Any film by noted British documentarian Adam Curtis is worth carving out the time to see. I’ve raved over the last decade or so about his two landmark docs, The Century of the Self and particularly The Power of Nightmares. which introduced an idea that the anti-western Islamic terrorists and the neocon hardliners are almost identical in their purist fervor, and are pretty much cut from the same philosophical cloth. Now comes Curtis’s Bitter Lake, which popped in England last weekend and is now viewable on YouTube. The Guardian‘s Sam Wollaston has called it “a story full of violence, bloodshed, and bitter ironies, mainly about how the west, through misunderstanding and oversimplification, repeatedly achieved pretty much the opposite of what it was trying to achieve. America protected Wahhabism through its thirst for Saudi oil, and in doing so helped sow the seeds of radical Islam today. In Afghanistan they built dams to irrigate the Helmand valley, making it perfect to sow actual seeds — opium poppy seeds. The past is strewn with patterns, and warnings, if only anyone had bothered looking and tried to understand.”