The United States proudly identifies itself as the major
purveyor of 'peace' and 'democracy' across the world.
But does this self-promoted
image match up to their actual policies and military
engagements throughout recent history, and is warfare
actually a befitting means to achieving peace?
Those are the central
dichotomies addressed in the documentary short 'In Whose
Interest?', a searing investigation of several key conflicts
during the last half century and the crucial role the United
States played in each of them.
Gone are the noble and justifiable efforts waged in
conflicts like World War II.
As reflected in the film, U.S.
involvement in international conflicts since that time has
often been in direct opposition to the notion of democracy.
Take Guatemala, where their
financial and military support led to the ousting of that
country's president in 1954, the deaths of hundreds of
thousands of citizens, and an end to a democratic revolution
in the region.
The reason? The actions of the
democratically elected president ran counter to the economic
interests of the country's largest corporation -
Fruit - and the United States by extension.
The film contends that the same was true in East Timor, a
region that gained the attention of the U.S. due to its
close proximity to Indonesia during the mid-1970s.
When Indonesia's lucrative oil
and corporate structures were under threat by the promise of
democracy in neighboring East Timor, they called upon the
assistance of the United States in strategizing and
supporting a militarized intervention.
The ensuing conflict resulted in
more than 60,000 casualties, and the severe repression of a
The film continues to explore this narrative by exploring
U.S. involvement in El Salvador, the ongoing Middle East
conflicts, and Vietnam, which is perhaps the most profound
wound that still festers within the consciousness of the
United States after nearly five decades.
Conversations with haunted
veterans and scholars of history highlight the contrasts
between how a war is sold to soldiers and the American
people, and the selfish economic reasons that really
Urgent, probing and appropriately incensed, 'In Whose
Interest?' seeks to look behind the fašade of false
patriotism, and understand the reality of the United States'
legacy through the world.