The War Campaign


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An in-depth account of how the Iraq war campaign was organized, and a case study of ‘how to sell a war of choice’ to the public


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The War Campaign

The War Campaign

The War Campaign is a genuine political thriller that investigates the campaign carried out by USA, UK, and Denmark in order to sell the war on Iraq to the international community.

When George W. Bush took office in January 2001, regime change in Baghdad was already a top priority, and the sentiment following the 9/11 attacks provided an opportunity to gain support for a pre-emptive war on Iraq, despite the fact that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11.

2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by a coalition of willing nations. The concept of a pre-emptive war was itself new, and the lead-up to the decision constituted a shift in democratic decision processes. It is time to examine the anatomy of the decision-making process itself in order to understand the art of campaigning for parliamentary and public acceptance of a decision already made.

The War Campaign features the individuals, who were given the complicated task of accruing political support for the invasion from the international community. Centrally-placed witnesses, policy-makers, their close advisors and speech-writers, take us into the very offices where plans were drawn up and followed through, intelligence gathered and tailored, ‘white papers’ or speeches written and revised. Some of these individuals at some point felt that the governments they worked for, crossed a questionable line, and they decided to inform the public of the process. It is their detailed accounts of what exactly took place that now allows us to understand.

By piecing together each step of the war campaign we gain insight into the mechanisms behind international coalitions and the semantics of selling policies. We question whether the ‘selling of’ policies carries the risk of undermining normal democratic processes, – especially if policies are not based on the information at hand, but the information is tailored to fit political goals instead.

Director Boris B. Bertram
Producer Lise Lense-Møller
Produced by Magic Hour Films with the support of The Danish Film Institute, Nordic Film and TV-Fund & the European Union's Media Programme in ass. with DR, UR, ERR, RTV Slovenija, RUV, NRK, VPRO & CT
Duration 1 hour & feature length
Year of Production 2013
Original Title The War Campaign