Thursday, September 3, 2009

McNanmara: Man of Compassion?

I came across a very interesting piece by legal and international relations scholar Phillip Bobbitt recently. He wrote a piece for the NYT about Robert McNamara "Calculus and Compassion". In it, he relates how his uncle, none other than Lyndon Johnson, described McNamara as the most compassionate man in his cabinet. A far cry from the public that later came to demonize McNamara during his tenure as Secretary of Defense. However, it doesn't surprise me, as a viewer of "The Fog of War", the documentary about McNamara directed by Errol Morris. The film is poignant, and McNamara a sympathetic figure. (Thanks to my friend F for watching it with me this summer after McNamara's death, along with a viewing of "Thirteen Days"). I highly commend the film ("Fog of War") and the column for a consideration of this complex, and in some ways, tragic figure.

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