The Fog of War

The Fog of War

Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara

DVD - 2004
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The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense, under President Kennedy and President Johnson, Robert S. McNamara. McNamara was one of the most controversial and influential political figures of the 20th century. Now, he offers a candid and intimate journey through some of the most seminal events in contemporary American history. He offers new and often surprising insights into the 1945 bombing of Tokyo, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the effects of the Vietnam War.

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Janice21383
Jun 24, 2016

One of the best pictures of its year, or of any year. Robert McNamara was both blessed and cursed by energy, idealism, and one of the rarest of all human gifts, a completely logical mind. His plan for the seat belt saved uncounted thousands of lives, and his plan for the Vietnam War helped destroy uncounted thousands of lives. He doesn't seem to understand, even in 2003, why his beautiful plan failed. But dammit, he's going to get to the bottom of it. For those who want to contemplate its complex messages at leisure, here is the film's transcript. http://www.errolmorris.com/film/fow_transcript.html

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uzebdrumz
Jun 24, 2016

It is fascinating that people get emotional about the death of one person or certain people, yet are able to discuss the death of thousands quite forensically. War seems to be part of human nature, but we have fashioned technology that makes the outcome undeniably devastating. The cathartic nature of this film allows a reflection on history revealing both frustration, hubris, and mistakes. Information, motivation, & intention are very difficult to analyse when assessing an adversary, especially when the consequences are so palpably grave. I'm surprised Robert McNamara didn't mention Carl von Clausewitz.

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obadiah11
Mar 06, 2016

excellent dvd and very informative

s
StarGladiator
Aug 31, 2015

Although this movie does impute some important facts, overall I would classify it as a reframing or redirecting of the truth - - in following the money, the Republicon appointee of President Kennedy acted on behalf of the super-rich and the banksters, just as he did when he later moved onto the World Bank scene. [Sadly, JFK unwittingly appointed at least 40 people connected to the Rockefeller Brothers Trust Fund, probably from the advice of Robert Lovett, himself a beneficiary of the Rockefeller family. In taking Lovett's advice JFK appointed the original creators and founders of the US intelligence establishment, much to his undoing!]

a
akirakato
Apr 08, 2014

Originally released as a motion picture documentary in 2003, this 107-minute interview with McNamara will give you an astonishing,
chilling and sometuimes horrifying insights into the bombing of Tokyo, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the effects of the Vietnam War.
During World War II, McNamara worked under General Curtis LeMay.
One episode really impressed me.
LeMay switched from high-altitude precision bombing to low-altitude nighttime incendiary attacks on Japanese targets.
For the firebombing of Tokyo on the night of March 9–10, 1945 (the most destructive bombing raid of the war), LeMay ordered the defensive guns
removed from 325 B-29s, loaded each plane with Model M-47 incendiary clusters, magnesium bombs, white phosphorus bombs, and napalm, and ordered
the bombers to fly in streams at 5,000 to 9,000 feet (1,500 to 2,700 m) over Tokyo.
General LeMay was informed by a senior staff member, Colonel William P. Fisher, that bomber pilots were turning back from these low altitude
bombing runs due to heavy anti-aircraft fire from Japanese defense forces.
Some crew were killed by the Japanese anti-aircraft fire.
One of bomber captains got mad at LeMay, who told the captain that the operation killed 100,000 civilians, destroying 250,000 buildings while incinerating 16 square miles (41 km2) of the city at the cost of only some American lives.
LeMay was aware of the implication of his orders.
The New York Times reported at the time, "Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, commander of the B-29s of the entire Marianas area, declared that if the war is shortened by a single day,
the attack will have served its purpose."
The argument was that it was his duty to carry out the attacks in order to end the war as quickly as possible,
sparing further loss of life.
He also remarked that had the U.S. lost the war, he fully expected to be tried for war crimes.
I seem to come to the moment of truth that, nicknamed as "The Demon," General Curtis Emerson LeMay must have been involved in the conspiracy of JFK's death
in order to protect both the military-industrial complex and the American Establishment at the cost of a single person---the then US President.

dhblaine Apr 25, 2013

If you watch this documentary, it is important for you to get past your personal feelings about McNamara and Johnson. If you can do that, this movie present some profoundly important ideas on a subject that you will find nowhere else.

The movie is a singular opportunity to learn from one of the most notorious war-wagers in US history. Even if you hate him, how could you not be fascinated by his extremely unique hindsight?

These 11 lessons are a rare opportunity - the instruction manual for avoiding future wars if we and our leaders listen. (Too bad CheneyRumsfeld refused to listen)

s
sundancer123
Apr 19, 2013

The galling outcome of this man's influence on and then instigation of a policy of killing people ( the Vietnamese deaths totalled nearly two million) while disregarding the vast intelligence and background of many firstclass military and long-standing foreign-service people high in the ranks of the State and Defense Departments simply cannot be forgotten nor forgiven, ever. The people advising him had been there,lived there, knew the nationalist purpose (not Communist take-over by force) of the Vietnamese public. He brazenly defied these advisers and went forward in designing the war, troops, bombing, and the completely failed policy of the US murdering our way to containing what he ignorantly saw as a threat to the US and to the West. Clearly a criminal, should have been tried and sentenced.Not really foggy at all.

t
tauseef365
May 12, 2012

Although much vilified through the 60s and 70s, McNamara emerges as a complex and fascinating character and a product of his time. This film does a great job of exposing the evils, horrors and excesses of war, and is a cautionary tale for future generations who would ever think that war is the only option.

d
DanieLinares
May 11, 2012

Shameful, not very interesting. At least he recognized part of his mistakes in WWII, but he was not at the front. He tries to condone his participation in Vietnam were more than 50K USA soldiers died. Then he becomes president of the World Bank in order to reduce poverty in the world. Well, he was no good there either. The lesson for me is that people like power, and they want to maintain it as much as they can.

p
paulkarlson
Mar 02, 2012

4 of 5 stars. See it to believe it. Candid, experienced words of wisdom about the Vietnam war, for all wars.

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