This video from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 5): Women of Afghanistan.
By Joanne Laurier in the USA:
14 May 2010
This is the third in a series of articles on the 2010 San Francisco International Film Festival, held April 22-May 6.
Justified since 2001 as components of the “global war on terror,” the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have always been an attempt to impose US dominance over a strategic area of the Middle East and Central Asia. A continuum exists between the Bush and the Obama administrations, whatever their tactical differences, on their conduct of the occupations.
Of late, highlighted by the honoring of The Hurt Locker at the most recent Academy Awards ceremony, sections of the liberal establishment and intelligentsia have turned toward rehabilitating the two wars. These upper middle class layers have now climbed aboard the military train.
In reality, the “global war on terror” is a code phrase for neo-colonial wars of conquest. The militarization of US foreign policy, whose aggressive escalation is occurring under Obama, threatens the whole of humanity. …
However, to the extent that filmmakers accept any of the premises of the “war on terrorism”—that the current conflicts are indeed about terrorism; that the US military effort, while perhaps ham-fisted, is a legitimate response to 9/11; that Washington’s aim is to promote “democracy” in the region—they will be politically and artistically hamstrung. They may criticize this or that aspect of US policy, even quite sharply, but they will miss its driving force. The artistic results will tend to be passive or timid.
Many filmmakers now fly the banner of “nonpolitical” over their work, as if a serious grappling with the politics of a phenomenon were the kiss of artistic death. Outrage, taking a strong stance, speaking out against authority, all of this has somehow become identified with “didacticism,” and even Stalinist “socialist realism.”
Yet contorting oneself to avoid saying the harsh and sometimes unpalatable truth creates its own problems. Artistic “bad faith” makes itself felt in the bone and marrow of a film. We know when the director or writer is pulling his or her punches. Moreover, art also abhors a vacuum. Refusing “to take sides” and merely planting oneself in the immediately given facts, which go unexamined, leaves the artist vulnerable to the dominant social forces and politics.
Of course, it must be said that the notion that one can treat a war “nonpolitically,” when the driving force is geopolitics, is simply absurd. These are, above all, world-historical political events.
Without consciously working through the social and historical character of a given war, one is vulnerable to the falsehoods promoted by the ruling elite. For example: Yes, there have been blunders, but, as one director said at the festival, not all Great Power interventions are necessarily bad. After all, isn’t it necessary to fight terrorism? Can’t there be a democratizing component in such interventions? Etc.
Several documentaries screened at the San Francisco festival criticized aspects of the current US interventions.
During question-and-answer sessions, the directors of The Oath (American Laura Poitras) and Restrepo (co-director Tim Hetherington from Britain)—which deal with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively—described some of the perils of filming in war zones or contested regions. The courage and self-sacrifice demonstrated by these filmmakers was certainly striking.
But neither documentary is overtly anti-war, nor explicit about the colonialist character of these conflicts. This reviewer asked Restrepo’s Hetherington whether he was an opponent of the Afghan intervention, to which he could not give an unequivocal reply. He acknowledged at another point that “war is absurd,” but claimed that in making the film, “we really did not care about politics. Whether you are left or right wing—these guys [US soldiers] need to be respected.”
The Oath’s Poitras, in her question-and-answer session, made clear her opposition to the torture and abuse at Guantánamo and criticized the undemocratic Military Commissions, which have undergone another revision under Obama. She too, however, never condemned the war outright.
Britain: Former minister Adam Ingram has admitted he misled Parliament over the hooding and inhumane treatment of Iraqi detainees: here.
ADAM Ingram – Armed Forces Minister during the British occupation of southern Iraq in 2003 – has admitted wrongly informing MPs that Baha Mousa was not hooded during interrogation: here.
Baha Mousa death ‘a stain on army’s character’: here.