Monday, March 2, 2009

Five Remarkable Interviews in "The Warning"

The producers of a unique documentary sent me a DVD copy of their independent documentary, "The Warning." They hoped they would get a good review, and they needn't have worried.

"The Warning," written, produced, and directed by Joseph P. Sottile, consists entirely of interviews with five well-known liberal authors (see below). Rather than questions and answers, the interviewees are allowed to speak for themselves. Occasionally, they even read appropriate selections from their works.

But rather than a boring word fest, the seriousness of the work gives it a riveting feel. The subject is nothing less than the descent of the United States into a ruthless totalitarian state, which relies on state torture, an imperial executive, widespread surveillance, the conscious use of fear-laden propaganda, a docile press, and the influence of a radical Christian core of believers to spread the program in institutions throughout civil society.

If we are not yet a fascist state -- and the film steps back from going that far -- we are clearly moving towards that. I would add that the election of Barack Obama may have slowed that descent, but to date, all the factors behind it remain in place, particularly what Kennedy in the film calls "the merger of state and corporate power."

The following text comes from the film's website (emphases in original):

Terrorism. Cronyism. Surveillance. The suspension of basic Constitutional protections. The Patriot Act. Pre-emptive War. Bad intelligence. Torture. Corporate power. Mercenaries. Occupation. The Unitary Executive. Neo-Cons. A never-ending war against "terror."

Something very strange has happened in America. Since 2001, America has taken a radical turn.

Five authors stood up and spoke truth to power, exposing shocking trends towards a police state, an accelerated corporate integration with the state and the blatant subversion of the U. S. Constitution.

Five mavericks asked questions the mainstream media refused to ask, and looked into the dark corners of a closing democracy, a changing economy and growing empire.

* Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy
* Naomi Wolf: The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
* Chris Hedges: American Fascists; the Christian Right and the War on America
* Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
* Joe Conason: It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush

They expose the forces at work in the transformation of our democracy into a Unitary Executive that uses fear, emergency powers and the supremacy of military command to gather power into the office of the Presidency. The Warning traces the radical steps America had taken toward a new, wholly unconstitutional form of American government.

* The rise of super-patriotism
* Disdain for the importance of human rights and the rule of law
* Use of torture and secret prisons
* Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
* Suppression of dissent
* A controlled mass media
* Obsession with national security
* Religion and ruling elite tied together
* Power of corporations protected
* Rampant cronyism and corruption
* Fraudulent elections

These steps lead to a potential tipping point, from democracy to something different. Something ominous.
T2PTV has created an affiliate program for the film for interested webmasters. I have chosen not to participate, in part because I want to keep my website ad free, but also because I'd rather all monies for this film go to its intrepid makers and marketers. The film is one I can recommend honestly, and because its message is important.

Also posted at Invictus