[via NYT] They’re putting the band back together, Elroy.
For the first time since The Fog of War was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award, Robert McNamara and Errol Morris took their show on the road. They spoke at Berkeley Wednesday, the first time McNamara appeared at the school that led the anti-war movement in the Sixties. It’s also his and Morris’s alma mater.
The webcast is available on Berkeley’s site. [The discussion starts about 11 minutes into the stream.] Whatever else he does, McNamara demonstrates a frustrating but entertaining mastery of the art of answering the question he wants to, not the one he was asked.
Of course, it’s more frustrating when reports of the event miss the big story, perhaps because it involves another paper. The Times claimed that McNamara strenuously refused to comment on the current administration and its policies. That’s not news; he has refused 172 (by his count) journalists’ requests to comment on Bush and Iraq. But the climax of the evening’s discussion was about #173, an interview McNamara gave the Toronto Globe and Mail in Jan. where he revealed his mind in unambiguous terms.
McNamara told a Canadian audience that the lessons he learned in Vietnam (and wrote about in his 1995 memoir, In Retrospect) being ignored and directly contradicted in the present situation. But he told the Berkeley crowd, “What you want me to do is apply them to Bush. I’m not going to do it. You apply them to Bush” [much applause ensues]. Somewhere there’s a headline, “Architect of Vietnam War Condemns Bush’s War in Iraq” searching for a story.
Anyhoo, Errol Morris does very little talking, true to form. What would you ask him? Thta’s not a rhetorical question; I