A review of “No End in Sight” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: *** 1/2

Rating: Not rated but could be PG-13 for mature themes and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

 

 

Not a single one of the incessant stream of Iraq war documentaries enrages like “No End in Sight”, a blistering, on-point expose of the movers and shakers who paved our way into a senseless conflict.

Charles Ferguson – technology millionaire turned filmmaker – doesn’t waste time dwelling on the humanity or violence of the current situation but focuses on the unfathomable decision-making that determined a path to political chaos.

Talking heads inspire outrage by merely recounting the facts. And the facts are these: a series of Middle East experts executed the Bush administration’s rebuilding policies to (ostensibly) the best of their abilities, only to watch the entire operation go up in virtual flames.

Naturally Ferguson chooses his message and crafts his narrative accordingly. Army Major General Paul Eaton and retired Lt. General and head of ORHA (Organization of Recovery and Human Assistance) Jay Garner chronicle in devastating detail the chain of command that toppled Iraq with domino-like precision and launched us all into a world of political hurt.

Donald Rumsfeld – resplendent in newsy sound-bites – looks every bit the fool as does the film’s titular goat: presidential envoy / insurgent-meister Paul Bremer who took over the job of restructuring and stabilizing an unsteady nation and proceeded to dismantle the Iraqi military with calculated care, forcing the entire country into incendiary turmoil.

Most disheartening is that diplomatic and military experts are shown to be summarily replaced by clueless political pundits whose arrogance in the face of dread and uncertainty is nauseating at best and horrific at worst.

Campbell Scott’s steely narration serves to intensify the doc’s harrowing content. Sobering and stunning, and essential viewing for all.