In this presentation I introduce some short films from my DVD, DEADLY MISTAKES? (poster and info below). The program presents historical background of today's international crises. This background is rarely taught in school or publicly discussed. It includes the history of recent US wars and interventions, and the age-old implicit belief in violence, which is at the root of countless "mistakes" from time immemorial.
There is a TRAILER you can view at
Green World Center
36 Academy Street
Sutton, Quebec J0E 2K0
Critical comments on DEADLY MISTAKES?
"A brilliant and extraordinary work on public policy. Deadly Mistakes? tells about current history which most people have forgotten, or never knew. This is an essential work for young people."
Marcus Raskin, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies
"Lucid and powerful, Deadly Mistakes? draws on an extraordinary variety of sources. It is certainly one of the most concise and lively treatments of American foreign policy I have seen."
Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
"Walter Miale's Deadly Mistakes?" is not only instructive but educational in the best sense of leading viewers to thought and feeling on their own. The U.S. foreign policy mistakes, crimes, and disasters of the past half century are detailed with such insight that we cannot fail to detect the line that led from the quagmire in Vietnam to the quicksand in Iraq. The DVD's and the Viewer Guide should be in every school in the country."
Peter Davis, director of Hearts and Minds, the Academy Award winning documentary on the Vietnam War
"The words and portraits of American senior policy makers and generals are alternately shocking, outrageous, heartbreaking, and enlightening. If enough Americans see and take part in these Democracy Dialogues, it will move the country toward sanity and peace."
Mark Achbar, the director of The Corporation
"A very important, very valuable work. The films and book tell Americans things we all need to know, but few do. These dialogues with people who shaped policy or made history help lay the groundwork for the education of the next generation of Americans. They will be extremely useful for teachers in both high school and college who want to offer material to their students that is relevant to today's world. Deadly Mistakes? will be eye-opening for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of current events."
Grace Paley, author and peace activist
"The Viewer Guide is an excellent resource, which should be of great value to those who hope to explore beyond the surface and to find out more about critical issues in the real world, as they are perceived and interpreted from varied perspectives. A very impressive contribution."
"A very impressive piece of work. I found the DVD engaging and powerful. The Viewer Guide is particularly impressive and it will clearly be a valuable educational resource."
Julie Enszer, executive director of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute
Here are some written comments by students:
"An amazing compilation."
"Very powerful use of interviews."
"[Miale is] a powerful speaker. Great job asking questions, bringing audience into the experience."
"Shocking statements from some of the politicians. I never thought about how poor our history education in public school is. I never realized how many democratic governments the US has overthrown. Wow!"
"This is a great education tool."
"The presentation was very persuasive and believable and, being a US citizen, it touched me. The content shown today was very educational for me."
"Interviews are excellent!"
"Very persuasive information. Full of useful knowledge that will help people better understand our government and others around the world."
"The film itself is incredibly smooth and professional, with incredibly rich interview material. The presentation was smooth as butter. I especially liked the interjection of questions, which allowed for involvement and discussion. Thought provoking and very well balanced. -- Genevieve Jacobs, instructor, Saint Michael's College
The American history curriculum to which most students are exposed in high school, and even college, omits critical analysis of the events of the last half century. With public discussion of the relevant history also lacking, how can citizens form educated opinions about today's crises?
Filmmaker Walter Miale fills in some gaps, as he introduces and presents selections from his DVD from Bullfrog Films, Deadly Mistakes?. Included are short films on US interventions in Guatemala, Iran, Vietnam, and Iraq; the Cuban missile crisis; the Cold War; and the history of our intercontinental nuclear missile strike force, which to this day remains on hair-trigger alert.
Miale and the films he presents ask and consider whether the above-mentioned interventions were mistakes, or are they justifiable? Or were they crimes? Why do states pursue homicidal policies? What should we learn from the mistakes of the past? And what can we do to prevent future "deadly mistakes"?