What Michael Moore Left Out

by FRANK BARDACKE

I can’t claim to have read everything, and I couldn’t bear to punch it in and hit search, but when I finally saw Fahrenheit 9/11, one enormous omission jumped out that no one I know of has commented on, and which might be worth a few paragraphs of a Counterpuncher s time: where is the anti-war movement?

Remember: before the US invasion of Iraq, we all marched in several enormous demonstrations, the last of which was the largest, world-wide co-ordinated protest in the history of humanity. And then, as the war began, thousands of protesting people were arrested across the United States. Well, there is nothing about any of that in the movie. Not an image, not a word.

Mr. Moore has made an anti-war movie which neglects to mention what was a hugely popular anti-war movement. And add to that curiosity that Moore could easily have used the world-wide protest of millions of people as yet another way of ridiculing George Bush. Again remember: Bush told the press that he ignored the demonstrations because I never pay attention to focus groups. Moore, a master of filmatic juxtaposition, could have done wonders with that.

Why does it matter? Because the absence of the anti-war movement is another way that Moore leaves us we nothing to do but, as the maimed soldier in the movie puts it, go home and work for the Democrats. If he had included some images of protest, we would have been offered another option: resume our independent action against the war.

But Moore is not interested in that. He is only interested in helping the Democrats defeat George Bush. And although his movie effectively tells millions of people about some of the horrors of the war, it simultaneously disarms them, as defeating Bush will have little effect on the war in Iraq, unless we re-build an independent anti-war movement.

And isn t that a main problem with all this election nonsense? Instead of protesting against the war, people are busy working out their various election strategies. But who you vote for has always been less important than what you work for. And voting for Kerry or Nader or the Greens or whomever is much less important than (perhaps even a distraction from) what we used to call our main task: returning to the streets, in massive numbers, against this god-damn war.

FRANK BARDACKE is writing a political biography of Cesar Chavez and lives in Watsonville, California. He the author of Good Liberals and Blue Herons and is co-translator of Shadows of Tender Fury: The Letters and Communiques of Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. He can be reached at: bardacke@cruzio.com


Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”