in charge, Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney, and President Bush. (clip) The two biggest mistakes made, that seem to have set everything else into motion in regards to chaos and instability, were insufficient troop levels, allowing the wide spread looting, and the de-Baathification and dissembling of the Iraqi Army. (clip) Recent events concerning the Blackwater Security Contractors is touched on in No End in Sight, too. An Iraqi official and a Marine both talk about the problems concerning this. (clip) Those interviews are followed by footage filmed by a security contractor randomly shooting civilians in their cars, as they drive down the street, with Elvis blasting on the stereo. (clip) No End in Sight is a depressing movie to watch, but is fascinating as recent history, and useful as a lesson learned. It shows how a small group of men with little or no military experience, knowledge of the Arab world, or personal experience with Iraq came to make seriously debilitating decisions. The consequences on the ground are dissected with a keen blade, and the people, facts, and issues within the Bush Administration are given a powerful look. The phrase that sprang to mind as I watched this was arrogant stupidity. The architects of this war and occupation, Paul Wolfewitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Bremer, Condaleeza Rice, and Vice President Cheney have been described as brilliantly intelligent. But what becomes immediately evident when examining the policies they made was a combination of arrogant stupidity. By ignoring the various plans for occupation and rebuilding Iraq, by ignoring the troop numbers suggested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by firing or disgarding experts like General Shinseki, General Garner, and those who had vast experience in the Middle East, the Bush administration doomed its efforts. No End in Sight is an aptly named documentary. © Copyright 2021, wgvu