06 July 2009

"...except maybe if it fails."

robert mcnamara, former defense secretary under kennedy and johnson, is dead at age 93. so i offer you some excerpts from noam chomsky's class warfare that i've posted here before i deleted all of my entries before 2009:
QUESTION: Just a couple more things on McNamara and his mea culpa. He's sort of taken the Nazi Nuremberg defense, following orders, allegiance to the Fuhrer, that's why he didn't speak out while he was Secretary of Defense.

CHOMSKY: I don't agree. He does not recognize that anything wrong was done. So there's no question of a defense.

QUESTION: On Macneil-Lehrer, he now says he had misgivings about the policies.

CHOMSKY: What were the misgivings? The misgivings were that it might not succeed. Suppose that some Nazi general came around after Stalingrad and said, "I realized after Stalingrad it was a mistake to fight a two-front war, but I did it anyway." That's not the Nuremberg defense. That's not even recognizing that a crime was committed. You've got to recognize that a crime was committed before you give a defense. McNamara can't perceive that. Furthermore, I don't say that as a criticism of McNamara. He is a dull, narrow technocrat who questioned nothing. He simply accepted the framework of beliefs of the people around him. And that's their framework. That's the Kennedy liberals. We cannot commit a crime. It's contradiction in terms. Anything we do is by necessity not only right, but noble. Therefore, there can't be a crime.


QUESTION: Long before McNamara wrote this book you had compared him to Lenin. What did you mean by that?

CHOMSKY: I compared some passages of articles of his in the late 1960s, speeches, on management and the necessity of management, how a well-managed society controlled from above was the ultimate in freedom. The reason is if you have really good management and everything's under control and people are told what to do, under those conditions, he said, man can maximize his potential. I just compared that with standard Leninist views on vanguard parties, which are about the same. About the only difference is that McNamara brought God in, and I suppose Lenin didn't bring God in. He brought Marx in.
r.i.p., i guess.

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