• Robert McNamara Goes Up to That Big Vietnam Planning Meeting in the Sky

    First, Farrah Fawcett. Then, Michael Jackson. And then, that guy with the beard who yells on TV. Now, Robert McNamara. When will it end?

    Robert Strange McNamara, the former secretary of defense whose record as a leading executive of industry and a chieftain of foreign financial aid was all but erased from public memory by his reputation as the primary architect of U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam, died early this morning at age 93…

    McNamara was secretary of defense during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. In that capacity he directed a U.S. military buildup in Southeast Asia during the critical early years of a Vietnamese conflict that escalated into one of the most divisive and bitter wars in U.S. history. When the war was over, 58,000 Americans were dead and the national social fabric had been torn asunder.

    Alright. It's not Thriller. But it's a legacy of sorts.

    When you get a chance, you should rent the Errol Morris documentary about McNamara, The Fog of War. It's waaaay more engaging than any two hours of watching an old man stare into a camera and talk should ever be.

    Tags: John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Military, Vietnam


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