Je Veux Voir — French
Excellent film documenting actress Catherine Deneuve’s trip to and through Lebanon to view the effects of the 2006 war with Israel. Her guide from bomb-shocked Beirut through the devastated countryside is Lebanese actor Rabih Mroué. There is a poignancy to the journey as Mroué gently shepherds Deneuve through the physical and emotional landscape. This is as close as we can come, most of us, to the heartbreak of war without being shown images of screaming missiles, explosions and death. We see what must have been a beautiful landscape now scarred by bomb craters and tank tracks; we see buildings where people just like us lived, worked, laughed that are now piles of shattered rubble; we see people trying to rebuild shell-shocked lives. I won’t say that it leaves the viewer with a sense of hope, it doesn’t address the conflict, it merely shows what is left after war. It made me ask, again, why do we do this to each other?
Richard Cohen talks today in his WAPO column about Bush’s determination to go to war in Iraq. This is nothing new, we’ve been hashing and rehashing, screaming from the left and the right about the “rightness/wrongness” of this war. Cohen, as have others in the last three and a half years, says that perhaps the Bush probably truly believed the feeds his advisors, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and the other neocons gave him. I’m not saying anything new or profound here, just venting. I agree because all the evidence available to the general public (minus actual intelligence scores) indicate that Bush’s intellect isn’t high enough to facilitate deep analytical abilities. He seems to be a very concrete thinker so if you tell him something that fits into his ideas of the world he will believe it. The dangerous part is that all of his feed is coming from one trough in the sty; no balanced diet here. Why are we willing to follow a man who can only see one way? This is a weak post but I’m short on time.
I would refer anyone who happens on this to scroll way down to the entry from 1watt1 in WAPO’s “White House Briefing” column by Dan Froomkin.
Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag people along…
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.
–Reich-Marshall Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg Trials