The Truth is The First Casualty of War
We might tend to believe that all warfare has always been based on deception. Addressing a statement usually used by warlords, about camouflaging a strong appearance when we are weak, and a weak one when we are strong. I will show in my essay how the movie Green Zone and the documentary Why We Fight demonstrate the principle that the truth is the first casualty of war. With that being said, and not contradict the previous notion, it is the motif, cinematic and moral value of these two films present the closest seat to the reality of war.
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War, war, war, it’s everywhere, caused by people who are not interested in the truth. The truth makes those in power seem corrupt and will eventually guide the public to resistance against the authorities. Therefore, as power protection occurs, war is created and in the same manner, camouflage the war’s purpose, redirect it to other issues in a country. The cause of war is generally a battle for truth, while others fight to keep truth away from the public. Conflict is advantageous for those who create it, financially more likely than not.
From the documentary Why We Fight we find that the United Stated of America tend to get involved in wars. Dwight D. Eisenhower, an American five-star general who served as the thirty forth president of the United States, addresses the nation with a heart-rending speech before the end of his term by three days, with a warning of giving excessive power that endanger the nations freedom or government, and stressed the military industrial complex. He stated “In the councils of government we must guard against, the acquisition of unwanted influence, whether sort or unsort by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist” (springfield, Why We Fight). “We must never let the wait of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizen can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense… with our peaceful methods and goals. So that security and liberty may prosper together.” (Springfield, Why We Fight)
Ever since that speech was addressed, many of the presidents have involved the United States of America in wars all around the world in the name of freedom and Iraq was one of those repetitive targets. The war mechanism has become the nation’s leading industry. The United states spend more on military and defense than all other discretionary parts of the federal budget combined (Springfield, Why We Fight). In this blunt documentary, the director Eugene Jarecki raised a critical question that all of us should be asking: why do we fight? The causes of war seem to be a mystery. Even those involved in the fight have no control over it. the truth is, they just follow orders while the truth is disguised.
Green Zone that is directed by Paul Greengrass and adapted from Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran look at American warfare in a different way, more action, thrill, and enticing to the viewer and invite them to wonder if the Americans are the true heroes or the naïve ones. The myth that is the weapons of mass destruction, that did not exist in Iraq, and the people in power fabricated the idea in its entirety, lied to their people and the entire world, and they were willing to get their hand tainted in blood to cover up their true means.
The actor Matt Damon who played Roy Miller, Chief Warrant Officer who is in charge of the missions in the movie, started with a raid to a certain suspected WMD cite but at the end was a dummy location. Later, another lead that turned up to be an abandoned place. Miller was a dummy player, in a miscalculated attempt to sabotage Iraq yet he had no knowledge about it. The deadly invasion of the unknown is what records in Millers mind, he treads with caution and ensures that he digs deep for the truth. However, it was a journey that needed a lot of caution to take and risked his job (springfield, Green Zone).
In Green Zone, Miller is portrayed as a man of integrity, so he started questioning his orders, then he met a reporter from New York who informed him that United Stated government had a prior knowledge that Iraq does not possess any WMD. Miller soon unveils the truth that he has been lied to, and there was a major cover up and the lousy intel cooked up to justify the war as per the warlords’ desire. The war was created for the benefit of those involved in generating chaos to destabilize Iraq for personal benefit of the government officials of the United States, and found that war in fact affects the truth. The mission to Iraq was an obvious financial play to the American government, and whoever was involved in the planning of the war, concealed the truth even from those who were involved in the mission, or at least that is insinuation from the last scene of Green Zone as the director ended the movie with an image of Iraqi oil wells, with American troop heading towards them (Springfield, Green Zone).
Another point to address from the documentary Why We Fight is that a former NYPD, Wilton Sekzer who lost his son in the Twin Towers attack, wanted to take vengeance for the death of his son when he requested that one of the missiles sent out to bomb Iraq, be names after his son, Jason, after believing that Iraq was behind the attack on the Twin Towers. Later when he found out the reason was fabricated, he seemed to have a look of remorse on his face and when asked whether he regretted his request he answered “Am I sorry I asked for my son’s name to be put on the bomb? No, because I acted under the conditions at that time. Was it wrong? It was wrong, but I didn’t know that. So is it regrettable? ” He couldn’t give a decisive answer, but with the tone played out and the look on his face both implied that he wasn’t happy about his decision, nor did he feel like he has avenged his son (Springfield, Why We Fight).
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The truth behind any war is a personal/finantial, government or institutional benefit. The truth is a causality under siege because there is no way those involved can risk it coming to light. In the documentary, we are faced by shocking interviews as people expressed how they believed that the leaders in the U.S. government lead wars for their benefit and in their behalf. An analyst expresses that for every war that happens, there are people who reaped fortunes in the tune of millions. The truth is that war is an inside story, written by the beneficiaries, for the fools who are consumed by the carefully manipulated nationalism.
In conclusion, as long as the game is that of deception, the best coverup story to win is that of an all-out war, as everything is permissible to get rid of the enemy, even if it requires lying, and the practice of psychological warfare, propaganda, disinformation and blackout. As Winston Churchill once said “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies. ” But should that be the case? Is it a fight for the people dying and paying for these wars? The moral answer is always a no, but reality begs to difffe. I believe that the nature of the government’s wrongdoing has now become clear. Others will disagree. It’s evident that the movie Green Zone and the documentary Why We Fight both demonstrate the principle that the truth is the first casualty of war.
- “Green Zone (2010) Movie Script | SS.” Springfield! Springfield!, www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=green-zone.
- “Why We Fight (2005) Movie Script | SS.” Springfield! Springfield!, www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=why-we-fight.
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