I HAVE long thought Michael Moore a liar,
and should not have been shocked when I saw his "documentary"
Fahrenheit 9/11. Even so, I was horrified. This film –
breaking box-office records in the United States – is so deceitful
it makes the infamous Triumph of the Will documentary by
Hitler's propagandist, Leni Riefenstahl, seem balanced.
what shocked me even more than Moore's hymn of hatred of the US and
its president was the reaction to it of the small audience at the
preview I saw.
Many clapped when the dis-credits finally rolled. True, this
wasn't the bellowing, stamping, weeping ovation that a poisonously
anti-American crowd at the Cannes Film Festival gave Moore before a
jury of Leftists and nihilists handed him the Palme d'Or.
Still, it was enough to worry anyone who prizes truth and
civilisation, and I looked at the people around me, and wondered:
are they so cretinous or so easily misled that they do not know that
Or are they, like many of the Left, so immoral or frivolous as to
not care that he lies, as long as his lies are sweet?
Before I tackle just some of the dozens of deceptions,
distortions, evasions and half-truths Moore peddles in his film,
let's look at the Big Lie he builds with them.
If there's an argument in Fahrenheit 9/11, it is this:
George W. Bush stole an election to become US President, and invaded
Afghanistan and Iraq to please the Saudis who bribed him, the oil
companies who hired him and the armaments companies who squired him.
Bush isn't fighting a war on terror – look at how pally he is
with the family of al-Qaida boss Osama bin Laden.
His war is really against Americans.
This is Moore's Big Lie, and few of his fans mind that it's as
incoherent as it is mad. For a start, the Saudis bitterly opposed
the war on Iraq, not least because they didn't want Iraq's oil to
So if Bush has been bought off by the Saudis, he's chosen a crazy
way to please them. In fact, he undermined the Saudi regime by
bringing freedom to Iraq and Afghanistan, and inspiring Saudis to
ask why they can't have some, too.
Let's now look at the "facts" behind Moore's Big Lie.
Fahrenheit 9/11 opens with scenes from the US presidential
race in 2000.
We see Democrat candidate Al Gore boogying under a big "Florida
Victory" sign, as TV anchors declare he's won the vote in Florida
and, therefore, the election.
But, Moore says, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News channel, which hires a
Bush cousin, suddenly breaks in to announce there's been a mistake
and Bush has won instead. Conspiracy!
But how could Bush steal the election in Florida?
Simple, says Moore. "Make sure the chairman of your campaign
(Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris) is also the vote-count
woman." And knock voters off the rolls "who aren't likely to vote
for you – you can usually tell them by the colour of their skin".
Lastly, get your pals on the Supreme Court to ban another recount
of votes, because, as an "expert" tells Moore in the film, "under
every (recount) scenario Gore won the election".
Already we're up to our knees in Moore manure.
The shots of Gore partying were taken before the polls opened.
It was not Fox, but the left-wing CNN which was the first network
to say Gore hadn't won, after all.
Harris was not in charge of counting votes. Convicted felons, not
specifically blacks, were cut from the rolls under a Florida law
that was nevertheless widely ignored.
And a six-month study of the Florida votes by mainly left-wing
media organisations, including the New York Times and
Washington Post, found Gore would still have lost even if
disputed votes had been counted just the way he wanted.
From the start of this lying film there is barely one "fact" that
can be trusted.
Then comes September 11. Moore shows none of the bodies – not
even the hijacked planes hitting the World Trade Centre.
Such unusual restraint – especially from a propagandist who later
gives us pornographic close-ups of Iraqi children blown up by
American bombs or shot in cross-fire.
But where in the film does Moore show any real interest in the
terrorists who have declared war on the West?
Where does this grotesquely irresponsible man even hint how he
would deal with fanatics who have pledged to destroy our cities with
any weapon they can find – nuclear, if possible?
Instead, Moore dodges these grim truths that real leaders must
confront, and whisks us into yet another conspiracy – that Bush was
bought off by Saudi money, and so didn't go hard after the real
villains, the Saudis.
First, the "White House" is accused of letting 142 Saudis,
including 24 members of the huge bin Laden family, fly out of the US
just after September 11 without even being grilled.
What Moore doesn't say is that these Saudis were allowed to leave
by the Bill Clinton-appointed counter-terrorism boss at the time,
Richard Clarke, whom Moore uses elsewhere in the film to dish dirt
Also not mentioned is that 30 of the Saudis were closely
interviewed by the FBI before being allowed to leave.
But why spoil the Big Lie?
Moore then says an old friend of Bush, James Bath, managed money
for members of the huge bin Laden family (which is estranged from
Osama) and Bath "in turn invested in George W. Bush" and his oil
Again, not mentioned is that Bath insists his $50,000 investment
was all his own money, not the bin Ladens'.
Moore also implies Bush was guilty of insider trading, selling
more than $A1 million of shares in Harken Energy, of which he
was a director, just two months before it posted a big loss. Moore
typically fails to say that this loss was caused largely by factors
not known when Bush sold, and the shares' value still doubled within
He next claims the Saudis invested almost $A2 billion in the
Bush family, their friends and associates through the Carlyle Group,
a private investment firm that has Bush's father as an adviser of
its Asian arm.
Is it rude to suggest that when the Bush family wakes up in the
morning they might be thinking about what's best for the Saudis
instead of what's best for you?" he leers.
In fact, about 90 percent of that Saudi money was invested
in Carlyle before Bush Sr joined it.
Carlyle's boss, and many other advisers, aren't Bush Republican
cronies, but former officials of Democratic presidents. What's more,
George W. Bush has done few favours for Carlyle.
In fact, a Carlyle company was one of the few to have a big
defence contract scrapped by Bush – the $A15 billion Crusader
self-propelled gun project.
But I'll say it again: What do facts matter to the conspiracists
of the Left?
Take Moore's claim that the liberation of Afghanistan from the
Taliban dictatorship and its al-Qaida allies was "really" to help
America's Unocal company get a gas pipeline built across that
Look, Moore says – Taliban envoys visited Texas when Bush was
governor, the new Afghan president Hamid Karzai worked for Unocal,
and a gas pipeline is now indeed being built.
Here we go again: Bush didn't meet the Taliban team, Karzai never
worked for Unocal, Unocal scrapped its project three years before
the war, and the pipeline Moore shows now being built is a different
project with different partners in a different bit of Afghanistan.
So many deceits. So many wickedly doctored quotes. So many
No, Bush didn't cut anti-terrorist funding to the FBI. No, his
Attorney-General was never told terrorists were training as pilots
in the US. No, Bush didn't fail to read a report warning of al-Qaida
No, the Saudis do not own anywhere near "7 percent of
No, that was not a dead Iraqi being mocked by US soldiers, but a
More deceits: no, the US soldiers who died in Iraq were not
No, the coalition of the willing which freed Iraq didn't just
include tiny countries with no army, but Britain, Australia and
Italy, none of which Moore mentions.
And on and on.
But perhaps Moore's foulest distortion is to portray Saddam's
Iraq as a happy, harmless country.
Iraq before the war is all laughing children. Boys fly kites and
ride bikes, giggling girls cuddle smiling mothers. Nice men sip tea.
Moore shows not a single sign of Saddam's mass graves, his gassed
Kurds, his torture centres, his official rape rooms, his critics
with their tongues cut out – nothing to suggest, as Amnesty
International said in 2002, that Iraq was a place of "all-pervasive
repression . . . and widespread terror".
Instead, Moore suggests, that terror came only with the US bombs
and bullets – in an onslaught so savage that every US soldier he
shows seems shocked or warped by the devastation.
From his film, you'd think not one soldier backs this war, never
mind one Iraqi.
But how carefully Moore must step to avoid knocking over his
We're shown, for instance, US National Guardsman Peter Damon,
who's had his hands blown off, but we're not told he's furious to
find he appears in this foul film.
Likewise, Moore shows us the burial of US Air Force Major Gregory
Stone, without adding that Stone's grieving relatives say he
remained a "totally conservative Republican", and by exploiting his
death Moore is a "maggot that eats off the dead".
Moore ends his film by quoting George Orwell: "The war is waged
by the ruling group against its own subjects . . . to keep
the very structure of society intact."
Bush's America is the true terrorist, Moore argues, at war with
its own people. But to believe that, you must believe every foul
smear, every childish deception, in his deeply deceitful movie.
Sadly, though, many smart people do want to believe it. Facts
mean nothing – they just want to hate the country that has fought
hardest against tyrants and terrorists, from communists to
Islamists. They will not even wonder what it means that the
Hizbollah terrorist group has offered to help distribute this film
they so love.
So heaven help America. Heaven help its allies, too, and all who
• Fahrenheit 9/11 will open in Australia on Thursday