Mon, 06 Jul 2009 16:22:40 GMT
Former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the main engineer of the US war in Vietnam, has died at the age of 93, his family says.
McNamara died in his sleep at his home in Washington on Monday after a period of ill health, his wife, Diana, told the Associated Press.
Commentary: Galloway on McNamara: Reading an obit with great pleasure
By Joseph L. Galloway
06 Jul 2009
“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” —Clarence Darrow 1857–1938
Well, the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell.
McNamara was the original bean-counter — a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.
Back in 1990 I had a series of strange phone conversations with McMamara while doing research for my book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. McNamara prefaced every conversation with this: “I do not want to comment on the record for fear that I might distort history in the process.” Then he would proceed to talk for an hour, doing precisely that with answers that were disingenuous in the extreme — when they were not bald-faced lies.
via Commentary: Galloway on McNamara: Reading an obit with great pleasure | McClatchy.
Pingback: McNamara Dies at 93: A Look at His Legacy With Howard Zinn, Marilyn Young & Jonathan Schell « Dandelion Salad
Pingback: An Open Letter to Robert S. McNamara by Daniel N. White « Dandelion Salad
Bob Herbert offers this personal reflection:
Forgot to mention Kennedy…
I do remember a quote from McNamara which I wrote on my bedroom wall as a highschool kid in the height of the MAD march to nuclear mutual annihilation:
“War is bad for children”
He also divulged that the gulf of Tonkin incident ‘never happened’.
Like various other veterans and former warmongers (dear Zinn among them), this deranged man did seem to try to reconcile, and appeared to suffer for his vast crimes.
But as with murder, warcrimes cannot be expunged, nor repaired. It’s always vastly too little, far too late.
But at least these people can remind us from the front, that it’s all been avoidable, and horrible, beyond anything we can possibly imagine having not been to the front, nor pushed the military-industrial button.
The daylong broadcast of the Revolutionary War revealed how often these warriors were out for glory, valor, fame and patriotism, as opposed to genuinely employing a very last resort (if running away had already run out), this idea of taking up arms and killing, the military career, it’s not only deranged, it’s illegal.
Instead of reciting the pledge of malfeasance, children should instead (if anything) be asked to recite the main points of the Geneva Accords.
Had enlistees been schooled in the revelations about invasions etched in international, perhaps they would be far less willing to enlist and commit warcrimes themselves (from which thy, should they survive, will never recover, nor certainly their victims).
I still maintain it is not the commanders who commit warcrimes, it’s the soldiers themselves, those who would agree to be deployed at the hands of political powermongers.
The body has a head. Vietnam is very far away. It does not take a genius to see that this agrarian sociaty of barefoot rice farmers were no threat to the USA. According to the Geneva Accords, war is a last resort in defense of one’s own borders. Why won’t the treacherous right wing hawks acknowledge the rule of international law?
It should have been (and remains) up to the individual draftees and enlistees to refuse this illegal horrific warcrime (comparable to the Germans in magnitude of destruction and death, certainly given the size of the place, the jewel of southeast Asia, in which our invasion and occupation killed over a million, mostly innocents).