Movie Review: Dirty Wars


Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America’s expanding covert wars. Dirty Wars is a jaw-dropping documentary that is going to literally scare the shit out of you. If only a small percentage of the atrocities committed by American soldiers shown in this movie are true, if a single one only is true, then I am personally outraged.

Scahill shows the alleged activities of JSOC, which stands for Joint Special Operations Command. JSOC is an elite unit of the U.S. military, lead by three-star Admiral McRaven. It is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, develop Joint Special Operations Tactics and execute special operations missions worldwide. It was started in 1980.

According to Scahill in Dirty Wars, this unit has morphed into a special branch of our military, reporting directly to the White House, and is used to execute raids of high value targets in the “war on terror.” Starting in Afghanistan, units burst into people’s houses in the middle of the night, sometimes kill, apparently by mistake, innocent children, pregnant women, men who are trained by the U.S. and perform functions in legitimate local government. Then they eradicate the evidence and just leave. There is no accountability. There is no recourse for the victims. Such raids went on, and are probably going on now, in Afghanistan to the tune of dozens every night. Meanwhile, according to Scahill, this war on terror, has spread to dozens of other countries on all continents.

Watching this movie brought me to the conclusion that our war on terror is unwinnable. We started out with a hitlist of 57 (remember Bush’s deck of cards, with bin Laden at the top?). The list grew into hundreds, and now lists thousands of people, including American citizens, who are on our “kill list.”  It appears that the president gives the order, and military teams around the world assassinate individuals, with guns, bombs and drones.

Do we really think by doing that we reduce the list of targets? Of course not. For every “terrorist” killed, there are several younger brothers that are then ready recruits for vengeance. This will never end.

What is a terrorist?

A terrorist is somebody that comes into another person’s home at night, kills complete strangers, dazed and disoriented people, men, women, and children, and then leaves without a trace and without accountability.

According to Dirty Wars, that’s exactly what we are doing, not just in Afghanistan, but in 75 countries around the world.

If this documentary is even partially true, it’s we who are the terrorists. If this is even partially true, I am disgusted with our policy, our actions and our administration for letting it happen, in our name, and in the name of freedom.

Go see for yourself, watch Dirty Wars, and draw your own conclusions.

Rating: ****

One thought on “Movie Review: Dirty Wars

  1. Indianapolis just spent umpteen dollars to purchase a van for the police which gives them the capability to monitor all cell phone exchanges in a mile or so radius, purely in the interests of keeping tabs on terrorists, of course.

    Because, after all, we all know Indiana is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

    Meanwhile … when someone smashed the window of my van and stole my tools and my wallet, even when I told them that I was on the phone with one of my cards representatives, and we could track their progress through the charges, I was told they had no one available to respond.

    (It was Zombie night in Broadripple, and there were 30 plus cars there and WAY too many pretty girls for them to be bothered.)

    My Dad used to declare, every once in a while, that “Today is Zorkle’s day”. This meant that everything you said or did was to be taken for the exact opposite.

    It was fun back then. Not so much fun now, when the entire country’s ruling elite seem to have declared EVERY day to be Zorkle’s day!

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