(2007)4Derek ArmstrongDespite its title, the Oscar-nominated documentary No End in Sight focuses more on the beginning of the conflict in Iraq than its lack of an ending. With help from a wide array of pertinent interview subjects, director Charles Ferguson delves deep inside the corridors of power to examine the perfect storm of decisions made too slowly, and too quickly, that turned the Iraq War into a permanent morass. Or "quagmire," even though Donald Rumsfeld disavowed the possibility that his perfect little war had reached such a messy impasse -- Ferguson nails Rumsfeld twice with the quote "I don't do quagmires." Rumsfeld's cackling jack-o'-lantern of self-satisfaction gives a face to the delusions offered up in No End in Sight, but it's clear there were plenty of other mid-level functionaries making disastrous decisions, either with or without that brashness, as well as numerous well-meaning public servants whose opinions were shut out of the process. Even harder to believe than the United States' lack of an occupation plan, which enabled the looting and destruction of countless cherished national artifacts, was the haste involved in the decision to disband the Iraqi Army. As dissected by Ferguson in parallel interviews with Colonel Paul Hughes and Walter Slocombe, a senior advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority, the decision to disband moved forward without consulting the most relevant experts, and may have directly spawned hundreds if not thousands of insurgents equipped with deadly combat skills. At least Slocombe, an unwitting guilty party in this affair, was willing to talk on film -- Ferguson notes that other key players "refused" to be interviewed. His preference for "refused" over the less inflammatory term "declined" gives some evidence of Ferguson's bias. Then again, the occasion was so clearly botched in every respect, the heavily critical position seems like the only valid one.