Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Fog of War

USA 2004

Details sonyclassics

Seen 13 October 2007

A documentary on former US defence secretay, Robert S. McNamara. He had a major role in many decisions since the Second World War until the Vietnam War.

He is a fascinating subject as he was in the corridors of power for so long. He also had experience in the business world, once with the Ford Motor Company and the World Bank after he left government service.

The interviews try to show the reasons behind decisions taken during crucial moments in the history of the USA when dealing with its adversaries. There were still a few questions left unanswered completely, eg, those conrning the Vietnam War. He felt that further comments might open up a pandora's box.

One telling moment was when he acknowledged that he does not answer questions posed to him but rather those that he think should be asked.

A politician, not really. A dedicated cabinet member who believes wholeheartedly in the work he is doing, that seems more to the point.

As he says, war is such that the justification is complex and hence the fogginess of the issue. Right or wrong, ethics, morality, humanity, all these are not the prime concern in times of war.

There will always be losers and usually they are not the decision makers.

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