Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Man Who Brought Us The Edsel and The War In Viet Nam

Robert Strange McNamara is dead. I do not normally speak ill of the dead but in this case I shall be glad to.

I'm no expert in automotive history but I'm pretty sure that the Edsel was the biggest mistake ford made up to the Pinto. And then to beat that he thought up the strategy for the war in Viet Nam. Now I'm no great expert on military strategy but there are a few things I learned. I went in to Chu Lai, three minutes behind the first wave, May the Seventh, 1965. I rode in an an LCM-8 with forty Marines and an M-48 Tank. I'm not positive after all this time but I think it was one of those tanks modified to be a Zippo or fire track. I know I didn't see it shoot then, I did see Zippo work at other times, since then I've always loved Napalm.

anyway, McNamara was one of those clowns that decided we are going to send our young men to fight but we are going to make sure that they can only fight the enemy on this side of an imaginary line. the young mens and their commanders might see the bad guys on the other side of that line but we could not chase them. And by the time the artillery or air got permission to pound the bad guys they were gone.

McNamara and LBJ put so many silly restrictions on us that it was almost impossible to win the war, in spite of winning the fights. I spent most of my time over there in Eye Corps, the northern part of South Viet Nam. The Commander up there was Silent Lew Walt.

Silent Lew (we called him that only not to his face. the Two times he was close enough to say anything to we called him "Sir".) came up with the idea of CAC, putting small units into the villes, mostly in squads to put some backbone into the popular forces, called ruff puffs for reasons I forget. That actually worked for quite a while up until that idiot Westmoreland decided we needed to move all those squads back into companies and move everybody out into the bush where the people didn't live.

Anyhow, I didn't follow McNamara's career after that, never had much use for the World Bank. MacNamara lived to be 93. I had a lot of friends that would have liked to live to be thirty. Their names are on a long black wall in DC. It's too bad they can't come to life for just long enough to pee on his grave. Who knows, maybe I'll find the money to travel there to do it for them.

I kind of hope the Fred Phelps crowd can make it to this funeral.

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