6.28.2004

Fahrenheit Fact no. 15: Happy and healthy in Iraq?

Here's what an Iraqi (resident of Baghdad since 1980) thought of the portrayl in "Fahrenheit 9/11":
Moore shows scenes of Baghdad before the invasion and in his weltanschauung, it's a place filled with nothing but happy, smiling, giggly, overjoyed Baghdadis. No pain and suffering there. No rape, murder, gassing, imprisoning, silencing of the citizens in these scenes. Excuse me is this my Baghdad you talk about ,that Baghdad I live in for more than 20 year[s] ,with all what we lived through[?] How could we be happy and smiling...how can we can be Happy ,and I['ve had] friends executed..I got b[r]others in jail ,how? We can be happy, and we got nothing to eat, how? we can be happy ,and we got nothing to live for...Iraq was ruled by a regime that had forced a sixth of its population into fearful exile, maybe you have the answers?
Jonathan Foreman of The New York Post posted an opinion piece on Fahrenheit 9/11. In it, he states the following:
The most offensive sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11"'s long two hours lasts only a few minutes. It's Moore's file-footage depiction of happy Iraq before the Americans began their supposedly pointless invasion. You see men sitting in cafes, kids flying kites, women shopping. Cut to bombs exploding at night. What Moore presumably doesn't know, or simply doesn't care about, is that the building you see being blown up is the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad. Not many children flew kites there. It was in a part of the city that ordinary Iraqis weren't allowed to visit - on pain of death.
He goes on:
[... Moore should have known] that prewar Iraq was ruled by a regime that had forced a sixth of its population into fearful exile, that hanged dissidents (real dissidents, not people like Susan Sontag and Tim Robbins) from meathooks and tortured them with blowtorches, and filled thousands of mass graves with the bodies of its massacred citizens. Yes, children played, women shopped and men sat in cafes while that stuff went on — just as people did all those normal things in Somoza's Nicaragua, Duvalier's Haiti and for that matter Nazi Germany, and as they do just about everywhere, including in Iraq today.
He's absolutely right. Anyone wondering about the state of Iraq before our liberation should go to www.massgraves.info. A compelling (but EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) depiction of Saddam's torture can found here and here (links provided by pulse15217). However, BE WARNED - these movie clips are not for children or the faint of heart. We here at Fahrenheit Fact take no responsibility for any and all trauma suffered while watching them. However, they do serve to provide a fitting contrast to the pre-war images of happy, smiling Iraqis that Moore presents in F-9/11. -TRC