Department of Choir Preaching
May 6, 2006 8:12 PM   Subscribe

Why We Fight, the BBC documentary from Eugene Jarecki about the American military-industrial complex and its origins (trailer@apple). For some reason its up in full at Google Video, so if you didn't get a chance to see it in the theaters, well, here it is! 1hr,40m - save it for later, perhaps. It's named after a series of war propaganda newsreels, directed by Frank Capra, demonstrating the need to enter WWII. These too are available on GV, as well as archive.org - to your surprise and delight. And for your convenience: Reels One, Two, Three, Four, Five parts 1 and 2, Six, and Seven
posted by BlackLeotardFront (54 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Nice!
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:16 PM on May 6, 2006


Sweet! Thanks.
posted by kbanas at 8:23 PM on May 6, 2006


Much better than watching Tom Hanks on SNL.
posted by furtive at 8:48 PM on May 6, 2006


copyvio, get it while its "hot".
posted by bhouston at 8:54 PM on May 6, 2006


yeah bhouston, that's what I was thinking... there is a BBC watermark up there which means it was broadcast, though, so I think we're in "fair use" territory, at least in spirit. And isn't that what counts?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:58 PM on May 6, 2006


Direct link to AVI.
posted by rafter at 9:08 PM on May 6, 2006


That works too. Thanks, rafter. The download plugin for firefox is here if you're a DIY type.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:12 PM on May 6, 2006


Just to chime in here. This is a great movie and you all really should invest the hour and a half to watch it. It will be time well spent in my opinion.
posted by pwb503 at 9:43 PM on May 6, 2006


How big is the AVI?
posted by atrazine at 10:07 PM on May 6, 2006


That does make me wonder:

BBC programming is funded by the public, so is it legal (in those countries whose public revenues fund the programming) to download this stuff?

(I don't know, so if there are any UK MeFites out there, please drop some science on me!)
posted by Mikey-San at 10:11 PM on May 6, 2006


Another excellent documentary series, also on archive.org:

The Power of Nightmares -a three part series that chronicles the rises to power of both the neoconservative and radical Islam movements. unfortunately it seems to be loading at a snail's pace right now, but it is certainly worth the wait.
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:23 PM on May 6, 2006


Mikey-San:
Not neccesarily, although the BBC is planning to make all of its back catalogue of shows available online for that reason. That being said, they're unlikely to care, even if they haven't explicitly permitted it.
posted by atrazine at 10:25 PM on May 6, 2006


oops, if you check the archive.org site the copyright is listed as public domain, so yes this is legal.
posted by atrazine at 10:28 PM on May 6, 2006


I'm watching the documentary and I'm thinking "What can I (we) do to put a stop to this?", since the problem appears to be systemic and Americans are complacent in regards to the current state of affairs. I shake my head and my thoughts wander to what it would take to go to war with the USA, quickly realizing what a foolish endeavour that would be. So I watch the movie a bit more, and it dawns on me that the US economy would probably be the easiest target to attack.

Now before anyone jumps to conclusions I certainly don't mean physically attacking anything, but I do believe that although the USA could take out any nation in the world, I also think that it couldn't stand up to a concerted effort by the rest of the world to cripple its economy. Are we getting to the point where it comes to that? Is it foolish for the rest of the world to not have a plan for the USA when the USA has a plan for us?

No doubt imposing an economic collapse in the USA is still a daunting task (although with its ridiculous debt, sliding dollar and dependency on foreign goods one can't help but wonder if the dominos are already lined up) but this is still nearly impossible accomplish as so many countries, both friends and foes of the US have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Yet I'm at a loss for another plan of action that would be as effective. What says ye, oh learned MeFite? Is it time to turn off the taps of the US economy? Is it time for everyone else to go to war? Is furtive about to be put on a watch list?
posted by furtive at 10:52 PM on May 6, 2006


It's amazing that Eisenhower in his farewell address warned against the military-industrial complex getting out of hand.
posted by jouke at 11:15 PM on May 6, 2006


furtive: One word: China

:)
posted by slater at 11:18 PM on May 6, 2006


wow. i had meant to catch this in the theaters, but before i had a chance it had gone. really well done.

i find it interesting that the presidents who have spoken out against an uncontrollably-large military have been the ones who were military men.

i really hope john mccain runs in 08. i'm fairly lefty and i'd vote for the guy.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 11:20 PM on May 6, 2006


The Power of Nightmares is excellent.

I don't think this was unintended by the BBC. There was talk of cutting off access to the website by points overseas, as they spend a lot on bandwidth, but so far they have not (and what a shame that would be).

Sure, economic starvation and collapse, but able to hold the rest of the world ransom when it goes.

The more I learn about Eisenhower, jouke, the more I like.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
posted by dreamsign at 11:27 PM on May 6, 2006


the more I like.
posted by hortense at 12:00 AM on May 7, 2006


FWIW, my review of Why We Fight.
posted by muckster at 12:42 AM on May 7, 2006


That's funny. I just paid $6 to see this at my university's theatre a month ago. The documentary is solid, but it could be better (3.5/5 stars). Lacked some gut wrenching research, needed more voices/perspectives, and didn't have a good ending. Still beats the heck out of Michael Moore's recent stuff.
posted by j-urb at 12:45 AM on May 7, 2006


Definitely miles better than Michael Moore's stuff but, as mickster's review says, fairly obvious stuff for people who are paying attention.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:56 AM on May 7, 2006


How big is the AVI?

It's 522mb.
posted by omarr at 1:17 AM on May 7, 2006


The Capra films are available on archive.org, but I see no evidence that the BBC documentary is on there. Nor is it available for viewing on the BBC website.

While the BBC is currently experimenting with making some of it's back catalogue available online to the British public, I don't think any of it is available to non-UK viewers, and I'm pretty sure this isn't public domain.

However, in the grandest Reithian tradition of 'Nation shall speak truth onto nation", it definitely should be, so watch away regardless.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:13 AM on May 7, 2006


Ugh. The BBC's motto is, of course, 'Nation shall speak peace onto nation' which makes it even more appropriate that you foreigners should watch this for free.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:17 AM on May 7, 2006


Excellent post, thanks for the interesting documentary.

We know Saddam had WMD, we have the receipts !
posted by elpapacito at 4:44 AM on May 7, 2006


furtive, we've already committed economic suicide; we're on life support by the rest of the world.

They don't have to actively attack us. They can simply cease supporting us, and we will fall apart.

The reason they don't do that is because their own economies would suffer a great deal. However, over the long term, they're simply not going to have a choice.... because the longer they prop up the abuse of our status as the world's reserve currency, the worse that abuse will become.
posted by Malor at 4:46 AM on May 7, 2006


Good old BBC Four (must be all of three years old now). The best channel on the telly anywhere in my humble opinion.

As far as the Beeb going worldwide I believe there is a concerted effort to make as much content available as possible but to a UK audience only (i.e. a licence fee paying one). Maybe an international licence fee would help?

I often find it funny when some people moan like fuck for paying £10 a month or thereabouts for the Beeb and all it entails but will happily pay £40 a month for the unrelenting shower of shite that is Sky (UK version of Fox only with football).

There was a cracking docu series on time on BBC4 a few weeks back, if in the UK then watch it (repeated again this month) or wait for some kind soul to YouTube or GoogVid it.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 5:13 AM on May 7, 2006


I wonder if there is anybody interested in a lower resolution, reduced filesize version ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:44 AM on May 7, 2006


Do you think a crippled U.S. would be good for the Canadian economy, furtive? We absorb 85% of your imports for chrissake. Get a grip. And yes, you should be on a watchlist.
posted by Scoo at 5:47 AM on May 7, 2006


Whoops, make that exports.
posted by Scoo at 5:48 AM on May 7, 2006


And yes, you should be on a watchlist.

With rolex and patek philippe ? Or you would like an enemy list a-la Freerepublic enemy list with some Coast Guard members on their enemy list and more ?

What do these vermin stand accused of ? Of belonging to the criminal , despicable organization ,A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) Coalition with possible ties with Al Quaeda. Why ? BECAUSE I SAY SO why do you ask, you are a traitor too ? Be grateful for the lack of draft as I would ship you right into the battlefield in which you will express your dissent between bullets.

You see it's pure derail. Watchlist are an instrument to tell ignorant masses what they are supposed to hate.
posted by elpapacito at 6:02 AM on May 7, 2006


Do you think a crippled U.S. would be good for the Canadian economy, furtive? We absorb 85% of your [exports] for chrissake.

Thanks for reminding me that the USA isn't just a bully on the military stage. To answer your question, and to paraphrase Rummy: you go to war with the economy you have, not the economy you want.

Seriously though, I'm well aware that an economic embargo on the USA would have a negative impact on the Canadian economy as well . I think it would be worth the sacrifice. That being said, if people aren't doing business with the USA, that makes them available for business with [insert your Non-American nation here], and the realist in me also realizes that since Canada shares the largest border with the USA we'd probably make a killing in illegal smuggling. I wonder who will be the Seagram's of the 21st century?

You'll also noticed that I asked MeFites what alternatives there were. It's real easy to criticise my idea but I'd like to hear what your plan of action is, Mr. American Citizen.
posted by furtive at 6:47 AM on May 7, 2006


Thanks for posting this. Everyone should see this film. It makes me angry -- especially the smuggness of Bill Kristol and Richard Pearle. This is not the America I love.

[Oh, and Sony owns the distribution rights to this film in the US so I'm sure once it discovers that this film is on Google video, it will be taken down.

And I would pay 20£ a month if I could get BBC channels in on my cable system. Instead I can only get BBC America which just has the DIY shows and the high point was when it showed The Office -- and then Trailer Park Boys even though that's Canadian.]
posted by birdherder at 7:26 AM on May 7, 2006


You didn't say embargo, furtive, you said I also think that it couldn't stand up to a concerted effort by the rest of the world to cripple its economy, that your goal was imposing an economic collapse in the USA . As an American citizen, I'm supposed to be cheering you on? You ask Is it time for everyone else to go to war? (presumably with me and mine), so of course I find it easy to criticize your idea. And yes folks, when someone declares that they want to make war on me, I would hope that my government would keep and eye on them.

I don't claim to have the solution to reining in our over-arching military-industrial-entertainment complex. With his USA SUX, Let's wreck their economy and maybe declare war on them posture, furtive can't either.
posted by Scoo at 7:27 AM on May 7, 2006


Good old BBC Four (must be all of three years old now). The best channel on the telly anywhere in my humble opinion.

As far as the Beeb going worldwide I believe there is a concerted effort to make as much content available as possible but to a UK audience only (i.e. a licence fee paying one). Maybe an international licence fee would help?

I often find it funny when some people moan like fuck for paying £10 a month or thereabouts for the Beeb and all it entails but will happily pay £40 a month for the unrelenting shower of shite that is Sky (UK version of Fox only with football).


Amen ClanvidHorse! I so agree with that, I had to do a doubletake there in case I'd set up a sockpuppet account in my sleep and forgotten about it ;-)

This BBC licence payer gladly pays the licence fee for BBC tv and (best of all) radio output and is happy for those outside of the UK to benefit free of charge.
posted by ceri richard at 7:38 AM on May 7, 2006


And yes folks, when someone declares that they want to make war on me, I would hope that my government would keep and eye on them.

Your government is already keeping eyes on the planet, the problem is it doesn't keep the hands off. Instead of instigating rebellion in people by offering viable, consistent, scientific approaches to a better tomorrow , most of the world gets

a) US is the capital of capitalism and capitalistic exploitation sucks
b) US just sold us dreams of better future. SomehowTHEIR better future comes often at OUR expense, and that's not ok
c) US just takes what it wants with military means, and that's really not nice
d) US is somehow under the spell of moralistic prurient religions, yet they bomb talibans claiming they are backward integralist zealots.

Obviously it's a wrong generalization, most of US citizens are probably moderately happy people with a comparatively good lifestyle and they are more worried
about their tomorrow then invading the rest of the world. Except that they are on the goodside of the generalizations, NOT feeling the effects of being generalized into a mass of "there be lions" strangers who are "primitive" but have a lot of nice resources USlikes !

Certainly nobody likes to be generalized and feel the effect of something he didn't want, nor vote, nor choose to. Except that the world has been on the wrong end long enough to start understanding it may be time NOT to find or literally be the solution for americans, but to bring them the problems ; not because one wants to bring trouble, but because we may have learned the best solution to problems is to have others handle them or pay the costs of the problem.
posted by elpapacito at 8:17 AM on May 7, 2006


This is SO fantastic. It is tragic, true, sad.... But it tells the truth so nicely, so powerfully. Bless those who produced this, those who got it online for us to see, and for posting it here.

Please, everyone, send this link to everyone you know.

God help us.
posted by swlabr at 9:06 AM on May 7, 2006


Has anyone downloaded the whole file yet? I'd love to know how long it's going to take.
posted by tiamat at 9:19 AM on May 7, 2006


There's a torrent for the XviD version of the movie at mininova.org, somewhat better quality and a higher resolution (656x368, 724MB).

Legal issues abound, naturally, so proceed with caution.
posted by lifeless at 9:57 AM on May 7, 2006


Thanks for the torrent link, lifeless. That is what I really wanted. I started watching it, but I have to get outside in the yard on a beautiful day like today.
posted by glycolized at 11:08 AM on May 7, 2006




Thanks, BlackLeotardFront, for an amazing post. I fell asleep last night watching the Google Video. This morning I d/l the avi and watched the whole thing. Thanks, rafter.

My family made a home movie of my grandfather giving me an "I Like Ike" bubblegum cigar when I was very little. I smelled that wonderful cigar again today.

Right now, I'm tripping on the Capra clips. When I was growing up I saw every one of them, many times, in overseas army theatres.

What are we fighting against?

Stop thinking and follow me...the head of the state is the voice of god...for the selfish interests standing back of him...
posted by taosbat at 11:53 AM on May 7, 2006


I love the smell of outrage in the morning.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:59 PM on May 7, 2006


To complete this already excellent post, let me post the following torrent links to

The Awful Truth Season 1
The Awful Truth Season 2

both by Michael Moore. He declared in public he doesn't mind if his work is "pirated" so as long as that isn't made for profiting off his labor. Yes Moore is partisan, who cares, not all of his work is.
posted by elpapacito at 5:07 PM on May 7, 2006


This BBC licence payer gladly pays the licence fee for BBC tv and (best of all) radio output and is happy for those outside of the UK to benefit free of charge.

Perhaps in 300 years, when the American Empire finally collapses, we will make similar cultural contributions to the world.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:52 PM on May 7, 2006


More likely 30 years, if not less.
posted by homunculus at 7:32 PM on May 7, 2006


Yeah, 300 years??? Uh-huh.
posted by dreamsign at 8:45 PM on May 7, 2006


thanks BlackLeotardFront

I'd been anxiously waiting for "Why We Fight" to become available on Pay-Per-View.
posted by pruner at 8:54 PM on May 7, 2006


[Why this is good]
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:18 AM on May 8, 2006


ClanvidHorse: that documentary you mention is already on mininova too (see BBC Time 1 of 4, BBC Time 2 of 4, etc.).

Nothing to add on Why We Fight as I'm still downloading the file - thanks BlackLeotardFront!
posted by funambulist at 3:50 AM on May 8, 2006


This film (as well as the Capra films) should be required viewing in US History classes in grades 11 and 12. I assume they are still teaching US History in America's high schools.
posted by psmealey at 4:32 AM on May 8, 2006


It's gone from Google video, could have seen that coming.

It's actually good news for the makers--I need to see the end, so I'll be that much more likely to get the video on DVD, although I'll probably get it from Netflix.
posted by illovich at 12:49 PM on May 8, 2006


It's still up for me on google! I think illovich is part of the conspiracy... and possibly working for netflix. shoo!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:21 PM on May 8, 2006


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