FDL Movie Salon Welcomes “No End In Sight” Director Charles Ferguson
(Please welcome Charles Ferguson, director of the documentary No End In Sight, in the comments.)
Last week, Sidney Blumenthal wrote:
The release of a documentary on the administration’s failures in Iraq, “No End in Sight,” directed by Charles Ferguson, has the White House spooked. Bush’s aides are not worried because the film is brilliantly shot and edited, or because it is compelling, but because of what — or whose appearance — it might augur to upset their September rollout.
The film features three former administration officials speaking on camera as unreserved critics of prewar and postwar planning: Powell’s former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson; Powell’s former deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage; and former U.S. ambassador Barbara Bodine, a senior member of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq, closely aligned with Powell.
Wilkerson and Bodine have spoken out before. But Armitage’s debut in particular has the White House fuming and fretting that it somehow signals Powell’s emergence as a full-throated critic in the middle of the September P.R. offensive. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, according to sources close to him, has voiced anger and concern about whether Powell will step forward and what he might say, and other presidential aides are wondering how to cope with that nightmarish possibility.
As much as we read about the disastrous decision making processes that brought us to the present state of chaos that is the war in Iraq, there’s always going to be something uniquely powerful about seeing such graphic stupidity coalesced in living color in the form of a documentary. Charles Ferguson’s No End in Sight recounts the many of the seemingly limitless blunders that the Administration made from almost the minute the planes hit the World Trade Center, and the outrageous blind arrogance that continues to guide our foreign policy.
As Stephen Hunter said in the Washington Post:
Ferguson, a Brookings scholar and software entrepreneur, has rounded up some unusual suspects. Mostly mid-level bureaucrats who served in the occupation and watched in horror as the chaos doubled and redoubled and nearly everyone became infected with nihilism and dread, they form an effective set of witnesses because they don’t seem instinctively anti-Bush. Their attitude isn’t the unearned moral superiority of people who never risked anything, but more a kind of melancholy of what is but what didn’t have to be.
Yes it’s a bit irritating to have to listen to several mewl on about the fact that they “privately” expressed concerns about the war that they did not utter in public (close only counts in horseshoes, fella) but getting Armitage to appear in the film was quite a coup. That it’s making the party planners who are choreographing the September rollout quite nervous is satisfying indeed. Let’s hope it augers well and Colin Powell finally finds the voice that has heretofore failed him and which might have kept us out of this quagmire in the first place.