Fail Safe (2000 TV Movie)
Col. Jack Grady, Command Pilot Group 6: [answering the phone] Tommy?
Tommy Grady, Col. Grady's Son: Dad! How long is this one gonna be?
Col. Jack Grady, Command Pilot Group 6: Shouldn't be too late.
Tommy Grady, Col. Grady's Son: Are you sure?
Col. Jack Grady, Command Pilot Group 6: I'm positive.
Tommy Grady, Col. Grady's Son: Only fools are positive.
Col. Jack Grady, Command Pilot Group 6: Are you sure?
Tommy Grady, Col. Grady's Son: I'm positive.
Prof. Groeteschele: In every war, even a thermonuclear war, you must have a victor and you must have a vanquished. History tells us that the culture which is best prepared, has the best retaliatory policy, and the best defense, will have an ancient and classical advantage.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: To be victorious...
Prof. Groeteschele: Yes, General. It would be the victor, in that it would be less damaged than its enemy.
Gen. Stark: *We* would be the victor.
Prof. Groeteschele: That would be our hope, General.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: Groeteschele, your argument doesn't recognize that thermonuclear war is not the extension of policy, it is the end of everything: People, policy, institutions...
Prof. Groeteschele: My argument, General Black, is that if only one of us is to survive a nuclear exchange, I prefer that it be our culture and not the Soviets'. Wouldn't you?
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: Culture? With most of its people dead? It's vegetation burned off? Do you really think that the world you describe *is* a culture? The idea of war has changed since the advent of the Bomb.
Gen. Stark: Yes, but war's function remains the same, Blackie. Whether it's a spear thrown, or a nuclear bomb.
Prof. Groeteschele: War is still the resolution of economic and political conflict.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: In these times, in any possible war, the overwhelming majority of citizens are going to be killed. Does this still suggest to you that war is a resolution of conflicts?
Prof. Groeteschele: Yes, General, the situation is no different then it was a thousand years ago. There were primitive wars in which entire populations were completely wiped out. The point remains: Who will be the victor, and who will be the victim? So short of disarmament, for which you seem to be arguing, and to which I highly doubt the Soviets would agree, what shall we do? These weapons exist. We can face that, or we can close our minds to it.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: Groteschele, this world is no longer man's theater. Man has been made into a spectator. We define policy by discussing the possibility of a winnable nuclear exchange. Once one knows where he wants to go, he can collect a great amount of logic and fact to support his argument. My fear is that both we and the Soviets are settled on mutual destruction. We are now rallying our different logics to support our identical conclusions. And if we are not careful, gentlemen, we will both get the results that we want.
Gordon Knapp: If you pile all these electronic systems one on top of the other, sooner or later you're going to get a faulty transistor or a damaged rectifier, and then the whole thing just shuts down. Even computers suffer fatigue. They become erratic, they break down, just like overworked people.
Prof. Groeteschele: Excuse me, but you're overlooking one important factor: Humans control those machines. Humans can see an error and correct it.
Gordon Knapp: I'm sorry, sir, but you are misinformed. The fact of the matter is that these machines are so complex, and the mistakes they make are so subtle, that in a real war situation, you might not know whether the computer was in error, or telling you the truth.
Prof. Groeteschele: Excuse me, sir. Every minute we wait works against us. The President has to send in a full strike. He *has* to. There's nothing else that he can do, sir. Now! Now is the time, before the Russians are on full alert.
Defense Secretary Swenson: We don't go in for sneak attacks, Mr. Groteschele. That's what the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor.
Prof. Groeteschele: The Japanese, sir, were right to do that. From their point of view, we were their mortal enemy. As long as we existed, we were a deadly threat to them. Do you not... does any one here not believe that communism is our mortal enemy? The enemy of capitalism? Sir, the only mistake the Japanese made... they failed to finish us off at the start. They paid for that mistake with Hiroshima. We're in the process of making the same mistake, gentlemen. You can't erase history, but you can learn from it.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: You've learned so well, Groteschele, there's no difference between you, and what you want to kill. Destroy Russia? For what? To preserve what?
Prof. Groeteschele: Democracy, General! We have here a God-given opportunity.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: To kill?
Prof. Groeteschele: Why are you in the military, if not to kill?
President: Ground zero will be the Empire State Building. When we hear the shriek of Mr. Lentov's telephone melting, we will know that he is gone, and with him, New York.
Buck: [under his breath] Holy Mother of God...
Gordon Knapp: [in the war room] How can he do that?
Congressman Raskob: What else can he do? Five million people. This, Mr. Knapp, is where we've always been headed.
Col. Jack Grady, Command Pilot Group 6: There's only one decision left to make, and then our job is done. We decide from what height to drop the bombs. We've already taken on enough radiation from the blast, at best we'd last a couple of days.
President: Are you married, Buck?
Buck: No, sir. Not yet. We've gone steady for a while, but we haven't set a date or anything. Is she in the government? State Department. She's a translator like me. Spanish, French and Italian. We met in translator school. When she gets mad she can curse in four languages.
Soviet Chairman: [on the phone] We think we do not have much of a chance.
President: I agree.
Soviet Chairman: And yet, who can be blamed? Can you blame a machine?
President: Well, men built those machines, Mr. Chairman.
Soviet Chairman: Men are not perfect, Mr. President.
President: Men are responsible for what they do. Men are responsible for what they make. We built those machines, your country and mine. We put them in place. Two *great* cities will be destroyed. Millions of innocent people will die because of us. What do we say to them? "Accidents will happen?" I can't accept that. What do we do, Mr. Chairman? What do we say to the dead?
Soviet Chairman: We must say this will not happen again.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: You've all been briefed on this mission, so there's nothing more to say. I have only one last order. No one else is to have anything to do with the release of the bombs. I repeat. I will fly the plane and launch the bombs. The ultimate act will be mine. Is that clear?
Co-pilot: On course, sir. Approaching the target.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: We'll count down from 10. Give me the signal.
Co-pilot: We're on a heading of 6 degrees south. Winds northwest at 8 miles an hour. Altitude, 26,000 feet. Ground Zero, set at 1,000 feet. The lob point is in 10.
Brig. Gen. Warren Black: 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - Mark.
[releases the bombs, injects himself, slumps over]