Our ‘Dirty Wars’


The War on Terror is easily forgotten by the public, the press and our elected leaders, which is shameful, because as “Common Sense” podcast host Dan Carlin has pointed out time and again, it is the defining issue and event of our time.  Journalist Jeremy Scahill’s documentary “Dirty Wars” sheds light on a small sliver of the global War on Terror and what he reveals is sad, horrifying and chilling. Although the goals are noble, and American military actions have no doubt saved lives, the War on Terror nonetheless is a war that is sometimes waged in mortal error and always in the shadows. It has inflamed an enemy it was supposed to suppress.

The most damning part of the film covers the drone deaths of Americans Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old America son Abdulrahman. It is a story and cover-up that would probably enrage more Americans 1.) If they knew about it 2.) If the dead’s last name was Smith 3.) If Dick Cheney was involved. These are American citizens who were assassinated without a trial and one of them was a non-combatant teen. That thought should chill every American. Scahill treats this tripwire event with the grave concern it deserves in this sober, understated and enlightening Oscar-nominated documentary.

“Dirty Wars” is currently available on Netflix.

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles

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