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Resistance to the Viet Cong Was ‘Futile’


The New York Times doesn’t play down their Vietnam War rage on the front page: Robert S. McNamara, Architect of a Futile War, Dies at 93.

Tim Weiner reported McNamara faced a “firestorm of scorn,” and the most notable scold was the New York Times itself:  

In 1995, he took a stand against his own conduct of the war, confessing in a memoir that it was “wrong, terribly wrong.” In return, he faced a firestorm of scorn.

“Mr. McNamara must not escape the lasting moral condemnation of his countrymen,” The New York Times said in a widely discussed editorial, written by the page’s editor at the time, Howell Raines. “Surely he must in every quiet and prosperous moment hear the ceaseless whispers of those poor boys in the infantry, dying in the tall grass, platoon by platoon, for no purpose. What he took from them cannot be repaid by prime-time apology and stale tears, three decades late.”


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