I just posted the comment below on the Agonist comment board, in response to editor Sean-Paul Kelley's report on a recent Fahrenheit 9/11 panel in San Antonio. "Where Moore went overboard is to suggest that Bush's family's financial ties to the Saudis were in any way a factor in the President's decision to go to war in Iraq," Kelley quotes Jan Jarboe-Russell, who he describes as "thoughtful and even-handed" and "known for her progressive stance on issues," despite the fact that "neither the [San Antonio Express-News] nor Texas Monthly, two publications she writes for, are beacons of the Left."

My comment:
I wasn't left with the impression that was what Moore was saying; maybe he did and I just discounted it, unlike the "liberal" who is making such a big deal of it. The "Saudi connection" part of the film gives a quite plausible reason why the Bushies were asleep at the switch on 9/11 and then sought to cover it up afterward. The Iraq part of the film mentions the standard reasons for the invasion--WMDs, "terrorist" activity, oil. I think it takes work to conflate the two parts of the film into "the Saudis wanted us to invade Iraq." The closest line I could find in the transcript is "I wonder if Mr. Bush told Prince Bandar not to worry because he already had a plan in motion"--which suggests Bush had a way of diverting attention from the Saudi connection and meeting some other Administration goals, not that Prince Bandar was a "factor" in the decision. Why do so-called liberals work so hard to undermine this movie?

- tom moody 8-05-2004 9:22 pm

Good catch. Much of the criticism of this film, from the right and the left, has been based on attacking the critics' own extrapolations rather than actual content of the film. Just say no to tangential strawmen.
- mark 8-05-2004 9:45 pm

Thanks. I struck a nerve with Kelley. Instead of defending Jarboe he suggested I hadn't read the piece carefully, and missed his caveat that Jarboe wrote for "moderate-liberal" as opposed to liberal-liberal publications. I said the phrases "thoughtful and even-handed" and "known for her progressive stance on issues" spoke more loudly than his quibble about who she'd written for. Also, he mentioned her Texas Monthly and Express-News connection in a completely different context, which is that the panel brought her in as a liberal, stereotypically equating "the media" with "liberal," when in fact TM and the E-N aren't "beacons of the left," meaning, I guess, they're moderate-to-conservative. He used that parenthetical gripe to make my argument seem less credible--sneaky!
- tom moody 8-05-2004 10:40 pm

add a comment to this page:

Your post will be captioned "posted by anonymous,"
or you may enter a guest username below:

Line breaks work. HTML tags will be stripped.