Remembering Robert S. McNamara through 'The Fog of War' | EW.com

News | PopWatch

Remembering Robert S. McNamara through 'The Fog of War'

Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara has died at 93, and with him goes a certain perspective on the 20th Century: the perspective of a man intimately involved in the military actions that defined both America and the world. World War II, Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam – they all transpired on his watch.

In 2001, McNamara sat down with documentarian Errol Morris for a series of conversations that would examine the lessons he'd learned over the course of that life – lessons like In Order to Do Good You May Have to Engage in Evil, Empathize with Your Enemy, Proportionality Should Be a Guideline in War – and the result was the exemplary, Oscar-winning film, 2003's The Fog of War. Some have called McNamara a warmonger; a monster; an unethical, immoral machine. The question of whether he was a necessary monster isn't one for me to answer, but listening to a man like this take his own measure is transfixing. His vantage point on history was unrivaled.

“What makes it immoral if you lose, but moral if you win?”

Originally posted July 6 2009 — 3:36 PM EDT

Genre:

More from Our Partners