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IPFS News Link • American History

"The World As It Was": A Masterly Documentary Film

•, By Edward Curtin

In doing so, it sowed the bitter fruit that is poisoning us today.  Without understanding the long-standing effects of those years, it is impossible to grasp the deepest dimensions of our current nightmare.  Chapter One of the documentary series, Four Died Trying, directed by John Kirby and produced by Libby Handros, appropriately subtitled: "To see where we are, look where we've been," does that brilliantly.

The series opened four months ago with "The Prologue" (see review) wherein the lives, importance, and assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy are explored; how the government and media buried the truth of who assassinated them and why; and why it matters today.  Season One will unfold over the next year with chapters covering their lives and assassinations in greater detail.  Season Two will be devoted to the government and media coverups, citizen investigations, and the intelligence agencies and their media mouthpieces' mind control operations aimed at the American people that continue today.

Chapter One – "The World As It Was" – is about the 1950s, the rise of the Cold War with its propaganda, McCarthyism, the development of the military-industrial complex, the CIA, red-baiting, betrayals, blacklists, the abrogation of civil rights, censorship, and the ever present fear of nuclear war and the promotion of fallout shelters that set the stage for the killing fields of the 1960s and the CIA's ruthless machinations.

One could say that the 1950s were the Foundation of Fear upon which the horrors of the 1960s were built, and that now we are reaping the flowers of evil that have sprung up everywhere we look because the evils of those decades have never been adequately addressed.

The film opens with President Eisenhower delivering his famous Farewell Address, warning about the growing power of the military-industrial complex.  It is a short and powerful speech, concealing not a smidgen of hypocrisy since it must not have been Eisenhower who presided for eight years from 1953-19661 as this complex grew and grew and he poured 2 billion dollars in weapons and aid and a thousand military advisers to the ruthless and corrupt Vietnamese dictator Ngô Dinh Diêm, while saying he was "an example for people everywhere who hate tyranny and love freedom."