The Fog of War

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Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary

It is the story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara. One of the most controversial and influential figures in world politics, he takes us on an insider’s view of the seminal events of the 20th Century. Why was this past Century the most destructive and deadly in all of human history? Are we doomed to repeat our mistakes? Are we free to make choices, or are we at the mercy of inexorable historical forces and ideologies?

From the firebombing of 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo in 1945 to the brink of nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban missile crisis to the devastating effects of the Vietnam War, The Fog of War examines the psychology and reasoning of the government decision-makers who send men to war. How were decisions made and for what reason? What can we learn from these historical events?

As American forces occupy Iraq and the possibility of additional military conflict looms large, The Fog of War is essential viewing for anyone who wants to understand how the American government justifies the use of military force. Combining extraordinary archival footage, recreations, newly declassified White House recordings, and an original score by the Oscar nominated composer, Philip Glass, the film is a disquieting and powerful essay on war, rationality, and human nature.

The Fog of War, 9.5 out of 10 based on 51 ratings

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  • http://erictoupin.com Eric Toupin

    Illuminating exploration of the tragedy of war and the very human, biased and flawed situational comprehensions that continually lead nations to it.

  • Human Being

    So war is a a part of human nature?! Get the fuck out of here!! War is a by-product of scarcity. That is the foundation that all other excuses can build upon. The guy has no background in SoD affairs, but Kennedy wants him in that position or another one he is not qualified for.

    I feel we are all great individuals that if put in the right or wrong situation will do some extraordinary or terrible things. In looking at the culture or the cold war and the progression to the 1st Iraqi war we should, as a human race, really start to look at eradicating war for the face of the earth. Science has brought us so wonderful things, but along with these advancements we have the current ability to destroy this planet at the least 5x over. As pointed out in this film that’s a mistake you can’t come back from. So I urge you to take in lots of information and reject the idea that some non-existent entity (god or whoever) cares cares about what you do day to day. An intelligent all powerful, all knowing god can’t be these things when nuclear war threatens the lives of children not born and people who have no idea what a nuclear warhead can do. Only we can ‘save’ ourselves.

    • Rocky Racoon

      Our economy for the first time in human history  suffer’s from crisis of over production in capitalism-absurd isn’ t it.  The money we GAVE to the banker’s could have put a man on Mars 5 times over-that is how much wealth there actually is in the world.  What we spend in a year on the military and war is beyond most people’s comprehension-that is how great our ability to produce actually is.  In today’s world scarcity is a myth-we fight over control of the surplus-in fact ever since we have been able to produce a surplus we have had war foisted upon us by those who control said surplus-that is why we need to democractize economics.  And dont’ worry-you will have a healthier more productive life as a result.  The more egalitarian a society the healthier it is.  The USA and the West is digging it’s own grave with the political economy of capitalism.  It is far past time to rid humanity of this revolutionary and destructive mode of production.
      RR

  • Don Clifford

    McNamara is delusional. this interview comes across as a man in denial of the facts of his own behaviours and their ultimately negative and barbaric consequences. He sounds like a politician and puts a twist on almost everything he discusses. Everything is too “complex” for Joe Soap to comprehend. No it isn’t too complex Robert, it’s simply American attempts to dominate every strata of mankind from what others on this soon to be destroyed planet should think to what we should eat. Total obedience to lunatics and sociopaths. He is part of that killing machine that is the good ole US empire whether he cares to admit it or not.
    Look where all this clinical thinking has got his nation as a whole, a progression of more and more fucked up leaderships to the sheep that constitute the general population of the most profoundly evil country on the planet. The likes of McNamara and Co. have lead to the creation of something akin to a police state which uses double speak to such an extent that a piece of law called the Patriot Act can be installed and have the complete opposite meaning to its title. What a horrible place America is, I am so glad I don’t live there.

    • Carrie

      “American attempts to dominate every strata of mankind ..”

      Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Friar-Doughnut/1222735670 Friar Doughnut

      I’m glad you dont live here either.  You’re not welcome, :-) so fuck off.

      • Anonymous

        Typical

        • ileftforareason

          What would the world be without America? I would like to see you not enjoy any american product.

          • http://www.facebook.com/NANDGated NAND Gate

            Are you seriously implying that without the US, we wouldn’t be here? ROFL Someone would just take your place. By the way we import almost nothing from you. That is the problem with some of you. You think you are somehow special and fated. The fact is you are just another brick in the wall ;)

      • Anonymous

        Typical

      • LandoftheSlave

        Hey FriarDoughnut…America, or should I say Israel’s second state isn’t looking like such a nice place to live these days..but I’m sure your masters in Israel have lots of room in the West Bank in one of their lovely concentration camps for blind fools like yourself. Put the doughnut down fathead…it’s been confirmed…you now officially live in a police state..enjoy the facism…couldn’t happen to a more deserving crowd. Constitution bye bye…ha ha.

  • Don Clifford

    McNamara is delusional. this interview comes across as a man in denial of the facts of his own behaviours and their ultimately negative and barbaric consequences. He sounds like a politician and puts a twist on almost everything he discusses. Everything is too “complex” for Joe Soap to comprehend. No it isn’t too complex Robert, it’s simply American attempts to dominate every strata of mankind from what others on this soon to be destroyed planet should think to what we should eat. Total obedience to lunatics and sociopaths. He is part of that killing machine that is the good ole US empire whether he cares to admit it or not.
    Look where all this clinical thinking has got his nation as a whole, a progression of more and more fucked up leaderships to the sheep that constitute the general population of the most profoundly evil country on the planet. The likes of McNamara and Co. have lead to the creation of something akin to a police state which uses double speak to such an extent that a piece of law called the Patriot Act can be installed and have the complete opposite meaning to its title. What a horrible place America is, I am so glad I don’t live there.

  • Malcolm McLean

    By coincidence had just finished watching the ‘Nuremberg Trials’.

    McNamara, LeMay, Ford and Westmorland would all have been declared war criminals, found guilty, and hanged.

  • john w. rippetoe jr.

    Brilliant documentary.
    My question is:
    “If no one is able to point it out to you, how do you ever know if you have a blind spot.”

    Whether McNamara tries to be honest with himself or not, he is evidently incapable of adhering to his own wisdom and I think it compromises his ability to be honest.
    Witness: he proposes as one of his collected wisdoms that we, the US, have to remember that we are not omniscient, we have to remember we don’t know it all, don’t have access to comprehensive, absolute knowledge.
    Yet he is really proud of himself – tickled with himself – for proposing that one should never answer the question that is asked, answer the question that you wish had been asked.
    Well of course you’re never going to be aware of your blind spot if you refuse to consider it, or limit yourself to answering only the questions that you ask of yourself. That’s not accountability.
    Plus, I found I had no sympathy for his position that his job was to help the President be the best President he could be, or help the President do the best job possible. That seems to me to be a problem coming from someone who is otherwise so certain that he “is always doing the right thing even though anyone who’s honest has to admit the fact that everyone makes mistakes?”
    Brilliant intellect but slippery sense of personal responsibility and conscience — nothing sticks to him.

  • http://none Michael Kinsey

    I saw a bought and paid for controlled demolition company exec spout a line of drivel about 911. So authoritative,and speaking only spin that makes them look blameless. There were millions in the streets, here, telling them they were crazy doing what we were doing in Nam. He is a devious, slick war criminal, who always thought like a Nazi. Right and wrong are not a confusing and complex to someone who knows right from wrong and is willing to do the right thing. He isn’t going to tell anybody why they refused to do the right thing, anymore than the Government will admit they had something to do with Kennedy’s murder and demolished the Twin Towers themselves. Those railing by Bush, Obama and both Clinton against absurd conspiracy theory’s are proof they never intend to come clean, neither is this sucker. Tonkin, magic bullet, free fall speed building collapses, NIST report, Hitler would have been impressed.

  • Mike

    Watching this made me feel empty inside at the things people are capable of. I listened to Hard Rain by Bob Dylan after watching this and almost cried, that doesn’t happen often.

  • denbenenki

    Great insight to the mindset of the Devil or Evil. I assume this was propaganda to set up the next illegal invasion, which I think was the US terrorizing of Central America. This is what we can expect to hear from Bush jr. if he decides to “explain” his presidency in a documentary. So many creepy statements, I imagined him tased each time. XxxxxxxX Two of the most evil: [Verifying the USA had been attacked by the NV] 1:09:00 General David Burchinal: You’re pretty sure there was a torpedo attack, though? Admiral Ulysses S. G. Sharp: No doubt about that—I think. XxxxxxxxX [Describing the years during his position as Secretary of Defense.] 57:36 McNamara: … they were some of the best years of our life…, and all members of my family benefitted from it. It was terrific. XxxxxxxX McNamara lived 93 years. Proof to me, God rewards those who are Evil and those who Lie.

  • Mark Duff6

    i am a military veteran with 100% PTSD from the US Army..if i was younger i would leave this hell hole and find a country that believes in peace, like Iceland..

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/BCWCHYJGLXMBHKGR2S33DH23JM doug

      Thanks for your service, Bud. And welcome home. 

  • earl

    Great documentary, it really explains alot about why we as americans do what we do. Rape pilage steal the worlds recources. And puts an interesting perspective on why Obama ran on getting us out of war but all we have seen is more of the same

  • http://samueldhalmat.foliohd.com Luis

    When will Americans face the reality of all this shit? Ethics, War, Morals, Communism, it is all crap, Vietnam is the largest producer of rice in the world, and they produce the best rice also, so this documentary is in itself smoke. It is bulshit, to me this guy McNamara and all of his lot lived a lie, they are as stupid and ignorant as a faithful dog. It is all about sales for Americans. War is the strong hand to acheive a sale. SIMPLE

  • http://samueldhalmat.foliohd.com Luis

    Incredible the fact that he went to school and studied philosophy, it is clear to me that Harvard produces fuckers “To Get the Job Done” no more than that, then the bankers and millionaires will instruct them on where to attack and who to kill to corner the market. America is more and more similar to The Godfather” movie.

  • http://samueldhalmat.foliohd.com Luis

    Incredibly stupid documentary, and the music of Glass is a far cry from spitting in the sidewalk, he composes music that could be played in a cheap Hollywood movie. And it is not about human nature, stop that short sighted thought, it is just about greed.