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Customer Review

123 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intelligent And Perceptive Look At American Militarism, March 12, 2006
I expected this movie to be an anti-war propaganda piece. But actually it was much better than that. It is a documentary based on a series of interviews with people from a variety of political perspectives, both liberal and conservative. The film does have a distinct point of view which considers American militarism to be a dangerous global threat based on economic self-interest and political power. But at least the "bad guys", such as Richard Perles and William Kristol, are allowed to speak for themselves and present their opinions as to why U.S. military might is a benevolent force. Still the brightest and most insightful comments come from those, such as historian Gywnne Dyer, who are questioning the military's intentions and outcomes. John McCain also comes across as an eloquent voice, someone who is both highly knowledgable of the military and concernced about it's imperialistic ambitions.

I also thought the film would be more specifically about the war in Iraq. But instead it offers a broader historical analysis of America's many post-World War II conflicts, such as the "Cold War" and the Vietnam War. Dwight Eisenhower is depicted as a sort of unlikely hero for peaceniks, having warned of the dangers of the the "military-industrial complex" in his famous farewell speech. The movie then goes on to show how America developed a standing army and began it's massive military build up to combat the Soviet Union while using the fear of Communism to justify numerous military interventions throughout the world. Of course, some attention is also directed towards the current conflict in Iraq and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and their cohorts come across as the lying buffons that they are, generating numerous outbursts of scorn and ridicule from the audience. I also liked how the film examined the business of militarism, such as the giant defense contractors like Lockheed-Martin, the people who work in their factories and the politicians, both Republican and Democrat, who make sure that these war industry jobs are kept in their own state or district. The tremendous influence of right wing "think tanks" on the policies of the Bush administration is another interesting topic. This is recommended viewing for all.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 3, 2012 1:00:08 PM PDT
Enigma says:
>>> The movie then goes on to show how America developed a standing army and began it's massive military build up

"Massive military buildup"?????

I think there are several ways to look at this to compare the numbers. First we can look at Eisenhower's last military budget was ($ 344 Billion in 1961 dollars) but that tells us nothing until we add inflation in and see it in 2010 dollars:

Eisenhower's budget in 2010 dollars

$ 2.5 TRILLION dollars

2010 military budget in actual 2010 dollars

683 Billion dollars - that includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

Using this method we can see a decrease of SEVENTY-THREE percent (73%) in defense spending and this includes two wars.

The other way is to look at it compared to GDP

1965 Defense Spending 7.4% GDP
1975 Defense Spending 5.8% GDP
1990 Defense Spending 5.2% GDP
2010 Defense Spending 4.7% GDP

Ironically Defense is the only 'main line item' that has gone down over the last 50 years, all others have gone up.

Any way you slice it or dice it; it seems that defense spending has gone DOWN and there has not been a "massive military buildup".

Cheers
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Location: Nashville, Tennessee

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