Robert Strange McNamara by junge1 ()
Historical posted on Jul 04, 2015
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While walking from President Kennedy's resting place to the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Arlington National Cemetery we came by the resting place of Robert Strange McNamara. As usual, my buddy wanted a picture of me standing by the grave marker.
McNamara was an American business executive who had served during World War II in the Army Air Corps in a non-combat role. He was considered a 'Whiz Kid' who helped rebuilt the Ford Motor Company after World War II and served briefly as it's president before he was nominated as Secretary of Defense by President Kennedy in 1961.
He served as Secretary of Defense from 1961 until 1968. While in this capacity during the Johnson administration he was probably responsible for more names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall than any other individual.
McNamara ignored the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and other senior military leaders and conducted the the war as if it was a business.
Known intelligence, such a rail shipments of SAMs (Surface to Air Missiles) from China to Hanoi, the off-loading of war materiel from Soviet and other East Block countries freighters in Haiphong and other Vietnamese ports was ignored. Instead of letting the military take out those targets, they were off-limits, for fear of getting the Soviet Union and China involved into the war. For the same reason, known SAM sites and MIg bases were also off limits and American Combat Forces were not allowed to follow the enemy into Laos and Cambodia, despite the fact that the enemy used those countries on a regular basis..
These tactics by the Johnson administration under McNamara not only resulted in more troops being sent over there, but resulted in many unnecessary deaths.
The majority of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall are the names of sons of poor or lower income white, black, and Hispanic families. Families that could not afford to sent their sons to college to get a possible deferment.
Those were my thoughts when I stood in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall four days after this photo was taken.
This picture was taken on 4 June 2015,
Image Comments (18)
Faemike55 () 9:58PM | Sat, 04 July 2015
WOW! I did not know this factoid about him. that puts a lot of what I thought about the war in a totally different light. Thank you Happy 4th to you and yours
starship64 () Online Now! 10:53PM | Sat, 04 July 2015
Also, McNamara's attempts to save money resulted in the military (especially the Navy) being forced to buy billions of dollars worth of equipment that didn't meet its needs. He never should have been appointed Secretary of Defense.
SunriseGirl () 12:41AM | Sun, 05 July 2015
Thanks for sharing the photo a handsome man next to the graveside of McNamara. And for all the interesting info. I remember the Vietnam War from my early teenage viewpoint. I did not understand why we were fighting there when we could not fight to win. This does indeed put a new light on the matter. It is interesting how much influence one person can have on the lives and deaths of so many.
jayfar () 1:21AM | Sun, 05 July 2015
Very nice to meet you Sig and this is a very nice shot. Now I know all about Robert Strange McNamara.
caty77 () 2:28AM | Sun, 05 July 2015
He had a "strange" name and mind indeed. It's sad to see how money makes certain people. And with this color of tomb, impossible to don't see it. Have a good day!
bobrgallegos () 2:29AM | Sun, 05 July 2015
A great shot of You Sig!!! Nice to meet You my friend!! Great narrative on the Viet Nam war!! I joined the Marine Corp and fought in this war!!
T.Rex () 5:45AM | Sun, 05 July 2015
Thanks for teaching us some of the lesser known history of that conflict. I sure remember it well and strongly disliked both McNamara's policies, Johnson's policies and Kennedy's getting the US involved "through a back door" to the Pentagon. Much of this is revealed in Getlin and Colodny's book "Silent Coup: Removal Of A President (check it out on Amazon.com). Nice photo. A part of the US I've never been able to see. Keep up the good work! :-)
danapommet () 10:09PM | Tue, 07 July 2015
I zoomed to check you out Sig and I tend to agree with all of what you have written here. Politicians don't win wars Generals do - and we are learning that lesson all over again.
auntietk () 12:01AM | Sat, 11 July 2015
Sometimes you just have to stop by and make sure some of 'em are still dead. :P Lookin' good, Sig! :)
jocko500 () 3:40PM | Sat, 11 July 2015
wonderful shot , so this is where the man that had many Americas killed because he did not understand war at all and too proud to let the ones that know how to talk to him. so sad history. you got a good shot here
Buffalo1 () 6:03PM | Mon, 13 July 2015
Good to see you looking well and very fit! McNamara and LBJ mismanaged the war for sure.
debbielove () 8:13AM | Fri, 17 July 2015
Well found among the many stones.. And a great selection of facts mate, thanks for that.. Good shot as well.. Rob