UNCOVERED: THE WAR ON IRAQ (Robert Greenwald)
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"George W. Bush lied."
Those are words you'll never hear in this 2003 documentary about the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom. In making its case for war, the Bush administration misled Congress or inflated the Iraqi threat, but none of the experts here calls Bush a liar. There are some taboos you just don't break.
The interviewees include former military officers, intelligence agents and diplomats, notably Joe Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Aesthetically, the film fails to shock or awe; it's mostly talking heads shot on low-budget video, as befits a flick by the left-wing group Move On.
Two and a half years after its release, the doc feels like old news at first. But there are elements here worth seeing. A former CIA analyst pulls apart Colin Powell's case for war at the UN. Wilson makes the point that the administration completely misunderstood the difference between a secular, psychopathic dictator (Saddam Hussein) and a religious fanatic (Osama bin Laden). Had Saddam possessed WMDs, he'd never have given them to an unpredictable madman like bin Laden.
If nothing else, watching this film now feels like a vindication. And hey, there are worse strategies than repeating your point ad nauseam. After all, that's how Bush got his war in the first place.
Screenings are Wednesday (July 19) at the Bloor.