"The American involvement in Vietnam began in secrecy. It ended 30 years later in failure. It was begun in GOOD FAITH, by DECENT PEOPLE, out of fateful misunderstanding, American overconfidence and Cold War miscalculation.” (My emphasis added)
The film is remarkable in its liberal use of the secret recordings of White House conversations. We hear the voices of President Lyndon Johnson, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. These recordings reveal cynicism, paranoia, and deception that have little in common with “good faith” or “decent people.”
Conscious of their audience, the film makers are reluctant to be too harsh in condemning American motives. The theme, in effect, is that the American War in Vietnam was a bi-partisan, well-intended, accumulation of unfortunate mistakes made by six Presidents over 30 years.