Coming of Age in the Vietnam Era

Branson has changed since then; he now thinks war must be avoided at all costs.
  • Transcript


Richard Branson: When I was young, I watched people marching against wars, and I thought they must be extreme left-wingers and completely unrealistic, etc.

As I got older, I’ve actually realized that there are alternatives to wars and wars are completely unnecessary in this day and age. And all of us must campaign to make sure that there are no future wars.

Robert McNamara did this brilliant film, "Fog of War," when he was maybe 87 years old. And to say that he made a dreadful mistake taking America into the Vietnamese War; the whole premise was a mistake.

But because the war had started, he couldn’t actually back out. The submarine that he thought had fired at the American fleet hadn’t been a submarine at all. It had been a ripple, a wave rippling through the sea. But they started carpet-bombing North Vietnam. By then it was too late.

Recorded on: July 5, 2007