Coming back to the movie, one is confronted by the issues raised by Michael Moore. First is the one concerning Bush's own alleged corporate links with a certain Shaukat Bin Ladin, who is believed to be Osama's half brother. I fail to see what could percieved as an act of anti-nationalism in this. Does the name Bin Ladin, disqualify someone to lead a normal life, or another to collaborate with him in a field that is absolutely unrelated to national security? Does being President, ex-President or a future president disqualify him from conducting business with a man that shares his name with a man that is wanted by law? This very assumption belittles the fact that we are in fact talking about one of the world's greatest democracies here. Would an average American stop doing business with a man called McVeigh just on basis of what Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma? I am afraid not. Then why would there be such a bias against the name Bin Ladin? Is it because of the fact that we fancy all that is white skinned? Or is it because there is a presidential election round the corner!? Almost every Democrat in the Senate including Kerry himself believed that Afghanistan was the place where US forces needed to be. But Afghanistan's had a reputation for being an invaders' graveyard. Bush had to play it safe there, for the simple reason that he needed to minimise American casualties considering that already many American lives had been lost in wake of 9/11. I for one was one of the few people who was against bombing Afghanistan, because I believe that this world is a much better place without war and bloodshed. Violence is not an answer to violence. But that is a different issue altogether. The fact remains that the whole of America was united in the decision to invade Afghanistan and no amount of criticism on Bush's decision can change that.
The Patriot act is the civilized, American version of what POTA should ideally be. And while one of my idols, Richard Stallman, believes that this has been an infringement of freedom, security and privacy of the American people, I think that in the wake of the ever increasing threat of terrorism, countries like America,India and Israel have no options but to enact such laws for the benefit of their own people. Homeland security was an issue Michael Moore touched upon very briefly during the course of the film, but what people would fail to notice would be the increased allocation of funds towards Homeland Security, in the recent US budget. As it turns out Bush gets none of the credit for this, and the fact is conveniently ignored.
Moore tries to take advantage of the disaster that Iraq has turned out to be, owing to a failure on part of American Intelligence and tries to place the blame wholely and solely on Dubya. A captain is just as good as his team. I agree that the war in Iraq was at the wrong time, more for political reasons than reasons that would pertain to foreign policy. John Kerry himself had said not long ago that the world would be a much better place with Saddam not in power. He also believes that the war was necessary and has gone on record, saying this live on TV. He however claims that he would have done it without alienating their allies. And I second that. But give Bush the benefit of doubt. His intelligence team had him believe that Saddam had WMDs. Saddam refused to have UN inspectors come inspect his premises. What was Bush to have done then? North Korea was already a threat with a nuclear arsenal that was looking down on major American cities. Was he to sit down and wait till Iraq gained similar capability? He needed to nip the evil in the bud and I guess he took the tough and unpopular decision to do just that. Sometimes leaders need to make decisions that wouldnt exactly win them a popularity contest. The test of a real leader is to stand by that decision of his and the conviction that drives him to it. Bush has the courage to do that and that's why I admire him despite all his projected vices. He believes that he was part of the right war, at the right time, at the right place and that is all that matters.
Bush is an unpopular man because he is the first American president to lose jobs; a point that the film hints at, in a subtle manner. What one doesnt care to see is that he was handed an economy that was already in a state of recession. Will Kerry create jobs? He doesnt have a plan to do so! He promises to give people a tax cut, while he has been a Senator who in 20 years, has voted 98 times in favor of increasing taxes!! He promises to limit outsourcing, which is ironic, coming from the man who is the boss of Heinz!! American foreign policy is going to be an issue that would be a deciding factor in this Presidential Election. And Fahrenheit 9/11 couldnt have come at a better time. The movie has its obvious Democratic leanings and is an inflamatory attack on George W. In the theatre the dumb (but beautiful) girl sitting beside me, was reduced to tears by the movie. "Bast**d" and "Mother F**ker" were some of the choice expletives she used to refer to Bush towards the dying moments of the film. I wonder how much this movie would affect the average American if it could so deeply affect a foreigner at the other end of the globe, who apparently knows nothing about American foreign policy. Which begs the question -- Is Fahrenheit 9/11 political rhetoric of a Democrat inspired reporter, or is it a piece of unbiased journalism? Different people will share different views about this. What do I say? Watch the movie and decide for yourself!