Directed by Errol Morris
Review: The video is a documentary of an interview with Robert Strange McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense for seven years during the Vietnam War era and during the presidental terms of Kennedy and Johnson. In World War II, he was involved in the bombardment of Japan. Prior to his term as Secretary, he was the president of Ford Motor Company. RSM was eighty-five years old when the interview took place.
Best quote from RSM: "If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merits of our cause, we'd better re-examine our reasons."
Most memorable fact: In one single night of incendiary bombardment, fifty square miles in Tokoyo were destroyed and one hundred-thousand men, women, and children were killed.
The Eleven Lessons discussed by RSM:
- Empathize with your enemy, understand their needs.
- Rationality will not save us, [but sometimes blind luck will].
- There's something beyond one's self.
- Maximize efficiency.
- Proportionality should be a guideline in war.
- Get the data.
- Belief and seeing are both often wrong.
- Be prepared to re-examine your reasoning.
- In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil.
- Never say never.
- You can't change human nature.