Dirty Wars (2013) — Now on Netflix!

This is one of the most thoughtful, poignant, and insightful documentaries I’ve ever seen about the War on Terror. “We” started with a kill list of 7 when “we” invaded Afghanistan. Then “we” had a kill list of about 50 in Iraq, all represented on a deck of cards. Now: thousands. It will never end. The War on Terror creates the enemies it was supposed to eliminate, like a perpetual motion machine.

Jeremy Scahill investigates the covert operations of JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, the paramilitary branch of the executive office that operates outside the traditional military, in secret, and is not subject to oversight or, apparently, the law.

One quote that stands out to me from the film, which was nominated in 2013 for an Academy Award, is when Scahill is interviewing a local warlord that JSOC has “outsourced” their killings to in Somalia, or Mali — I don’t know, one of those countries where “we” haven’t declared war, yet “we” are killing people anyway, routinely. When asked how he knows what to do, the local warlord says:

“Americans know war. They are masters of war. They are teachers. They are great teachers.”

 

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