Monday, February 17, 2014

Dirty Wars - DVD Review

Starring Jeremy Scahill.
Directed by Rick Rowley.


This is one of the five nominees for Best Documentary Feature of 2013. It has important subject matter. It also can't get out of its own way to tell the story.

This is about the endlessly expanding Global War on Terror. Or it's about heroic journalist Jeremy Scahill stopping at nothing to find the truth. (Cue patriotic music as Cahill stares chin-first into the sunrise.)

There's plenty of good material here, the most important question raised being: why does the "Kill List" get longer and longer? At the beginning of the Iraq War, there are a deck of cards. Now there are thousands of names on that list. Why?

Scahill is a journalist for the left-leaning The Nation, so you can imagine he was never a fan of Bush, but he also shows how in some ways, Obama is worse when it comes to the War on Terror. Why is it okay to assassinate US citizens? How did we get to this point?

Scahill narrates, and director Rick Rowley is just as enamored with showing Scahill push a pin through a newspaper clipping as he is interviewing Afghan children who survive a bombing.

So I would recommend this movie in spite of itself. It shed new light on JSOC, and it could help raise awareness to how our military-industrial complex will only keep growing. But at the same time, if it actually wins Best Documentary, I'd be upset.

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