Why We Fight

Synopsis: He may have been the ultimate icon of 1950s conformity and postwar complacency, but Dwight D. Eisenhower was an iconoclast, visionary, and the Cassandra of the New World Order. Upon departing his presidency, Eisenhower issued a stern, cogent warning about the burgeoning "military industrial complex," foretelling with ominous clarity the state of the world in 2004 with its incestuous entanglement of political, corporate, and Defense Department interests.
Director(s): Eugene Jarecki
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  4 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min

From the White House and the

Office of the President of the

United States we present an

address by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This is the farewell address for

president Eisenhower, whose...

eight years as chief executive

come to an end that noon Friday.

Good evening, my fellow Americans.

We now stand 10 years passed

the midpoint of the century,

that has witnessed four major

wars among great nations.

Three of these involved our own country.

We have been compelled to create a...

permanent armaments industry

of vast proportions.

Three and a half million men and women are

directly engaged in the defense establishment.

Of this conjunction, of an

immense military establishment...

and a large arms industry is

new in the American experience.

We recognize the imperative

need for this development.

Yet we must not fail to comprehend

its grave implications.

What are we fighting for?

Why do we bury our sons and fathers in

lonely graves, far away from home?

Our men are dying to preserve a way of life.

This religion, these rights, they are precious

enough to fight for, precious enough to die for.


The United States is the greatest

force for good in the world.

And we have not an obligation to

go out and fight and start wars,

but certainly do everything we can to spread

democracy and freedom throughout the world.

We shall pay any price, bear any burden...

to assure the survival and

the success of liberty.

- What are we fighting for?

- Freedom.


I think we're fighting because it's

necessary and because it's right.

We are not talking simply

about the price of gas,

we are talking about the price of liberty.

We seek neither territory nor bases.

We fight for the principle

of self-determination.

America's strength and military power

have been a force for peace, not conflicts.

By keeping our military

strong, by using force where...

we must, America is making a difference...

... for people here and around the world.

Our course is just. And no

matter how long it takes,

we will defeat the enemies of freedom.

I was on my way to work and

I was taking the subway,

which is elevated subway.

And as the subway heads to

New York it comes a point...

where it makes a very abrupt lefthand

turn, almost a 90 degree turn.

And when it does that the wheels

of the subway always screech loudly.

If you look out of the window that's when

you can see the World Trade Center.

I was sitting on subway, reading as I always do.

Train made a lefthand

turn, the wheels screeched,

everybody jumped up and start to gasp...


And I look up and there's the building

with smoke pouring out of it.

I didn't know if that was my

son's building, because...

tower 1 and tower 2 were in perfect symmetry.

And I didn't know which tower I'm looking at.

And I'm just thinking to myself you know,

'How did my son get out of there?'

I don't know how, but he got out of there.

There's no two ways about that.

He can't be in there. Cause anybody

who's in there is gonna die.


It's a CIA turn.

Blowback does not mean simply the

unintended consequences of foreign operations.

It means the unintended

consequences of foreign operations,

that were deliberately kept

secret from the American public.

So that when the retaliation comes,

the American public is not...

able to put it in context, to

put cause and effect together.

That they come up with questions like

'Why did they hate us?'

The forces of evil declared

war on the America...

Since Pearl Harbor has there

been so much national...

Bringing the democracy under attack.

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Eugene Jarecki

Eugene Jarecki is an American dramatic and documentary filmmaker whose works include The House I Live In, Reagan, Why We Fight, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, Freakonomics, Quest of the Carib Canoe and The King. Why We Fight and The House I Live In were both awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, in 2005 and 2012 respectively. The King had its North American premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, following its international premiere at Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Beyond his work in film, Jarecki is also a public thinker on matters of U.S. defense, social justice, and foreign policy, and is the author of The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril (Simon & Schuster, 2008). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Why We Fight" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 10 Apr. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/why_we_fight_23442>.

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