Fahrenheit 9-11 is Fair and Balanced
We've come to expect poisonous and unbalanced attacks from the paid far right propagandists denouncing Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9-11. But more disturbing are the scolds from tepid moderate mainstream journalists who often fail to read their own newspapers. New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof attacks the film because "Moore hints that the real reason Bush invaded Afghanistan was to give his cronies a chance to profit by building an oil pipeline there." Kristof attacks Moore for even raising this issue. But he conveniently ignores volumes of information readily available to back up Moore's claim.
Perhaps Kristof, like President Bush, refuses to read. At least that would explain why he missed the raging international debate surrounding the Bush administration's well-documented, then-secret oil negotiations with the Taliban in the summer of 2001.
The book Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden was an international bestseller. Written by French Intelligence experts Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasqui�, the book asserts that the Bush administration threatened the Taliban with the now-infamous words: "Either you accept our carpet of gold or we'll carpet you with bombs." The threat was made about a month before the 9-11 crimes at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
They Prefer to Keep It Simple – And Deceitful
Kristof and his ilk prefer the simple-minded version offered by President Bush: the Taliban and Al Qaeda hate our freedom and liberty. That the world's largest military power, in search of new oil supplies for the 21st century, would threaten carpet bombing is something the mainstream corporate media simply refuses to consider. Kristof also ignores the fact that the U.S. government installed Unocal advisor Hamid Karzai
as the President of Afghanistan and provided him U.S. Special Forces as his praetorian guard. Moore mentions this in the film, but Kristof leaves it out of his column, saying the "Administration's huge errors aren't because of deceit." But that statement itself is very deceitful.
Kristof also fails to acknowledge National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard. Brzezinski calmly outlines a thesis that U.S. domination of the globe in the 21st century depends on its control of Central Asian oilfields. He also says the American public would not back an attack unless there was a terrorist attack that galvanized public opinion to seize the foreign oil.
Tom Teepen, syndicated columnist for the Cox New Service suggests that "Fahrenheit 9-11 is a polemic, not a documentary." Teepen says Moore "weaves conspiracy theories in part by conveniently leaving out key information." Teepen belongs to that most despicable class of columnists known as "coincidence theorists." He also doesn't understand the true meaning of "polemic."
Moore Omits More That Would Damn Bush Than Save Him
Fahrenheit 9-11 opens with the 2000 election debacle in Florida. Moore could have recited from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which documented that 54% of the rejected ballots in Florida were cast by black voters and 93% of African-Americans voted for Gore nationwide. The government report singled out George's brother Governor Jeb Bush, and the Bush brothers' close friend and Republican ally, Katherine Harris, for blame. Moore could have presented investigative journalist Gregory Palast's reports for the BBC documenting that at least 58,000 eligible voters in Florida were denied the right to vote because their names were the same or similar to a felon.
Moore could have shown footage of a roadblock and told how Florida law enforcement officers turned black drivers of vans and buses away from the polls for failure to provide limousine or chauffeur licenses. Moore could have detailed how 20,000 Gore votes mysteriously disappeared in Volusia County and were later reinstated. That gap allowed Fox News analyst John Ellis to project his first cousin, G. W. Bush, to be the winner.
Teepen belongs to that most despicable class of columnists known as "coincidence theorists."
In his book American Dynasty, Republican theorist Kevin Philips documents four generations of Bush family war profiteers dating back to World War I. This includes Samuel Bush's dual role as entrepreneur with Buckeye Steel Casting and government official on the Armaments Board. George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a key operative in the Union Banking Corporation that was seized by the U.S. government in 1942 and liquidated under the Trading with the Enemy Act for helping fund the Nazi war effort. Granddaddy Bush joined the Board of Directors of Union Bank in 1934 and stayed there as the bank aided Hitler's rise to power. The government liquidation yielded a reported $750,000 apiece for Prescott Bush and his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker.
The Bush family is close friends of the self-proclaimed Messiah and Reverend Sun Myung Moon. In January 1995, Moon's Women's Federation for World Peace paid George H. W. Bush at least one million dollars for a speech. The same Bush was also the principal speaker in the November 1996 opening dinner for Moon's new weekly newspaper, Tiempos del Mundo, of Argentina.
Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh reported in a February 2002 New Yorker that the Bush administration authorized U.S. cooperation with Pakistan in the December 2001 "Kunduz airlift" that sent airplanes and helicopters to rescue Pakistanis fighting with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Note that the Unocal pipeline from Central Asia goes through Afghanistan into Pakistan. A coincidence?
What Else Does Moore Leave Out?
Article VI of the Nuremberg Charter defines "Crimes Against Peace" as "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of war of aggression or war in violation of international treaties . . . or participation in a common plan or conspiracy . . . to wage an aggressive war." The Bush doctrine of "pre-emption" really had nothing to do with pre-empting an Iraqi attack on the U.S. It is simply the widely discredited Nazi doctrine of "preventive war" that was established by Hitler to claim the right to attack any country that may pose some possible threat at an unspecific time in the future.
False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, The World's Most Corrupt Financial Empire, by award-winning journalists Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, documents in detail that Bush brothers Jeb and George both had close links to the drug-running BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a.k.a. "Bank of Crooks and Criminals International," according to the CIA).
Criminal and civil suits against BCCI have established that Bush's good buddy James R. Bath was a close business associate of Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law, terrorist financier Khalid bin Mahfouz. Moore correctly shows that Bath and Bush were both disciplined by the Air National Guard at the same time.
Professor Katherine Van Wormer, co-author of the authoritative text Addiction Treatment, suggests that "George W. Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call 'the dry drunk.' His behavior fits a pattern of years of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use."
Fair and Balanced
These are just a few of the facts that Michael Moore left out of his fair and balanced documentary Fahrenheit 9-11. Those who hate this moderate, well-documented film may be most bothered by the actual footage of President Bush. Key scenes include:
- Bush's infamous, endless study of "The Pet Goat" in an elementary school class while the World Trade Center burned
- Bush's legendary banquet speech referring to "the haves and the have-mores" as "my base"
- Bush's bumbling, malapropic final warning to "don't be fooled again."
What most bugs Fahrenheit 9-11 critics is clearly not the material Michael Moore presents. It's the fair and balanced footage of George W. Bush revealing who he truly is.
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman write for the Columbus, Ohio Free Press, where this article first appeared.
They are co-authors of George W. Bush Versus the Superpower of Peace (www.freepress.org). Bob's newest book, The Brothers Voinovich and the Ohiogate Scandal, is available at www.freepress.org. Harvey Wasserman's History of the U.S. is available at www.harveywasserman.com.
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