Former Defense Secretary, ex-World Bank chief and Fog of War subject/star Robert S. McNamara, 93, has died and pushed off. Sails are up, hand on the tiller, into the infinite sea. Hello Jack, Jackie, Lyndon, Dean, Senators Church and Fulbright, Ho Chi Minh, etc. All together now, meet and greet.
Before Errol Morris‘s Oscar-winning 2004 doc my prime meditation about McNamara was that he was a haunted man — that he had the ghosts of tens of thousands of Vietnam infantrymen swirling around him like banshees. Then The Fog of War came along and I felt a strange kinship/comfort level with the guy. I said to myself, “At least he’s admitting to being wrong about Vietnam and at least he’s got a stirring film chronicling this awakening.” But now, this morning, I’m back to the ghosts.
A few minutes ago I asked Morris for a eulogy/epitaph of some kind. Maybe he’ll send one along later today. 24/7 column-writing waits for no one.