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Frontline: Bush's War
Frontline Bush's War
Actor: .
Director: Michael Kirk
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2008     4hr 30min

9/11 and Al Qaeda, Afghanistan and Iraq, WMD and the Insurgency, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Fallujah and the Surge. For six years, FRONTLINE has been revealing those stories in meticulous detail, and the political dramas play...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: .
Director: Michael Kirk
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Politics
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 05/27/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 4hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

How Decisions Are Made
D. Anthony | Pennsylvania, USA | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Without regard to your view of the Iraq War in particular and the War on Terror in general, this documentary will provide a fascinating look at the inner workings of President Bush's White House and its relationships with the Pentagon, Justice Department and CIA. More than half of the interviews and recorded speeches/meetings involve the subjects themselves. This is not your typical documentary full of opinions by third parties juxtaposed with quick soundbytes, but rather an explanation, in their own words, of how the principals of our government moved from 9/11 to the War in Iraq. My only regret is that PBS did or could not get interviews with George Tenet and Donald Rumsfeld, as most of their actions are told through others. Adding their perspective would have been interesting. This DVD represents excellent reporting which, although a criticism of the Bush Administration, sticks to the facts and provides the viewer with a valuable insight into the give-and-take of Washington."
Historically Significant Documentary
Obi | SLC, UT | 07/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bush's War, parts 1 and 2 deal with the Bush Administration's reaction to the events of 9/11/2001. The documentary interviews so many of the important principles, it provides very valuable insights into what our nation did, what miscues we made and who the were likely the responsible parties. I highly recommend this documentary, but I also recommend reading the extended interviews which you can do at

Admittedly, there were some principles who weren't interviewed, namely Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Douglas Feith, and of course, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby. However the list of people who did give interviews is impressive, with much cross-collaboration on important details regarding the Bush Administration's war on terror.

Certainly, coming out of this documentary, some individuals looked much better than others. Those who come accross as protagonists include guys like Rich Armitage, Gen. Jack Keane, Col. H.R. McMaster, Fiasco author Thomas Ricks, and David Kay. Frontline often contributes to the demonization of the antagonists in this drama by playing evil or disturbing background music when individuals such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or others are discussed. But individuals such as J.Paul Bremer, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, Gen. Casey, and many others are portrayed as individuals who were key players who made serious mistakes.

The first part of the documentary deals with the government's response from the perspective of going after Al Qaeda, Afganistan, and the rule of law as the administration "took the gloves off" and used the "war on terror" as a justification for human rights violations. It also deals with the leadup to the Iraq war and the "fixing of the evidence around the policy" and the CIA's caving into the Cheney/Wolfowitz goal of invading Iraq.

The second part deals with the execution of the Iraq War from a military perspective and from the later attempts to justify the war given the lack of "weapons of mass destruction." Military strategy is discussed relative to the growing insurgency. Gen. Jack Keane's interview was perhaps the most insightful as he indicates that they never anticipated an insurgency and never had a strategy to deal with it. Even after it was evident that the insurgency was going on, the state of denial in the Bush administration was stunning to say the least.

The "light footprint" strategy of Don Rumsfeld is discussed at length, as is the efforts of some in the Bush administration such as Condi Rice to rethink the strategy for Iraq and try to deal with the insurgency.

One aspect of the documentary that is stunning is the degree to which the Bush administration was so deeply divided and ineffective in employing consistent and thoughtful strategies to deal with the crisis our nation faced. What the documentary says in so many words, but never ties together, is that it is the failure of leadership by George W. Bush that led to the fiasco. Bush brought together alot of strong individuals into his administrion. But by doing so, it meant that if he didn't provide strong leadership himself, internal dissension was inevitable. By not insisting that his team work together effectively, by not asking the hard but important questions that an effective chief executive officer must ask, Bush failed as a leader. And though Bush will hand off this war to some other President, the documentary makes it clear, that this fiasco, was "Bush's War.""
Clean and complete, well researched and executed
Edward Castano | San Francisco, CA | 09/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Whether you're Democrat or Republican, pro or anti-Bush, this documentary will help you see the war in an objective light.

Since the 2001 attacks of September 11th, we were constantly feds news bites, clips and news articles for or against going to war with Iraq. Since going to war we have been constantly told why or why not the war was succeeding or failing, both by the media and by politicians. Simply put, the last 7 years have been a media whirlwind and information overload for Americans.

Whether or not you agree with the war, this documentary will give you a complete picture of how it is that our nation's leaders ultimately made their decision. You'll have a clearer understanding of the actual basis for going to war, beyond the talking points we've heard repeated over and over again.

You'll also get an extremely detailed and honest view of the personalities within the Whitehouse Administration and how their arrogance and failure to get along and listen to each other ultimately led us down the wrong path.

My wife and I mistakenly started watching this on NetFlix and we were immediately mesmeorized by the its detail and deep political insight. This program was entertaining, informative and enlightening beyond our wildest expectations."
Bush's War
Roy M. Hall | Newark, DE | 08/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A powerful and exposing story! This 4 hour documentary on the Irag War explains and illustrates how the Bush administration plotted & planned the strategy of convincing the public that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States and how Colin Powell was purposefully kept out of the loop as the war unfolded. It details Cheney's influence on Bush in keeping Rumsfeld on staff and how Rumsfeld bullied his staff members. Highly recommended."