Public Enemy Number One!
Fahrenheit 9/11 has made Michael
Moore the most feared and hated man in America. Here's how he's scaring
the President, the US military and the FBI with nothing more than cameras,
film and attitude.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11' IS VERY DIFFERENT TO BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE',
THE ONE A LOT OF READERS WILL KNOW YOU FROM.THERE'S LESS OF YOU THIS
"In this case the material didn't need the help
as it was strong enough already. A little bit of
me probably goes a long way, and less is
YOU TALK A LOT ABOUT THE PRESENT 'CLIMATE OF FEAR' IN AMERICA. DO
YOU BELIEVE THAT WAS DELIBERATElY STEPPED UP POST-9/11?
"This idea of fear-mongering is the continuation
of an idea that I began in 'Bowling For
Columbine', where I talked about the culture of
fear and the manifestation of that on a personal
level, when people are manipulated by wrong
information, images on television that tell them to be afraid, and especially
to be afraid on the basis of racial fears. People will go out and buy
a gun on account of these false fears. So that film was about individual
fears. But in this film I wanted to deal with the mass fear and mass
hysteria that those in power often try to create, partly to distract
the population from the real issues that we need to be dealing with
and partly to see that their agenda is enacted. And there's no way the
Bush administration could have the Iraq war
unless they first tried to scare the American
people into believing that Saddam Hussein had
something to do with September 11."
BUT THEY DID-
"Absolutety. Polls show that upwards of 70 per
cent of the American people believe there was a
tie between AI-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. They're very good at what they
do. And I wanted to show Americans the other side and show them how
they're manipulated, with all this foar, all this
going on 'high alerts', 'orange alerts' and this and that, thinking
we could be killed and attacked at any time... This is what George Orwell
was saying in '1984' - the leader needed to have the people in a constant
state of fear. Because if you can convince them that the enemy is anywhere
everywhere and can attack at any time, the peo-
ple will willingly give up their freedoms in order
to be protected."
SO, IS THE TERRORIST THREAT EXAGGERATED?
"I'm not saying there's no terrorist threat and I'm not saying
there are no terrorists out there - there will be terrorist incidents
in the future - but we need to get a grip on ourselves. It is a dangerous
world. But it's always been a dangerous world and you have to do things
to take precautions to make it as safe as you possibly can. But the
terrorists who would want to deny us our freedom... we're doing the
job for them when we take our freedoms away from ourselves. What's the
point in that? That's the part of the film that gets the most laughter,
because, when you step back from it, it looks pretty ridiculous."
EVERYONE'S SURPRISED YOU DON'T SAY MORE ABOUT THE NON-EXISTANT WEAPONS
OF MASS DESTRUCTION!
Most Americans do know now that there weren't any weapons of mass destruction
and that the Bush administration fudged - and that's the kindest way
to put it - the facts in order to to create the justification for war.
I didn't feel that that needed a lot more attention."
SO IT DOESNT MATTER THAT THE MOTIVES WERE LIED ABOUT?
"I guess history will judge whether that was good or not. But the
thing about freeing a people is that it has come from the people first!
It has to be organic. You don't deliver democracy from the barrel of
a gun. It never works that way. When
you think about it, there are all these different ways you can have
freedom and liberation. You can do it by having a revolution like we
did and the French did. You can do it by boycotts and world-
wide shame - as in South Africa. You can do it through non-violence
- as Ghandi did - or you can do it like the Canadians did and just wait
'em out! There's numerous ways to accomplish freeing a people.
But this isn't one of those ways.
It didnt really work. There was no uprising, there were no masses of
Iraqi people begging the US and the world community to come in there
and free them from Saddam Hussein. It has to start with that first.
You can't force it. But we just did it ass-backwards, without a lot
of thought, very little planning, no thinking about what the end result
would be or how to get out of it. It is such a total mess."
WHAT WOULD TOU HAVE DONE IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT ON SEPTEMBER 11?
The better question is: what would I have done
Ion September 10, and August 10, and July 10, and April 10. We had a
President who was asleep
at the wheel. We had an Attorney General who,
as you heard in the film, told his acting director of the FBI, "I
don't wanna hear any more about the
'terrorist threat". That was the attitude of the
Bush administration. Now, if you wanna protect
your people and you have the role of
Commander-ln-Chief, then you should pay a little
bit more attention to what's going on. You should
have maybe, ooooh, one meeting with your head
of counter-terrorism, maybe two, in your first
eight months in office. After September 11, what I
would have done is track down the people
responsible for killing 3,000 people and bring
them to justice. And that is not what happened...
There were more police in Manhattan than there
were troops in Afghanistan looking for Bin Laden.
These are the questions that journalists need to
ask: why did you hold back the special forces for
two months before they entered the area where
Bin Laden was? Why was there not a serious
attempt to find him? These questions need to be
asked. I hope some people start to ask them after
seeing this film.
Visit Michael Moore here
This interview shamelessly stolen from Kerrang!