Why We Fight

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

Inspired by Dwight Eisenhower’s legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase “military industrial complex”), filmmaker Jarecki (THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER) surveys the scorched landscape of a half-century’s military adventures, asking how – and telling why – a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war.

The film moves beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper question of why – why does America fight? What are the forces – political, economic, ideological – that drive us to fight again an ever-changing enemy?

“Frank Capra made a series of films during World War II called WHY WE FIGHT that explored America’s reasons for entering the war,” Jarecki notes. “Today, with our troops engaged in Iraq and elsewhere for reasons far less clear, I think it’s crucial to ask the questions: ‘Why are we doing what we are doing? What is it doing to others? And what is it doing to us?’ (Excerpt from main website)

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