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Dirty Wars Movie Review


If you are looking for an upbeat tale or one with a happy ending that will leave you grinning from ear-to-ear, you can stop reading this now. If you are looking for a documentary with a pessimistic view of where we are headed as a nation, you have hit the pot of gold with Richard Rowley's "Dirty Wars". Award winning journalist, Jeremy Scahill, and David Riker serve as the writers, with Scahill as the star and narrator.

Framed as a whodunit mystery, it slowly unveils a trail of intrigue and clandestine operations currently being carried out by the American government. It is an incredibly grim view of an incredibly grim topic, but it is difficult to look away, even when the images are wrenching your guts. The presentation of the film adds even more power, with excellent cinematography and editing enhancing the visual experience.

Scahill's facial expressions are not uplifting either. Actually, Scahll has only one facial expression; it is a combination of shock, disdain, and blank. This never waivers. It makes one wonder if he lives a life totally lacking in joy, if his face is even capable of forming a smile.

The point of "Dirty Wars" is that America's war on terror has taken on a life totally separate from acknowledged U.S. policy. Even after Osama Bin Laden was killed, America's lists of who they must get has multiplied exponentially. More troubling is that one group, the Joint Special Operations Command has apparently taken over all operations, even doing their work outside of the knowledge of the CIA. No one had even heard of them until after Osama Bin Laden was killed.

"Dirty Wars" paints a bleak picture and is tremendously critical of American foreign policy since 1980, with each passing administration expanding its unreported workings. Scahill tells us that our current policy is illegal and possibly even more important, self-defeating. However, he offers no alternatives on how to conduct an effective strategy to deal with the very real problem of Radical Islam. Perhaps there is no good strategy to be had. When one reaches that conclusion, it is really time to shudder about what the near-future will reveal.

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