McNamara's Stunning Admissions | Letters | Chicago Reader

McNamara's Stunning Admissions 

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I'm wondering if those who have a firmly established political point of view, who wish to debate the accuracy of McNamara's war revelations, or lack thereof, aren't in fact missing the point of Errol Morris's film The Fog of War, including the views of "two star" Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum [January 23]. What's remarkable about this film isn't that it reveals new truths about the war; instead it reveals the difficult nature of deciphering the truth through all the veils of personal posturing, lies, denials, rationalizations, egos, etc, even by the most brilliant and rational of men, represented by those indecipherable figures and charts that go whizzing by the screen. What was most revealing in this film was that McNamara was still haunted by his human failings. He struck me as a flawed, deeply conflicted human being, pridefully unapologetic, agonizing over the very essence of what are human limitations. It was clear to me that these were stunning admissions, perhaps unique in all of cinema, for a historical figure to recollect before a camera, as if describing their memoirs, their own firsthand involvement in shaping the history of the 20th cen-tury. I believe they are unprecedented in their personal, historical detail, as well as their intellectual and philoso-phical inquisitiveness, ultimately exploring the morality of human nature, which McNamara quickly concludes is not likely to change anytime soon. I found it to be one of the most emotionally compelling films I've seen in years.

Robert Kennedy

Evanston

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