The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

Synopsis: Former corporate whiz kid Robert McNamara was the controversial Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, during the height of the Vietnam War. This Academy Award-winning documentary, augmented by archival footage, gives the conflicted McNamara a platform on which he attempts to confront his and the U.S. government's actions in Southeast Asia in light of the horrors of modern warfare, the end of ideology and the punitive judgment of history.
Director(s): Errol Morris
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 16 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.2
Metacritic:
87
Rotten Tomatoes:
97%
PG-13
Year:
2003
107 min
£4,052,471
Website
615 Views


...to confront you with

masses of military power.'

So, what to do? We had the

soft message and the hard message.

At the elbow of President Kennedy

was Tommy Thompson...

...former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow.

He and Jane, his wife, had lived with

Khrushchevand his wife on occasion.

Tommy Thompson said,

' Mr. President...

...I urge you to respond to the soft message.'

The president said to Tommy,

'We can't. That'll get us nowhere.'

Tommy said,

' Mr. President, you're wrong.'

Now, that takes a lot of guts.

In Thompson's mind was this thought:

' Khrushchev's gotten

himself in a hell of a fix.'

He would then think to himself,

' My God...

...if I can get out of this with a deal

that I can say to the Russian people:

'Kennedy was going to destroy

Castro and I prevented it.'

Thompson, knowing Khrushchev

as he did, thought:

' Khrushchevwill accept that.'

And Thompson was right.

That's what I call empathy.

We must try to put ourselves

inside their skin...

...and look at us through their eyes...

...just to understand the thoughts...

...that lie behind their decisions

and their actions.

Khrushchev's advisors were saying:

'There can be no deal...

...unless you somewhat

reduce the pressure on us...

...when you ask us to reduce

the pressure on you.'

Also, we had attempted to invade Cuba.

Well, with the Bay of Pigs. That

undoubtedly influenced their thinking.

I think that's correct.

But more importantly, from a Cuban

and a Russian point of view...

...they knew what, in a sense,

I really didn't know.

We had attempted to assassinate Castro...

...under Eisenhower and Kennedy,

and later, under Johnson.

And in addition to that, major voices

in the U.S. Were calling for invasion.

In the first message,

Khrushchevsaid this:

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