I apologize for getting so behind in all my correspondence and things I need to get done. I have two reviews to put up, one to a filmmaker and one to a writer, who have been generous enough to send me their work and deserve a response. BTW, both the film and the book are awesome - I can't wait to tell you in detail. Until I get back on track, please check these out:
First is the powerful film by producer/director Charles Ferguson, "No End In Sight: the American Occupation of Iraq", the Sundance award-winning documentary. According to the synopsis, it's:
The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq’s descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy. NO END IN SIGHT is a jaw-dropping, insider’s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials such as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad during the Spring of 2003), Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, and General Jay Garner (in charge of the occupation of Iraq through May 2003) as well as Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts.According to me, it's a motherf***er of a must-see. Official review to follow soon. But you don't have to wait for me - go to the No End In Sight website and check it out for yourself.
Next, I would like to tell you about an incredible book that was sent to me by Aidan Delgado, a Buddhist conscientious objector who tells his moving and powerful story in a book called The Sutras of Abu Ghraib. He enlisted in the Army Reserves - not after, but on September 11; while he was signing up, a television was showing the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. The son of a diplomat who spent time in Egypt growing up, his knowledge of Arabic made him a valuable asset to the Army, and he was deployed to Iraq. What he saw over there, especially after being sent to Abu Ghraib, brought him to the realization that what was happening in this war was counter to every moral and religious principle he possessed, and he applied for conscientious objector status.
I believe that all Americans, no matter what their stance on the war is, should read his story. He tells it in a way that makes you feel as if you are there in Iraq with him, and as Americans we need to know this - not the spin, not the hype, not the propaganda. Again, I'll elaborate later, but I urge you to read it. I could not let it out of my hands once I began reading it.
In fact, I'll make you an offer - if you want to read or buy Aidan's book, but can't afford it, let me know and I'll buy one for you. That's how much I think of it.
In the meantime, friends - don't give up on me; once my book is done I'll be back in full force.