body of war

Phil Donahue Makes Anti-War Filmfrom fox news: Add the name of Phil Donahue to the list of people who’ve made documentaries about the effects of the Iraq war… [Donahue] showed his film – which he called a work in progress – to a private screening group last week.

The film, “Body of War,” is unfinished but riveting. It should make Tomas Young, its central character, a star on the lecture and possibly talk-show circuit…

Young, who was 24 years old, went to Baghdad in April 2004 as a very green solider. He’d enlisted right after Sept. 11, thinking he’d be sent to Afghanistan to hunt down the terrorists who caused the tragedies at the World Trade Center.

Within five days of arriving in Iraq, however, Young was caught in the same battle in Sadr City that killed Casey Sheehan, son of Cindy Sheehan, now a well-known activist. Young was shot through the chest, and the bullet severed his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

Donahue, the story goes, met Young on a tour of Walter Reed Army Medical Center with Nader. Right away, he and filmmaker Ellen Spiro saw the potential for a movie based on this young man.

'How can you say that you support the troops if you support the false ideas...'Donahue’s film — like some others of recent vintage — traces Young’s journey from soldier to activist. Throughout, he remains patriotic.

Young, a real Midwesterner from Kansas City, Mo. — started asking questions soon after his release from the hospital. Donahue’s team follows him as he grows as a speaker and a voice for other vets.

And Young becomes politicized, too. By the end of the film he’s meeting with Sen.Robert Byrd, who recalls the 23 other senators who voted against the Iraq war (Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, most pointedly, were not in that group).

Byrd, in fact, plays a big part in Donahue’s film. The 88-year-old senator, with 47 years in office, not to mention six more in Congress, is used by Donahue as a Yoda of sorts for in the film and for the war. He’s proud to be the leader of the 23 dissidents, and his scenes with the wheelchair-bound Young are poignant.