Moore and the major have it all wrong
June 12, 2008 · Updated 4:44 PM
Well, here we go again, a teacher promoting anti-America propaganda.
I dont 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 Moores 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 Moores 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. Moores 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 isnt free and Americans may have to pay the ultimate price for that freedom, but its not their kids on the firing line nor have they ever experienced combat, so the decisions to send Americans into harms 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. Moores film for me was his statement that the soldiers fighting Mr. Bushs war are the most disadvantaged in our nation. Despite this fact, theyre 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 Ladens 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 Saddams 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. Smiths 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 dont care.
I think they all cared. That FDR cared, Bill Clinton cared, Ronald Reagan cared, George W. Bush cared. I dont 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. Whats most embarrassing is you.
Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.