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tony draper
15th May 2005, 21:56
Facinating Documentry on BBC2 at the mo about Macnamarra,mainly himself being interviewed and speaking about his career.
Never thought a much of the man ,mainly because of things I had read and his fighting the Viet Nam war by computer print out, he comes across as nothing like the picture I had of him.
Of course its often the case with people like him, once they are out of the power loop they are able to speak freely and honestly .
:cool:

Grandpa
15th May 2005, 22:12
...have left their lives in Viet-Nam.

Many US soldiers, many, many more Viet-Namese.

Much more bombs have fallen there than over Germany in WW II.

Agent Orange is still threatening the babys to come, while a number of children suffer malformations or mental disorder.

I can remember an interview of Mac Namara, in which he said his regrets about this war he could have avoided, and the "domino theory which was proven erroneous.

With his kind of responsibility, I wonder how he can sleep............

tinpis
16th May 2005, 01:33
Does he not also believe in a very high possibility of a nuclear device being detonated in the USA by insurgents?

Parapunter
16th May 2005, 07:07
It was a fascinating insight, but I found myself chuckling when, given his powers of recall, he said he couldn't remember whether or not he had authorised the use of agent orange, then went on to say that giving the answer to the question you wish you's been asked was a very good rule indeed.

henry crun
16th May 2005, 08:06
Grandpa: While you asking "With his kind of responsibility, I wonder how he can sleep.........". don't forget to mention your own countrymen who were largely responsible for the horrors that followed the end of WW2 in that unhappy country.

Taildragger55
16th May 2005, 12:55
MacNamara was a good reason not to allow cost accountants run wars.


Speaking as a cost accountant.:(

Grandpa
16th May 2005, 19:40
And don't forget to quote also "my own countrymen" who pushed the Viet-Namese to rebellion after WWI with forced labor, bloody repression and racist injustice...............

And don't forget to quote too "my own countrymen" who invaded Viet-Nam during 19th century, to compete with other Europe Colonial Empires, gain power and money reducing an independant country to "protectorate" for nearly a hundred years.

I wonder how Viet-Namese people still manage to remember "the good face of the coin" with Professeur Yersin from Institut Pasteur and the catholic bishop who found the way to write their language using latin alphabet and phonetic instead of ideogrammes.

Happy now Henry, because I enjoyed my time with French Colonialism bashing?

And now, back to Mac Namara : how would you call his type of criminality: neo-colonialism, US imperialism, cold war side effect.......

It's up to you!

tony draper
16th May 2005, 20:17
When you think of the plight of some of the former colonial countries,endemic corruption,disease,famine everlasting poverty,breakdown of infrastructure utilities ect,makes me think that perhaps colonialism wasn't such a bad idea after all.
Oh dear, that will upset the politicaly correct,Drapes.
:rolleyes:

Although come to think, I'm sure Grandpa wishes we had hung onto our American Colonies for another two hundred years or so.

Grandpa
16th May 2005, 21:12
When you think of the present situation of ex-colonised countries...............never forget their colonial past and often the atrocities of fight for freedom may exert a strong influence on it

tony draper
16th May 2005, 22:18
Ah yes Grandpa, remember the trouble in Sierra Leone a few years back?, a rumour went round Freetown that the Brits were going to take over again, thousands of people took to the streets cheering, very embarrassing for the fluffy tendency that was.
hee hee.
:rolleyes:

Grandpa
17th May 2005, 07:03
Take this one:

Wars and conflict between factions often arise from misery.

Thanks to the so-called "globalisation", ex-colonialist countries are now spreading their subsidised products upon ex-colonised countries ...........preventing them from development.

(examples: coton, chicken, rice.....)

We are pushing them to misery...........but nobody takes care.

Don't forget too that tribalism prevailing now in many places was encouraged by our distinguished colonial theoricians: "Divide and Rule" if my memory is good.

And if we had agreed on your presentation, do you think it would have been a way paved of roses, had our colonial empires been maintained?

Capt.KAOS
17th May 2005, 08:12
Fascinating documentary. Interesting to see how emotional Mac the Knife got when talking about Kennedy and his own family. At the other hand no sign of emotions when he mentioned the 2,5 Mio Vietnamese death and the 67 burned Japanese cities before Fat Man and Little Boy fell. If you win you're a hero, if you loose you're a war criminal.

tony draper
17th May 2005, 08:43
Well Capt the firebombing had been tried and tested on European cities before Japan copped it.
Said this before ,we shouldn't knock Little Boy and Fat Man,they are the reason my generation are still walking the earth,we would have been the cannon fodder for the war that would have shortly followed WW2, say what you like but nukes did keep the peace for sixty years.
:cool:

BenThere
17th May 2005, 09:08
Bonjour, Grandpa

You should include also the millions who died after the resistance to Ho and Pol ended in your equation to decide in retrospect what would have been the right thing to do.

MacNamara's fatal flaw was to conduct warfare with too much of an eye to day-to-day politics. He and LBJ micromanaged the war to the point where the White House was approving and disapproving the most minute tactical targets and missions. The lesson learned was applied to American warfare doctrine with great result.

Who knows what Viet Nam would be like today if everyone had stayed out? Who knows what the world would be like if colonialism had not existed? The world IS.

As an American, I'm damn glad the Brits gave us a basis in common law, property rights, a great common language and rich cultural underpinning. And I'm even happier we gave them the boot when the time came. America is responsible for what it did in the post-colonial era. Viet Nam, Congo and Iraq are all ultimately responsible for what happens to them. If they don't like the borders and institutions they were given, they are free and sovereign to make their own in today's world.

Just as Europe is not required to express never-ending gratitude for American help in WWII, the colonial powers should not have endless guilt over the impact of imperialism. The world will go on and evolve as it will, influenced by good and bad actors along the way.

Capt.KAOS
17th May 2005, 10:50
Who knows what Viet Nam would be like today if everyone had stayed out? BenThere, dunno if you have watched the documentary. Fact is that Macnamara went back to Vietnam later and talked to his opponents. Absolutely nothing was gained by the US intervention, only millions of deaths in SEA. Kennedy saw this, LBJ did not. Macnamara was only following the Presidents orders who was convinced that the US marines would kick ass, forgetting the Vietnamese were fighting foreign occupiers already for a 1000 years.
The world will go on and evolve as it will, influenced by good and bad actors along the way. Too bad the majority are terrible actors with visions ruled by guts.

PS Herr Drapers, I wasn't discussing the nukes, just the emotions of a very influential politician. It reminded me of Eichmann, who was appalled by one burned dead body, but didn't care less about millions of jews.

Grandpa
17th May 2005, 15:13
Sorry about Pol Pot:

Without the Viet-Nam war raging next door, without US bombing and Lon Nol coup in Phnom-Penh, Khmer Rouge would never have seized power in Cambodia.

Besides, do you have any idea of the reason why Khmer Rouge kept their seat in UNO for years, and who supported them against Viet-Namese?

As you said: "The world IS."

It doesn't in any way prevent us to try to understand WHY it is shaped in a form or another.

Your paragraph about endless guilt is funny enough: it recalls me the way some reluctant German tried to prevent their fellow countrymen to learn about Nazi crimes and make every effort to prevent a resurgence of Third Reich.

We are not talking abour another world, we are studying this one, and I'm glad you seem to condemn colonialism Ben.

Don't you?