The War on Democracy

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John Pilger's 2007 documentary explores the historic and current relationship of Washington with countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile. Pilger claims that the film "...tells a universal story... analyzing and revealing, through vivid testimony, the story of great power behind its venerable myths. It allows us to understand the true nature of the so-called "war on terror". According to Pilger, the film’s message is that the greed and power of empire is not invincible and that people power is always the "seed beneath the snow".

Pilger interviews several ex-CIA agents who purportedly took part in secret campaigns against democratic countries and who he claims are profiting from the war in Iraq. He investigates the School of the Americas in the U.S. state of Georgia, where General Pinochet’s torture squads were reportedly trained along with tyrants and death-squad leaders in Haiti, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina.

OUR COMMENTS
This is a film that should be shown in History classrooms throughout the states and the world. Pilger aptly displays the American government’s involvement in manipulating Latin America’s leadership over the past 60 years or so.

The focus on Venezuela for the first 40 minutes of the film is an interesting change from what we see in mainstream media. An unabashed socialist, Chavez has thrown out American control in Venezuela, and has gone a long way in convincing his neighbors to do the same. However, the beauty of this film is much more than its discussion of Venezuela. Pilger goes through the history of several countries other Latin American countries weaving them into the bigger picture, thoroughly explaining many of the important details. Its rare to find such a comprehensive history of US involvement in Latin America. Pilger tries establish how the system has evolved from physical control to financial control in today's era. Pilger has mastered obtaining great interviews. For example, in this film he the interviews the head former head of CIA involvement in Latin America as well as interviews an American nun who was tortured in Guatemala in 1989.

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