A staggering portrait of arrogance and incompetence, the documentary No End in Sight avoids the question of why the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, choosing instead to focus on the war’s aftermath–and meticulously examine the chain of decisions that led Iraq into a grotesque state of lawlessness and civil war.
Drawing from interviews with top generals, administration officials, journalists, and soldiers who were in the thick of the war itself, No End in Sight lays out a gripping story, as suspenseful as any Hollywood movie, accompanied by terrifying footage of firefights and explosions more vivid than any special effects. Unfortunately, there is no happy ending. If the documentary has a weakness, it’s the shortage of voices trying to defend the administration policies (perhaps unsurprisingly, policymakers like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz declined to be interviewed). But the testimony (presented by administration insiders and officials in Iraq, both military and civilian) argues that, despite contrary analysis and experienced advice against its actions, the top brass of the Bush administration made decisions (that aggravated already existing problems and created devastating new ones.
No End in Sight builds its case one voice at a time and avoids the grandstanding that undercuts Michael Moore’s work; instead, the gradual accumulation of simple facts–presented with weary resignation, earnest outrage, and restrained anger–results in a compelling condemnation of one of the worst blunders the U.S. has ever made.