I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. Mine was okay. Mel and I took my mom to see Fahrenheit 9/11. A nice, patriotic thing to do on the 4th… heehehee. The theater was about half-full, pretty good for a major barbeque-outdoors-holiday.
My mother, a long-time Republican, only claimed bias once during the movie. The rest of the time she sat there with her lips pursed and a weary look on her face. Long before the movie, Mom expressed distate for the antics of Bush and his crew, and feels that the war is ridiculously pointless. I’m guessing a lot of Republicans feel that way but also feel like they should support their party. They have an idea that something terrible is going on but don’t really want to pull their heads out of the sand. This film is the landmine that obliterates the last bit of denial for those folks. Mom didn’t have much to say afterwards and I didn’t push her into discussing it because I knew she’d need some time. I’d be suprised if her already wavering support of our current administration isn’t completely gone. Now it’s time to work on my brother some more.
In my last post I said I’d write about what my friend Rob had to say after the movie. He felt it missed these points:
1) That Cheney, Powell and Wolfowitz went to Texas while GW Bush was still governor and said to him, “How would you like to be the next President of the United States and lead the war against Iraq?” I have no idea if this actually happened but it certainly makes sense when coupled with the voting debacle in Florida and the push to go after Iraq immediately in the days following 9/11. In the movie, Moore does say that war against Iraq had planned long before GW became President.
2) That too much of a big deal was made of the fact that Saudis were allowed to leave the country without interrogation after 9/11. Rob’s point was that the U.S. could not have held diplomats (or any official) of any country and that there were others, besides Saudis, who were allowed to leave. Personally, I think he missed the point on that one. The Saudis who were allowed to leave were not all diplomats or officials, some were members of the extended Saudi royal family and some were just Saudi citizens who probably had well-placed connections.
3) That the real reason for the war is not really oil and money (in the form of big-money government contracts to U.S. businesses). According to Rob, the real reason is something called cesium-137. Cesium-137 is a waste byproduct of nuclear fission that has two major purposes; as a radiation therapy treatment for cancer and as a destructive radioactive agent in dirty bombs. Rob cites a Nova program on dirty bombs that describes thefts of radioactive materials in Russia, supposedly by Iraqis. Of course, we don’t want anyone but us to have it. Apparently, cesium is easily hidden by encasing it in lead containers and burying it so that it’s undetectable by geiger counters or other detection devices. Perhaps that’s why Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” were never found. As we all know, they’ve never found the weapon(s) that would be the vehicle to distribute the stuff either.
What’s more worrisome is this:
March 1998, Greensboro, North Carolina — Nineteen small tubes of cesium go missing from a locked safe in Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. Each only three-quarters of an inch long by one-eighth of an inch wide, the tubes were being stored for use in the treatment of cervical cancer. Though local, state, and federal officials scour the city using sophisticated radiation-sensing equipment, the cesium is never recovered. Authorities believe whoever stole the cesium tubes — for the loss is officially listed as a theft — may have been trained to handle the material, since unprotected contact with the tubes could have caused serious injury or even death. After the loss, the hospital takes steps to better secure its nuclear assets.