Lessons of Farenheit 9/11
No, the lessons of "Fahrenheit 9/11" have to do with the general degradation of our political discourse, the gross dishonesty of our most feted "documentary" filmmaker and with what Michael Moore's super-popularity in Hollywood and France adds to what we already know about the ignorance and intellectual poverty of the movie industry and the pathetic, spiteful hostility of our French "allies."
And if Moore weren't a (left-wing) version of the fat, bigoted, ignorant Americans his European friends love to mock, he'd know that prewar Iraq was ruled by a regime that had forced a sixth of its population into fearful exile, that hanged dissidents (real dissidents, not people like Susan Sontag and Tim Robbins) from meathooks and tortured them with blowtorches, and filled thousands of mass graves with the bodies of its massacred citizens.
Yes, children played, women shopped and men sat in cafes while that stuff went on — just as people did all those normal things in Somoza's Nicaragua, Duvalier's Haiti and for that matter Nazi Germany, and as they do just about everywhere, including in Iraq today.
Moore has defended deliberate inaccuracies in his prior films by claiming that satirists don't have to tell the exact truth. Fair enough. But if you take the lies, half-lies and distortions out "Fahrenheit 9/11," there isn't much of anything left.