Why We Fight – Video
An unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine, weaving unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a "who's who" of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Richard Perle and others, WHY WE FIGHT launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire.
Inspired by Dwight Eisenhower's legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase "military industrial complex"), filmmaker Jarecki (THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER) surveys the scorched landscape of a half-century's military adventures, asking how — and telling why — a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war.
The film moves beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper questions of why — why does America fight? What are the forces — political, economic, ideological — that drive us to fight against an ever-changing enemy?
"Frank Capra made a series of films during World War II called WHY WE FIGHT that explored America's reasons for entering the war," Jarecki notes. "Today, with our troops engaged in Iraq and elsewhere for reasons far less clear, I think it's crucial to ask the questions: 'Why are we doing what we are doing? What is it doing to others? And what is it doing to us?'"
Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military–industrial complex and its fifty-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date, especially its 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
The documentary asserts that in every decade since World War II, the American public has been misled so that the Government (incumbent Administration) could take them to war and fuel the military-industrial economy maintaining American political dominance in the world.
Interviewed about this matter, are politician John McCain, political scientist and former-CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson, politician Richard Perle, neoconservative commentator William Kristol, writer Gore Vidal, and public policy expert Joseph Cirincione.
Why We Fight documents the consequences of said foreign policy with the story of a Vietnam War veteran whose son was killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and who then asked the military to write the name of his dead son on any bomb to be dropped on Iraq.
It also follows the experiences of a twenty-three-year-old New Yorker who enlisted in the United States Army because he was poor and in debt, his decision impelled by his mother's death.
The final personal story is from a female military explosives scientist (Anh Duong) who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee child from Vietnam in 1975.