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To every story there are two sides, to every case in court there are two opinions. Michael Moore's book, Fahrenheit 9/11, is no different. It can be reveled as sole source of truth about the war and our government, or it can be portrayed as the lying antichrist that rips apart people's solidarity. Nevertheless, both sides do contain truths and evidence but along with that comes certain forms of debatable deceits. The proceeding will attempt to bring some of Moore's potential deceits to light and thus seek to explain one half of the story, that being Michael Moore's opposition.
Fahrenheit 9/11 wastes no time in divulging its first deceit. The movie itself opens up with the election night in the year 2000. The first thing we see is Al Gore rocking on stage with famous musicians and a crowd chanting in the highest of spirits. A large sign on stage proclaims "Florida Victory." Moore creates the impression that Gore was celebrating his victory in Florida. However, on the contrary, the rally took place in the early hours of election day, before polls had even opened. So basically, this whole thing reflected Gore's hopes, not the truth in the election results. In the same time span, Moore commits another falsehood by explaining that because the Fox news channel did not broadcast Al Gore as the as the winner, all of the other channels fell in line and did the same and changed their broadcasts. However, these networks that projected Gore as the winner did so early in the evening before the polls were finished being tallied. Thus, the Fox network had no bearing on their decisions for change; it was actually a mistake that those networks corrected themselves.
Secondly, in addition to the preceding Michael Moore really takes a cheap shot at the president in the way he portray how he handled the events of September 11th right after it occurred. Moore claims that all the president did was read the book "my Pet Goat" to his students. In reality, the book was called "Reading Mastery" and he chose to continue reading to create a calming effect on a bad situation.
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In addition, Moore contends that President Bush and Condoleezza Rice did not even read the memo that contained information about Osama Bin Laden planning an attack in the United States. However, both claimed to have read it through and found that the briefing was extremely vague. According to George Washington University's website the press release from the government looked as so:
We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists. Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York. (http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB116/pdb8-6-2001.pdf)
Now, having read a briefing like this, one might ask how exactly one would be able to prepare. The information on how the events would be carried out is not only unspecific but basically non-existent. This text essentially contains no direct threat or even concrete evidence for the President to brace himself and call for some kind of a massive security overload. Quite simply put, there was no specific info of any kind that would make it necessary for the President to take immediate action.
Now, moving on to the Saudi relationship with the United States. Michael Moore points it out to be strange that the US Secret Service was protecting the Saudi Foreign Embassy in the United States. He tries to portray his ideas that the only reason this protection exists is because of the Saudi's investments in the United States. Nevertheless, he could not be farther from the truth. In fact, according to the Secret Service's website:
Uniformed Division officers provide protection for the White House Complex, the Vice-President's residence, the Main Treasury Building and Annex, and foreign diplomatic missions and embassies in the Washington, DC area.
Truth be told there is nothing suspicious about the Secret Service's protection of the Saudi Embassy; and what makes these guards even more necessary is that Al Quada attacks have been waged Saudi Arabia.
Moore goes on to introduce a segment with the question, " was the war in Afghanistan really about something else?" The something else he refers to is shown to be a Unocal pipeline. Moore mentions that the Taliban visited Texas while George Bush was governor in order to discuss a possible pipeline deal with Unocal. But what Moore does not say is that they never actually met with Bush or that the deal went bust in 1998 and had previously been supported by the Clinton administration. (Labash Weekly Standar) So, how could a war be fought over a notion that has not even been thought about for five years.
Moore also rambles on in a pro-Saddam fashion. He makes the claim that Saddam "never threatened to attack the United States". In a narrow-minded sense it is true that Saddam never gave some kind of an open speech in which he threatened to cause harm to America as a country; and although Saddam never threatened the territorial integrity of America, he did repeatedly threaten Americans. For example, on November 15, 1997 the Saddam regime, in the newspaper Babel (which was run by the son of Saddam Hussein, Uday) ordered that: "American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces." (Stephen Hayes, The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 94.) On November 25, 2000, Saddam declared in a televised speech, "The Arab people have not so far fulfilled their duties. They are called upon to target U.S. and Zionist interests everywhere and target those who protect these interests." Again, it should be no real secret that Saddam is not some innocent guy who wishes the USA well and has never spoken an ill word about this country.
In yet another deceit Michael Moore makes the assumption that Bush supported closing veteran's hospitals. It is a fact that the Bush Department of Veterans Affairs did propose closing seven hospitals in areas with declining populations where the hospitals were really underutilized, and whose veterans could also be served by other hospitals. Moore does not go on to say that the department also proposed building new and improved hospitals in areas where the needs of the veterans were growing,
In the final deception of Fahrenheit 9/11 Michael Moore alleges that of the 535 members of congress only one has a listed son in Iraq. His allegations are untrue and slightly biased. Seven members of congress actually have sons fighting the war in Iraq.
(http://web.naplesnews.com/03/04/naples/d930340a.htm) Now, although that it is only slightly over 1%, it is actually a high statistic for people in that income bracket. Additionally, when comparing troops to population of the USA the percentage only comes to .05%. Fahrenheit also never raises the issue of Cabinet members in the war because the answer would not be able to fit into Moore's thesis. Attorney General John Ashcroft's son is serving on the U.S.S. McFaul in the Persian Gulf.
In summing up this endless debate surrounding September 11th the allegations made by Michael Moore is his book and movie there is inevitably two sides to the story. Like many cases in law these two sides are almost like apples and oranges. Sometimes however, the best place to find a lie is between two truths.