Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Good Question

A Good Question
P. Schultz
June 29, 2013

         Here is a really good question, posed by the son of a Mafioso, but still a really good question. It reminded me of when I use to have students read The Autobiography of Malcolm X and would ask them, “Why was Malcolm considered more dangerous by the government after he had reformed, got clean, stopped committing crimes, and had become a Black Muslim than when he was a small time burglar, pimp, and drug dealer?”  

“Which is more dangerous? A gangster or a government that does anything it wants?”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Supremes and Douthat

The Supremes and Douthat
P. Schultz
June 26, 2013

            Rarely do I receive a compliment like the one immediately below. So I thought I would post it. [You need to read from the bottom up to follow these emails.]

Friend: Oh, now I have to admit that you have made me see something I hadn't seen before--shit, did I just write that? –P”

On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 3:18 PM, Peter Schultz ‪<> wrote:

Every so often, but not very, Douthat writes something that is interesting to me. This isn't one of them. Jesus, he is still implying/arguing that the framers were not amenable to an activist judiciary. Really? Of course they were, which is why Jefferson waged a virtual war on the national judiciary and sought to impeach a supreme court justice and had he been successful would have gone after Chief Justice Marshall, whom he hated personally. Besides, why provide the justices with virtual life tenure if they were not to be making controversial decisions with great political impact? What kind of sense does that make? And it was expected that the Supremes would use this power to "stabilize" our politics. From what? Oh, those pesky people who want their needs addressed. Douthat is still under the impression that the framers were really interested in a government that the people or popular opinion would control.

Here is my take on yesterday and today and the Supremes: Gay and lesbian marriage is not a threat to the oligarchy which rules this nation, but voting rights are. End of story.

The issue is or should be the oligarchy that governs or rules, with of course the help of the Supremes. Remember Citizens United? Obama obviously doesn't. Douthat of course as part of the mainstream media does what he can to obfuscate this issue. This is an illustration of that obfuscation.


On Jun 25, 2013, at 10:31 P. wrote:
> From The New York Times:
>> ROSS DOUTHAT: When Congress Abdicates
>> The Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act decision and the appeal of juristocracy.

The Supremes and the Oligarchy

The Supremes and the Oligarchy
P. Schultz
June 26, 2013

            First, the Supremes strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act and then, second, it rules that part of DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional and allows a lower court ruling allowing California to legalize gay and lesbian marriage to stand. What to make of this?

            I believe it is pretty simple actually: Gay and lesbian marriage is not a threat to the oligarchy, whereas voting rights are. End of story.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Madness of American Foreign Policy III

The Madness of American Foreign Policy III
P. Schultz
June 24, 2013

            Here is some of the best commentary on American foreign policy these days that I have encountered anywhere. These passages are taken from a book entitled, Every Man in This Village is a Liar, by Megan K. Stack. I highly recommend this book if you wish to experience war, at least about as much as one can without being there.

            “This war around me now doesn’t feel like a dream. That’s the problem: I have been dreaming ever since Afghanistan. I let myself get tougher and smaller, pulled myself back, back, back behind my face, behind the interviews, behind the stories. The uglier it got, the harder it got, the more I drew myself in, the more I distracted myself with colorful myths. I am a foreign correspondent. I am covering the story of our times. I am covering wars. It all matters. It is worth everything. You turn yourself into something separate, something absent. There and not there….This works fine until all of a sudden it doesn’t work at all. It occurs to me now that maybe this is the most American trait of all, the trademark of these wars. To be there and to be gone all at once, to tell ourselves it just happened, we did what we did but we had no control over the consequences.” [P. 240]

            “And now in the depths of this war, I believe that nobody will ever see this, that Israel will never really look, and America will never really look either. This is real to nobody. This would never be real to me if I were not here. Oh God just make it stop. Make the bombs stop. There was this policy, and that policy. One war and then another, all of it clumped together. It must have meant something – it seemed to mean a great deal – back when we all went into Afghanistan. Somewhere between Afghanistan and Iraq, we lost our way. The carnage of it and the disorder, all to create a new Middle East. But naturally there would be no new Middle East because the old Middle East is still here, and where should it go? Only a country a quixotic, as history free, as America could come up with this notion: that you can make the old one go away. Maybe you can debate it until makes sense from a distance, as an abstraction. But up close the war on terror isn’t anything but the sick and feeble cringing in the asylum, babies in shock, structure smashed. Baghdad broken. Afghanistan broken. Egypt broken. The line between heaven and earth broken. Lebanon broken. Broken peace and broken roads and broken bridges. The broken faith and years of broken promises. Children inheriting their parents’ broken hearts, growing up with a taste for vengeance. And all along, America dreaming its deep sweet dream, there and not there. America chasing phantoms, running uphill to nowhere in pursuit of a receding mirage of absolute safety.” [Pp. 242-243]

            This is just wonderful prose and, I believe, pretty much nails it – for a lot of Americans. But I feel the need to interject a few questions: What if destruction is the policy? That is, what if the goal is not a “new Middle East,” but “no Middle East?” What if the goal is a wasteland, a place of death and destruction? A thoroughly broken place? Mission Accomplished!

Gregory v. Greenwald

Gregory v. Greenwald
P. Schultz
June 24, 2013

            Here is an article reporting on an exchange between David Gregory, NBC News, and Glenn Greenwald on the Eric Snowden's act of patriotism in revealing that the NSA is invading our privacy in a massive way.

            And Gregory’s last question – which of course he planned to be the last question – pretends to ask in a “neutral” way why Greenwald himself shouldn’t be charged with crimes along with Snowden. Greenwald, of course, calls a spade a spade and takes on Gregory’s role as accuser, making it clear that Gregory’s question is not merely one that anyone would raise in these circumstances but serves, under a guise of “objectivity,” the interests of those who care nothing at all for our freedoms or for the freedom of the press. As Greenwald posted in a tweet:

“Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?”

And, of course, this is why the government charged Snowden with espionage and why people like Representative King and David Gregory talk as they are talking: To “criminalize” – especially in the minds of the people – Snowden’s activities and now Greenwald’s activities. And note should be taken too that in this way, the question becomes, “Did Snowden/Greenwald commit crimes?” rather than “Is the government violating our fundamental freedoms with its espionage program?” Given that the answer to this latter question is so obvious, it is equally obvious why the government and King/Gregory want to criminalize Snowden and Greenwald. It is, however, our president and his administration who are the “criminals” here, although criminal does not quite do justice to what Obama has done and is doing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


P. Schultz
June 20, 2013

            At times, the decadence that is the United States strikes me with unusual force. It did tonight. I am watching major league baseball and two commercials come on. The first one is advertising Coors Beer and it is about the new beer can they have created with two new vents and a wider mouth. Wow! The second one is a car advertisement for the Range Rover, an obscenely big “car” that I use to identify with safaris in Africa.

            And I am currently reading a book, Every Man in This Village is a Liar, by Megan K. Stack about her experiences in the Middle East and her “education in war,” as the subtitle has it. So here we Americans are invading Iraq, supporting jihadists in Libya, waging war in Afghanistan, and drinking beer from “new and improved cans” while buying obscenely big “cars.” And this is to say nothing about me watching MLB as a distraction.

            I ask you: Is it any wonder that much of the world detests us and U.S.? Not to me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The "National Security State" Isn't

The “National Security State” Isn’t
P. Schultz
June 17, 2013

            The phenomenon that is called the “national security state” isn’t. That is, it isn’t secure nor is that its underlying purpose. And this for at least two reasons.

First, this state doesn’t make us secure or more secure. In fact, it makes us less secure – and this is recognized frequently by those who operate its power levers. Deposing Saddam Hussein did not make us more secure. Rather, it generated more terrorists, as is often recognized.

Second, this state serves the status quo to such an extent that it should be called the “status quo state.” The “national security state” privileges protection and those who provide it. Former ambassador to Vietnam, Kenneth Young, went so far as to assert in 1961 “He who protects, governs.” Well, that depends on how one understands “governing.” If one understands “governing” as an activity devoted to meeting the needs of a people or a nation, then Ambassador Young’s assertion was incorrect. However, if one understands “governing” as placating, then his assertion is correct.

Thus, if protection is taken to be primary, governing, in the more appropriate sense of meeting the needs of a people or a nation, need not be done at all insofar as protecting trumps governing. Thus, so long as we view the world as dangerous, ready to explode at any time, we will demand protection or security; we will demand or acquiesce in a “national security state.” As a result, those who propose actually meeting the nation’s needs, those who would be interested in governing in this sense, will be held at bay, kept out of power, thereby preserving the status quo and serving those who benefit from that status quo.

This dynamic was visible in Vietnam where, consistently, the U.S. failed to push the South Vietnamese government to actually “govern,” that is, to meet the needs of its people. This happened because, as evidenced by Ambassador Young’s assertion, protection was the primary task, protection against an insurgent, Communist/nationalist victory. Those in Nam who benefitted from the status quo had little incentive to defeat the “insurgents” or to govern as either one of these activities threatened their interests. And the same dynamic is at work in Afghanistan, where the Karzai government knows that the U.S. has little leverage so long as the insurgents constitute a real threat or “a clear and present danger.” Hence, that government has little incentive to (1) defeat the insurgency or (2) to govern. Both or either one would threaten the status quo and their power. Under such circumstances, which also existed in Vietnam, defeat or failure is almost guaranteed and this regardless of how much power or money the U.S. commits to that cause.

From a well read friend:

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (16 March 2006):

"The security environment confronting the United States today is radically different from what we have faced before.  Yet the first duty of the United States Government remains what it always has been: to protect the American people and American interests.  It is an enduring American principle that this duty obligates the government to anticipate and counter threats, using all elements of national power, before the threats can do grave damage.  The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction – and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. There are few greater threats than a terrorist attack with WMD.

"To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively in exercising our inherent right of self-defense. The United States will not resort to force in all cases to preempt emerging threats.  Our preference is that nonmilitary actions succeed.  And no country should ever use preemption as a pretext for aggression.

"Countering proliferation of WMD requires a comprehensive strategy involving strengthened nonproliferation efforts to deny these weapons of terror and related expertise to those seeking them; proactive counterproliferation efforts to defend against and defeat WMD and missile threats before they are unleashed; and improved protection to mitigate the consequences of WMD use.  We aim to convince our adversaries that they cannot achieve their goals with WMD, and thus deter and dissuade them from attempting to use or even acquire these weapons in the first place" ( [Emphasis added.]

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Madness of American Foreign Policy II

The Madness of American Foreign Policy, II
P. Schultz
June 13, 2013

            Here are some more passages from  Little America by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

            “As the president had been considering his drawdown options, the CIA had finished an assessment of each of Afghanistan’s nearly four hundred districts. Agency analysts had conducted  similar studies every six months or so since 2007. The last one had been done in October 2010, and the new evaluation measured changes in security, government presence, and development since then. Each district was graded on a four-level scale, ranging from government controlled to Taliban controlled. The assessment was based on statistics…as well as input from the CIA’S network of Afghan informants. White House officials regarded it as the ‘the report card on the surge.’
            “The CIA’s conclusion was that Afghanistan was ‘trending to stalemate.’ The report, which was written before Petraeus took over as the agency’s director, showed that the gains in the south …were offset by losses to the Taliban in the eastern and northern parts of the country. ‘There has been no net progress,’ I was told by a senior White House official who had read the assessment. In asking for the surge, military commanders had asserted that security improvements in the districts where the new troops were initially concentrated would be like inkblots that would expand across the map of Afghanistan. That hadn’t occurred. ‘Where we went, we made a difference. But not next door….The surge worked locally, but it did not have the nationwide effect that was advertised.’
            “Senior military officials were outraged at the contention that Afghanistan was headed for a stalemate. They insisted that the CIA had overstated the impact of Taliban gains in the north and east and underemphasized security improvements in the south. The White House official said he and his colleagues were unconvinced by the military’s objections. The CIA…had used the same methodology in earlier reports that the military had championed in arguing for more troops in 2009….
            “I asked [this official] whether Obama had read the CIA assessment before making his decision.
            “No, he said. ‘We didn’t want it.’
            “Although many in the White House believed the surge had been a failure, he said, the president’s top advisers ‘didn’t want a counternarrative inside the U.S. government that says it wasn’t successful.’
            “”The president’s announcement needed to be made on the basis of ‘the surge worked,’ he added, ‘and therefore we can bring 33,000 troops home as I promised the American people.’” [Pp. 326-28]
            In other words, the president did not really care if the surge was working or not. He was committed to bringing those troops home. And why not? Consider the following:

            “The world had changed since [Obama] had announced the 30,000 troop deployment on December 1, 2009. With the nation in the throes of economic stagnation, the price tag of the war had become a major factor in this thinking. It cost $1 million to keep one American soldier in Afghanistan for a year. That meant that the annual bill for the war was more than $100 billion. Was achieving a marginally less bad outcome in Afghanistan worth the expense?” [p. 324]


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Madness of American Foreign Policy

The Madness of American Foreign Policy
P. Schultz
June 12, 2013

            I am currently reading a book entitled Little America: The War Within the War in Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. It is illuminating regarding the inanity of our policies in Afghanistan, especially COIN or “counterinsurgency” which is all the rage these days in D.C. and elsewhere. Here is a lengthy passage by way of illustration.

            “The cash spigot was in Washington. Afghan reconstruction funds ballooned to $4.1 billion for the fiscal year beginning in October 2009, and much of it was earmarked for USAID, which was eager to spend every penny. If USAID didn’t use all of its budget, it would have a difficult time asking Congress for as much – or more – the next year. In Kabul, USAID officials assiduously tracked their ‘burn rate.’ In mid-2010, they were thrilled when it reached $340 million per month. The figure became a point of pride and was mentioned repeatedly in internal meetings as a sign of progress.
            “To maintain the spending, USAID needed more programs as large as AVIPA. It authorized a $600 million effort to improve municipal government…that required the contractor it chose to implement ‘performance-based’ budgeting systems with two years, a complicated accounting rubric that even most U.S. cities did not have. There was a $140 million initiative to help settle property disputes – widely regarded as a primary source of local conflicts – by training Afghans to appraise and value land. The agency also planned to spend $475 million to help reconstruct areas in the wake of counterinsurgency operations, $450 million for an agriculture follow-up to AVIPA, $225 million for a clean-water program, and $750 million for increasing electricity production.
            “The reliance on massive projects meant sacrificing Holbrooke’s desire to direct much of the money through Afghan government ministries and local aid organizations. Most of the new work would have to go to giant American development contractors who could employ a lot of people and spend lots of money quickly. Of course, many of those hired were not Afghans but Americans and other foreigners, who commanded steep salaries, ample rest breaks, and comfortable accommodations. They also required protection. Under the new programs, thousands of private security guards descended upon Afghanistan and sucked up large portions of the reconstruction budget. A senior USAID official told me that security, management, and overhead costs had grown to almost 70% of the value of most contracts by late 2010. That meant only 30 cents on the dollar was going to help the Afghans.
            “In many cases, the real figure was even less. The big development firms relied on layers of subcontractors, each of which took a cut. Bribes had to be paid, sometimes to government officials and sometimes to the Taliban. Handing out cash to insurgents to keep them from attacking projects was a common practice. The contractors cared more about finishing their work – and getting paid – than about keeping their funds out of enemy hands. The government payouts were equally disturbing. Instead of demanding large wads of bills, local chieftains sought to control the flow of business and money. In Kandahar, contractors working for USAID and the NATO military command were forced to rely on subcontractors – for security, transportation, construction, and other services – that were linked via patronage networks to the extended Karzai family or its principle rival, former governor Gul Agha Sherzai. The linkages were often not apparent to American contracting officers cloistered at the USAID compounds in Kabul and the Kandahar Airfield. Some of the connections were revealed by a military task force starting in late 2010, but by then millions and millions of dollars had flowed through those corrupt networks. Much of the money wound up in the gleaming desert metropolis of Dubai, parked in bank accounts of Afghan politicians and warlords, out of the reach of U.S. authorities.” [Pp. 197-199, emphases added]

            Lest anyone think that the U.S. is accomplishing anything other than creating more enemies and jihadists in Afghanistan, let them ponder what is actually going on there.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Killing Anything That Moves

Kill Anything That Moves
P. Schultz
June 6, 2013

            As noted in another post, I have been reading a book entitled, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, by Nick Turse. It is an interesting book and one that gives the lie to those who would argue that the United States fought the Vietnam War with its military hands tied behind its back, so to speak, and that that explains why the U.S. lost that war. As Turse makes clear, using evidence from the United States government’s own archives, the massacre at My Lai was anything but an aberration. Rather, it was just one example of the kind of war the U.S. military was waging in Vietnam.

            And there are other reasons to reject the argument that the U.S. chose not to fight in Vietnam with the full force of its military, such as the bombing that was done both in what was called “North Vietnam” and “South Vietnam.” The destruction in the southern parts of Vietnam was immense by any reasonable standards, and much of that destruction affected civilians, not those aligned with the Viet Cong or with North Vietnamese troops in the south.

            But here is my question: How did we get into this situation? That is, how did it happen that we in the United States could wage such a war? This is one of the most puzzling phenomenon for me and one that is difficult to explain.

            A little bit of time ago, a friend asked me how I would go about getting the nation on “the right track,” as I understood “the right track” with my Anti-Federalist biases. That is, what changes would I make to “right the ship of state.” To which I responded, basically, that I did not know what policies I would recommend but that if people could be persuaded to think like Anti-Federalists, they would then come up with policies to support such a “vision,” if you want to call it that.

            But my question about the Vietnam War implies that it is our situation that influences or even determines our thinking. To me, the way that war was waged was inhuman in the extreme and yet it was waged that way and this was accepted by many not inhuman people. And even as opposition to the war rose and eventually prevailed, this did not alter the fact that most people did not then – and would not now – accept my assessment of that war. That is, the policy changed 180 degrees, as it were, but the underlying thinking did not change. And perhaps that thinking could not change, at least not without changes in our situation or overall condition.

            I am thinking of it this way: What accounts for the eventual replacement of paganism by Christianity? How did it happen that the Christian god replaced the pagan gods? Would this have happened, could it have happened without the rise of Roman empire, an empire that eventually embraced Christianity officially? Was the pagan world dependent upon a world, a situation, in which there was no empire like that of Rome?
            So, once the decision was taken to create a national government in the United States and dismantle the confederation, was a situation created in which Anti-Federalism no longer seemed to make any sense? The choice for a national government is a choice for power, for embracing a pervasively powerful government, a government that will use all or almost all of the power at its disposable to “govern” us and achieve its aims of liberty, prosperity, and security. In such a situation, it is difficult – and for most perhaps impossible – to think of government or politics in any terms other than power, the granting of it and the willingness to use it.

            So, if you find yourself in a jungle, as it were, what you want is power; you think it, power, is the indispensable ingredient to survival and/or victory. And if it seems that you cannot control this jungle with the power you are employing, you use more power, and so on and so on and so on. And, of course, those with less power than you possess cannot or should not be able to withstand you. If they do, then it seems only logical for you to use more power to overcome their resistance. Eventually, you end up “killing anything that moves.” And there it is: This all is or seems only logical; it hardly seems inhumane at all. [Ironically, those wielding great power to kill anything that moves can logically think and honestly say that the resisters “don’t respect life as we the wielders do,” which is what General Westmoreland said of the Vietnamese and himself, without realizing how delusional their thinking has become.]

Monday, June 3, 2013

Napalm Sticks to Kids

A Song from Vietnam
P. Schultz
June 3, 2013

            This song is cited in Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, by Nick Turse, which is based previously classified documents. It is not a book for the faint of heart, as this song makes clear. It is a song from the 1st Calvary Division, better known as the Big Red One.

We shoot the sick, the young, the lame,
We do our best to kill and maim,
Because the kills count all the same,
Napalm sticks to kids.

Ox cart rolling down the road,
Peasants with a heavy load,
They’re all VC when the bombs explode,
Napalm sticks to kids.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

One Minute to Midnight

One Minute to Midnight
P. Schultz
June 1, 2013

            I have just finished reading One Minute to Midnight by Michael Dobbs and it is a book I would recommend to anyone, but especially to those who are interested in how “government” actually “works.” Dobbs de-mythologizes what he can, leading him to conclude that the panegyrics written by Kennedy devotees paint a picture of someone who did not, in actuality, exist. The historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., for example, wrote that “Kennedy had ‘dazzled the world’ through a ‘combination of toughness and restraint, of will, nerve and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated.’” And, moreover, “Bobby Kennedy, Theodore Sorensen, and many lesser acolytes reached similar starry-eyed conclusions.” [p. 343]

            So far from this being the case that the world was almost led into a nuclear holocaust even though two principals, Kennedy and Khrushchev, were doing their best to avoid it. That is, to avoid it after bringing the world to its brink. Recklessly, JFK and his brother, Bobby, were going after Castro and his revolution with a passion that is hard to explain, while Khrushchev gambled by placing nuclear missiles and tactical nuclear weapons – the latter are really not much different than the former in terms of destructibility – in Cuba. As Dobbs says, “Cuban and Soviet fears of American intervention were not simply the result of Communist paranoia.” [344] And Khrushchev was overthrown in 1964 for, among other things, “megalomania,” “adventurism,” and bringing the world to “the brink of nuclear war.” These are the words of those who overthrew Khrushchev, other Communists in the Soviet Union.

            And yet more interesting to me is that JFK has been remembered in this country the way Schlesinger, et. al., would have him remembered. His recklessness, which was evident in his private as well as his public life, is overlooked, as is the fact that “the day-to-day diplomacy [was not] ‘brilliantly controlled’ as the Kennedy camp would have us believe.” [344] In fact, it is even worse than Dobbs makes it out to be insofar as Kennedy was prepared to attack and then invade Cuba in order to take out the missiles. And he was prepared to do so with nuclear weapons, tactical nuclear weapons. [It is good to recognize that one “tactical nuclear weapon” would take out Havana and kill millions of people and take out the Guantanamo  naval base at the eastern tip of Cuba.] In other words, while Kennedy is to be praised for waiting a few days and resisting the push of the likes of Curtis LeMay, he was, in the final analysis, going to “go LeMay” on Cuba, And it is difficult to see, given the presence of nukes in Cuba and 40,000 Soviet troops, how such an attack would not escalate into a full scale war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

            And, for me, this is the crux: Full scale nuclear war over missiles and other nukes in Cuba? Really? Kennedy was prepared to wage such a war for such a reason. It is, at least, mind-boggling. And it points back to the Kennedy obsession with Castro and Communism and the thought that both had to be taken on militarily. We know now little could be more delusional than such thinking as Communism pretty much destroyed itself. It certainly destroyed itself in the Soviet Union and, thanks to the gods, even some Communists understood this. Virtually, without a shot being fired, the dreaded “final tyranny,” which is what I was taught in college about the Soviet Communism, disappeared from the earth. So too will Communism in Cuba and this rather sooner than later. A couple of deaths and it is all over for Communism there.

            In his novel, Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut writes that we humans are viewing the world as if we were looking through a narrow pipe while moving on a hand-cart on a railroad track. The pipe does not move left or right, up or down, and we see only a very small piece of our reality. Yet we think what we are seeing is the whole or most of “reality” and not a thin sliver of it. Not so. And Slaughterhouse Five revolves around the fire bombing of Dresden one night during WWII, an event that has yet to be explained. We are lucky, as Dobbs and some others point out, that in 1962, somehow we stumbled into and out of the onset of a nuclear holocaust.

            As Dobbs tells us, Fritz Nolting, a former ambassador to Saigon, noticed the hubris of “the best and the brightest.” “’Very gung-ho fellows,’ he recalled…for a 1978 book. ‘Wanting to get things straightened up in a hurry, clean up the mess. We’ve got the power and we’ve got the know-how and we can do it. I remember on one occasion cautioning Bob McNamara that it was difficult, if not impossible, to put a Ford engine into a Vietnamese ox-cart.’
            ‘What did he say?’ the interviewer wanted to know.
            ‘He agreed, but he said, ‘we can do it.’”

            Well, not so much, apparently. McNamara, eventually, learned this lesson and even came to admit that he had been criminally responsible in his “can-do” and “gung-ho” attitude. It seems though, as JFK said so correctly, “There’s always some sonofabitch that doesn’t get the word.”