Robert McNamara 1916-2009

Robert McNamara 1916-2009


According to the AP Washington bureau, Robert S. McNamara died Today. He was 93.”

His first wife: Diana Craig, died before he left his post Secretary of Defense job at the World Bank. They had a son and a daughter. He married Diana Masieri Byfield in Assisi, Italy at the age of 88 in 2004.

“He was vilified for prosecuting America’s most controversial war….”

The sterile, minimizing language of the media power elite does nothing for me, here. He was a protege of President John F. Kennedy, recruited from the presidency of Ford Motor Company to serve as Secretary of Defense.

The minimizing language used: “To run the Pentagon”. Excuse me, “running the Pentagon” is something that a cheap suit wearing management type can do.

This man was Secretary of Defense. He was a privileged White Man who apparently learned NOTHING about how to engage in war, but persisted for seven years, anyway.

If anyone was the model for Secy Donald Rumsfeld, it was McNamara: Rumsfeld was an out of touch clown who apparently learned NOTHING from Mr. McNamara or Vietnam.

Mr. McNamara had regrets.  Rumsfeld is still hiding out and refusing to admit his errors.

So, the pro bloggers are blogging in order to bring us up to speed.

AP/Huffington Post. Will Bunch “Robert McNamara and America’s Tragic Memory Loss”

To his benefit, Mr. McNamara spent his exile and disgrace tending to his memoirs, which only served to fan the flames, since no one who lost anyone in Vietnam wanted to hear his self serving mea culpas.

Here’s a book blog in the LA Times “Jacket Copy” which discusses McNamara’s books:

“Robert McNamara dies: Will books shape his legacy?”


The World Bank

After his misadventures (for seven years!) as Secretary of Defense, he went on to conquer the …the…World Bank! He promptly resahped the World Bank. What good news have you heard about the World Bank,lately?

The World Bank Archives: “Robert Strange McNamara”

I remember the most searing complaint at the time: The World Bank’s intereference into the way that countries ran their entire economies. I remember a story about forcing a starving country to build roads. Lots of road. Roads that ended up being either to nowhere, or which allowed the bad guys to run their business more efficiently.

Whatever we think about the World Bank, Mr. McNamara had a combination of zealot’s and penitent’s role in shaping the World Bank into the entity that we love or hate today.

Mr. MacNamara was the subject of the Errol Morris documentary: The Fog of War’. Here is a discussion by Mr. Morris, who is actually complaining about a bad review of his film.

The World Bank Archives: Errol Morris discusses his documentary “The Fog Of War” in “The Nation” Title: ” ‘Fog of War vs. Stop the Presses’ ”

I’m all in and would love to read what you have to say. Heavy timber has fallen today. No matter what we think of him, Mr. McNamara had a huge impact on all of our lives.