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  1. #11
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed111 View Post
    Nevertheless, through very difficult times, the US avoided all out war with the USSR.
    Yeah but how much of that was his doing?

  2. #12
    (☞゚∀゚)☞ The Decline's Avatar
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    Call me cold, but I don't tend to admire willing servants of war mongering nations.. even after they die.
    "Stop it, you fuck. Give him some butter."
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    = Ne > Ni > Fi > Te > Se > Fe > Si INTP (I/PNT) 5w4

  3. #13
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed the Fog of War, and thought he was refreshingly honest in it. Other than that I don't have many feelings about him positive or negative. I think people of the generation before mine have a lot more emotional baggage about him.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  4. #14
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    After seeing The Fog of War (several times), my opinion of him has changed and I view him as a rather tragic figure. I believe he did live by his ideals, directed the war in a cold, calculating manner and afterwards realized his mistakes. I was haunted by his words in the film when he talked about having "empathy for the enemy" and how in order to do good, one may have to do evil. I cannot imagine the weight of his conscience.

    R.S. McNamara's eleven life lessons

    Empathize with your enemy
    Rationality will not save us
    There's something beyond one's self
    Maximize efficiency
    Proportionality should be a guideline in war
    Get the data
    Belief and seeing are often both wrong
    Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning
    In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil
    Never say never
    You can't change human nature
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed111 View Post
    The man who served as secretary of defence during the Cuban missile crisis has died age 93. He was a truly great man and I think perhaps since I watched the fog of war I have thought of him as being one of my heros (because of some of the jobs he has held as well as how he executed them).

    I'm interested to know what personality type he was. Does anyone have any opinions? I'd like to think he was an INTJ, but I could be 'projecting'.
    Good chance he was.

    XNTJs tend to be more bomb happy than NTPs..

    I didn't find anything admirable in his bombing of Indochina. Several million innocent farmers carpet bombed for having the audacity to want to elect their own governments. The World Bank is not about helping poor countries develop, it's a ruse for predatory lending practices to bleed their economies dry under the guise of "development." The guy was a douchebag.

  6. #16
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    ^

    Meanlittlechimp: "The World Bank is not about helping poor countries develop, it's a ruse for predatory lending practices to bleed their economies dry under the guise of "development."'

    You are so right about that agency...the cruel economic practices they have forced on other countries is inhumane and unethical.

    I do not have admiration for the man, just empathy.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  7. #17
    Senior Member ed111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanlittlechimp View Post
    Good chance he was.

    XNTJs tend to be more bomb happy than NTPs..

    I didn't find anything admirable in his bombing of Indochina. Several million innocent farmers carpet bombed for having the audacity to want to elect their own governments. The World Bank is not about helping poor countries develop, it's a ruse for predatory lending practices to bleed their economies dry under the guise of "development." The guy was a douchebag.
    I know that in the UK, the decision of whether to go to war can only be taken by the prime minister, and I would assume the same of the US. Once you're at war, you operate within a certain set of international laws, but beyond that anything goes. The bottom line is to win, and at a minimum cost to US troops. That was McNamara's objective. I'm not defending the war in Vietnam and neither would McNamara - he was recorded as wanting to reduce troop levels and withdraw at the time. In hindsight he was extremely distressed by the whole thing.

  8. #18
    Sniffles
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    Technically only Congress can declare war; although the President can use military force for a limited period of time without congressional approval. Of course thats the theory, and in practice it just means that Congress often follows the President.

  9. #19
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed111 View Post
    I know that in the UK, the decision of whether to go to war can only be taken by the prime minister, and I would assume the same of the US. Once you're at war, you operate within a certain set of international laws, but beyond that anything goes. The bottom line is to win, and at a minimum cost to US troops. That was McNamara's objective. I'm not defending the war in Vietnam and neither would McNamara - he was recorded as wanting to reduce troop levels and withdraw at the time. In hindsight he was extremely distressed by the whole thing.
    As Peguy says below, Vietnam was never a declared war in the first place (owing to Cold War realities). It was a strike operation in order to respond to the Gulf of Tonkin incident (while we already had advisors in S. Vietnam) that escalated into a full military engagement at the behest of the South Vietnamese (and French to a smaller extent, busy with North Africa that they were).

    McNamara wanted out, but once told that it wouldn't be an option, prosecuted the war to the best of his abilities. Unfortunately, the high-tech mindset that he had, perfect for the 30 minute to an hour war with the Soviet Union, did not function well against low-tech, dirty, brutal guerrilla warfare.

    It's very telling that more ordinance was dropped on N. Vietnam than used in the entire Second World War.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ed111's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of your comments on this thread. It's interesting to get different perspectives not only on McNamara, but on the conflict in Vietnam. It has certainly prompted me to do further research into that period of history and to re-appraise my own opinions (which I realise were quite ignorant).

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