July 28, 2004
Michael Niewodowski on Michael Moore
Who is Michael Niewodowski? He was a chef at the Windows on the World restaurant at the World Trade Center until Sept. 11, 2001. He watched from across the Hudson River as the towers fell, knowing that if the attack had happened a few minutes later that he would have been one more victim. Here is his reaction to Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9/11".
"From Here to Eternity." "Tora, Tora, Tora." "In Harm's Way." These are three films made about Pearl Harbor. There have been more than 20 films made about Pearl Harbor, and over 200 films made about World War II. These films inspire patriotism, courage, and nationalism. They tell us about the honor and bravery of the soldiers and the nation that supported them. Two and a half years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the world watched American forces fight on D-Day. Two and a half years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the world is watching Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Moore's film is the first major motion picture about Sept. 11, 2001. This bears repeating. When future generations look back on the Sept. 11 massacre, their first impression, through the medium of film, will be a work in which the president and the government are blamed for the attacks, and the soldiers who are protecting this country are defamed. Instead of a film version of Lisa Beamer's book, "Let's Roll," or Richard Picciotto's "Last Man Down," we are presented with this fallacy. How could this happen?
It would be a colossal insult to insinuate that Franklin D. Roosevelt or the U.S. government were in any way responsible for the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Can you imagine the indignation of the men and women who lived during that period?
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is indicative of a nation that has become too apathetic, ignorant or deceived to face the enemy at the gate. America, where is your fury?
On Sept. 11, 2001, I stood across the Hudson River, watching the Twin Towers burn, knowing that if the plane had struck at 9:46 a.m. instead of 8:46 a.m., I would be dead. As a survivor and witness to the attack on the World Trade Center, I am more than insulted by this film. I am outraged. This film is based on conjecture, hearsay and propaganda. At a time when this country desperately needs to rally in support of our brave soldiers and our strong leaders, Moore is content to spread discord and divisiveness. The base of his argument is that the Bush administration had strong ties with the bin Laden family. However, sound facts are conspicuously absent from this "documentary."
The 9/11 commission did not indict President Bush. According to the report, the president's actions before, during and after the attacks are fully justified, including the military action in Iraq. The commission did not find a direct link between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A similar commission in the 1940s would not have found a direct link between Hitler's Germany and the attack on Pearl Harbor. In both instances, the threat was imminent; the president and the military acted decisively.
Could we have been more prepared for a terrorist attack on Sept. 10, 2001? Certainly. Could we have been more prepared for an attack on Dec. 6, 1941? Most definitely. In the weeks and months following Pearl Harbor, there were reports and criticisms that the government and military should have been more prepared. The difference is that the people of the nation did not waste a lot of time pointing fingers at each other. Rather, they unified and engaged the enemy head-on. I guess that is why we call them "The Greatest Generation." How will future generations refer to us?
So, how do we explain Moore's film to future generations? I wonder. More than that, I wonder how I would explain this film to Nancy D., Jerome N. or Heather H. I am sure you don't know their names, but their faces haunt me day and night. How would I explain to them that a film was made accusing the president and vilifying the soldiers, the same president and soldiers who are attempting to avenge their murders and protect other citizens. Moore has not only insulted the nation, he has insulted the victims of the terrorist attacks.
During his acceptance speech at the Oscars, Moore said, "Shame on you, Mr. Bush." Well, I say, "Shame on you, Michael Moore." Shame on everyone who supports this travesty of a film. Shame on a society that allows this sham of a film. You have weakened the nation.
Posted by Deb at July 28, 2004 02:44 AM
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This is one of the best commentaries on the film that I've read so far. Thanks for posting it!
Posted by: Cindy at July 28, 2004 05:29 AM
Mr. Niewodowski has written what I believe to be a most compelling reaction to this vile piece of film. Moore (I can't even give him the courtesy of addressing him as "Mr.") has used and distorted the loss, grief, and sacrifice of others to promote an agenda that at best is self-promoting, and at worst, traitorous. His hypocrisy apparently knows no bounds. Bloviating behind his attendant bodyguards, he slanders our country and our protectors, yet his fat a** would be all we would see disappearing into a limousine if a terrorist attack happened anywhere close to him.
Mr. Niewodowski asks the question, "how to we explain Moore's film to future generations?" That is an important question and I believe that Moore's legacy will not be the one he imagines. The way I explain it to my children (and as they will to theirs) is something like this: our country was struck by unimaginable acts of terror and we became a country swelling with compassion and anger, we have President determined to protect us and others, and a magnificent military rising to do their sworn duty. Unfortunately, there are always parasites that will try to profit in situations like this and this film is just one of them. The millions that Moore has made on the blood, sweat, and tears of others and all the accolades he receives now will disappear and mean nothing in the end...just as his film will mean nothing besides a pathetic, traitorous, self-serving footnote in our history. Americans, I am hopeful, will ultimately understand that we are seriously threatened in a heinous manner that personally threatens each one of us. We are defending not only our citizens, but continuing our magnificent tradition of defending others. Moore should get on his knees (I know...not an easy task or a pretty picture) and thank God that he is protected by our military. They are not pawns of some right wing conspiracy or is our President evil. I could write on and on, but I really just wanted to comment on this excellent article.
Thank you so very much, Mr. Niewodowski. You wrote the truth very well.
Posted by: Catherine at July 28, 2004 09:35 AM
Sorry, but I don't think that Michael Niewodoski wants to know the truth
Posted by: Fran Murphy at August 14, 2004 03:00 PM
Lets take a look a the truth of this letter. Windows on the World restaurant is a HI-class restaurant where if you are late for work you are more or less looking for a job. This sounds more like the words of one of the people that wanted to bomb the movie before they even seen it bush supporter type. Why was this person on the other side of the Hudson River when he had 10 min to get to work? Do you know how long it takes to get to the top?
Posted by: John Kerr at August 15, 2004 10:02 PM
The movie was not about the attack on the World Trade Centers. It was a movie about an administration that was put into office by a Republican Supreme Court instead of by the majority of the people of this country and his total ineptitude as a president. Iraq had nothing to do with the attack on the WTC. Thousands of people have been killed in the effort to Americanize Iraq. Certainly Iraq with Sadaam was not a great place, but what are we doing about the genecide in Sudan? Republicans only seem to want to wage war where there is profit potential for them and their friends.
It's obvious the Arabs are out of control. But we need to pull together good Arabs and the rest of the nations of the world to work together to stop these religious fanatics everywhere, not just in Iraq.
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