Monday, March 01, 2004

Fog of War

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

This film won an Academy award for best documentary last night . It was directed by Errol Morris, who also directed the phenomenal The Thin Blue Line.

Go see this film!

This is like Errol Morris's other films, both a work of art, as well as an amazing film that is fascinating and illuminative. Another folk about there wondered what Errol might say in his acceptance speech, and specifically whether he would thank Robert McNamara. Well I watched the Oscars, as I do every year, and it was clear when Morris grasped his little gold statue, that he is slight off center. He went through a list of people to thank.

I want to thank XXX
And I want to thank XXX

Then he paused and said:

And Robert McNamara, without him this film would not have existed and I wouldn't be here

He stopped just short of actually using the word thank in the same sentence as McNamara, but he came as close as I am sure Mr. Morris could. You see Errol was during the 60's an avid anti-Vietnam war protestor, and Robert McNamara had a little bit to do with that war. If you don't know much about McNamara or the Vietnam war, go see this movie.

Salient Facts

The Lessons

#1 Empathize with the Enemy.
#2 Rationality will not save us.
#3 There is something beyond yourself.
#4 Maximize efficiency.
#5 Proportionality should be a measure in war.
#6 Get the data.
#7 Belief and seeing are often both wrong.
#8 Be prepared to re-examine your reasoning.
#9 In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil.
#10 Never say never.
#11 You can't change human nature.

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