Starz DocNight: Meeting Resistance (Molly Bingham, Steve Connors)
In April of 2003, journalists Steven Connors and Molly Bingham began to chronicle the people behind the attacks on U.S. government forces in Iraq. Despite what came across the media lines, the people of Iraq did not embrace our presence in their country. Despite what Saddam had done to his own people, the biggest enemy in their minds was the U.S. And with every day that’s spent there, the determination to defend their country grows.
Interviewing several from the resistance, the filmmakers take the viewer deeper than we could have ever gone otherwise to truly understand the plight of the Iraqi citizen and their dedication to religion and duty. It also sparks questions in the viewers mind, in a ‘shoe on the other foot’ manner, about how we would react if another country invaded us and took over our country and our lives, capturing and torturing our family members and bombing our neighborhoods.
A professor at Baghdad University also took on the task of researching and studying his own people to understand the motivations behind the loyalty to push against outside forces.
The film spotlights the reality of what Iraqi citizens from all walks of life really feel about our forces being there. A man working out of a shop, another man on the street selling newspapers, a woman styling another’s hair in a salon, a butcher, all of them resist the occupation and want us to leave.
A woman lies dead in the street with a man by her side. It could be her brother, her husband, a cousin. From that frame to the next is another man making a homemade bomb. The dedication goes as far as common citizens putting aside money for the resistance, as much as 20% or whatever they can afford. And the rest, of course, comes from outside sources.
The resistance also gets assistance from Iraqi police who provide them weapons, which may well have been paid for with U.S. tax dollars.
The citizens of Iraq and their brothers, those who have come in from surrounding countries, target first and foremost the Americans and next, any of those who are collaborating with the U.S. occupation. They recognize that some of their own are killed in the process, but they seem to see all of their citizens as martyrs. The goal is to defend their own country at all costs.
What is really startling it to contemplate that secretariansm, the civil war between the Shi’a and the Sunni, may just be crafted by our own intelligence, which could be just one strategy to justify our continued presence.
After an attempt to assassinate Paul Wolfowitz, he appears later to give the mission speech, that the U.S. is in Iraq to “help Iraqi people free themselves.”
From what is seen in this film, they don’t see it that way. It doesn’t seem that by any means are they looking for our help.
If ever there was a film to further nail a coffin in any argument for staying in Iraq, in the no-win situation we’re in that is draining our country in more ways than one, this is it. The sleeping giant has been awakened, and the fire in its heart will never be extinguished as long as we’re there.