The Fog of War – Lesson #9: In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil

McNamara ponders:

“How much evil must we do in order to do good? We have certain ideals, certain responsibilities. Recognize that at times you will have to engage in evil, but minimize it.”

McNamara recounts having read that General Sherman, during the Civil War, rebuffed the Mayor of Atlanta’s plea to spare the city from burning by saying ” War is cruel. War is cruelty.”

” That was the way LeMay felt. He was trying to save the country. He was trying to save our nation. And in the process, he was prepared to do whatever killing was necessary. It’s a very, very difficult position for sensitive human beings to be in.”