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The Bush Doctrine Goes to the Movies
The Weekly Standard ^ | 09/05/03 | Jonathan V. Last

Posted on 09/05/2003 12:49:13 PM PDT by Pokey78

Lionel Chetwynd's "DC 9/11" tells the story behind the policy change brought on by September 11.

IT'S AN OPEN QUESTION as to whether or not a great movie will ever be made about September 11. Historical events don't always lend themselves to good filmmaking. The Holocaust has translated well; Pearl Harbor has never been done justice.

It is a small mercy that no Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer has yet tried to make an epic September 11 movie. The only two movies about the day have been small, modest affairs--the Naudet brothers' documentary "9/11" and the film version of Anne Nelson's play "The Guys."

Now on the eve of the second anniversary, there's a third entry: Lionel Chetwynd's DC 9/11: Time of Crisis. (It should be noted that Chetwynd is an occasional contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD and Fred Barnes served as a consultant to the production.)

"DC 9/11" airs this weekend on Showtime (Sunday, September 7, 8:00 p.m. EST) and while it's technically a made-for-TV movie, it's done in the mold of HBO's "*61," "Conspiracy," and "Live from Baghdad," which is to say: If Chetwynd had put a few million extra dollars into location work, replaced the gifted Penny Johnson Jerald with Halle Berry, and dumbed down the script, "DC 9/11" could have been released theatrically.

As it stands, "DC 9/11" is a wonk's movie. It's not about the events of September 11 so much as the creation of the Bush Doctrine--more "Thirteen Days" than "Tora! Tora! Tora!" It begins in the early hours of September 11 and spans nine days, following the president and his team as they have the wind knocked out of them, struggle to understand the new war, and then decide how America should respond.

The film's greatest strengths come from its verisimilitude. Chetwynd diligently researched that week and a half, interviewing people in the administration--including Bush--and consulting with Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, and Charles Krauthammer. No one who wasn't there can say for sure, but it feels as though Chetwynd's gotten it right.

For starters, there's his Bush. The portrait of the president is flattering, but not uniformly so. For one thing, the president, played by Timothy Bottoms (formerly of Comedy Central's unflattering "That's My Bush!"), has the unsettling habit of lapsing into consultant-speak ("getting ducks in a row," "all sizzle, no steak"). For another, in his tart-not-sweet moments, he comes off as, if not actually a bully, then certainly the meanest member at the country club. Yet whatever his weaknesses, the George W. Bush of "DC 9/11" is honest and apolitical. He makes you glad he's not Jack Stanton.

Unsurprisingly, the movie is kind to Condoleezza Rice, played by the lovely Penny Johnson Jerald (the Hillary you love to hate from "24"), who comes across as the wisest, most even-tempered, and most trusted of the president's advisers. Surprisingly, it's also kind to John Ashcroft, who is depicted as being serious and thoughtful and who has the smart idea to change the Justice Department's focus from prosecution to prevention.

"DC 9/11" is less friendly to Karl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz. Rove is shown thinking political strategy even while Ground Zero still smolders and from the very first moments of the crisis, Wolfowitz relentlessly argues for regime change in Iraq, talking ominously about the threat from Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

THE GREAT CLEAVAGE in America today isn't between conservatives and liberals or Republicans and Democrats. It's between those who see the world as September 10 and those who see it as September 12.

Two years is a long time; life goes on. Lionel Chetwynd's excellent "DC 9/11" is a reminder that those who live as though it were September 10 do so only because of the diligence and sacrifice of those who never forget that it isn't.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2ndanniversary; dc911; documentary; september12era

1 posted on 09/05/2003 12:49:13 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78

2 posted on 09/05/2003 12:59:30 PM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: Pokey78
If you want to see the Bush doctrine in a movie, go watch Lord of the Rings.
3 posted on 09/05/2003 1:00:16 PM PDT by Grig
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To: Pokey78
If you want to see the Bush doctrine in a movie, go watch Lord of the Rings.
4 posted on 09/05/2003 1:01:23 PM PDT by Grig
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To: Pokey78
THE GREAT CLEAVAGE in America today isn't between conservatives and liberals or Republicans and Democrats. It's between those who see the world as September 10 and those who see it as September 12.

Excellent line!

5 posted on 09/05/2003 1:03:59 PM PDT by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: Grig
Also, watch the Two Towers if you want an accurate portrayal of anti-war types, in the character of Grima Wormtongue.
6 posted on 09/05/2003 1:05:12 PM PDT by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pokey78
Bump. Thanks for the reminder.

Maybe this Thread should be bumped tomorrow night before the show?

7 posted on 09/05/2003 1:09:27 PM PDT by DoctorMichael (TAG! You're it!)
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To: Coop
THE GREAT CLEAVAGE in America today

Thora Birch.

8 posted on 09/05/2003 1:18:29 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: Coop
I don't think so. Everyone is reacting to 9/11, it's just a matter of how. The great divide is between those who want to fight evil, and those who want to appease it.
9 posted on 09/05/2003 1:30:31 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: stop_fascism
Everyone is reacting to 9/11, it's just a matter of how.

I think if directly confronted then of course everyone will say how tragic 9/11 was. But I don't believe a significant portion of the public even think about it anymore. I realize it's a bit more in my face than for some, going to the Pentagon every day. But even if I'm far away from work, I think about those awful attacks each and every day. And everything that's done is framed by that perspective.

10 posted on 09/05/2003 1:33:48 PM PDT by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: Pokey78
"and consulting with Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, and Charles Krauthammer."

Gee I'm sure glad he got a completely unbiased and balanced perspective! Everyone from across the political spectrum ... of the neocon club!

11 posted on 09/05/2003 1:34:46 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: joesnuffy
Thanks for posting the comparison of Roy and George W. I've thought too that there was a significant resemblance. I bet if you could find just the right picture of each one they would look even more alike.
12 posted on 09/05/2003 1:42:49 PM PDT by FairWitness
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To: FairWitness
Here are some pictures from the special...




DC 9/11 TIME OF CRISIS

13 posted on 09/05/2003 1:54:01 PM PDT by Neenah
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To: Neenah
A couple more. These actors look amazingly like the character's they are portraying !






14 posted on 09/05/2003 2:02:19 PM PDT by Neenah
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
Gee I'm sure glad he got a completely unbiased and balanced perspective! Everyone from across the political spectrum ... of the neocon club!

This notion that it's more important to get a variety of viewpoints than to be accurate is perplexing to me. "Fair and balanced" is only half right. Fair is good. Balance, if that means giving equal time to liars (i.e,. liberals, et al), is not so good.

15 posted on 09/05/2003 2:02:41 PM PDT by alnick
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To: Pokey78
Rove is shown thinking political strategy even while Ground Zero still smolders and from the very first moments of the crisis

Well, his job is polictal advisor. What do they want, "Director of Contemplation"?

16 posted on 09/05/2003 2:10:24 PM PDT by smith288 ("The key to our success will be your execution." -Scott Adams)
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To: freedox; BBT; Eagle9; lakey; discostu; carlo3b; jellybean
Reminder Ping
17 posted on 09/05/2003 2:12:36 PM PDT by Neenah
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To: Pokey78
I really hope this project bombs and Showtime loses all kinds of money. I don't care how well it's scripted or how accurate, we just don't need to dramatize life, we need to live life! I'd bet anything that Martin Sheen could garner votes if he ran, simply because people have seen him act presidential and therefore trust him. Same way with all the other garbage produced or being produced about Jessica Lynch - it's all still fresh in our minds, we don't need to be informed about what we already know, and a smidgen of decorum would suggest that we stop producing depiction of historical events before they've actually become historical events!

/rant

18 posted on 09/05/2003 2:38:21 PM PDT by onehipdad
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To: Neenah
Thanks for the reminder, Neenah! You're right about the incredible casting in terms of physical likeness.....I'm looking forward to seeing it.
19 posted on 09/05/2003 3:27:29 PM PDT by freedox
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To: Neenah
"Cheney" is terrific.

I won't watch this movie. Only new one I've wanted to see was "Seabiscuit," & it didn't stick around town long enough.

20 posted on 09/05/2003 7:22:44 PM PDT by lakey (It's the Constitution, stupid!)
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To: Grig
I love LOTR!!!! I've seen Two Towers 5 times since it was released on DVD.
21 posted on 09/05/2003 7:25:19 PM PDT by bethelgrad (for God, country, and the Corps OOH RAH!)
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To: bethelgrad
You bought the DVD? You do know the extended DVD comes out in Nov, right? I'm holding out for that.
22 posted on 09/05/2003 8:42:34 PM PDT by Grig
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To: Neenah
Thanks for reminding me and posting those photos. Unfortunately, I don't subscribe to Showtime. Regardless, thanks for the thought, Neenah.
23 posted on 09/05/2003 10:54:37 PM PDT by Eagle9
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To: Neenah
I don't trust the ba$tards.. but as the mild mannered squishy 90's guy that I am, I'll hold my FIRE until I see it... :o)
24 posted on 09/05/2003 11:43:24 PM PDT by carlo3b (http://www.CookingWithCarlo.com)
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To: carlo3b
I guess the one thing that made me curious about this, is that (by reading the promo) they consulted with many top officials in the administration on this, and didn't make it up from what they THOUGHT happened.

I am not chomping at the bit to watch it, but will tune in out of curiosity.

I always thought YOU WERE A 90'S SQISHY GUY !!! (is there a recipe for that ? )

25 posted on 09/06/2003 6:14:15 AM PDT by Neenah
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To: alnick
How about equal time for conservatives ... not just the neo variety?
27 posted on 09/08/2003 10:16:41 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Coop
I live in California and think about it everyday. It is just that the socialist are fighting for their lives after 9-11 and are trying their hardest to reign in the proletariat; the socialist leadership is desperate, so their shrill screams block out the truth... that America remebers everyday.
28 posted on 09/08/2003 10:21:33 PM PDT by Porterville (I spell stuff wrong sometimes, get over yourself, you're not that great.)
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To: Porterville
I hope you're right, but unfortunately I don't find FR to be completely representative of America at large. But at least this week for sure folks will be remembering.
29 posted on 09/09/2003 5:01:08 AM PDT by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: Pokey78
I watched (and recorded) DC 9/11 last night with my wife and we enjoyed its portrayel of our President's committment, morality, sensitivity, intelligence, and leadership. From what I have seen on Fox News and read here on FreeRepublic, the movie is amazingly accurate and straightforward about the "behind the scenes" operations immediately after and for the one week following 9/11.

The filming and production staff secured privledged access to the main players (including the President) and several different prospectives were brought to light for the first time, providing the viewer, a very clear picture of the overall event and the supurb teamwork which led up to the war on terrorism.

Aside from the official operations going on at the Whitehouse, the docudrama also paid tribute to the victims and families of 9/11 in a very classy manner.

DC 9/11 stands in sharp contrast to the constant Bush-bashing we have been subjected to for the past six months and, IMO, shows the real and highly respectable view of our Commander-in-Chief.

This one is definately a keeper so buy a new blank tape and pop the write protect tab after recording.

30 posted on 09/09/2003 5:07:02 AM PDT by GreyWolf (My $.02)
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