Kwiatkowski at the CST

Brent Finnegan -- September 30th, 2006

I noticed that none of the local media outlets covered this (although WSVA is the only one reporting that Webb and Allen are now tied in the polls. WSVA needs a new website) so here’s some info about it.

The local Democratic committee sponsored a free screening of Why We Fight, a documentary about the military industrial complex, and its relation to the US invasion of Iraq. It was held at the Court Square Theater, and was fairly well-attended. I’d say that maybe half the seats in the auditorium were full. The film covers a broad range of topics, from Eisenhower’s post-war presidency and the corporatization of the US military, to September 11 and the occupation of Iraq. I used to be a film critic, so I have to mention that it was much better than Fahrenheit 9/11, but not as good as The Fog of War.

Attending the screening was Karen Kwiatkowski, a local high school teacher with a long list of credentials. She’s a Ph.D., a retired USAF Lt. Col., a Libertarian friend of Jim Webb, a mother, a biology teacher, a former radio talk show host, an adjunct faculty at JMU sometimes teaching U.S. foreign policy, and a writer for a slew of blogs and newspapers, including,, and Liberty and Power. An interview with Kwiatkowski is featured heavily in the documentary. She spoke (both in the film and after the screening) about her experience working in the Pentagon as a political military affairs officer for the middle east after 9/11. She said that by the spring of 2002, Pentagon officials had already decided to invade Iraq, and “it was just a matter of bringing the American people up to speed and getting them behind this effort.” She was one of the people in charge of writing reports with talking points for pro-war politicians making a case for the invasion of Iraq.

Her purpose at the CST screening was to voice her Libertarian support for Jim Webb. She also said that, for the most part, honest and open dialogue among local citizens about issues like war and terrorism is dead, and encouraged everyone to engage in thoughtful and meaningful discussion and debate (something that Harrisonburg’s Kai Degner is also trying to promote through OrangeBand).


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