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Roberrt Mcnamara

Remembering History, Powell, and McNamara

Stanley Kutler | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Stanley Kutler

Colin Powell and Robert McNamara exemplify the ever-loyal, unquestioning subordinate. McNamara self-righteously invoked Dean Acheson's quiet departure from the New Deal as his model, but Acheson's silence did not assure him a place at the World Bank. If McNamara had denounced the war, would it have made a difference? What if the very popular Colin Powell had expended some of his political capital and denounced the dubious rationalization for war against Iraq? Perhaps their dramatic gestures would have been wasted. But Archibald Cox's forceful stand against Nixon in October 1973 is instructive, showing that public resistance to a superior can make a difference.