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Movie Review: The War Tapes

Posted in on September 30th, 2006 10:54 am by HL

Straight from the front lines of Iraq, comes a new documentary movie called “The War Tapes.” It is the true story of 3 soldiers from the New Hampshire National Guard, who were given cameras, and volunteered to go out and film what they saw and did while they were on a one year tour in Iraq. The soldiers from Charlie company 3rd Battalion of the 172nd Infantry Regiment, were sent to Camp Anaconda in the Sunni Triangle, are
Sgt. Stephen Pink, Sgt. Zack Bazzi, and Specialist Mike Moriarity.

The 3 men take their cameras with them wherever they go and shoot everything they see. Right near the beginning of the film they explain their main duty in Iraq which is to accompany KBR/Halliburton trucks which are carrying supplies, and food. While they are in their convoy the trucks are often attacked by insurgents with IED’s, (Improvised Exploding Devices) on almost every trip there is an explosion nearby, Caused by insurgent attacks, the soldiers then try to fight back. The main problem always seems to be that they do not know where the blast came from so they fire hundreds or thousands of rounds into the darkness in hopes of hitting the unseen attackers.

In a series of voiceovers of the men one of the real reasons for the war is explained: KBR (Kellogg, Brown, and Root)/Halliburton controls everything over here. They have their hand in every single thing that goes on, and they are making a huge profit on all of it. KBR/Halliburton is the company who’s former CEO is Dick Cheney, Cheney also still owns thousands of shares of stock in the company (433,333 to be exact) and is therefore a war profiteer.” They guard the trucks that carry food, soda, ammo, and fuel all of which Halliburton makes the army pay obscene amounts of money for. One of the soldiers explains that Halliburton charges the army $28 for every plate of food that is eaten in Iraq, the soldiers often grab 2 plates which means the Army has to pay Cheney $56 every time one of the 160,000 troops on the ground eats a meal. Halliburton, which of course got to make all these Millions through no bid contracts, also provides the Army with all other supplies that it goes through. Halliburton also supplies the Army with independent contractors that the Army pays them for. At first the trucks were being driven by actual soldiers that make $17,000 a year, but later the Army decided to start having the contractors who make $125,000 a year drive the trucks.

One of the strange things about these soldiers in the film is that they realize why they are really over there, they know its all about money and nothing else, but they still want to be there and are for the war, which they label “The War for Cheese.” They also know that the entire thing is a debacle that is not being reported about back home. One of the soldiers comments “I have lost all faith in the media, they are a F**king Joke”

In another scene they explain another reason they are there. Everyone has to be driving a Ford F-1000 pick up truck which gobbles up fuel. They are also very dangerous to anyone driving a normal size car, so that makes even more people buy huge SUV’s for safety because they are afraid of getting killed, and having their children crushed by a vehicle of behemoth proportions.
Another one comments that safety is the reason we are there because people are afraid of being attacked again. (Mike Moriarity comments that he signed up right after 9/11 saying that as soon as he saw what was going on he wanted to go over to Iraq, and see some action.)

The end of the movie shows the soldiers back home and what they are going through, none of them are the same as reported by the women in their lives. They don’t want to talk about what they went through. One who is now suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome says he will never go back, Bazzi, who was the closest to a liberal of the 3 (He reports that all but 5 of the unit members voted for Bush) and was a student at the University of New Hampshire sums up his disconnect between the Army brainwashing and reality with this quote.

“People say they are evil and hate our way of life and they don’t see that we are trying to liberate them. Well, if Canada invaded tomorrow and they said, you know, that we are going to liberate you from Bush, because we think that Bush is bad for you. There’s going to be some people who take to the mountains and do some serious Guerilla fighting. The insurgents got their principles and we got ours. You gotta respect that….
On a practical level when I’m on the road, its’ my guys versus them. The hell with the immorality of it, I want one thing and one thing only….Combat.”

Bazzi ends up re-enlisting.

The War Tapes is in theatres in some cities now, and will open soon in many others. Check the Website for more information.