aelst’s review

Good documentary about ex-secretary of Defence, Robert McNamara. He goes through 11 lessons that he has learned throughout his life, and we get to see his position and influence (or lack of) in critical situations of the last century. I don’t know much about modern American history, and this movie refers to many events so it was a bit lost on me. There were lots of simple ideas and suggestions that that he mentions which may have sounded especially innovative in the past, but by today’s standards ideas like that would have been taken for granted.

I did wonder why he bothered to make this movie, it was autobiographical in nature, and it seemed to give him an opportunity to explain his side of the story, especially with regards to the questionable decisions that America has made in the past.

There is no mention of his thoughts on current events, and as the documentary paints him as a wise character I would have liked him to make some comments.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

ratbag’s review

The Fog of War is an excellent documentary, and I found it to be relevant and interesting even though I am not aware of world events and the Cold War. What struck me was that politicians of today do not seem to have the intelligence or even the charisma of the politicians in the past. Even in his old age, McNamara has more spark and wit about him than most politicians today.

I highly recommend “The Fog of War”. I leave you with McNamara’s life lessons below:

  1. Empathise with your enemy.
  2. Rationality will not save us.
  3. There’s something beyond one’s self.
  4. Maximise efficiency.
  5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war.
  6. Get the data.
  7. Belief and seeing are both often wrong.
  8. Be prepared to 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.