Watching "Body of War"

I'm halfway through "Body of War" on the Sundance Channel, and it's a heart breaker, worth the time to watch it. If you don't get Sundance, and you can't find a copy, you can purchase it online (if you purchase it from Pearl, and 25 percent of the DVD sale will go to Tom Young, the injured vet who is the focus of the film).

I've got to say that the care with which this is handled is amazing. There's sensitivity and there's even some humor that comes through from those involved. What's most impressive - and distressing - is how elegantly and succinctly group-think worked in regards to the Iraq war. One of the amazing things about the documentary process is the moment where editing shows you just how pervasive the rhetoric was: the President, then senators, then us, repeating the same phrases as though saying them enough, loud enough could make them true.

There's an image that was just shown of a widow keeping watch over the body of her husband the night before his funeral, and it brought tears to my eyes. It's followed by the voice over of the President joking at a press dinner about not being able to find weapons of mass destruction. And then the realization that those who made the call were insulated from its effects.

It's distressing to see just how many times the question "What will it cost?" is asked, and how often the full range of what a war might cost - the costs beyond dollars and cents - was never even part of the discussion.

I won't tell you much more about it, but I do strongly encourage you to give it a viewing.


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