Monday, December 9, 2013

Dirty Wars (2013) ★★★★★


This is a documentary. Kabul, Afghanistan: NATO publishes lists of night raids carried out by the coalition. Who exactly carries out these night raids? NATO doesn't know. Is it the American army? NATO doesn't know. Is it the CIA? NATO doesn't know. The narration shifts towards Gardez, in the South-East Afghan countryside. A family organized a party to celebrate a birth. Men are dancing a traditional dance to the rythm of drums, in a crowded room. As noise is heard outside the home, one of the men, a police officer goes out to see what caused the noise. As soon as he steps out, a salvo of bullets meets his chest and kills him. 2 pregnant women will meet the same fate, as well as 9 other people. To cover their tracks, the Americans who carried out this operation will use knives to pull out bullets from the corpses. No evidence, no guilt. This will pass as a night raid against militants in the newspapers and in the White House's statistics. But cell phone cameras record evidence. On a photo, the journalist, however familiar with war journalism doesn't recognize what unit the American soldiers are from. After a search, he discovers a unit that was previously unknown to him: JSOC. And the investigation continues, uncovering the direct relationship between JSOC and the president of the USA. And the documentary pans out to the whole world, including ally countries, where JSOC is launching missiles and cluster bombs, leaving civilians in such despair and disgust that it creates more terrorists than it kills. A perpetual war is in motion and very real, hidden behind the cloud of the official war.

My verdict

This is an essential documentary. It is so rich in details that people unfamiliar with the topic might even feel suspicious. But I personally already knew about several of them and can attest that they're not a fabrication. There is a war against journalists, but that's almost a side subject. There is a war fueling war. The documentary doesn't address the question of "why", and I'd guess it's a combination of corporate greed from the military industrial complex, geostrategic domination of the world by Washington, and recklessness from the most hard-boiled killers trained by the army.

The narration is well constructed, as we follow clues leading from Kabul to Gardez, and from the photo of a man to the man himself, his unit, and the president of the USA, then from the man's unit to all the places where it strikes. The story takes us also to the order given by Obama to assassinate an American man and his 16 year old son, without due process, without charges, without justice. This documentary is a dark but painfully pragmatic picture of a war the USA have been carrying out beyond Afghanistan and Irak, using torture, spying on journalists and jailing them, calling them liars when they reported the truth, murdering civilians, women, children, babies and calling them "militant" until proven innocent. It's a must-see documentary film worth 5 stars.

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