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.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

'We and you ought not pull

on the ends of a rope...

...which you have tied the knots of war.

Because the more the two of us pull...

...the tighter the knot will be tied.

And then it will be necessary

to cut that knot...

...and what that would mean

is not for me to explain to you.

I have participated in two wars

and know that war ends...

...when it has rolled through

cities and villages...

... everywhere sowing death and destruction.

For such is the logic of war.

If people do not display wisdom...

...they will clash like blind moles...

...and then mutual annihilation will commence.'

I want to say,

and this is very important:

At the end, we lucked out.

It was luck that prevented nuclear war.

We came that close to nuclear war at the end.

Rational individuals.

Kennedy was rational.

Khrushchevwas rational.

Castro was rational.

Rational individuals came that close

to total destruction of their societies.

And that danger exists today.

The major lesson

of the Cuban Missile Crisis is this:

The indefinite combination

of human fallibility...

...and nuclear weapons will destroy nations.

Is it right and proper...

...that today there are 7500 strategic

offensive nuclear warheads...

...of which 2500 are on 15-minute alert... be launched by the decision

of one human being?

It wasn't until January, 1992... a meeting chaired by Castro

in Havana, Cuba...

...that I learned 162 nuclear warheads...

...including 90 tactical warheads...

...were on the island at the time

in this critical moment of the crisis.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing...

...and Castro got very angry with me,

because I said:

' Mr. President, let's stop this meeting.

This is totally new to me.

I'm not sure I got the translation right.'

Mr. President,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 31 Oct. 2020. <>.

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