McNamara’s Band

I have a strong sense that there’s a whole bunch of younger people know the name Robert McNamara in their history books, if at all. But for me, he was a frustrating man, who, as Secretary of Defense under JFK and LBJ, oversaw the increased involvement by the United States in the Vietnam conflict. (I am loath to call it a war, for as in more current offenses, there was no actual declaration of war, only a Gulf of Tonkin resolution after some dubious circumstances.) It was a war of choice, causing huge divisions in this country, some of which – see the Swiftboating of John Kerry in 2004 – have been slow to heal.

McNamara’s later mea culpa hardly makes up for the harm to so many. He died on July 6 at age 93.


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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