No End In Sight


MOVIE REVIEW by Willard Manus

NO END IN SIGHT, Charles Ferguson's full-length, prize-winning documentary about the war in Iraq, pinpoints exactly how and why the war failed to bring democracy, freedom and stability to that beleagured nation. Ferguson, a political scientist and businessman (he co-founded Vermeer Technologies, the developers of FrontPage), not only financed NO END himself but wrote, directed, produced and narrated the film, his first. It's a most impressive achievement.

Based on over 200 hours of footage, NO END combines battlefield coverage and talking-head interviews with such major players as Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad in 2003); Ret. General Jay Garner; former Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage; Faisal Al-Istrabadi, Iraq's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations. Other important and insightful commentators include the journalists Chris Allbritton, James Fallows and George Packer; numerous intelligence analysts; several U.S. combat vets; and various Mideast academics.

The consensus reached by these experts is a damning and depressing one: we have failed in Iraq because the handful of politicians who pushed for war--Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld-- had no occupation plan. Not only that, they and their proxies (such as L. Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority), made one disastrous post-war error after another, including failing to declare martial law, and disbanding the Iraqi army and police forces. What followed was anarchy, looting, rioting, massive unemployment and resentment, all of which fed the brutal insurgency and sectarian violence gripping Iraq today.