Imperialist Carnage

Sunday, April 22, 2007
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Brian Dickerson on war carnage.

The more immediate consequence of NBC’s joint broadcast venture with Cho was to distract TV viewers from PBS’ equally riveting, but vastly more illuminating dissection of the Bush administration’s war on what it calls radical Islam. “America at a Crossroads” was broadcast over six nights last week, and if anyone has offered a more comprehensive, evenhanded or devastating critique of U.S. foreign policy before and after the invasion of Iraq, it’s gone under my radar.

The PBS series, which will be rebroadcast later this year, has no use for bloviating ideologues or retired military analysts. It’s raw, minimally annotated video culled from months of filming on an ever-shifting series of battlefields — an epic, seemingly unending firestorm, viewed from the perspective of the Americans, Iraqis and various others whose lives are being consumed.

The more people see “America at a Crossroads,” the more impossible it will be for anyone to argue that the ongoing occupation of Iraq is generating anything but meaningless carnage and new variations on centuries-old ethnic enmities.

This is television that will change the course of history, if only we can stop gawking at the train wreck of Cho’s life long enough to watch.

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