No End In Sight

no end in sightCBC Newsworld aired Charles Ferguson's No End In Sight on Sunday night. No End In Sight was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards and it's about the American occupation of Iraq.

I finished it last night and it does an excellent job of taking everything you think you know and stitching it all together. The people interviewed are people with integrity, people without political bias who were part of the reconstruction effort. People like General Jay Garner, Richard Armitage, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson and Ambassador Barbara Bodine. It's overwhelming and compelling evidence that serious mistakes were made by the Bush administration in the two year period following the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The wiki page summarizes the gut wrenching role of L. Paul Bremer role in this text book example of arrogance and incompetence.

According to No End in Sight, there were three especially grave mistakes made by L. Paul Bremer, the head of the CPA:

  • A move toward "De-Ba'athification" in the early stages of the occupation. Saddam Hussein's ruling Ba'th Party counted as its members a huge majority of Iraq's governmental employees, including educational officials and some teachers. By order of the CPA, these skilled and ultimately apolitical individuals were banned from holding any positions in Iraq's new government.
  • Not providing enough troops to maintain order. The looting of Iraqi museums sent chilling signals to the average Iraqi, telling them that the American forces did not intend to maintain law and order. In addition, arms depots were available for pillaging by anyone who wanted weapons and explosives.
  • The disbanding of the Iraqi Army, which made 500,000 young men with weapons and training unemployed and bitter. Many of them decided that their best chance for a future was to join or, together with the rest of their unit, become a militia force.

The film cites these three mistakes, as well as many others, as the cause of the rapid deterioration of occupied Iraq into chaos.

It would be easy to Dubya-bash at this point. He was the man in charge, the commander-in-chief, and he has to be accountable. In this instance, it's clear he deferred the responsibility for post-war Iraq to others, and he showed no interest in taking part of the process or even questioning the decisions of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, L. Paul Bremer or Paul Wolfowitz. He let others make one bad decision after another, without adequate planning or even talking to those in the know. Bush was a puppet and history will view him as such.

I actually don't know of anyone, other than those who defend George W. Bush's every decision for pure shock value, who believes the occupation of Iraq is going well. If you're unsure, or if you believe Dubya when he pronounces "In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed" in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner, I highly recommend this excellent documentary. As you'll see, there's no end in sight.

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Comments (23 - click here to join in!)


Mike: There is an end in sight. Its when the insurgents/terrorists either stop perpetrating violence against Iraqi citizens or when all of them are killed. It will happen eventually. The surge has worked despite what you say and over the next year we will see troop reductions. I also believe there will always be a US military presence in Iraq just as the US has had military bases in Europe for over 60 years.

Yes the Bush admin have made mistakes – one of them was that they underestimated the lengths that these Islamic terrorists would go to disrupt peace.

March 18, 2008 @ 11:12 AM

Toronto Mike

Argie, I've read your several Bush defence comments on various blogs, including this one. I will pay for you to rent this documentary. As you'll see, it's got nothing to do with left vs. right or Democrat vs. Republican or pro-Bush v. anti-Bush. It's about series of terrible decisions from arrogant incompetent men Bush put in charge.

They blew it.

March 18, 2008 @ 11:28 AM


I hate refering to the increase in troops as a "surge" and how wonderful life is because according to the US government it is working. The "surge" should never have taken place. All the did was replace troop levels to what there were before and are still under what most experts said they would need.

Please tell me what the US is doing in Iraq and how helpful they are. Brave soldiers are dying for a cause that is not clear and not in the best interest of everyday Americans.

March 18, 2008 @ 12:08 PM

Jason |

You are wasting your breath on Argie. I'm glad Argie makes comments about these things because it shows that all the insane right wingers have are redundant meat-less arguments, no matter the issue.

March 18, 2008 @ 12:32 PM


There are plenty of documentaries like this one out there to rent. One of things that Americans are good at is slamming themselves. Too bad here in Canada we don’t seem to have that skill.

I’m sure you’re smart enough to realize that most documentaries have a stated goal before anything is filmed. The goal of these filmmakers was to portray the Bush admin and the Iraq was as failures. Admittedly there was plenty of evidence but what they ignore is the good that has been accomplished in Iraq and the rest of the middle east due to Bush’s war on terror. Saddam was deposed, the Kurds are pretty happy and safe in north Iraq, Iran now knows they are on tight leash and there hasn’t been a terror attack in the US since 9/11.

And finally Jason – why don’t you go back to that fairy tale blog of yours? Thanks for letting me know what lame songs you’re listening too. Please consider this advice: Nobody cares about you or your music.

March 18, 2008 @ 12:53 PM

Toronto Mike

Hey Argie, was that infamous comment on about the OJ site? I thought it was about me!

I would argue that Iran is better off than ever now that the US has eliminated their biggest enemy! And, with the lack of troops and need for increased personnel in Iraq, there are less US soldiers for a war against Iran.

And, in closing, there are lots of docs, but few really good ones without bias. This one was nominated for an Oscar and deservedly so.

March 18, 2008 @ 1:25 PM


Mike: To be fair and balanced I will rent it. The one thing I do fear is that America will elect a weak leader or a leader who is perceived to be weak by the terrorists.

Don’t forget during Clinton’s presidency US embassies were attacked on 3 occasions along with the USS Cole. One of things that Bush brings is that the bad people believe he’ll do anything to go to war if a country pisses him off. That’s not a bad thing.

FYI, you know I love your blog.

March 18, 2008 @ 1:43 PM

Jason |

Argie most of mt readers feel the same way about you grumpy old washed up right wing dinosaurs as you do about my music.

March 18, 2008 @ 2:15 PM


I really don't think using the not another attack since 9/11 in the US since 9/11 is a valid argument. There was only one before it and most of those responsible have been caught and tried in court. The main 9/11 culprit is still at large and as according to Bush "not worth his time". The main focus should be on terrorists and not insurgents in Iraq. The so-called "War on Terror" is not over. Stop focusing on Iraq which has been proven by the Pentagon not to be related to Al-Qaeda.

The occupation of Iraq was not only flawed but wrong and totally based on lies. There is not one shred of evidence that has help up since the war began.

Last thing, now McCain is asking people to stop asking about the past as it has no relevance on the future. Yet everyone bashes Obama for inexperience. If you can't question McCain's experience by using mast mistakes how can you judge his experience. You can forget only the bad things.

March 18, 2008 @ 2:23 PM

Toronto Mike

Lest we forget, Dubya and his cronies lied to go to war in the first place. There's a reason we're not there.

And while the Iraq quagmire continues to unravel, Osama bin Laden is doing a jig in a cave somewhere.

It's infuriating when I think about it. I think it's time I list a bunch of songs or something.

March 18, 2008 @ 2:35 PM


"Dubya and his cronies lied to go to war"

How original. Did your child stop singing the obama song long enough to help you type that?

Just stick to the Leafs, your political commentary is about as interesting as ass cancer.

March 18, 2008 @ 7:20 PM

Toronto Mike

Welcome back, Zoodles guy.

March 18, 2008 @ 7:33 PM

Mike (Buffalo Boy)

Argie, you are not a US citizen and I respect your outside Bush supporting point of view, but respect my point of view when I say that Bush and his administration have lied and continue lying about every conceivable thing that they can lie about. Over the last several weeks George Bush had no idea that gas prices were going higher and shortly after that stated that it appears the American economy has slowed....this was about two or three weeks ago he said this stuff.
Go back to the beginning and the rhetoric this administration pulled on us went from Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein being responsible for 9/11 which was horribly untrue.
The administration has doctored environmental documents to leave out convincing data on global warming. They are liars, and instead of questioning Bush and Cheney, we instead question Obama on his priest and Hiliary's papers. Watch the documentary and at least acknowledge that Bush has been a corrupt and lying president.

March 18, 2008 @ 9:09 PM


Yes Keith what Mike said was not original. Weird how unoriginal facts are.

March 19, 2008 @ 7:42 AM

Jason |

Next Mike will get us all free passes into the ROM to visit all the dinosaurs and learn more about their archaic views.

March 19, 2008 @ 9:00 AM


Mike: I write this with all due respect.

How come the only polical posts you write about are the condemning of Dubya and his administration? I respect your views on it while I obviously disagree but there are plenty of other travesties in the world to write about. How about China and their treatment of their citizens (not just the Tibetans), there are the many Islamic fundamentalists that are killing innocent people not just in the middle east but in Asia and occasionally in Europe, and of course there are the many wars and the starvation of so many people in Africa (Darfur). Are those not issues worth discussing? Just asking.

March 19, 2008 @ 11:19 AM

Toronto Mike

Argie, I'm admittedly more of a pop culture - local stuff blogger, and not a political blogger. I almost wrote an entry about Tibet this week... and I'm sure I've written about Darfur in the past. I just write about whatever.

In my sixth year of blogging, there's been only one President. It just so happens that he's the worst prez evah!!! I think I show a lot of restraint with regards to the Dubya. I mean, he's a really easy target.

March 19, 2008 @ 11:43 AM


Mike: You can attack Dubya all you want but how about the other issues I mentioned? Actually I forgot one that you DO attack – the Catholic Church. Two rather safe, predictable targets – so Toronto of you.

March 19, 2008 @ 1:01 PM

Jason |

Why doesn't he just get his own blog from his hick town HQ so we can not not read it.

Catholic Church? Do you like little boys or something?

March 20, 2008 @ 8:26 AM

Toronto Mike

Argie, much like the dentist who converted to Judaism for the jokes, I feel a natural born right to criticize the Catholic Church. My confirmation name is John and U of T college was St. Mike's if you're looking for credentials.

As for Dubya, his entire administration has been a complete disaster and I'm feeling sympathy pains for my American neighbours.

And yes, I believe I'll write about Tibet this weekend.

March 20, 2008 @ 8:36 PM

Kasandra Beachum

If Osama Bin Laden has scarcely been killed, then why did they have all those false Bin Laden videos created?The Federal bureau of investigation has said they photoshopped them.

May 3, 2011 @ 5:32 PM

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