Thursday, June 24, 2004


Army Officer Just Returned from Iraq Airs Views on Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911:‘Film Shows the Human Cost to War;
People Should See and Assess It themselves’

A U.S. Army officer recently back from the war in Iraq believes that the American people have not heard the whole truth about the war and that a provocative new film by director Michael Moore will encourage debate among citizens.

“This film is another important source of information and people should absolutely see it and draw their own conclusions as to whether or not the war was worth it,” said 29-year-old Lt. Paul Rieckhoff, who served as an Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader with the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division. He is speaking out to news organizations across the country to share his view of the film, which opens this weekend, and has come under heavy criticism from the right for its scorching portrayal of President George W. Bush.

“Any film about the war is important, if it raises awareness and generates conversation,” Rieckhoff said. “Only a small percentage of the American population is actually serving in Iraq and thus is clued in to what is really going on there. Fahrenheit 911 is a very emotional film that will make people think and remind them that there is a very human cost to war,” he added.

Rieckhoff, who is politically independent, does take issue with parts of the film, in particular director Moore’s portrayal of troops stationed in Iraq. “The film uses a broad brush to portray the behavior of soldiers in Iraq,” he said. “This is not a complete representation. A soldier’s mindset in combat is extremely difficult for civilians to understand.”

However, Rieckhoff believes attempts to stymie the film’s distribution and discourage people from seeing the movie are an affront to service men and women deployed to Iraq. “We, the soldiers, didn’t go 7,000 miles around the world, to get shot at, so we could preserve and defend freedom in Iraq only to have it denied to artists and filmmakers here at home,” he said adding that “if you control the distribution of a film, you are saying you know what’s best for the American people. Let people see it and decide for themselves.”


Post a Comment

<< Home