Fog of War

1326 words 6 pages
Ryan McManus
Vietnam Film
2/29/12
The Fog of War In the opening scenes of the documentary, The Fog of War, Robert McNamara states, “Any military commander who is honest admits that he has made mistakes, errors of judgment.” Throughout the documentary, I got the sense that McNamara is asking for forgiveness from the American public and is telling them that he wishes things went differently. There are many times throughout the film that McNamara is a sympathetic figure, but they are mainly towards the deaths and tragedies of the American people and soldiers, and less on the tragedies of the Vietnamese. As the Secretary of Defense, serving underneath the rule of the President, McNamara was not and should not have been critical of the
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Both countries had poor vision and ill-informed judgment. Had the United States empathized and understood who the Vietnamese people were, the goals they were trying to achieve and the extreme measures they were willing to take for their independence, then they would (or should) have realized this war was unnecessary and out of their reach. Another lesson learned that was not applied the seventh lesson: Belief and seeing are both often wrong. This chapter started off with the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, in which the U.S. Navy had thought the North Vietnamese attacked them for a second time. This lesson to be learned that McNamara speaks of with this matter is that, “We see what we want to believe.” The United States, or LBJ, wanted to believe that the Vietnamese attacked the Navy ships because then the decision was easy, bomb the North. However, if there was uncertainty of the attacks, then what is it that the United States should do? Uncertainty brings unwanted problems into play, and LBJ wanted a clear and definite plan to attack, to show the American people that the United States was not going to sit back and let the enemy attack them without any repercussions. If the lesson was applied, then the United States would have searched into the attack even more and would have found out that there was

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