Path to War (2002 TV Movie)
Lyndon Baines Johnson: [Looking at the fighter jet escort next to Air Force One] Dean!
Dean Rusk, Secretary of State: Are they ours?
Lyndon Baines Johnson: I fuckin' hope so.
Senator Everett Dirksen: If this is a defeat, I would hate to see a victory.
Lyndon Baines Johnson: Pack your suitcase, we're goin' to Vietnam.
Lyndon Baines Johnson: Haven't you been paying attention? Hell, they got hundred-year-old women re-supplying them!
McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor: The South Vietnamese are useless, Mr. President. They've lost four battalions in the last month. Desertions are at record levels. They're losing, and they're losing fast.
Lyndon Baines Johnson: I know they're losing! I don't need a Phi Beta Kappa key to know they're losing! Anyone smart enough to pour piss out of a boot knows they're losing!
Lyndon Baines Johnson: How many planes will we lose?
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: 20 to 25.
Lyndon Baines Johnson: How many casualties?
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: 50 to 300 is my estimate, and if the bombs miss, it can go as high as 12,000, with fifty percent of these civilians and fifty percent of those killed.
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: Of course, we don't plan these strikes to miss our targets.
Lyndon Baines Johnson: But you do miss sometimes. And this time you could hit a Russian ship. And the bomber pilot will be a kid from Johnson City, Texas, and that'll be the kid that starts World War III, thank you very much.
Lyndon Baines Johnson: They don't need damn trucks! Weren't you watching? They've got hundred-year-old women hauling crap! What do you want me to do, kill everyone's grandmother in that place?
George Ball, Undersecretary of State: Clark, I can't tell you how grateful I am to finally have an ally at the barricades.
Clark Clifford: Well, it's just what makes sense, George. Not to Bob McNamara, but to me. A million men was straight out of your memo of October of last year. An impressively persuasive document, in my opinion.
George Ball, Undersecretary of State: All 67 pages of it? Well, it's true I haven't shown much restraint on the subject. If the President brought you in, it must be because I'm like... an old, broken record now.
Clark Clifford: Then there'll be two of us - scratchy and irritating as hell.
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: The bridge is a major target, and we've never hit it. Chances of civilian deaths will be almost zero.
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: I say 100 to 500, possibly more!
Lyndon Baines Johnson: Which is it? 500 or zero?
Walt Rostow: Mr. President, the Stennis committee is up in arms over our holding back on these bombing targets! Bob's testimony is coming up, and it'll take some heat off him if some of these could be cleared up before his appearance.
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: I think I can take the heat without padding my resume with more bombing missions.
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: This is a heavily-defended target in a very populated area.
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: The photos are right here, Mr. President ...
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: The photos are meaningless! The target is heavily defended. The pilots jettison their bombs while they're under attack. Now, I've been asking for two years why they don't just come straight up the river - that way, they dump their bombs, they go in the water and not on the people, and I still haven't got an answer!
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: Coming in from the gulf involves an extra turn, with our backs to those heavy defenses.
Dean Rusk, Secretary of State: If it is so well defended, should we risk the pilots? Men dying is a relative thing.
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: The effect of the air campaign is cumulative. Every blow makes the enemy stretch his resources.
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: Stretching is a relative thing. Mr. President, we shouldn't be bombing for punitive reasons, but there just doesn't seem to be any point to this anymore!
Lyndon Baines Johnson: Hit it! Hit the goddamn bridge.
George Ball, Undersecretary of State: [Looking at McNamara and being slightly drunk] Look at him! His wife's got an ulcer. His kid's got an ulcer. Everybody's got Bob McNamara's ulcer but Bob McNamara. Sometimes I think it's all just a Goddamn academic exercise to him.
Lyndon Baines Johnson: [to Jack Valenti] You know, Jack, I want war like I want polio.