Monday, July 6, 2009

Robert McNamara, 1916-2009. R.I.P.

Robert McNamara, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and considered the architect of the Vietnam War, died today at the age of 93. The cause of death is unknown.

It could be said that McNamara, as much as even LBJ, was responsible for the creation of not only the anti-war movement in this country but also brought about the New Left which is now the mainstream of American politics up and to including President Obama.

As with every war this country has been involved in things did not go according to plan. But unlike any other war this country had been in up to that point never had public support been so severely tested. The saddest part was the scorn received by our troops when they came home.

So the New Left got what it wanted. America withdrew from Vietnam with its head between its and legs and the killing fields in Cambodia were soon open for business. Yet the New Left raised barely a peep. If America wasn't at fault it had nothing to say.

For a different assessment of the Vietnam War, I would recommend IC's Special Section on the Vietnam War. Most of the contributions to that section were written by the late Nathan Alexander.


Lee Vanden Brink said...

Stop acting like a lib and do something useful and fix the big white boxes by uploading a picture in them or if you can't figure out how to do that then....DELETE THEM !!!

flagstaff said...

Thanks for recognizing McNamara. He is almost forgotten.
I don't remember things that way exactly. McNamara is the one who said "we are gradually winning the war." He was the Donald Rumsfeld of his era. He caused the anti-war (and what may often be construed as the "America is always in the wrong") movement in the same sense that Jesus Christ caused his own crucifixion. Which is to say, not really. It was the people who disliked McNamara who ushered in the anti-war movement.
I look at him as a guy who did his job to the best of his ability, with the odds against him. And he may have done harm, but never meant to.

Jof Lee said...

“(National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 306, IBRD/IMF) The President met with Robert McNamara from 10:08 to 10:37 a.m. on October 15; Connally and Kissinger also attended the meeting. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)”
I have tried to find it, but no record of this discussion has been released or can be authenticated.