McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

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Gwyneth M905
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McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:07 pm

As I posted in the Pavvy, Robert S. McNamara died today, peacefully in his sleep. I'm starting this discussion for all who were alive (and can remember) the Vietnam war and protests--I was too young.
What were your experiences of Vietnam?
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
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FrankChurch
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:21 pm

I was alive, but a mere child, a farthling.

I do know that war is the most lied about event in American history. Historical propaganda is just mind melting. Too bad.

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Chuck Messer
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:46 pm

As I grew up, the Vietnam war was in the background the whole time. I was more full aware of the war by 1964 when I was in fourth grade. I also remember Mom and Dad having arguments over the war by the late '60s. In later years, Dad acknowleged the war was a mistake. By the time the war was over, I'd graduated high school. Both the war and the draft were over. I think I still have my provisional draft card somewhere.

It's too bad the War became the engine of history rather than The Great Society and Project Apollo. Instead it was a group of clever fool's policy of Politics by Other Means (Clausewitz).

"Unintended consequences, the gift that keeps on giving -- forever." Gerhardt Roehmer

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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FrankChurch
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:29 pm

He did admit that the fire bombing of Tokyo was a major crime. I'd say let the guy into heaven, just make him get tea for Molly Ivins.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:45 pm

Definitely see the Errol Morris documentary if you haven't seen it. McNamara has things to say that needed to be said and things that need to be heard. Expecting a mea culpa is a bit much. He thought he had a pipeline to god. Such men are always dangerous and do most of the evil in the world.

Somebody mail a copy of the DVD to Dick Chaney. Too late.
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David Loftus
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby David Loftus » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:36 pm

War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:20 pm

Have you all seen "No End in Sight"? It's basically a contemporary "Fog of War" except about Iraq and GWB's failing policies, as told by the groundlings who had to implement them.

I only remember Vietnam as "the Green Show". I was such a small child, that when my grandparents (with whom I grew up) watched TV, and it was broadcasting from Vietnam, the predominant color was green, so that's all I can remember.

Now Watergate, which they also watched, that was "the Brown Show", because of the color of the wood paneling.

I wish we could get Gary on here to tell his story. It really moved me, reading about it in the Pavvy. Check out his posting if you haven't already. He was an objector and went through a lot of shite. He's got big swinging brass ones if you ask me. Of course, I'd say the same thing about someone who went, too. There was no right answer, just a lot of confused kids used as cannon fodder by McNamara and others of his ilk.

Based on what little I know about my uncle's service in Korea, these guys are basically just dumped back into society with a pat on the back and a purple heart maybe, or a parade. So wrong. :(
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

Gwyneth M905
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:41 pm

David Loftus wrote:See my lengthy review here:

http://www.documentaryfilms.net/Reviews/FogofWar/


David, I loved your review! :D And, when I saw the movie, I was so creeped out by McNamara. I just had this visceral reaction that this was a seriously disturbed man in many ways--your line from his critic about his time at the World Bank sums it up. I suppose that I felt that the personality flaw was more pathological--a man who set fire to kids, not kittens, and thousands at a time.

Then I realized it. Unconsciously, I had equated McNamara the man with Russell Crowe's portrayal of John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind". A lot of McNamara's mannerisms reminded me of those of "Nash" when he was in his "sane" moments.

Plus, as someone with mental illness, I felt that I recognized him with his continual rationalization of evil, unwillingness to accept responsibility...I dunno...other traits too... I have met people like him while hospitalized for MI---and with his behavior--he'd be in the locked ward.
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

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FrankChurch
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:32 pm

Taxi to the Darkside, another great movie.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:20 pm

The real question I suppose is not why there are people like McNamara and Cheney but how we allow them to get to the upper echelons of power? Is there some essentiel flaw in our society that encourages these people to thrive in power?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:29 pm

Gives an inroad to the fact that power is a bad thing. It turns bouncing babies into green misted monsters.

Anarchism looks better every day. Power should always be bottom up.

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Chuck Messer
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Chuck Messer » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:18 pm

The real question I suppose is not why there are people like McNamara and Cheney but how we allow them to get to the upper echelons of power? Is there some essentiel flaw in our society that encourages these people to thrive in power?


I suspect this is something universal, not unique to our country. Look at the slaughters brought about by a number of "Dear Leaders", many of who were immensely popular. Stalin's funeral was swamped by close to a million people and thousands were trampled to death. The bastard was killing people even after he was dead.

People like that attain power because they seek it and they are so certain they are right, so narcissistic, so driven and so callous and lacking in empathy they usually get what they want. It's said a sociopath can be a very charming and persuasive individual.

The need to lead or follow is hard-wired into us, being social animals, group hunters and gatherers. Critical thinking requires training and education, which requires effort. Clicking one's heels and following the leader does not.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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Duane
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Duane » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:46 pm

My friend and next door neighbor in sixth grade had an uncle who was a POW in Vietnam. One day, the teachers came in and had us all write letters to have him freed. I remember an address written on the board, an Anglicized Vietnamese address that looked like a destination on another planet. We wrote the letters and sent them off.

Three months later, he was freed, and he came to our elementary school and gave a thank you speech. I don't remember much about the speech, but I do remember how young and vulnerable he looked to me at the time. He was probably in his early twenties. I can't imagine how dislocating and terrifying it was for a young American kid to find himself in a POW camp.

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David Loftus
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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby David Loftus » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:00 pm

Oddest Vietnam story I ever heard from a vet was from a black editor at the Boston Globe whose acquaintance I made in Cambridge in the mid 1970s. He said he was doing guard duty and happened on a copy of Herbert Marcuse's _One Dimensional Man_, so he was reading it . . . until the realization grew on him that he was not involved in a war of "us vs. them" but "them vs. them," and that made him so nervous and disgusted that he threw the book away.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Re: McNamara's Folly and "The Fog of War"

Postby Coil 2.0 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:09 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Anarchism looks better every day.


We just had 8 years of anarchy in the financial world, and look where it got us -- broke, and with no hope for our children's future.

Fuck anarchy.


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