Robert McNamara – The Fog of War

Great doco on Robert McNamara, US Statesman, on lessons he’d learnt. Eg. Immoral if you lose, moral if you win: if you kill 100,000 civillians – as he did in Tokyo one night via ordering fire bombing – you’re a war criminal, but if you win, you don’t get prosecuted.

“In order to do good, you might have to engage in evil.” i.e. kill foreigners to prevent deaths at home.

“Belief and seeing are often wrong.” The US thought the North Vietnamese had escalated fighting in 1964, but they hadn’t (sonar guys misread the sonar.) Oops!

SPIN: He delayed announcing more troops going into Vietnam until the late afternoon to “avoid the morning editions” of the papers.

And he said the best way to deal wth press interviews was to ignore the  asked questions and just say what you want. That got him the best results.

So posthumous TULIP of the Week Award goes to: Robert McNamara (died July 2009).

Liberal Rule was like flicking through a picture book –  didn’t learn anything new. Peter Costello’s comment on the NT intervention: “This is the democratic experiment – for better or worse.” I like it when politicians admit they don’t really know what they’re doing.

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