Robert S McNamara died today.

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mcnamara.jpgIt's odd, feeling a pang to hear of Robert McNamara's death. As US Defence Secretary during the 1960s he presided over some of America's worst international crimes, in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and in WWII he had a hand in the firebombing of Japan, also surely a war crime.

Nevertheless, it's hard to see Errol Morris's extraordinary documentary The Fog of War and not have a more nuanced view on the man. 

It contains a powerful sequence where he shakes the hand of a former North Vietnamese Army general, apparently achieving a moment of reconciliation. In the interviews which are the basis for the film, McNamara comes across as thoughtful and conflicted, if cold in places. 

It's a great flick for anyone interested in the period, and you are now instructed to watch it. A low-res version is on Google Video, or it's less than £6 on Amazon.

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