One of the most memorable conflicts of the XX century, the Iraq War is also the issue of numerous controversies, especially when it comes to discussing the reasons for the United States to start an armed conflict against the Iraqi leaders. Despite the fact that the issue has been worn out completely in numerous discussions, and its new reconsideration will add nothing to what has already been learned, the movie directed by Wood may shed more light on the issue.
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Because of the focus on the violence and despicability of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the movie fails to mention the effects that the U.S. troops’ invasion has had on Iraq, as well as comment on the problems that the U.S. approach towards addressing the issue of Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian regime had.
Speaking of the weakest points of the movie, one must mention that there is a certain tendency in it to avoid addressing George W. Bush’s policy. What a range of other sources consider the key to understanding the nature of the confrontation has been omitted by Wood. Thus, the movie fails to tie in the Iraq War and the notorious al-Qaeda attacks: “The post-9/11 terrorist attack on American forces in Iraq has also revealed that al-Qa’ida is really a multinational network” (Abootalebi, 2007, p. 416).
Although it is widely considered that George W. Bush’s decision to establish democracy in Iraq was doomed to failure from the start due to culture related issue, it is using invasion as a tool for introducing democracy that worked against the American government, as Yetiv (2007) explains. While there have been a number of Iraq residents, who tried to fight Saddam Hussein’s regime as well (Wood, 2003, 00:02:11), the goals of these people and the American troops were far too different for any of them to succeed.
While both the movie and the articles provide different ways of looking at the notorious conflict between Iraq and the USA, they strangely mention the same factor that could have been the reason for the Iraq War to become not only one of the most devastating conflicts of the XX century, but also one of the most exhausting events period. Considered a strategic mistake by a number of political scientists and economists, the war in Iraq was too complicated a process to view it only as a process of changing the Iraqi political regime.
The movie has a number of valid points, though. The key problem that the Iraqi economy and politics were facing at the time is outlined rather clearly. Much to Wood’s credit, he mentions a range of details that help understand the problem of the Iraq War better. For instance, Iraq’s priorities, e.g., the Iraqi’s weapon regeneration capability in the state of a complete economic chaos” “we’re not talking about food […], we are talking about industrial machinery” (Wood, 2003, 00:50:58).
The information provided in Saddam’s Killing Fields can hardly be called the ultimate truth, since the movie does feature a rather one-sided way of looking at the problem. However, its moments of clarity shine through, and it does help understand the struggle within Iraq, which literally tore its society apart.
As the movie shows, the residents of Iraq were not thrilled with the effects of Saddam Hussein’s political choices, either. Wood does not shy away from showing the devastation that the war has brought onto the Iraqi people, most of whom were farmers (Wood, 2003, 00:40:31). A new way to look at the notorious events in Iraq, Wood’s movie is clearly worth watching.
Abootalebi, A. R. (2007). What went wrong in Iraq? In David W. Lesch (ed.), The Middle East and the United States. A historical and political reassessment (pp. 412–433). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Wood, M. (2003). Saddam’s killing fields. YouTube. 2012, Oct. 31.
Yetiv, S. A. (2007). The Iraq War of 2003: Why did the United States decide to invade? In David W. Lesch (ed.), The Middle East and the United States. A historical and political reassessment (pp. 394–411). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.