Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 55 minutes
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Can’t enough Bush-bashing documentaries? Depressed that 51% of Americans wanted four more years of George and Dick? Well, make room for “Preventive Warriors,” a new kick-’em-in-the-Bush documentary questioning the September 2002 National Security Strategy which okays pre-emptive attacks on countries which the White House may perceive to hold the slightest potential for future threat.
Crammed with far-left and far-out-left talking head commentators (including Phil Donahue, International Socialist Review editor Anthony Arnove, and the uber-ubiquitous Noam Chomsky), “Preventive Warriors” tsk-tsks the Bush foreign policy as being reactionary, harmful and (to quote Chomsky) lunatic. The film employs found footage, including plenty of Vietnam War-era shots of helicopters in flight, and plenty of unflattering photographs of the current White House gang to argue the National Security Strategy is the wrong idea at the wrong time.
Needless to say, no one representing conservative or even moderate political viewpoints is brought on to beg a difference of opinion. And the film’s sluggish pacing turns the potentially horrifying subject into a painful bore. The film is literally all talk, and all of the talk is delivered in the same careful, hushed tones one associates with fuddy-duddies school counselors warning of grave future perils for potential delinquents who don’t study hard and get good grades in math and science classes.
One major mistake with the film is its lack of perspective. The National Security Strategy concept only put into writing an unofficial U.S. policy which had been in existence since Theodore Roosevelt seized part of Colombia to carve out an artificial stretch of land called Panama for the construction of a canal designed to benefit American commercial interests. It is one thing to insult George W. Bush for his disastrous policies (I am not faulting folks there), but it is another to talk about American foreign policy without having an intelligent grasp on its full history. And the difference between serious history and partisan politics ultimately ruins this movie.
Sadly, “Preventive Warriors” is already outdated. The absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, coupled by the well-confirmed presence of such weapons in Iran and North Korea, have already shown the National Security Strategy is an impotent joke. And the recent news of Russia’s renewed push in its nuclear weapon program has made the world a lot less safer. Furthermore, the re-election of the president suggests Americans don’t care who has what weapons — most Americans seemed more obsessed with gay marriage than rogue states possessing nuclear weapons. Three cheers for the red, white and blue?
Posted on November 24, 2004 in Reviews by Phil Hall
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