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View Diary: Previous rumors about Chuck Hagel being nominated for Secretary of Defense heat up (215 comments)

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  •  the weird thing about mcnamara (1+ / 0-)
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    is that he was arguing against attacking cuba, during the missile crisis. in the blink of an eye he went from voice of reason to principle warlord.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:15:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  McNamara was just out there and had (4+ / 0-)

      no idea or care of what a mess we were in.  My husband goes so angry if that name is mentioned.  I don't know who he hates more...( policies) McNamara, or Rumsfield,   Their names just roll right off your tongue don't they?
      And buried somewhere because they are not spoken much in this house.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:40:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Robert Mcnamera should ve vindicated (2+ / 0-)
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      MPociask, lirtydies

      I've seen Mcnamera speak at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall back in 2004.  He appeared with Errol Morris in promoting "Fog of War."  McNamera is a very intelligent, observant person who was more of a pawn than a real ideologue.  If anything, he served more as a loyalist to the President than anything else.  Another problem was, McNamera was nominated by John F. Kennedy to be Secretary of Defense before Lyndon Johnson became president.  However, McNamera lived well until his 90's, was very insightful and even during the 2004 Zellerbach Hall forum, he fought viciously against the Iraq War and told viewers to hold the U.S. government accountable.  This isn't a dumb man.  This is someone who has been tortured from the times of Vietnam War.

      The point being, had Lyndon Johnson not escalated the Vietnam War, Democrats would have been in power for years to come.  Richard Nixon would have lost election once again and Robert Kennedy wouldn't have run for president.

      •  I think the word you're looking for is "forgiven" (5+ / 0-)

        rather than "vindicated".

        This place needs a PVP server.

        by JesseCW on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 01:02:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He baldly lied. (0+ / 0-)

        He knew early on that the war was not winnable, but kept sending Americans to die anyway,  spouting "the light at the end of the tunnel" crap. There's a special place in hell for him for that, even if he did come clean in later years, admitting, for instance, that  the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened.

        •  Yeah and what about Colin Powell? (0+ / 0-)

          Colin Powell lied about the Weapons of Mass Destruction during the Bush administration and a number of us on Kos are vindicating or freeing him from a lot of criticism because he's spoke out against neo-conservatism.  Should we hold the same standard towards Robert McNamera?

      •  There's this from Noam Chomsky (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PeterHug, JesseCW

        "If you look at his mea culpa, he's apologizing to the American people. He sent American soldiers to fight an unwinnable war, which he thought early on was unwinnable. The cost was to the U.S. It tore the country apart. It left people disillusioned and skeptical of the government. That's the cost. Yes, there were those three million or more Vietnamese who got killed. The Cambodians and Laotians are totally missing from his story. There were a million or so of them. There's no apology to them."

        •  McNamera didn't send troops (0+ / 0-)

          Remember, the President of the United States is commander in-chief, so the Commander in Chief is responsible for ordering the troops.  The commander in chief in this case is Lyndon Johnson.  It is Johnson who is to blame because the buck stops at the White House.  Sorry but pointing all the fingers at McNamera is like pointing all the fingers at Donald Rumsfeld.  Seriously, so many Republicans criticized Rumsfeld but they never criticized Bush.

          A time table of events leading to the Vietnam War (at least a little snapshot):

          Dwight Eisenhower sends the first survey troops to Vietnam
          John F. Kennedy sends troops to Vietnam
          Lyndon Johnson escalates the war by sending more troops
          Richard Nixon continues to escalate the war but ends up realizing the war can't be won.  He doesn't end the war.
          Gerald Ford finally orders troops to be removed from Vietnam.  The U.S. ends up getting a major ass whooping criticism from Vietnam.

          Nowadays, Vietnam and the U.S. are trading partners.  Amazing how we've moved on since then.

      •  I think McNamara's tragic flaw (if you will) (0+ / 0-)

        was that he wasn't nearly as smart as he thought he was.  Therefore, he got himself completely out of his depth trying to manage a war by methods that perhaps worked reasonably well in a controlled manufacturing environment, but were totally idiotic for something as chaotic as combat.

        Rumsfeld's tragic flaw (both times) is that he is a fucking sanctimonious clueless asshole who really thinks he's a good standup comic.  And who doesn't give a flying fuck about ANYONE except himself.

        •  Wrong on the last part (0+ / 0-)

          I was at the Zellerbach Hall in 2004 and Robert McNamera is an example of someone who literally felt his reputation was blown out of the water.  He's been haunted by the memories of the Vietnam War, his involvement in it.  In fact, since the Vietnam War, he's been ferociously anti-war, at least with regards to the Iraq War.

          You are right on the first part though that McNamera wasn't as smart as he thought he was.  However, watch the documentary of "Fog of War" and you'll find out what McNamera has as far as testimony.  He was nominated by JFK and he had no experience that he felt qualified him to be Secretary of Defense (although McNamera did serve in WWII).

          This kind of argument we're having can be almost the same argument we can make against the Bush administration: Blame the President, not the subordinates or the Secretaries.

          It is Lyndon Johnson who we should be pointing the finger to because he's the one who kept escalating the Vietnam War and wanted to win it.  He kept McNamera in.  Johnson was a saint with regards to social issues, probably the most powerful Democrat in 20th century U.S. history aside from Franklin Roosevelt.  However, he ended up being a big right winger on foreign policy over time in the Vietnam War.

          On the other hand, I think Johnson was a very good president otherwise if you don't include the Vietnam War.  The war destroyed him and his reputation and I'm not surprised he ended up not recovering from it.  Both he and McNamera are what I call tragic Democratic figures.  McNamera though seemed to weather the storm better than Johnson.

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