Why We Fight is a 2006 prize winning documentary film about the US military-industrial complex. The title refers to the World War 2 era eponymous propaganda movies commissioned by the U.S. Government to justify their decision to enter the war against the Axis Powers.
The film was first screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival on 17 January 2005, exactly forty-four years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address in which he warned the American people of the dangers from the “military-industrial complex”.
It won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary but only received a limited public cinema release (on 22 January 2006.) It was then was released on DVD on 27 June 2006 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The documentary also won one of the 2006 Grimme Awards in the competition “Information & Culture”. The prize is one of Germany’s most prestigious for TV productions.
Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military–industrial complex and its fifty-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date, especially its 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
The documentary asserts that in every decade since World War II, the American public has been misled so that the Government (incumbent Administration) could take them to war and fuel the military-industrial economy maintaining American political dominance in the world.
Interviewed about this matter, are politician John McCain, political scientist and former-CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson, politician Richard Perle, neoconservative commentator William Kristol, writer Gore Vidal, and public policy expert Joseph Cirincione.
Why We Fight documents the consequences of said foreign policy with the story of a Vietnam War veteran whose son was killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and who then asked the military to write the name of his dead son on any bomb to be dropped on Iraq.
It also follows the experiences of a twenty-three-year-old New Yorker who enlisted in the United States Army because he was poor and in debt, his decision impelled by his mother’s death.
The final personal story is from a female military explosives scientist (Anh Duong) who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee child from Vietnam in 1975.
Watch Why We Fight – Turn off the lights
Why We Fight,