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Standing Army NR CC

prime

Available on Prime
(65) IMDb 7.3/10

Over the course of the last century, the US has silently encircled the world with a web of military bases unlike any other in history. No continent is spared. They have shaped the lives of millions, yet remain a mystery to most. Featuring Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky.

Starring:
Olivier Bancoult, William Blum
Runtime:
1 hour, 17 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Documentary
Director Thomas Fazi, Enrico Parenti
Starring Olivier Bancoult, William Blum
Supporting actors Noam Chomsky, Yôichi Iha, Chalmers Johnson, Michael Klare, Edward N. Luttwak, Catherine Lutz, Gligor Tashkovich, Gore Vidal
Studio Fisher Klingenstein Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ken Shinzato on March 19, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I normally don't write reviews, but my background is unique in that I'm second generation Okinawan, both my parents were born in Naha, but I am also a veteran of the USAF. Most of my extended family still lives in Okinawa. My cousin married an American. I spent a year in Afghanistan and I've been to Kadena AFB so I know a little about living in a base overseas. I see both sides of the story on Okinawa.

Philosophically, I disagree with Chomsky on many, many points, but the reason why I keep reading him is because I like being challenged to think. And so I ask myself, did this film make me think? To that I'd say yes but you must watch it with a critical mind.

The argument set forth is that the American Empire builds bases to project force and this displaces locals, destroys the environment, and causes more war. So the interview of Okinawans has valiant protesters mourning the loss of life and land. The crying children was an especially emotional scene. But it's all extremely one-sided which is fine as long you understand this kind of film is supposed to be.

The portrayal of base life is a bit less focused. Larger bases definitely have BXs, gyms, and food courts with BK. Bagram is like that in Afghanistan. But the FOB I was assigned to didn't have any of that. If the point was to show that bases were being setup for permanent occupation and how that's a bad thing, it sort of missed the point. I also found that it humanized the military, so instead of being a faceless, evil military industrial complex, it became a young soldier who likes Burger King and loves his country.

The biggest critique I have of Chomsky is that while he's extremely good at pointing out the problems, I haven't read any convincing solutions by him.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 18, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This film offers an interesting perspective of the American military that most American citizens haven't considered and provides information not commonly found in the American media. There was a lot of focus on the suffering of the citizens of Okinawa and Diego Garcia. While I sympathize with them, the strategic location of those islands means that it is highly likely that they would be occupied and used for military purposes, whether or not the US is the occupying force. And I certainly can appreciate the ire of the citizens of Vicenza, Italy.

I think that this film would be especially interesting for policy wonks like me :-).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Vamphaery on December 27, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The issues raised in this documentary are of vital importance to the current and future state of the human condition. Unfortunately, it suffers from several fatal flaws which, I regret to say, many such documentaries fall prey to.

It is ironic and tragic that those investigating and lamenting a problem so profound in its implications and so tied up with obvious and immense power, are not capable of perceiving the intrinsic capacity of said immense power to exploit naiveté and cognitive dissonance for its own benefit. This is a threat which many of my fellow idealists and peace advocates fail to apprehend.

You would have to work hard to find someone more opposed to armed conflict than I am, or more in favor of curtailing what has become a self-perpetuating system; that which we call the military industrial complex. Yet after a lifetime spent trying to investigate - to the extent a layperson can at least - and quantify this runaway nightmare, I am forced to come to the conclusion that those who assert a monolithic, carefully designed, contiguous policy at work behind it are oversimplifying something which is, much to my terror, a far more complex and nuanced construct.

I have great respect and admiration for those indigenous people who, as shown quite poignantly in this work, peacefully resist day after the day the presence of foreign forces in their ancestral lands. I believe their cause is a just one, however it is their perception of and hope to undermine the forces and dynamics at work with which I disagree and would counsel caution with regard to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JT Miller on April 11, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Somewhat dry documentary nevertheless eye opening how the U.S. goes about securing it's survival as the dominant capitalist democracy. Made me think about how our insatiable consumer appetite feeds the beast.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'd have given this 3 stars because it was well produced and pretty engaging. Well made documentaries use music and the narrative voice to engage the viewer, and this one did that very well. But I cannot endorse it's pretense of exposing some closely guarded secret as part of some vast right wing conspiracy. They fell short on offering any pragmatic argument that the world wide presence of U.S. military forces is some great state secret.

I spent 6 years in the U.S. Army and 3 years of active duty with the reserves. Millions of American men and women like myself have served in the U.S. military since the end of WWII. I became familiar with many military installations that my fellow soldiers had been to. And the same is true of every person who ever spent time on active duty with any branch of the U.S. military. The thinking at the end of WWII, that we were drawn into with few options, was that Americans didn't want this to happen again. The cost in American blood was too high. So establishing a military presence, either large bases or small detachments, in every country receptive to U.S. troop presence that served our national security interests was a good thing. Having emerged from WWII as a the most militarily and industrially powerful nation, it was, and still is our role to keep the peace. Cliche as it may sound, the best offense is a strong defense. And being able to respond to potential hot spots around the world on short notice could dissuade a potential malevolent force against the U.S. or one of our allies to have second thoughts. It is the ability to keep small engagements from become full scale wars. This is and has been public knowledge for those who bothered to look, but most people don't care about such things.
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