Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

What Michael Moore Left Out


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:


More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
Lara Gardner
Why I’m Not Voting
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017