This documentary film for the BBC program Panorama originally aired in May of 2003, shortly after the Americans’ “shock and awe” bombing and invasion of Iraq. It’s fascinating to watch it now, five years later, not only with the benefit of hindsight, but also framed in the context of the present geopolitical conflicts and even more specifically, with respect to Sen. John McCain’s remarks the other day when denouncing the aggressive posture of Russia, claiming that: “in the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations.”
Going behind the scenes of the sinister, but not-so-shadowy neo-conservative movement in the US at the height of its power and influence in Washington, the film offers some quite revealing (and alarming) insights into the thinking of hawks like Michael Ledeen, Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, and of course, our own native son, David “Axis of Evil” Frum.
While McCain’s suggestion that, in this day and age, countries don’t invade one another may have been meant in innocence, given that the US is currently occupying two foreign nations, it’s difficult not to see it as being indicative of either monumental hypocrisy or a stunning lack of awareness concerning the powerful ideological forces that have been driving US foreign policy for the last seven years. Or, somewhat perplexingly, perhaps a bit of both.