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July 6, 2009

Rummy Having McNamara For Breakfast

McNamara Rumsfeld.jpg

Upon his passing on Monday, I took something of a forensic interest in this photo from the NYT’s Robert McNamara slideshow. It pictures the former Defense Secretary with Rumsfeld, then currently in the job, as well as former Secretaries Carlucci and Brzezinski.

Unfortunately, reference to the gathering is pretty slight, while the caption only names the players along with the date of 2003.

Given that the Iraq War began in March of that year and the powerful documentary, The Fog of War (in which McNamara expresses deep regret for his stewardship of the Vietnam War), was released in December, my sense, on first pass, was to question the comity here between McNamara and Rumsfeld.

But then, there are all kinds of other factors to consider, including the ritual of such ceremonial get togethers — Rumsfeld, the practiced politician, likely appealing to vanity to solicit advice he then wouldn’t heed. As well, we also know from his appearance with Director Errol Morris in Berkeley in ‘04 that McNamara refused to apply his lessons about war to the invasion of Iraq even if he welcomed others to do so.

Taken together, these facts suggest that fraternity goes a long way at the pinnacle of the warrior class.

(image: Stephen Crowley/NYT)

  • steve

    Isn’t it amusing that two of the most shady characters(enabled war criminals) in our history greased their hair back?
    A social helmet of sorts.
    Seriously, these two almost look(ed) the same at times. Style of glasses too. Rum adores Mac to the point of grooming like him. Good thing they never did a Pepsi commercial together, yuk yuk.
    Hate to bring up that old German leader, won’t scribe his name – but didn’t he grease his hair too?

  • Rightwingsnarkle

    Zbig was Carter’s National Security Advisor, not Secretary of War.
    Harold Brown was Carter’s Secretary of War.
    Zbig has the flair of an acedemic, while Brown is your typical brown-suited bureaucrat/corporate zombie.
    Like Mcnamara.

  • Tena

    Two peas from the same pod and I hope when Rummy passes on there is as big an argument over who hated him worse as there has been over McNamara. That’s the only controversy left about either of them – who hates them worse.

  • tuffkong

    This photo also pictures Larry Di Rita tugging on his collar in the background. Who is the dough-faced/baby-faced guy next to him, though?

  • gmoke

    McNamara and others like Colin Powell make it a practice not to criticize based upon their inside knowledge. It is an infuriating and class thing. You don’t stab your lodge brothers in the back, even when you know they are heading over a cliff. At the very most, they might say something in private but never, NEVER in public. The comity in the picture comes from them all being members of the same club. You and I are not invited.

  • jtfromBC

    It would take many pages to detail the dirty tricks of these characters.
    I recall JFK’s delight in getting McNarama from Ford Motor Co for a $ 1.00 a year…what a bargain !!!
    The real sleeper in this picture for me is Zbig,who pontificates weekly with Joe Scarborough and his daughter on MSNBC shaping and framing myths about the US Empire.
    As the deaths mount daily in Afghanistan, we should not forget how Zbig sold Carter on the wonders of supporting the Taliban.
    from an interview
    “Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
    Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
    Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
    McNamara never took personal responsibility for Vietnam he came close in a Canadian interview otherwise he maintained ‘we made mistakes’ and other such phrases.

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