MOVIE PLUG. I'll second what Matt said about Charles Ferguson's new documentary about the first year of the American occupation of Iraq, No End in Sight. I think the very structure of the film -- focusing on and portraying the initial missteps in the first phase of the occupation as avoidable but decisive turning points that doomed any future efforts -- along with the implication of various points emphasized throughout basically make the film an incompetence narrative of the war, which I resist. But it's nevertheless an amazingly effective, absorbing, and intelligent film, and the mendacity and incompetence that it documents are of course real enough, and endlessly nauseating.
Most importantly, I think, the film avoids the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink quality of many political documentaries (including many good ones) that have proliferated during the Bush years, where various critiques of the administration can get piled on in not-quite-coherent fashion. No End in Sight, by contrast, is a movie with a very coherent narrative to tell and charge to make; I think its story is incomplete, and, in a few respects, not quite right, but it's devastating nonetheless. See the movie if you can.
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