John McCain vs. Why We Fight

Eugene Jareki’s much-anticipated film, Why We Fight, is currently in limited release across the country. And it’s already causing a stir among major politicos, including Sen. John McCain. According to Roll Call, McCain’s chief of staff, Mark Salter, is up in arms, accusing Jareki of manipulating clips in which McCain is portrayed as critical of both Dick Cheney and Halliburton. McCain is scheduled to appear on David Letterman tomorrow, during which the clip in question will be shown.

The film, inspired by Eisenhower’s famed 1961 farewell address referring to America as an “industrial war machine,” tries to examine how the military-industrial complex both profits from war, and perpetuates it. With stratospheric defense budgets and international violence dominating the current political landscape, one can identify with Eisenhower’s concern that this “machine” could potentially threaten democracy on a worldwide level. In making the film, Jareki is trying to address why our nation “has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war.” The film includes military and political insiders such as Gore Vidal, Air Force secretary James Roche, Richard Perle, Jon Eisenhower and Charles Lewis, among others, who explore what road all this violence will lead us down. Hopefully, McCain’s spot on the late show will lead a broader audience to the theater.