Sunday, March 14, 2004

After watching The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the life of Robert S McNamara, I was confused. McNamara speaks in a style, that seems in some sense like pure demagoguery. "Emphathize with your enemy", he roars once, like a particularly odious self-help guru. Yet there are several times when I had a lump in my throat, particularly when he talks about Kennedy's assasination. The most fascinating thing about The Fog of War is that it is itself fogggy: what, for instance, was McNamara hoping for when he agreed to e interviewed by Errol Morris? Was he hoping that this would be his chance for clearing his name? Is the man then simply a great actor? Or is this the case of an intellectual who, after a long introspection has come to the conclusion that he made mistakes? (One of the lessons is "Rationality will not save you.".) And yet, as Fred Kaplan contends in his article in Slate, why does he lie?

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