Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Robert McNamara takes his seat at the right hand of Satan

You might have heard that arch-evil war criminal fuck Robert McNamara finally kicked it at the ripe old age of 93, peacefully slipping away in his bed, not kicking wildly while crapping himself at the end of a long drop via a short rope. What few will say in clear terms is that the man was directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths and maimings of tens of millions.

Robert S. McNamara, architect of and advocate for the ruinous war in Vietnam, died in his sleep--in sharp contrast to the 60,000 Americans who died horribly fighting a futile war the nation never needed to wage. Many thousands more suffered serious injuries and a larger number of Vietnam vets died as suicides. Estimates are that 4,000,000 Vietnamese died during the war. Our bombing and related actions spilled into Cambodia and Laos, killing millions there as well, and swelling the ranks of the Khmer Rouge. From a New York Times article:

Mr. McNamara was the most influential defense secretary of the 20th century. Serving Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, he oversaw hundreds of military missions, thousands of nuclear weapons and billions of dollars in military spending and foreign arms sales. He also enlarged the defense secretary’s role, handling foreign diplomacy and the dispatch of troops to enforce civil rights in the South.In other words, he was responsible for making the military industrial complex a reality.

Half a million American soldiers went to war on his watch. More than 16,000 died; 42,000 more would fall in the seven years to come. He concluded well before leaving the Pentagon that the war was futile, but he did not share that insight with the public until late in life.He could have worked to end the war, sparing the lives of perhaps thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Vietnamese. He did not. Decades passed before he revealed the truth about himself and the war.

In 1995, he took a stand against his own conduct of the war, confessing in a memoir that it was “wrong, terribly wrong.” In return, he faced a firestorm of scorn.

“Mr. McNamara must not escape the lasting moral condemnation of his countrymen,” The New York Times said in a widely discussed editorial, written by the page’s editor at the time, Howell Raines. “Surely he must in every quiet and prosperous moment hear the ceaseless whispers of those poor boys in the infantry, dying in the tall grass, platoon by platoon, for no purpose. What he took from them cannot be repaid by prime-time apology and stale tears, three decades late.”

And he wasn't just haunted by Vietnam. In interviews with filmmaker Errol Morris for the Fog of War, McNamara echoed doubts about US actions against the Japanese at the end of World War II.

In the film, Mr. McNamara described the American firebombing of Japan’s cities in World War II. He had played a supporting role in those attacks, running statistical analysis for Gen. Curtis E. LeMay of the Army’s Air Forces.

“We burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo — men, women and children,” Mr. McNamara recalled; some 900,000 Japanese civilians died in all. “LeMay said, ‘If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.’ And I think he’s right. He — and I’d say I — were behaving as war criminals.” ... “What makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?” he asked.

McNamara was part of the Kennedy-era "best and brightest," the Harvard (and it's always Harvard, isn't it?)-trained assholes who think their shit doesn't stink and send wave after wave of innocents to their doom by the million. This is the same sort of "best and brightest" of the Obama Administration who have the country sleepwalking into the same damn situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Somehow these people get the label "liberal." How about war criminal?

Astoundingly, McNamara also played a large role in the cover-up of Israel's 1967 USS Liberty attack on American naval personnel.

After years of abject failure writ huge by any reasonable standard in Southeast Asia, the lunatic American ruling class, always mindful of protecting their own, made this man the head of the fucking World Bank, in which post he assisted in the killing of millions more people through failed attempts at forcing our bad economic policies on the world, more even than he did forcing bad military policies on the world. This came with massive subsidies to thousands of failed dictators' and military juntas' absurdist economic projects which caused massive ecological and societal harm. (Having learned nothing, decades later Paul Wolfowitz, of "let's invade Iraq, easy as pie" fame, has also been installed as World Bank chief fuck-up. I wouldn't give the man keys to a golf cart.)

Our elites, having served the few at the greatest expense of the many, will always be promoted no matter how much blood is on their hands. See also as a more recent cognate Larry Summers, who wrecked Russia's economy (no small feat!) and led to the premature deaths of millions in the process, resigned from Harvard's presidency in disgrace having insulted most women, resigned from an international banking position after suggesting that toxic waste be pushed upon Africa, only to end up with a high position to steer America's economy under Obama... where he falls the fuck asleep in meetings. Apparently Obama couldn't figure out a way to get Charles Manson in the cabinet, so Larry had to do.

Henry Kissinger - please die soon, OK? It's well past time.
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