Fog of War

Seems like everyday someone famous is dying.  It’s really too bad that a great man like Robert McNamara who died this week at age 93 isn’t being talked about because of America’s need to worship the King of Pop.  McNamara, who defined the role of Secretary of Defense in the US and played a huge role in involvement in the Vietnam War. 

Like so many people do when they reach their later years, McNamara deeply struggled with how he lived his life. His particular struggle was over his beliefs and participation in war.  It was about year ago that my close friend, Ian shared with me a documentary called, “Fog of War”.  Both of us had spent a lot of time discussing the tension of what exactly is patriotism and where does it fit in the life of a Christ-follower.  It’s not that we didn’t want to love our country…but how do we love our country and reject some of the many things that seem to define patriotism?

I went home that afternoon and rented “Fog of War”.  It’s a chilling, honest, and heart-wrenching documentary on the life and career of Robert McNamara.  My eyes were opened to how our military system works, the kind of power the Sec. of  Defense has, and just how easy it is to make a mess of this world.

But why the film remains one of the most important I’ve ever seen, is because of how McNamara looks into the lens of the camera and pours out every emotion and struggle that he was left to live with.  Questions…regrets…shame…

Have you seen it?  What were some of your thoughts from it?  Did it change any of your beliefs about war?

Love and Peace.

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2 responses to “Fog of War

  1. Rex,
    I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary and would love to see what ended up on the editor’s floor. As a student of history and being familiar with the “Munich paragdigm” which afflicted McNamara and his peers it was refreshing to hear him state the importance of empathy (how to see reality through the lens of others). It’s a shame over 50 thousand American lives were wasted when it could all have been prevented if someone would have exhibited empathy for the Vietmanese.

    What a valuable trait for a follower of Christ to possess.

  2. the last astronaut

    I think that documentary should be required viewing in high school so we can see our importance as participants in our system of government and to help us understand the humanity of our leaders and the gravity of their decisions.

    It was unnerving to literally see the weight of the world on one man’s shoulders. In some of the scenes how he would just stare off camera in thought I could only imagine what was running through his mind. It is such a great burden that our leaders bear to make these decisions that alter the course of history, and it is an even greater burden that they have to live with once the decision has been made.

    After all, it is frighteningly easy “to make a mess of this world”.

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