posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 12:09 PM
After watching this shockumentary I felt a need to divide it into 3 equal parts. It is one part shock and awe, one part misrepresentation, and a
final part powerful and convicing.
First thing's first. Moore does a tremendous job evoking emotions through the use of several devices. First, his generous use of juxtaposition. He
spends a good 5 minutes, if not longer in the very beginning just simply showing shots of officials look like complete morons. He shows shots of the
president, and others preparing before going on camera for a press conference. Later he takes statements made by Bush, and other officials out of
context and imediately contrasts those statements with images that evoke a sense of irony between what officials are saying, and what is actually
happeneing. This is an extremely powerful device, however, it does little more than poke fun, and is generally a waste of time. Meanwhile there is
Moore's characteristically dry sarcastic, if not engaging tone, as he narrates the action. Towards the end Moore focusses on a grieving mother of a
soldier in Iraq. This moving sequence, and subsequent scenes are definitely punctuate his point, but there has to be a point to begin with (we are
getting to that though). I estimate that this comprises a good 33% of the movie. Good for effect, but useless information.
The next third of the movie is comprized of falacies half-truths, and misrepresentations. Probably the most glaring is his interviews with
congressmen regarding sending their children to Iraq. In one interview one man simply walks away dispondent. What they don't show is the man
engaging Moore in an honest response about his nephew being in the war currently. Although Moore corrects him by stating the question was about his
child, we don't get to see that. All we see is the person walking away. Moore admits to cutting this part of the interview out as well. He also
states that the secret service is stationed at the Saudi Embassy, and that they are getting special treatment. The officer that admits, also admitted
later that he was incorrect. Official documentation reveals that all embassies are being protected by secret service agents. These are only a couple
of examples of misrepresentation that he presents as fact. Usually there is more to the story, that he just chooses not to elaborate on.
The final third of the movie was admittadly interesting. For instance, I find the question of Bush's insistence on somehow linking Iraq with Bin
Laden troubling, and credible. I many people didn't understand the link. Bush insisted there were WMD's, however that proved to be incorrect, as
did the intel he was basing it on. In fact Iraq seems to have been a waste of time. If they had that force of soldiers in afghanastan, they likely
would have Bin Laden by now. The Saudi/Bin Laden/Bush link was not quite as clear, but it was interesting anyway. There is no doubt that Bush was a
collosal failure as a businessman, but every time stuff looked bleak for him, it seems like someone emerged from the shadows to infuse his companies
with much needed cash. I don't think there is any coincidence there. It is important to know that a good percentage of our economy is due to heavy
investment from the Saudi's. While these points were not surprising, I think they were valid, and there were many others like them, such as the fact
that Contolezza Rice, and Colon Powell both stating before Sept 11th that Iraq posed no threat to the world because we had contained them and their
weapon's making ability.
For all that this movie was, lets discuss some things that were not in it. For instance, there were an usual number of puts placed on the airline
stocks before Sept 11th. What do we make of that? Perhaps if we are going to bash Bush, we should look into that little fact. Another question, why
weren't jets scrambled after the first plane hit? There are many unanswered questions, and issues that Moore left alone, in favor of shock and awe.
Regardless though, I still think it was effective. I have heard it stated that Moore is correct 70% of the time. I would say 33% in this case.