This would seem to bea lesson that all intending promoters of a war should read:
How McGeorge Bundy, a key architect of the Vietnam War, began an agonized search to understand himself.
.... Bundy [equivalent to national security advisor to President Kennedy and Johnson] spoke only occasionally about Vietnam after he left government, but when he did, he supported the war. Yet it haunted him. He knew his own performance in the White House had fallen far short of his own exacting standards, and Halberstam’s devastating portrait of him disturbed him far more deeply than most people realized. After remaining largely silent, — except for an occasional defense of the two presidents he had served — for 30 years, Bundy finally began, in 1995, to write about Vietnam. He chose as his collaborator Gordon Goldstein, a young scholar of international affairs. Together they began mining the archives, and Goldstein conducted a series of probing interviews. Bundy began writing tortured notes to himself, often in the margins of his old memos — a sort of private dialogue with the man he had been 30 years earlier — something out of a Pirandello play. Bundy would scribble notes: “the doves were right”; “a war we should not have fought”; “I had a part in a great failure. I made mistakes of perception, recommendation and execution.” “What are my worst mistakes?” For those of us who had known the self-confident, arrogant Brahmin from Harvard, these astonishing, even touching, efforts to understand his own mistakes are far more persuasive than the shallow analysis McNamara offers in his own memoir, “In Retrospect.”
Sobering reading I would guess. Its on my wish list.