"No End in Sight" Opens in Theaters

On the plane home today, I watched the first hour of "No End in Sight," the 2006 documentary about the Iraq War and events leading up to it. The film was shown at Sundance and opens in theaters tomorrow, July 27. (I received an advance screening copy a few weeks ago and just got around to watching it.)

The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq’s descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy, NO END IN SIGHT is a jaw-dropping, insider’s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials such as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad during the Spring of 2003), Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, and General Jay Garner (in charge of the occupation of Iraq through May 2003) as well as Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts.

NO END IN SIGHT examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy – the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military – largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today. How did a group of men with little or no military experience, knowledge of the Arab world or personal experience in Iraq come to make such flagrantly debilitating decisions?

It is excellent. I hope you will all see it, and I plan to finish watching it later tonight.

The visuals and graphics are great. The selections from various Rumsfeld news conferences show him at his arrogant worst. Richard Armitage comes off to me as evasive, unknowledgable and disingenuous. I am really glad he's gone.

The film won the Documentary Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.Here's a recent review.

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  • Display: Sort:
    "Due Process" (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Sumner on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 06:55:36 PM EST
    among other things, requires "consent of the governed"; that requires "informed consent".

    Government forfeits "rightful authority" at that point at which it goes stealth or fraudulent.

    cf. Information Manipulation Theory

    Armitage and Rumsfeld are gone (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 10:19:34 PM EST
    but what they have left us with is horrible.  I don't know what we are to do with it, nobody really does.

    saw a screening Tuesday (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by dday on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 01:33:56 AM EST
    It's a solid film, but I'm wondering if it isn't a 90-minute endorsement of the "incompetence dodge," the idea that invading was a solid idea with merely bad execution.  In fact, after my screening there was a Q&A with the director and a couple other national security types, and I left early so it's second-hand, but apparently the director, Charles Ferguson, came dangerously close to this viewpoint if not outright supporting it like his fellow panelist (some dude from the RAND Corporation).

    Ewwww Rand Corporation (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 04:36:36 AM EST
    The people who would like to privatize our military logistics and sell it to us and because our military is so short handed have done their best to do it so far in Iraq.  Thank you for this insight on the film, it is greatly appreciated.

    Tracy - Your complaint is? (1.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:08:45 AM EST

    the aspect of military science dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of military matériel, facilities, and personnel

    Are you saying that this has not worked?

    Is more expensive than if done purely by the military?

    The military could do it better?


    I'd answer yes to all 3 (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:12:18 AM EST
    Obviously... (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by aj12754 on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:18:01 AM EST
    It has not worked.
    It is more expensive.
    The military can -- and has -- done it better.

    You could look it up.


    Obviously that is what Tracy said. (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 10:00:51 AM EST
    Only a troll would ask if someone meant "war profiteering" when they meant "war profiteering". ppj.

    You do understand that, yes?

    Protests could put brakes on new Iraq logistics contract

    July 18, 2007

    The Army awarded its mammoth 10-year LOGCAP IV contract last month to three firms: the incumbent contractor, Kellogg, Brown and Root Services of Houston; former contract holder DynCorp International LLC of Fort Worth, Texas; and Fluor Intercontinental Inc. of Greenville, S.C. The three companies are each capped at $5 billion per year, although the Army does not expect the firms to reach the maximum value in any given year.

    A fourth contractor, Serco Inc. of Vienna, Va., was awarded a $225 million support contract last February. The Army says Serco will assist in its planning and provide independent cost estimates, but will not play any oversight role or conduct any inherently governmental work.

    In an e-mailed statement, KBR deferred questions about the protests to the Army, stating only that the company is "proud to have been chosen as one of three logistics support providers under the LOGCAP IV contract. We look forward to continuing our service to the U.S. forces deployed in the Middle East."

    The three prime contractors will compete to deliver fuel, water and food, as well as field operations such as postal services, laundry and sanitation, to troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The indefinite quantity/indefinite delivery contract has a one-year base with nine option years and could be worth as much as $150 billion.

    Inside Halliburton On Camera
    Ben Carter, a former Halliburton/KBR water purification specialist, discusses discovering Halliburton was providing dangerously contaminated water to troops, and the serious long-term implication.
    I was stunned. No trained water treatment specialist could claim that the water was fit for human use.
    I accepted a position with Halliburton with the belief that my particular skills would be of service to the troops in Iraq. But when I tried to notify the troops that they may be exposed to a serious health risk, I was told that the military was none of my concern, and to keep my mouth shut. I don't know how bad the problem might be -- how many troops may have been exposed to untreated water, and how many might have gotten sick as a result. I can't know, because Halliburton apparently has no records and refuses to acknowledge there might be a problem.

    edger, MB. et al (1.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 01:57:39 PM EST
    There were claims of war profiteering during WWII and onward.

    Are they true? Some may be, some aren't.

    I have a tendancy to take such things more seriously when the people screaming have demonstrated a small amount of knowledge about the military, are not always anti-war, and willing to actually debate the various points. Because some make sense, some do not.

    So if you want to make a claim, have at it. But please, complaints about Haliburton will be just shrugged off because we know they are secretly owned by the evil Cheney.


    And you might be taken seriously when (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by aj12754 on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 03:05:16 PM EST
    and if you display one iota of historical knowledge or logical reasoning.  Not to mention the dimmest awareness of the parameters and requirements of rational debate. Why don't you start by googling Truman Commission?

    Well... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 10:43:08 AM EST
    Like Gonzo, I suppose they have to do their best to avoid the responsibility and consequences of having done it all intentionally, so playing stupid is the only out left to them.

    But ignorance is no defense, legally or otherwise.


    Absolutely, no end in sight. (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 12:22:01 PM EST
    Here's another casualty that won't be counted amonst the victims of the war.

    Pierce, 23, went missing Wednesday afternoon after he sent several friends text messages that he was suicidal, the St. Louis County Sheriff said. Pierce was last seen at the house where he lived and left home with a .38 caliber revolver and a 30.06 rifle, the sheriff said. Pierce, who served in Iraq and was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, was found around 9:30 p.m. Thursday night, the sheriff said.

    very sad..... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 12:27:44 PM EST
    R.I.P., Mr. Pierce