Jul
09
2009

For the WaPo, McNamara Is the Real Victim of the Vietnam War

The Washington Post's editorial (7/7/09) on the death of Vietnam-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara managed to outdo even the New York Times' victim-erasing obituary. The Times cited the number of invading troops killed by McNamara's war of aggression while ignoring the vastly larger number of Indochinese deaths–but for the Post, neither the aggressors nor their victims are as important as the "agonizing" that the architect of the war went through. As the editorial concludes, "The true McNamara's War, as it turned out, was longer than Vietnam, and was fought mostly within himself."

It's a given that the Washington Post empathizes and identifies with the denizens of official Washington. But it takes a real moral narcissism to suggest that the real tragedy of Vietnam is that "Mr. McNamara was never forgiven by many of his bitter enemies from the Vietnam days."

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.