I may be late to the party, but I finally got around to watching Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 today and I’m glad I waited. I never read the reviews or the hype on either side, and I’m not a big fan of Moore’s, so I had no preconceived notions about the film. I was surprised that his documentary didn’t really focus on the events of September 11 other than to frame them as a pretext for invading Iraq, which any literate person knows by now as an irrefutable fact. I think Moore exploited 9/11 to market his movie, but I don’t think that he would be averse to any conspiracy theories that suggest that 9/11 was an inside job. Who knows, maybe he’s working on a new film to highlight the 9/11 Truth movement; if not, he should be.
I remember watching Roger and Me on video back in the summer of 1994. That inspired a trip to Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan, to see for myself the wasteland portrayed in his first (and perhaps most authentic) documentary. Moore uses some of the same techniques in Fahrenheit 9/11 that he used in Roger: interviews with senior citizens, the disenfranchised poor, various authorities, and a family of military veterans, interspersed with comic relief in spoofs, pop music backdrops, and unflattering innuendo of his target. In Roger and Me it was Roger Smith, CEO of General Motors; in Fahrenheit 9/11 it’s George W. Bush. Both are portrayed as avaricious, secretive demagogues oblivious to the plight of the common man. By all accounts, this is an accurate assessment.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is even more relevant now than it was in 2004 because of the subsequent release of the disappointing and disingenuous 9/11 Commission Report, and the surfeit of evidence that points to counterfeit intelligence and deliberate duplicity that led our nation to war. It’s also more disturbing because the situation in Iraq is worse than it was two years ago, the death toll is rising, and there is no end in sight.
Critics of the film have produced a rebuttal entitled, Fahrenhype 9/11, featuring conservative shills like Ann Coulter and Dick Morris, claiming to “tell the truth about terrorism.” Director Alan Peterson’s answer to Moore’s award-winning film is utterly laughable in light of all we have learned in recent months about the so-called “war on terror” and the role of high-level government conspirators who likely engineered the ultimate Wag the Dog scenario to launch their arrogant campaign of global domination. But, it’s always enlightening to see both sides of the story, especially once you’re informed. Unfortunately, Fahrenhype 9/11 is already an anachronism, whereas Fahrenheit 9/11 should be required viewing of any concerned citizen.