Sunday, September 19, 2004

"Fog of War"

Watched the Robert McNamara documentary "Fog of War". It was not what I expected. Instead of an extended one-on-one interview, with the interviewer, McNamara's comments were interlaced with film footage of his involvement with strategic bombing during World War II, his work at Ford Motor Company, and his activities while Secretary of State.

Long ago, if I had only the one word to describe McNamara, the word was "manipulative". The film reinforced that insight. As he notes, he never answered reporters' questions, only his own. Like the girl with the curl, when his motives were pure, they were powerfully pure. And when they were bad, well....

His comments on the Tonkin Gulf resolution brought back memories of the events leading up to Iraq War II. For that and many other reasons, high school American history courses should include the film and some outside reading on Vietnam. After all, high schoolers are the ones subject to the draft.