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Robert Mcnamara's Memoir 'In Retrospect'

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Robert Mcnamara's Memoir 'In Retrospect'
In Robert McNamara’s memoir, In Retrospect, McNamara provides intimate details on the events surrounding both the Kennedy, and Johnson administration. Moreover, he reflects on the some of the most controversial issues surrounding the cold war era, specifically, the “the Tonkin Golf Incident”, and the resolution it gave way to. McNamara examines what he believes to be the key questions surrounding these events that have sparked debate for decades. Did attacks occur on two US naval warships in the Gulf of Tonkin? Were these attacks provoked by the Johnson administration, in order to justify a declaration of war? Was the subsequent U.S. retaliation justified? McNamara attempts to answers these questions, based on his recollection of the events leading up to and after the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was passed.
However, upon close examination of the facts and cross-referencing from other sources, it appears much of McNamara’s account proves largely inaccurate, and lacks important detail. Essentially, McNamara’s memoir can be seen as an attempt to admonish himself of the controversy. He removes himself from many of the important events, and gives the illusion that he was a mere
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The question still remains however, why did it pass? McNamara in some sense does give an accurate answer when referring to the ambiguous language of both the constitution and the resolution itself. But, he still doesn’t analyze some of the other key factors such as the role of Senator Fulbright in the hearings. It was his assurance that “This resolution doesn’t mean a thing. Lyndon wants this to show he can be decisive and firm with the communists, too”, that would help persuade congress. Congress understood the breadth of the resolutions power but they didn’t for see that it would be an authorization for the escalation of

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