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Standing Army

NR CC
Available on Prime

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, 16 minutes

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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
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon 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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I'm proud to be American but after watching this movie Makes me question things that we as a nation do. I guess when you sit down and take a look at this if it's true it's kind of wrong but I guess no nation is perfect. The thing that made me think hard the most was when they say that the United States is always looking for an enemy to fight. We can't just always practice practice and train not to be able to have an adversary. Wow? Good documentary.
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This is about the hundreds of U.S. military bases scattered across the globe. According to various sources the U.S. has anywhere from 662 bases in 38 countries (from the Wikipedia article) to something like 700 (according to this documentary) to 800 (according to an article in The Nation Magazine). The question is why?

It’s been 71 years since the end of World War II and yet there are still hundreds of bases in Germany and Japan. The documentary shows protests against some of these bases. In particular Kadena Air Base in Okinawa faces daily protests. Japanese citizens claim that the land on which the base stands belongs to them and should be returned. Of course Osama bin Laden used the presence of U.S. military bases on Islamic lands as justification for the murders of thousands of Americans. The documentary basically asks how would we feel if there were foreign military bases in the United States?

It is easy to say, well, we didn’t suffer unconditional surrender, and yes Japan attacked the U.S., etc., but that was then. This is now, and Germany and Japan are our allies. Regardless of how other people feel about the bases the question we should ask ourselves—and it’s a question this documentary asks—is isn’t this a great waste of taxpayer money?

Directors Thomas Fazi and Enrico Parenti use interviews and film footage to show what a waste these bases are and why there are continuing to be maintained. Naturally Eisenhower’s famous warning about the “industrial military complex” comes into play. In short, this production argues that the bases are not only a waste of money but do not add to our national security. Indeed David Vine in his article in The Nation claims the bases are “doing us more harm than good.
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Total one sided BS using old cartoons, interviewing the same few people over and over. Many distorted facts and lots of simple minded talk. When the producer learns to understand what really makes the world go around and what keeps it safe, builds economies of other countries, etc... Then try to make an honest film that tells the truth (you really have to live it to know it), leaves assumptions in the garbage can and is based on real fact. Be happy you have been free all these years and aren't currently speaking Japanese or using a different currency.
Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Shame on Chomsky!!!!
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By Adam on September 3, 2015
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
While for many Americans the reality of military bases in other countries is not well known, for those of us who have seen them and the reality of the communities around them, this documentary is not a surprise.
The military presence is clearly needed for defense and strategic purposes in several locations. But the magnitude of the forces installed makes you think about how much is really needed and how much is just a response to false threats, created only to ensure millions of taxpayer's dollars go into the pockets of a few corporations, which just show lack of respect for the life and bravery of the men and women who decide to voluntarily serve.
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