Robert McNamara and The Fog of War

LeMay said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” And I think he’s right. He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win? – Robert McNamara

I’m not so naive or simplistic to believe we can eliminate war. We’re not going to change human nature anytime soon. It isn’t that we aren’t rational. We are rational. But reason has limits. There’s a quote from T.S. Eliot that I just love:?We shall not cease from exploring?And at the end of our exploration?We will return to where we started?And know the place for the first time.??Now that’s in a sense where I’m beginning to be. – Robert Mcnamara

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5 Responses to Robert McNamara and The Fog of War

  1. Czarisse V. Manlangit says:


    Robert Mcnamara said, “It isn’t that we aren’t rational. We are rational. But reason has limits.”
    But in my opinion, war is because we are rational. I don’t think there is any one idea, concept or belief that all of mankind agrees upon, and that’s not because we’re irrational. Humans are critical and reasonable, but our reasons sprout from all sorts of different places, thus never-ending conflict.

    Czarisse V. Manlangit
    STS THX 2:30pm-4:00 pm

  2. Marielle Pojas says:

    What this movie shows is that political leaders, no matter how high they may be in the ladder, are human and can be frail and uncertain. Take for example the confusion about the nuclear warheads in Cuba. While they may have achievements that hold high merit, there are still times that they make actions and decisions that are not deserving of conviction. THis is the reason why, constituents and citizens must always be watchful and must always scrutinize and learn the events and situations in the country. Even more so in the Philippines especially that the elections are coming.

    Marielle Joy Pojas

  3. Nico Tolentino says:

    Robert McNamara gave his rules of war which became the foundation of this documentary about his experiences. Although he was just talking about war in the literal sense, I think that these rules of his can also be applied to war in the figurative sense. For me however, one of these rules was the most striking and this was the third which stated “There is something beyond one’s self.” Oftentimes, our thoughts and actions are very egocentric even though we might not be aware of ii and do it unintentionally but keeping in mind this statement, it gives you a whole new perspective. Each thought and action will greatly influence not only outcomes that concern us, but also outcomes of those around or related to us. Examining these relations and connections carefully, we will see that even the smallest of actions can have the greatest of reactions. Thus we must keep in mind of our capability to have a great effect on not only ourselves but on others as well.

    Nicolo Miguel Simplicio D. Tolentino

  4. Disa says:


    After watching the movie, I remembered when my high school social studies teacher told us that nobody wins at war. Everybody loses—be it life, territory, buildings, culture, memories, resources, or what not. War is truly a terrible occurrence.

    Indeed, the title “The Fog of War” captures the disorder and predicament caused by war. And even after a war, peace could not be guaranteed. A war can leave a scar that may last and prolong; a fog that may blind and suffocate what’s left of humanity.

    Disa Reyes
    STS THX (2:30-4:00 PM)

  5. Kamille Tolentino says:

    “But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?” (McNamara)

    This really intrigues me and makes me think of wars and how there are always two sides to it. The two sides fighting during war always fight for what they think is right and as a spectator you may lean towards one group’s ideologies but will never be sure if that side is in fact the right one. Much like our elections, not just in the Philippines but within UP as well. The different parties always fight for their principles making it seem that the others’ principles are wrong when in fact, all their principles are right to a certain extent or depending on context.

    Kamille Tolentino

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