I watched this documentary, The Fog of War, today on pay-per-view. If you haven't seen it, it's well worth watching. It's basically an interview with Robert McNamara, former U.S. Secretary of Defence under JFK and LBJ. It basically discusses his involvement in and views on the three wars he was involved in.
He talks about WWII and his involvement in the bombing of Japan. He supported Truman's use of the atom bomb and states it did no more damage than the fire bombing they had done previously. The U.S. firebombed 67 Japanese cities causing vast destruction as the cities were primarily of wood contruction and resulted in civilian death rates of around 50 percent. He states that if America had lost the war, he and Gen. Curtis LeMay would probably have been tried as war criminals for the fire bombing. He later states that in war you must be prepared to do evil.
He talks about the Cold War and he states emphatically that it was in fact a "Hot War" that during his time in office came extremely close to total nuclear war on 3 occasions. He talked to Castro some years later in 1992 and Castro told him he had advised Kruschev to launch the missiles if neccesary and that they already all the nuclear waheads on them.
He talks about the Vietnam War and all the mistakes he and others made. He said that had Kennedy lived, the U.S. would have pulled all it's troops out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. He breaks down in tears when he talks of how he walked around Arlington NAtional Cemetary to pick the spot for JFK's grave at Jackie's request and how he later learned that JFK had stood at that very spot 2 weeks earlier and stated it was the most beautiful spot in all of Washington because of the view. He talks of his falling out with LBJ towards the end of his term over the direction of the war and his leaving the cabinet as a result.
It's an extremely interesting film and has some valuable lessons for today's world. He's not afraid to admit his mistakes. He says the meaning of the expression, The Fog of War, is that: "War is so complex it's beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgement, our understanding, are not adequate and we kill people unneccesarily".
It's a good film because he has no political axe to grind, it's neither a tool of the right or the left, only of the truth.
Last edited by stomperrob on Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Still holds the MLB record for Grand Slams with 23