In the Orwellian world of
Stanley Kubrick brought home the reality of militarism and the madness of
Today, John Cusack’s War, Inc. fires a similar shot across the bow of our tortured political discourse.
War, Inc. is a Swiftian allegory of the world not as it might be in some possible future but as it is today, with a performance from Ben Kingsley as memorable as Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove. (It also features a deconstruction by Hilary Duff of her own fame and our twisted, sexist culture that has to be seen to be believed.)
The film is scathing, farsighted, bold, and truer than nonfiction. Cusack and the stellar cast of War, Inc. don’t blink. War, Inc. takes inside the world of war profiteers, war makers, embedded journalists, mercenaries, entertainment moguls, and “disaster capitalists” (as Naomi Klein has called them) who form the interlinking military-industrial-media-entertainment-political complex.
Set in fictional Turaqistan, the film tells us more about Iraq — and U.S. politics — today than anything on offer from the establishment media, with it’s 24/7 barrage of abuse of our intelligence.
Without the complicity of the corporate media, even many journalists will now acknowledge, the invasion of
The people who got it so wrong on
And now we hear from the same politicians and pundits who led us into
In our Orwellian media landscape, every word of political discourse has two meanings: its actual meaning and its political meaning.
Take for example the simple word “withdrawal.”
If you asked any person on the street what it would mean to “withdraw” from
But read any article in the New York Times or listen to NPR, and “withdrawal” means something entirely different: redeployment of some U.S. troops from our overstretched military, while keeping tens of thousands in Iraq, alongside perhaps an even greater number of mercenaries, as well as the largest embassy of any government in the world, and military bases, in Iraq, at least until the year 2013, and probably well beyond. (Not to mention likely escalating the air war against
That is, “withdrawal” means continuing the occupation.
The debate around
In times such as these, the role of filmmakers, musicians, poets, playwrights is vital. And it’s why we should be encouraging everyone to see War, Inc. and the other important films that this war has generated, including Paul Haggis’s powerful In the Valley of Elah and Cusack’s heartbreaking Grace Is Gone.
John Cusack has proved himself to be one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and risk-taking film makers of our time. In the upside down world we are in today, we need more films like War, Inc. and more artists like Cusack, if we are going to set it right.