The Cold War imbued people in the West with propaganda images of the Soviet Union and China as aggressive militarized states. Jarecki’s closely argued documentary presents the United States as ‘militant and militaristic’, protecting its economic interests by force of arms. Tie-ups between the military, the arms companies and Congress ensure that the US is permanently geared up to fight.
An ex-airforce intelligence officer tells us how the Bush Administration placed civilians in the Pentagon to distort the intelligence on Iraq to prepare for war. We hear how arms companies employ military people to ‘open doors’ to lucrative contracts, which Congress always gratefully approves, to boost employment in constituencies.
Smugly, Richard Perle, an architect of Bush’s foreign policy, argues that it’s irreversible, part of the system. The cost is not just to those killed and maimed in America’s wars. As ex-President Eisenhower said over 50 years ago, America is building aircraft carriers –not hospitals or schools.