9.11.2004

Fog of War

Great DVD on one of our nation's biggest controversies. Go see. One complaint: one of the deleted scenes ought to have been in the final movie to help bolster one theme--wherein McNamara first learns about the need to know the path that brings us (or them) to where we (they) are--specifically, the war between Japan and China. McNamara, who had apparently been dubbed the ├╝ber-villain of Vietnam at the time, gets documented support for his talking Kennedy and Johnson down from its intensity (though as you'll hear in the links below, many wonder why he didn't do more or speak out--probably a generational difference (see theme mentioned above)). There are some areas that he won't go into, presumably areas of speculation on what should have really been done. He seems reluctant to even speculate on what Kennedy might have done. Still the question is raised: By not talking about certain sensitive issues, is he avoiding opining on the impossible? or concealing a deeper yet unrevealed guilt? Damned if you do, damned if you don't, filmmaker Errol Morris helpfully supplies to his interviewee.

Morris had a series of interviews with various NPR programs: Day to Day, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air (in order of increasing depth also commentary by Judy Muller).

The film had some great quotes writers may want for stories:

"What one can criticize is that the human race prior to that time and today has not really grappled with what are, I'll call it, 'The Rules of War.'"

"How much evil must we do in order to do good?"

"What 'The Fog of War' means is war is so complex it's beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables."
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