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Reply #11: You're welcome, glitch. The Nuevo Reich wants to bury the lessons of the past... [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-25-09 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. You're welcome, glitch. The Nuevo Reich wants to bury the lessons of the past... they own the media, the universities...the banks.

Robert McNamara and Smedley Butler

by Tom Gallagher
Published on Monday, July 13, 2009 by

Theres been a lot of ink spilled in the past week over how we ought to think about the late Robert McNamara. (And yes, real ink, not just virtual even the remaining real newspapers were in on it.) Does the fact that he came to realize that the Vietnam War (McNamaras War to some) was wrong even as he continued to pursue it as Lyndon Johnsons Defense Secretary make him a better or a worse person? And what of his willingness to say it publicly but only three decades later? There may be a more useful way to think about him, however. And it involves considering him not in conjunction with, say, Henry Kissinger, who followed a course similar to his but apparently without hesitation, but more in terms of General Smedley Butler, someone who did learn from his experience.

Butler, of course, achieved far greater clarity than the ever-hedging McNamara did. Butlers story is fairly well known: four years after a military career that included service in Cuba, China, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Haiti, and France, he wrote a book called War is a Racket. He gave speeches in which he would say things like, during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

Whether any of this later-in-life understanding made Butler a better or worse person I do not know. What I do know, though, is that what Butler was willing to say and write was extremely helpful to more than one generation of antiwar activists: Hey, you dont have to take my word for it. Listen to this guy, he should know.

Likewise, I suggest to no one that they should get over their antipathy to Robert McNamara if that is what they feel the evil that he and Kissinger and the rest did will long outlive them. And anyone who no longer hates the criminals should certainly remain outraged at their crimes. But let us take something of value out of McNamaras life.

When we encounter potential military recruits looking to serve in one of the nations seemingly always available wars but not looking too closely at exactly what it is were fighting for because they assume our leaders wouldnt lead them astray on matters of life and death, lets tell them about Robert McNamara. If the man in charge of one of our wars could later write that what the US did at the time was wrong, terribly wrong, dont we all owe it to ourselves to take a closer look at where those in power are leading us today?


Thank you, glitch. You've been more than shouldering your share of making the happy happy. Your friendship means the Multiverse.
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