I saw Robert Greenwald's IRAQ FOR SALE this weekend and I was really impressed by how emotionally and politically powerful it is. The audience cheered at the end, and for good reason: this is an important film. It's also one of the most truly patriotic movies I've seen in a long time.
Please see it.
IRAQ FOR SALE makes a detailed, passionate case for properly supporting both the good people who serve this country in Iraq, and their loved ones back home. It also shows that this trust has been
repeatedly betrayed by the Bush Administration, its private contractor cronies, and the conservative media that has ignored a litany of horrendous abuses. The terrible cost - - shown so clearly
in IRAQ FOR SALE - - includes thousands of people killed and wounded, shredded American ethics, a weakened military that will be less prepared to protect this country when really needed, almost a
trillion dollars wasted, and a loss of respect for the principles of good government that once united Republicans and Democrats.
IRAQ FOR SALE features a series of remarkable personal stories that bring alive wider concerns about the greed and incompetence that's ruled our Iraq policy. To pick one example: when water purification expert Ben Carter cries as he describes the contaminated water Halliburton-KBR delivers to the men and women serving in Iraq, he really seems to be weeping both for the hurt caused, and for his loss of faith in this country's leaders. It's a devastating indictment. I wish Robert Greenwald had subpoena power.
This film also offers a warning that goes well beyond Iraq. In fact, it could just as easily be called AMERICA FOR SALE. Transparency International defines corruption as "The abuse of entrusted power
for private gain," and that's exactly the attitude that this White House has instituted across the government. One recent case in point: the Interior Department's Inspector General just testified
about widespread "ethics failures on the part of senior department officials," and "appearances of impropriety, favoritism and bias." It will take us a long time to dig out of the mess created by the Bush Administration, in the Middle East and at home.
There's also a significant undercurrent of hope in IRAQ FOR SALE. It's inspiring to see such a wide range of people express a love of country, and a belief in classic American values - - people who
realize that those principles demand that they step forward to challenge wrongdoing, regardless of the consequences. That's a great lesson for everyone, and one I wish our politicians would take to heart.
President Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough
informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government." Notice he didn't mention selling off vital chunks of the government to private, unaccountable, profit-hungry contractors. I can only
imagine what Thomas Jefferson would say.
Here's a good step toward making the American people "well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government:" see IRAQ FOR SALE, before our country is sold out from under us.