James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fog of War, Nine Years Later

About nine years ago I saw Errol Morriss's The Fog of War, the Oscar-winning documentary featuring Robert McNamara, LBJ's Defense Secretary during the Vietnam War.

Most striking when I first watched, and now, was McNamara's 1995 encounter with North Vietnam's foreign secretary during the war. He told McNamara something like, "Don't understand? We were fighting for our independence. We weren't puppets of China; we've been fighting China for a thousand years."

What struck, and offended, Vietnamese officials was how little Americans knew about their country and its history, yet presumed to know how to "liberate" it.

That's the most upsetting thing about the crusades of the past 20-odd years in the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East, and now Africa. Those who advocate a "bomb first" policy have no idea who they're dealing with; and the President is the most ignorant of all.

Those are probably all the additional comments I'd want to make. Otherwise, I'm satisfied with what I wrote about The Fog of War nine years ago at The Partial Observer.

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