Meeting Resistance is that rarest of discourse in the contemporary world — the true voice of the victims of US imperialism — edited, of course, as any coherent documentary must be, but uncensored, undiluted, and untwisted by the propaganda hacks of the empire. Active insurgents in occupied Iraq get the opportunity to speak for themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation. Citizens of the empire who are trying to understand the war that is being waged against the people of Iraq in their name need to listen.
The identities of the insurgents interviewed in the film are obscured, but their courage and sense of honor shine through the veil. These are real people:
- The Teacher — a family man who has devoted his life to teaching until he had to take up arms against the occupiers of his homeland.
- The Wife — who has given her husband and sons to the resistance and makes her own contribution as a messenger and transporter of arms.
- The Traveler — too old to participate in operations but who is in great demand because of his valuable experience and skill as an organizer.
- And seven more Iraqis — all dedicated to the common cause of the liberation and restoration of their homeland.
These ten common, yet extraordinary, Iraqis explain, in clear and simple terms, how and why they fight America. If you listen to them carefully, it becomes clear that they understand the war and the implications of US policy in the Middle East far better than the American public does.
The images on the screen verify the sentiments of the insurgents: video clips the US media will not show at home — war machines spreading death and destruction in the streets and public plazas and infantry, armed with the latest weapons and technology of oppression, invading homes and seizing civilians.
Meeting Resistance evokes the same thought in the mind of every viewer:
“What would I do if it were happening here?”
The question is answered heroically by the words and actions of the Iraqi insurgents.
The filmmakers who made Meeting Resistance, Bingham and Connors, were on hand to introduce their film and lead the discussion after the screening at Rice University in Houston on February 18. The substance of that intense Q and A session can be found in the joint Directors’ Statement that they have posted on the excellent website supporting the film. The statement is worth reading carefully because, along with the film itself, it exposes the media-myths surrounding the American occupation.
Meeting Resistance focuses directly on the consequences of the occupation of Iraq and, indirectly, on one of the central issues of our times. The US is deeply embroiled in the latest and, perhaps, most dangerous adventure of its imperial history. The future of the American empire as it now functions hinges on the domination of the oil of the Middle East. To that end, Iraq has been reduced to ruin and a vicious spiral of violence has been unleashed.
There is a clear and present danger that the permanent US occupation of Iraq might become a central feature of the New American Century. Meeting Resistance offers a stark preview of the terrible consequences that such a US foreign policy will produce.
Richard D. Vogel is a political reporter who monitors the effects of globalization on working people and their communities. Other works include: “The NAFTA Corridors: Offshoring U.S. Transportation Jobs to Mexico”; “Transient Servitude: The U.S. Guest Worker Program for Exploiting Mexican and Central American Workers”; and “The Fight of Our Lives: The War of Attrition against U.S. Labor.” Contact: <email@example.com>.