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Rush To War: Between Iraq And A Hard Place 2004

Highly Recommended

Distributed by RTW Productions, LLC, 15332 Antioch Street #427, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272-3628; 310-288-6444
Produced by Robert Taicher
Directed by Robert Taicher
DVD, color, 76 min.

Sr. High - Adult
Political Science, Sociology, War

Date Entered: 02/11/2005

Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

Award-winning independent filmmaker Robert Taicher tried to influence voters in the battleground state of Florida by releasing Rush to War: Between Iraq and a Hard Place during the November 2004 elections. While he lost, Taicher's documentary film presents a scathing indictment of the Bush administration's handling of the "War on Terror." Throughout this documentary Taicher interviews a number of government officials, foreign policy experts, and journalists, including former Senator George McGovern, former ambassadors Joe Wilson and Peter Tomsen, Samantha Power (Harvard University), Zia Mian (Princeton University), Thomas Gouttierre (University of Nebraska at Omaha), and Mark Danner (UC Berkeley); nationally syndicated columnists Robert Scheer, Molly Ivins, and Chris Hedges (New York Times). The film also includes commentaries from Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, former chief UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, former General Anthony Zinni, and former terrorism czar Richard Clarke.

Some of the interviewees argue that behind the ideological window-dressing of the new ‘democratic messianism,’ there are two main reasons for the Bush administration’s uncompromising determination. First, there is Iran’s geo-strategic status. It is an independent and middle-ranking regional power that has engaged in military cooperation with Russian and China. This makes it the last bastion still to be holding out against a permanent U.S. takeover of the Middle East. Second, Iran is the last surviving ally in the region of those states and organizations still opposed to Israel. And while basking in the apparent success of Iraq's national elections on Sunday, January 30th, 2005, U.S. officials will still face some tough hurdles in fashioning an exit strategy from the country America invaded nearly two years ago. Lagging efforts to train local security forces, simmering communal tensions and the daunting reconstruction needs of the war-ravaged country will cloud any prospects for any early American pullout from Iraq.

Rush To War presents an ugly picture of American politics and war in which the divide on where America should be concerning the Middle East remains controversial and front-page news. As Taicher states it expands from “the Cold War and CIA interventions around the world from the 1950s through the 1970s, America's involvement with the Afghan resistance against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Also explored is the history of the United States' two wars with Iraq, with particular emphasis on the current administration's policies and actions in the war on terror and its consequences for global security in the 21st century.”