Moore and the major have it all wrong

Well, here we go again, a teacher promoting anti-America propaganda.

I don’t know if Kim Smith, who signed himself in his letter to the North Kitsap Herald as Major, USAF Ret., History and English faculty, Kingston Junior High, praises in history class Michael Moore’s nasty little piece, “Farenheit 9/11,” but his students can be influenced by it if they read it in the paper.

His letter responds to another that compared Moore’s movie to one filmed by Leni Riefenstahl for the Nazi government in World War II. There is no comparison, says Smith, since the Nazi movie dealt with racial superiority and the Moore movie does not.

“What I can state unequivocally is that I came away from viewing the (Moore) film in awe of how absolutely right Mr. Moore conveyed the current makeup of our military and its ramifications for life and death. ... The make-up of our military is drawn from the poor, lower and middle classes economically.”

In 23 years, he never served with anyone rich, he said.

“Mr. Moore’s movie graphically conveyed the point that with one exception, not one member of Congress or the administration has a family member serving in Iraq or in any of the other hot spots. In fact, almost the entire Bush Administration avoided the Vietnam War and have no first-hand knowledge of war.

“Why does that matter? Because the people making the decision to send Americans to their deaths are personally untouched by these tragedies. Their view is that ‘freedom isn’t free’ and Americans may have to pay the ultimate price for that freedom, but it’s not their kids on the firing line nor have they ever experienced combat, so the decisions to send Americans into harm’s way are made in a vacuum of ignorance with no feeling of personal pain for the dead and wounded.

“The most telling moment in Mr. Moore’s film for me was his statement that the soldiers fighting Mr. Bush’s war are the most disadvantaged in our nation. Despite this fact, they’re willing to put their lives on the line for our country. All they ask in return is that those who make such decisions make them for reasons worth giving their lives for. This is the uncomfortable fact that makes this film a true documentary.”

A true documentary? Many, including Michael Barone of U.S. News and World Report have pointed out the errors. Barone: Moore says President Bush arranged for members of Osama bin Laden’s extended family to be flown out of the U.S. after Sept. 11. But former antiterrorism official Richard Clarke, no admirer of Bush, said he alone made that decision.

Moore says the bin Ladens were not processed by the FBI; the 9/11 commission says they were.

Moore shows Taliban leaders in Texas in the 1990s when Bush was governor, but they were invited by an oil company, not Bush. Moore shows footage of children flying kites in Iraq, but is silent about Saddam’s atrocities.

Barone cites biographer Jeff Jarvis: “The real problem with the film, the really offensive thing about it, is that in Fahrenheit 9/11, we — Americans from the president on down — are portrayed as the bad guys.”

Moore has written, says Barone, “the Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not insurgents or terrorists or the enemy. They are the revolution, the Minutemen and their numbers will grow — and they will win.”

The worst thing about Maj. Smith’s letter, however, is that his declaration that the people making the decision to send Americans to war are personally untouched, that because they never experienced combat, that they don’t care.

I think they all cared. That FDR cared, Bill Clinton cared, Ronald Reagan cared, George W. Bush cared. I don’t think Michael Moore cared or cares. Americans, he told the anti-American British tabloid the Mirror, “suffer from an enforced ignorance. Our stupidity is embarrassing.”

Speak for yourself, Michael. What’s most embarrassing is you.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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