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Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror (Home Video Version)
For Personal Use Only

John Pilger dissects the truth and lies in the 'war on terror'.

A printer-friendly version of this page

52 minutes
Directed by Steve Connelly and John Pilger
Produced by Christopher Martin, Carlton Television
Executive Producer: Richard Clemmow
Written and Presented by John Pilger





"Astonishing...should be required viewing in every home, school and office." The Guardian (U.K.)
Award-winning journalist John Pilger investigates the discrepancies between American and British claims for the 'war on terror' and the facts on the ground as he finds them in Afghanistan and Washington, DC.

In 2001, as the bombs began to drop, George W. Bush promised Afghanistan "the generosity of America and its allies". Now, the familiar old warlords are regaining power, religious fundamentalism is renewing its grip and military skirmishes continue routinely. In "liberated" Afghanistan, America has its military base and pipeline access, while the people have the warlords who are, says one woman, "in many ways worse than the Taliban".

In Washington, Pilger conducts a series of remarkable interviews with William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, and leading Administration officials such as Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and John Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. These people, and the other architects of the Project for the New American Century, were dismissed as 'the crazies' by the first Bush Administration in the early 90s when they first presented their ideas for pre-emptive strikes and world domination.

Pilger also interviews presidential candidate General Wesley Clark, and former intelligence officers, all the while raising searching questions about the real motives for the 'war on terror'.

While President Bush refers to the US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq as two 'great victories', Pilger asks the question - victories over whom, and for what purpose? Pilger describes Afghanistan as a country "more devastated than anything I have seen since Pol Pot's Cambodia". He finds that Al-Qaida has not been defeated and that the Taliban is re-emerging. And of the "victory" in Iraq, he asks: "Is this Bush's Vietnam?"





Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2003     Copyright Date: 2003
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-040-5     VHS ISBN: 1-59458-025-1




Reviews
"Astonishing...should be required viewing in every home, school and office. With facts bristling from his fingertips, Pilger revised the Bush/Blair version of events leading up to the conquest of Iraq to reveal an agenda of unprovoked aggression, excused and obscured by ruthless manipulation of September 11."
The Guardian (UK)

"BREAKING THE SILENCE is a film with enormous emotional power, bringing us the human consequences of our military attacks on Middle East countries. It also provides us with important insights into the reasons for these cruelties, exposing the emptiness and hypocrisy of the claims made by the Bush administration that it is fighting 'terrorism' and promoting 'freedom'. I wish this film could be shown in every classroom in the United States, to guard young people against the lies they will hear from on high, and to prepare them to be active citizens in the struggle for a peaceful world."
Howard Zinn, Author, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, Terrorism and War

"In 52 minutes, John Pilger succeeds brilliantly where the U.S. mass media have failed miserably -- to examine the 'war on terror' with tough-minded humanism and uncompromising journalism. The result of Pilger's efforts is a powerful expose that demolishes the pretensions of George W. Bush and Tony Blair. In 2004, we need Pilger's documentary BREAKING THE SILENCE more than ever. From Afghanistan and Iraq to New York City and the insulated bastions of power in Washington, this film jolts us to consider the real human costs of flagrant lies still being told in high places. Whether you live in the United States, Britain or anywhere else on the planet, BREAKING THE SILENCE shatters some key myths that often prevent us from developing news media and political priorities to protect human life instead of destroying it."
Norman Solomon, Executive Director, Institute for Public Accuracy

"Provides a frighteningly lucid account of President George W. Bush's potentially never-ending war on terror."
The Sunday Times

"This Special Report by John Pilger is as welcome as it is contentious."
The Daily Mail

"Another inspirational hour from John Pilger, which feels like hitting an air pocket after drowning for years in the deluge of 'with us or against us' on-message, embedded reporting."
The Guardian

"Raises crucial questions about the real motives behind the violence...Pilger [makes] a very valid point about the terrible distance between the public statements of the American and British Governments and the actual actions they have taken."
Antiwar.com

"Recommended"
Educational Media Reviews Online

"A compelling documentary, almost haunting at times, which takes one of the biggest political bones...and chews it to pieces...[BREAKING THE SILENCE] is as disturbing as it is compelling and, undoubtedly, some of its claims will sound long and loud after this hour ends."
Sydney Morning Herald



HOME VIDEO: PURCHASE ONLY
DVD $29.95
VHS $29.95



DVD Features
Besides playing the program straight through, you can also play it by chapters. The chapter stops have been chosen to give teachers and others immediate access to key portions of the film. In addition an extensive 24-page Special Report is included in the DVD-ROM portion of the disc.

The Report provides vital background information with sections on · Afghanistan's 'New Era of Hope' · The Warlords Who Still Rule Afghanistan · America and Britain's Role in Creating Afghanistan's Terrorists · The Price of Empire · A Selection of Major US Interventions since 1945 · An Imperial Project · The Neoconservatives Waging Global War: Washington's Warlords? · Targeting Iraq · Sanctions and Occupation - A High Price Paid by Iraqis · What Can We do?"

Also included is an extensive list of websites, a bibliography, and a complete list of references for the statements made in the guide.

Links
John Pilger's web site
Study guide


Awards and Festivals
Vermont International Film Festival
Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
Freedom Cinema Festival

Related Titles

Palestine Is Still The Issue
John Pilger returns to the Middle East and questions why there has been no progress towards peace.

Paying the Price
John Pilger exposes the devastating effect that UN sanctions had on the children of Iraq during the 1990s.

Return to Kandahar
Post-war Afghanistan, as seen through the eyes of Nelofer Pazira, star of the movie "Kandahar," as she searches for her childhood friend.

The New Rulers of the World
Award-winning journalist, John Pilger, investigates the realities of globalization by taking a close look at Indonesia.

Inside Burma
John Pilger investigates the history and brutality of the military dictatorship in Burma.

... more Reviews


"Hard-hitting and thought provoking...spectacular archival and contemporary video footage...raises some unsettling questions that can generate effective discussions in current affairs curriculums."
School Library Journal

"Provides an important foundation to understanding how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began and why they have devolved into catastrophic endeavors... [BREAKING THE SILENCE] should be required viewing for those who are increasingly concerned about the lack of results in the war on terror. Highly Recommended."
Video Librarian


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