There are more critiques of Fahrenheit 9/11 that I’m reading, and they are interesting. In “Why Does ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ Pursue Conspiracy Theory?” Yoshie Furuhashi writes:
In order to analyze the problem of decades of collaboration between Washington and Riyadh as well as other unsavory allies, fighting against the Communists, nationalists, and other official enemies of Washington during and after the Cold War, he [Michael Moore] would have to go beyond the crimes of the George W. Bush administration, but doing so would implicate Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (as well as all presidents of the United States, especially the ones who came into power after the US decidedly replaced Britain and France as the hegemonic imperial power) in the violent project of repression inside and outside Saudi Arabia.
This is a more detailed articulation of what I’ve been saying; the policies of the BuShites are not new in themselves; the only novelty is that they seem to be operating more openly and recklessly than in the past. There is no reason to believe that Kerry won’t continue this decades-long tradition of American imperialism.
In another article, “Manufacturing Dissent: Michael Moore’s Noose for the Left”, Shlomo Svesnik makes some very pertinent points, pointing out many cognitive dissonances in the film. Among them:
For starters, the film can’t make up its mind if it is taking an anti-war, pro-tolerance position or faulting the White House for being too lax in pursuing the War on Terrorism. That the film gets away with this equivocation seems indicative of prevalent sloppy thinking on the American left–which will come back to bite us on the ass in due time.
This article may be one of the angrier critiques of Fahrenheit 9/11 that I’ve seen. But there is a lot at stake; though ousting Bush is currently the largest preoccupation of The Left(tm), there are larger issues at stake. Painting the problem of the BuShites with such a large, oversimplistic brush can be very damaging to The Left. This article concludes:
Michael Moore, whatever his much-hyped working class origins, has become a part of the otherwise hated “media elite” no less than the networks and newspapers that manufacture consent for the endless war. If we let our cheering drown out any misgivings about the subtly dangerous (if garbled) ideas he is purveying, we are still being empty receptacles for propaganda–just propaganda that we like this time.
Beware Mooremania–this is manufactured, mass-produced dissent. And it is no substitute for the real thing.
I like this concept of “dissent lite.” It feels good, and it gives people a place to put their rage toward the BuShites. But the hollowness of Moore’s arguments in the film demonstrate that The Left is overripe for rejuvenation.
It comes down to the fact that the American Two-Party system has managed to consolidate power too narrowly. People still think in terms of political dualism, with each pole represented by “Democrat” and “Republican,” or more generically “Liberal” and “Conservative.”
It will be interesting to see what this overripeness on The Left will result; can another party gain enough strength to seriously challenge the Democrats? Or is the current state of the Democratic party the response of Empire? Right now, many on The Left are so worried about the BuShites that they are railing against others on the Left — Ralph Nader, for example.
The “anyone but Bush” meme, therefore, can be taken as a defense tactic by Empire to preserve its power. And it appears to be working quite effectively.