"No End In Sight" Review

"No End In Sight" Review

The documentary, “No End in Sight”, by Charles Ferguson is a well produced movie on the events leading up to the American invasion of Iraq and some of the current issues today. “No End in Sight” features interviews from a wide variety of credible people involved in the events leading up to the war that helps to bolster the claim that America was not ready to engage in a long occupation. With the effective use of interviews and news clips, the film manages to present a strong case that there was poor planning involved in the invasion and that the nation was not properly stabilized after hostilities ended.

Ferguson presents a credible argument that the United States rushed to war with Iraq and did not properly plan for the reconstruction period. He featured fantastic interviews with former Deputy Secretary of State under President Bush, Richard Armitage; General Jay Gardner, who was first in charge of the post war reconstruction, and Ambassador Barbara Bodine, who was in charge of civilian reconstruction and was a former ambassador to Iraq. These individuals, more than any others, give the film much credibility because they were on the ground and in the policy making meetings that decided what was going to happen to Iraq. They revealed how the reconstruction team, ORHA, was given only 60 days to develop a plan to rebuild Iraq, when normally these plans take years to develop.

The most damning piece of evidence, in my opinion, was how the Iraqi army was ordered to be disbanded, creating hundreds of thousands of former soldiers who had no means of feeding their families. Since they did not have a job anymore, it is safe to assume that some of them began to work for the insurgency and aided in the deaths of our troops. If the U.S. government used these soldiers effectively, they could have secured and controlled more parts of the country, creating a safer environment for the coalition troops and civilians in Iraq. This fact, along with the fact that American troops allowed for much of Iraq to be looted is disgraceful. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was shown laughing about this and did not seem to think that the looting and lawlessness was a big deal.

In the end, Ferguson does not support the invasion of Iraq. The main reason is because of the complete and utter lack of preparation by our government. He reaches this conclusion by simply looking at the facts presented in the film and discussing what his interviewees knew about their respective areas of expertise. This was enough to convince him that the invasion of Iraq was not a bright and well thought idea and in the end America will pay the price.

Before I watched “No End in Sight”, I was a supporter of the invasion and argued for it whenever it came up for debate. After listening to the interviews of the film and various news reports, I have decided that the invasion was a poor idea in many respects that were not made public to the American people until somewhat recently. Most Americans do not know that there was little time given to develop a reconstruction plan, or that the Iraqi troops were ordered to disband and not secure their own country, or that looting was ordered to be allowed to continue because it was not a high enough priority to the government.

Overall, I thought the film was well done and presented the information in a clear and concise matter. “No End in Sight” was also a credible documentary because it gave testimonial from experts in their respective fields and people involved in policy discussions. Before watching this film, I was not aware of the problems that American forces had after the fall of Saddam Hussein. If the situation was handled properly, government buildings would have been guarded and the Iraqi army would have been used to do so. The fact that neither occurred shows just how bad the initial stages of the occupation was handled.

“No End in Sight” raises many new questions, at least in my mind. I would have enjoyed to have seen interviews by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Cheney, and President Bush so that they could have given their point of view of what actually happened. I would like to know why the Iraqi army was disbanded, why government facilities were not properly protected, and why a reconstruction plan was not completed months or years ahead of the invasion of Iraq. The answers to these questions are important and should have been answered by the bush administration several years ago. My most important unanswered question is who actually was running the War in Iraq; because I am not sure it was President Bush calling the shots.

Overall, this was an extremely well made documentary that every American should watch because it clarifies some important points and raises even more questions that have yet to be answered by our government. With the film being viewed by more people, maybe more answers will be known in coming years. My overall hope is that this movie will be seen by enough people so that any future military conflicts can avoid the problems that have plagued this one.

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