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Eisenhower's Military-Industrial Prophecy

Fifty years on, we look back on President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning against America’s “military-industrial complex.”

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower makes his farewell address, Jan. 17, 1961. (AP)

Dwight D. Eisenhower – “Ike” – was a towering war-time general, a two-term president, and a Republican.

Fifty years ago today, in his farewell speech as president to the nation, he famously warned against what he called “the military-industrial complex”.  Against the influence on America’s democracy, its thinking, its soul of the huge internal interests that gather around military spending and power.

We’re diving in today to what Ike meant, exactly, and the sway of those interests today — listening back to Eisenhower on the military-industrial complex.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

James Ledbetter, editor of Reuters.com. His new book is Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex.

Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations and history at Boston University. His article in the current issues of The Atlantic is titled, “The Tyranny of Defense Inc.” He is author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War — hear Bacevich and Tom Ashbrook talk about the book last year.

Here’s the full text of Eisenhower’s January 1961 farewell address (courtesy of AmericanRhetoric.com — you can hear the speech there):

Good evening, my fellow Americans.

First, I should like to express my gratitude to the radio and television networks for the opportunities they have given me over the years to bring reports and messages to our nation. My special thanks go to them for the opportunity of addressing you this evening.

Three days from now, after half century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor. This evening, I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other — Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the nation. My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and finally to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years. In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nation good, rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling — on my part — of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts, America is today the strongest, the most influential, and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches, and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace, to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity, and integrity among peoples and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension, or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insiduous [insidious] in method. Unhappily, the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research — these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs, balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages, balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable, balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual, balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress. Lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration. The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their Government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of threat and stress.

But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. Of these, I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. Our military organization today bears little relation to that known of any of my predecessors in peacetime, or, indeed, by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States cooperations — corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

During the long lane of the history yet to be written, America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many fast frustrations — past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of disarmament — of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent, I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war, as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years, I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So, in this, my last good night to you as your President, I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and in peace. I trust in that — in that — in that service you find some things worthy. As for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I, my fellow citizens, need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations’ great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing aspiration: We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its few spiritual blessings. Those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibility; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; and that the sources — scourges of poverty, disease, and ignorance will be made [to] disappear from the earth; and that in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Now, on Friday noon, I am to become a private citizen. I am proud to do so. I look forward to it.

Thank you, and good night.

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  • Flowen

    The significance of Eisenhower’s warning of the military industrial complex was based on a change in government/corporate relationship where the government “empowered” corporations to solve problems we might have, rather than on problems we do have. Fast track 50+ years and now our whole economy is driven by people contriving problems, marketing to fears and desires: highlighting insecurity and image seeking, while the ship of state is sinking.

    Business seems to have forgotten that true society wealth comes from solving real problems; rather, it is now clearly oriented to making money, period. It seems we have not only forgotten how to solve real problems, but in our confusion, we can hardly identify real problems, let alone real solutions.

    I believe the origins of this lie in Eisenhower’s concept of “the military industrial complex.” Historically, right through the Korean war, the US never prepared for war as we do now. In fact, the world’s best weapons designers between the Civil War and WWII, most notably Hiram Maxim, the Maine inventor of the first full auto machine gun, found their best markets in Europe. The US was characterized as “spending too little money on yesterdays’ weapons.” Similarly the Wright Brothers found more interest in France for their flying machine than in the US.

    That history is in contrast to how the US leads the arms race now by a generation or more, forcing everyone else to keep up…to what purpose? Such is the legacy of the military industrial complex we were warned against 50+ years ago.

    From President Eisenhower’s words:

    “…the need to maintain balance in and among national programs, balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages,… the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable… between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress. Lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration…

    …we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

    Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow.”

    The old man must be spinning in his grave. We have failed to heed his warning.

  • cory

    Wow! Great topic! Can’t wait for the show.

    Leftfield, Wisconsin

  • Lor Pamer, from Somerville

    I believe that Martin Luther King [blessings on his soul] would agree with Eisenhower’s social judgement on the Military Industrial [Media] Complex.

    This is from MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech, given at the Riverside Church in NY:

    “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

    Because it’s evident that warnings have gone unheeded and we’re going hell bent down the wrong track. My question is, what did President Eisenhower see as an alternative paradigm to the scientific-materialism inspired Military-Industrial form of plutocracy?

  • Zeno

    What Eisenhower is actually paraphrasing is the Medici family slogan “Money to get power, power to protect money.”

    The obvious abuse of taxpayer money is from the military-corporate players. They control the budget (if it can be called that anymore). It is no longer the government controlling the spending, but the other way around.

    It really began to go off the rails with Vietnam, and then onto Star Wars (which had no footing in reality at all).

    Today its building engines that are not wanted and will be shipped directly to a scrapyard, and the continuing myth of missile defense.

    With their control of government, finance, media, and “national security secrecy” they can fool all of the people all of the time.

  • Brett

    Great comment @ 9:25am, Zeno!

  • Doug

    Please ask your guests how this aversion to militarism fits with his approval of Operation Ajax in 1953, why we overthrew a democracy in Iran at the behest of a corporation, BP (nee Anglo Iranian Oil Co.). He saddled us with the people now running Iran.

  • Doug

    Sorry- And in doing so he acted as just another corporate shill.

  • michael

    Amazing how a increase in defense spending is now considered a cut in defense.

    But the truth is our volunteer army doesn’t have enough volunteers to function in these 2 wars and are paying MERC’s to do the same job at vastly higher prices. But there thought ahead by having all these defense groups spread out around the country to keep this wasteful spending. As well not even a week later after Gates announced 17 billion a year in cut was the fear card about china there. As well does not include spending on the two wars which mean at anytime Gates or the Defense department can ask for that money back or more.

  • Tom Lovell

    Eisenhower’s draft speech contained, I believe, the phrase “military-industrial-CONGRESSIONAL complex” (as asserted by a guest on NPR, perhaps even an On Point guest, several years ago). In the speech given, the explicit ‘congressional’ aspect was omitted. Perhaps it was too confrontational, too controversial? Nevertheless, Eisenhower implicitly makes the congressional (or governmental) linkage when he introduces the “military-industrial complex” phrase:

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

  • Dan

    Ike was right. That is all.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dan

    @Doug,

    Are you completely unfamiliar with Operation Ajax, or Operation Success? Neither involved the use of military assets.

    I get that you don’t like all of American foreign policy. But your comment, in this context, makes no sense.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Joachim

    Ike was correct. The military industry is driving us into wars that we cannot pay for anymore. The fact that there are senators pushing the production of weapons that are no longer needed for the sake to gain a few points in votes shows how sickening this is. We do not need these weapons and they cause hardship for a large part of the population just to pretend we are leaders in the world. Cut the military spending and train soldiers to build our infrastructure.

  • http://www.vrnashville.com Bren Letson

    As “Deep Throat” famously said in “All The President’s Men”: “Follow the money”. Over and above nationalistic or glory seeking impulses, defense is big business. It is no coincidence that defense industries have worked hard to create employment in as many congressional districts as possible. It can now be argued that we are in a constant state of war. Given the profit motive, what incentive do we now have to actually win any conflict that we initiate?

    A similar “complex” has developed in our country that also pursues a constant state of war: the prohibition of drugs. This war also generates enormous profits and accounts for significant employment in our nation. The chief beneficiaries, as is always the case when we legislate prohibition, are law enforcement, the defense industry, and criminals. However in this conflict, we have in large part declared war on ourselves or, more precisely, the poor.

  • Charley harvey

    Please mention “why we fight” by Eugene Jarecki a Sundance Grand Jury winner.
    This documentary compares and contrasts Ike’s speech and the development if the IMC. Especially it’s pervasive infiltration into the jobs calculation in so many Congressional Districts.

    Charley, listens on line to SC ETV Radio
    In Asheville NC

  • Michael Kennedy

    I have heard that the words of Eisenhower’s speech were placed on a wall in the Pentagon — but with the part about the Military/Industrial Complex NOT INCLUDED. Is this true? And if it is, why hasn’t that been made more public?

    Michael Kennedy
    Lexington, Kentucky

  • Dan

    Andrew Bacevich is a brilliant academic who’s being turned into a Cassandra by the cruelties of history. He was among my favorite college professors, and I love hearing him speak.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • William

    It sounds fearful, but did it work? Taken all the advances produced by the “MI” and defeat of the Soviet Union was that an acceptable price for us to pay? Compare this cost to the failed “War on Poverty” or “Great Society Programs”.

  • Mike from DC

    The whole DC area’s wealth is built upon the intelligence and defense contracting industries. Now the top 5 richest counties in the country are in the DC area. If you ever travel to the DC area outside of the beltway you will see predominately defense contracting and intelligence contracting sites.

  • Dan

    @William,

    The Great Society programs halved poverty metrics during the decade before they were changed by Nixon. Why do we have to consider that a failure? Moreover, why must we believe that American defense spending led to the collapse of the Soviet economy? If you’re going to make that argument, I’d like to see some documentation…preferably, some documentation that contradicts Soviet leaders’ later statements that American defense spending did not lead to their country’s collapse.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    (I’m copying this post of mine from the bullets hour just completed; Eisenhower was saying that every gun if a theft from production that is better. So, here:)

    I live near an armory and gun makers that produced the Civil War’s weapons, and I’m thinking the city that thrived with that business must have gone into overdrive after World War II (when it was surely producing at high speed). Overdrive in the sense of trying to keep in business when the Cold War required fewer rifles. What to do? Foster hunting. Publish magazines to inspire young men to love the woods and glory in bringing down bears and so forth (in very unfair combat). What else? Oh, foster the idea that everyone needs a weapon to defend themselves.
    If there were not industries in this bueiness (industries used to lots of profit and lots of demand), would the NRA be where it is today?
    I ask you. (This brings us to the military/ industrial complex.)

  • ron landskroner

    Ike’s farewell speech warning against the dangers of the m-i-c is frequently referenced by those on the left. And yet I’ve always wondered why if he were that fearful of the abuses inherent in such a hegemony, why he did not speak out more strongly and frequently after he left office. He continued to be a staunch supporter of Nixon and US foreign policy in general, fraught as it was/is with intervention around the globe. Can anyone provide an explanation?

  • http://(Scituate,MA) Charlie Mc

    President Eisenhower and Andrew J Bacevich are true “prophets” in that they clearly see and report what they see. The response they get from the military-industrial complex is a blind “business as usual” salvation.
    A “Pax Americana” didn’t succeed for Rome, nor is it succeeding for the USA, cf. “Washington Rules”.
    May those with ears to hear, hear.

  • Steve L

    Hearing “Ike” makes me morn the loss of the Republican party I was raised in.

    I wonder how current Republicans, or Democrats for that matter, would respond to this kind of statement. I suspect they would either distance themselves or respond with scorn.

    Perhaps we should add this to the recent events in Arizona in the discussion of the current political perspective.

    Where have all the moderates gone ?

    Steve In Nashville

  • Tom

    James Douglass’ remarkable book “JFK and the Unspeakable” places the responsiblity for JFK’s assassination directly on the CIA and the Mil./Ind. complex. JFK and Khrushchev were in private correspondence to end the Cold WAR and establish world peace. Do you see a connection? L.H. Oswald was a CIA asset and the patsy.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    What we need is some good divorce attorneys to help us separate ourselves from our dependence on this profitable industry. It seems once we start producing some weapon, we have to find a war to fight; not vice versa. I think it’s called codependence.

  • William

    Dan, – The poverty rate is higher today than it was in the 1960′s. I don’t think we can trust any former Soviet leadership to admit they lost.

  • Ann, Barrington, RI

    THAT’S the PROBLEM, Tom: We DON’T “have peace at home”!

    Our inner cities are major WAR ZONES!!

    Not ONLY from the number of guns there, but FROM THE LOW AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR INVESTMENT IN TRUE SERVICES, NEW SCHOOLS, MORE TEACHERS, REAL ESTATE SUBSIDIES FOR LOCALLY OWNED INNER CITY BUSINESSES for those areas!

    American children GROW UP with DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS because our coffers are siphoned off for the military-industrial complex!!!

  • Yar From Somerset, KY

    I have not heard any discussion on this part of his speech:
    “Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”

    Isn’t this more relevant today with global warming and the gap between taxing,spending, Medicare, social security and our 401K?

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    The Chinese J-20, to me, suggests that China could be a VERY useful ally. Why not try friendship, rather than assume every other power in the world is a threat.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    The cyberwar worm — a big moral issue, conceivably more destructive of human welfare than a targeted blowup.
    This is the beginning of discussion, not the end. I don’t see cyber tactics impacting the economy the way Starwars (Reagan’s approach) could. Not as distracting to progress. After all the internet began as a cyber Defense project. So.

  • Robert

    Amazing coincidence!!?…

    An insecure nation coerced into a senseless, costly, and dangerous preoccupation with weapons and “self-defense” preparedness…
    -to the exclusion of our our own safety and well-being.

    President Eisenhower knew us so well.

    What a tragedy, and a shameful legacy, that we still can’t see what’s become of us
    -and our world- through us.

  • Eric M. Jones

    There is no more blatant condemnation of the capitalist system that the US involvement in WWI. Up until early 1917 the US was neutral and took only academic interest in what “those crazy Europeans” were fighting about. We made tons of money selling all combatants weapons and supplies. But finally when the Germans owed us $27 million dollars (very little) and the French and British owed the NYC bankers many many billions of dollars, the bankers panicked. They realized that the Germans (who were likely to win) would bankrupt the US if they won. Suddenly the government declared war on the Germans to assure Anglo-French victory. It’s a stretch to think it was due to anything else. The US went from neutral to anti-German is a matter of months.

    Leading up to WWII the US was again neutral and sold weapons to everyone. The only reason the US sold less to Germany was that the British navy ruled the Atlantic Ocean.

    So Ike was not quite right regarding US production. Now how we can make non-military stuff is a puzzle. Other countries have been making non-military stuff for a long time.

    (It will surprise most lpeople that the USA was the watch maker to the world up until WWI.)

  • Miles

    Would like to hear your guest’s comments on the role of the CIA in Ike’s presidency. Near the end of his administration he used the phrase “legacy of ashes” to describe the history of the CIA to that point.

    “Legacy of Ashes” also the title of a book about the CIA.

  • ron landskroner

    One further point. Has anyone noticed the dramatic incursion of military influence in bigtime college sports and of course the professional ranks. We are now feted with the obligatory “to honor America” nonsense, replete with a ridiculous, embarrassingly large flag followed by a military jet flyover flourish. The ancient Romans would be proud (not to mention envious) of such a demonstration of fire power and hubris.

  • Eric M. Jones

    Some History They Never Taught Us—

    From the book “Dark Sun” page 95 //As reported by the JCAE (1951) and other sources:
    The American lend lease act (Sept 1941- ~June 1945) delivered almost half-a-trillion dollars worth (all numbers in 2004 dollars) of war equipment supplies and services.

    Of this, $125 billion went to the Soviets including:

    Thousands of fighters and B-25 Mitchell bombers, a grand total of 14,798 aircraft,
    400,000 GM trucks (!)
    210,000 cars (!)
    $8,140,000,000 Munitions
    3,000 Anti-aircraft guns
    3,734 Tanks
    245,000 field telephones
    A merchant fleet (100+ liberty ships) and 581 naval vessels (many of these PT boats and smaller ships),
    13,000,000 pairs of winter boots,
    5,000,000 tons of food,
    2,000 locomotives,
    11,000 boxcars,
    540,000 tons of rails,
    $1,110,000,000 in petroleum products,
    Complete alcohol, synthetic rubber, and petroleum cracking plants,
    Aluminum, copper, zinc, steel, parts and spares etc., etc., etc., almost without end.

    After WWII this incredible largesse was hidden by the Americans (since the Soviets were no longer allies) and by the Soviets (Stalin wanted to take credit for winning WWII himself). This explains some things that have always puzzled me, like why Hitler simply could not invade Britain (most of the remaining $350 billion went to Britain–so they were very well equipped).

    The Japanese well understood that they had to defeat us in less than a year; otherwise America’s limitless production would simply bury them. “In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States…I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.” Admiral Yamamoto in an interview with Shigeharu Matsumoto, a member of the Japanese Cabinet, 1940

  • Miles

    Would like to hear your guest’s comments on the role of the CIA in Ike’s presidency. Ike used the phrase “legacy of ashes” to describe the history of the CIA up to that point. Was Ike influenced by the bad information from the CIA?

    Miles
    Potsdam, NY

  • Dan

    @William,

    Mr. Ledbetter just answered your first point. As for not trusting Soviet leaders to “admit” that they lost, I just want to say thank you: I can’t think of any more effective way to demonstrate that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Gorbachev, in particular, has repeatedly talked about why the Soviet Union collapsed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Gorbachev#Collapse_of_the_Soviet_Union

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Hillarion

    I’m almost 75, and still remember Pres. Eisenhower’s warning; he was right. What I also remember is that back then, Republicans, even in their political statements as well as their votes, were, on the whole, decent (and one could say compassionate) people.

  • Mary A

    I wonder why Eisenhower’s words were not heeded by the country. Who better than a military general, and president to know the level of money
    spent to fight a war, or be prepared to fight a war. What was so amazing about this speech, was the fact that it probably seemed opposite to type
    for Eisenhower to speak this truth. So who are the powers that be.
    Halliburton, who has been part of this military industrial complex, reaps the benefits of privatization, while our soldiers in the field are paid much less, and may not even have the supplies that the Halliburton mercenaries have.
    Remember the lack of vests, and guns in Iraq and Afghanistan? This is
    a problem, when we the people, the government pay more for mercenaries
    than we do our own troops.

  • Hillarion

    Sorry; I live near Boston.

  • Donald Mulcare

    Take a look at a map of where any of the major weapons systems are manufactured and you will see how they are spread over multiple political jurisdictions. This insures strong political support for the systems regardless of their military benefit.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Bacevich questions the use of the word “spiritual,” which Eisenhower used. The risk to our spiritual well-being. I get it, I think. Does he remember McCarthyism, and the tendency to think in terms of the evil empire? We inherited that idea of a world divided into holy and evil. We compromise and support dictators so long as they stick with the angels (us)…

  • Jaeann Tschiffely

    While we have been busy winning the arms race we have been losing the education war. I remember a bumper sticker about paying for war with bake sales and paying for education with the military budget. I think that today more than ever it is the education war that we really need to win.

  • William

    Dan, Do you think Gorbachev is going to say “we got beat”?

  • William Osborne

    An informed citizenry? How come I didn’t hear from the press or the pundits when Obama took us into Afganistan that we had to go because if we didn’t we would have diffinitly flopped into a depression. We couldn’t allow lay-offs in the military industrial complex. How about our biggest export is war. Where is the honest talk about the big picture in the media.

  • tom

    …a dollar of overrun is a dollar of profit…

    Spend years and billions of taxpayer dollars, overrun your program, have technical “issues”, program gets cancelled and you never have to deliver anything.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    David in Orlando thinks economic and technological progress depends on the defense industry. What about a Manhattan project to shift off of climate-killing energy sources, consider the Titanics of our economy (oil companies and so on) to be the Empire of the Opposition, and start to displace them with all of us pulling together.
    Not progressive creation of a criminal/dependent class, if that’s what he thinks Johnson created. But the creation of a concept of “winning” that doesn’t involve “beating” the “other.”
    I agree the USSR was not beaten, but fell over their own feet. Remember Afghanistan? They burnt themselves out.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    “I” and “Thou.” Heidegger, Buber.
    World like a top, spinning and hot.
    Grammar. Currency. Tears.

    (A haiku for this hour.)

  • Dan

    @William,

    Not only do I think he’s going to say so, I know for a fact that he has. Here’s just one interview in which he admits that his reforms to the Soviet system failed, and that the Soviet state failed in turn: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-04-05-forum-gorbachev_x.htm

    Please do some reading before running off at the mouth. I found this interview after about 90 seconds on Google, you should be able to do the same.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • barbara shaw

    What about the draft? I supported ending the draft at the time, thinking that no one would voluntarily go to war or send their child.Now I see that it means mostly poor people fight our wars because they have fewer options. If we bring back the draft then everyone is vested in our wars both in treasure and progeny. (Yes the wealthy can generally avoid the draft one way or another but wasn’t the Viet Nam protest brought about in part because such a largesector of our society was invovled the the fighting?

  • http://brainmindinst.blogspot.com Peter Melzer

    I am deeply impressed by this speech. Plenty decisions beyond the military-industrial complex shape today’s America.

    Read more here:
    http://brainmindinst.blogspot.com/2008/10/departure-of-cranes.html

  • TomK

    Ike was a great man and he nailed it with this speech. I wish we could find another leader like him.

    If you look at the policies of this traditional republican, they would be labeled as “socialist” by the GoP today, a good illustration of our incredible lurch to the right.

  • Ann, Barrington, RI

    Ellen, I, too was surprised to hear Ike’s term,”spiritual” questioned.

    I remember my grandparents talking about Ike and the church he attended in Gettysburg, PA. Since I haven’t been able to remember exactly what they told me for some time now, I just googled info about Ike and his church. Here is a link: http://www.adherents.com/people/pe/Dwight_Eisenhower.html

    The link will tell you all about Ike’s earlier years, but then it goes on to say, “In later years, Eisenhower was baptized, confirmed, and became a communicant in the Presbyterian church in a single ceremony on February 1, 1953, just weeks after his first inauguration as president

    Do church goers have the corner on spirituality? You would NEVER catch me even thinking that! My main point is, the man MAY have had a deep connection to his own spirituality; therefore, he may have used the word in its most direct sense.

  • Christopher D’Ovidio

    The military industrial complex is circular in affect and feeds on itself. The US is the largest purveyor of military weapons, which of course provides jobs and profits. After the US sells weapons to an ally to fight our enemy of the day, our once ally has become our enemy of tomorrow; e.g., Iraq was an ally against Iran, the Muja Hadene was an ally against USSR (the US armed and created Suddam and Bin Londin’s Muja Hadene). The industrial complex soon makes more profits to wage war against our once ally. Secondly, the industrial complex perpetuates and fosters continued warfare by simultaneously arming opposing armies, e.g India vs Pakistan; essential making profits despite our national interest in the outcome of their conflict.

    The populous movement to halt the threat of the industrial complex will not come from the Tea Party because jingoism (i.e., national defense makes the US strong) is a central plank of its platform; however, we might find hope in the bipartisan efforts of Ron Paul and Barny Frank (strange bed fellows) who have called for a reduction in military spending. This is not to say that military might does not have its place in a dangerous world; e.g., NATO’s efforts in Sarajevo and Serbia.

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    Don’t we use the word “right” to indicate police states? And coupled with that, doesn’t the current economy lurch toward a very limited non-elected top-down control of resources, to the extent that elections begin to be as laughable as we used to see elections in the USSR? Ah-ha-ha-ha, they are just voting for one kind of Communist or another; it’s a one party state just letting different “models” strut their stuff on the runway while the “party” runs everything. I note an American-born (Lousiana-born?) president of BP (British Petroleum, with 40% of profits coming from US, I believe I heard), and BP, noting a black-eye to their business in the USA (no thanks to Obama, no thanks to the Gulf) cozying up to a Russian oil interest with deep pockets and also deep Arctic wells. I think free enterprise can be seen as Red Communist if you mean large economic interests are allowed to run “freely” across the body politic.
    This is not meant to be a modulated position, just a post for your target practice. Hit it!

  • Ann, Barrington, RI

    Ellen ( January 17th, 2011 at 11:56 AM)!!!!!!!!!

    You’re F L Y I N G !!!

    Thanks for taking us along!

  • Ellen Dibble, Northampton, MA

    To Ahmed in Egypt, wet with thought:
    We’ve been alone for twenty years,
    To come to this — soaked — and smoke the gas we light.

    Okay, Ann, thanks and here’s another, a haiku that crosses a few things, according to my own personal resonance with those lighting themselves afire across northern Africa (remember the monk in Vietnam), and my own experiences over time of being “alone together” with never-mind-whom, with nonetheless (or because-of), plenty of ongoing frustrations and helplessness.

    And remember how in Vietnam it all devolved into a decades-long stand-off of the military-industrial complex (complexes?). (I’ve got to attach it to Eisenhower’s speech somehow.) And also, I’m linking it to the hippie response of getting ahold of as much to smoke, that being as potent as possible (“weed”), although to tell the truth, I thought I myself was far too high without any pharmaceutical or herbal additions. It’s the idea that counts.

  • Mark S.

    @ William

    “Dan, – The poverty rate is higher today than it was in the 1960’s…”

    No doubt in part be because we have seen growing income inequality and greater concentration at the top proceed virtually unabated since the election of “The Great Communicator” in 1980.

  • http://www.startinghome.com picante

    We can help fight the MIC by letting our representatives know that we oppose further funding of the F35 fighter jets. Move that money into anti-terrorism, tech manufacturing, education here and abroad.

    Burlington, VT

  • TomK

    Mark S, right, the 1980 election marked the beginning of our long walk away from a middle class society and toward an oligarchy.

    Ellen, yes, it feels like a 1 party state with the banksters taking the place of the old time communists. they even talk in the same highly scripted, awkward language when it comes to the economy. Obama is just another wall st and MIC party member.

    When is some pol going to say the obvious, “the elite have taken all the wealth since 1980, we have a deficit, we need to tax them”, instead of bashing teachers or other hard working people trying to hang on to a shred of the pre-Reagan American dream?

    Imagine, competing with countries in europe and asia who do NOT also police the world. Combine that with the costs of our corporate health care system and who could wonder that we’ve been sinking?

  • William

    Dan – If you want to think “gorbie” is telling the truth go ahead. His country was broke, defeated. We were on our way with Stealth technology and Star Wars. He had to toss in the towel and admit defeat. You need to be more civil when you desire to discuss a point.

  • cory

    We are:

    1. Building a massive debt nationally and locally.

    2. Losing our middle class and their jobs.

    3. American infrastructure is crumbling.

    4. 40-50 million without good access to health care

    5. 10-20 percent unemployed

    Yet NO ONE seriously discusses cuts to the military. This alone has to make you scratch your head, doesn’t it?

    Leftfield, Wisconsin

  • Zeno

    Its unfortunate that what we call a republican stance today is more in line with communism than the real republicans before Reagan. Today the much needed real republicans are dying off, and are being replaced by religious ideologues.

    The points above describing the single party flying different colors is totally apt. There is no choice, its all the same…Just like the USSR. The plutocracy ran the media, the industry, set the rules, and everything else.

    I thought it was very funny (but also kinda sad) when the ex military guy called to state we had won the cold war with progressive military technology and spending. He was cheering on the massive waste of central planning and huge waste of US military spending as a victorious form of socialism!

    Its really good to have callers like that.

    The helicopter guys story is only a very small part of the huge mountain of waste. Only today’s Republicans can cheer on the socially supported military while they get paid such huge amounts of funding to produce nothing. But hey, that’s American Capitalism right.

  • David (Boston)

    The numbers -

    • in American Civil War, 1860 population was 31M, Civil War dead was 600,000, 2% of population (two percent)
    • in WWII, US population in 1940 was 142M, dead were 400,000, .3% (three TENS of a percent)
    • in WWII Russian dead was 20M to 30M from population of 192M, 1 dead American for 50 to 75 Russians

    WE did not defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War… they never got off their knees from WWII.

    Now because we have become addicted to the high fixed costs of MIC, we risk toppling over into the mud.

  • Dan

    @William,

    The interview to which I directed you is from the mid-2000s, more than a decade after the USSR fell, and Gorbachev reacts defensively when the interviewer says, “But it didn’t work.” What reason would Gorbachev have to lie, and why would his lie be so self-deprecating?

    It would be much easier—and the mark of a mature adult—to admit that you don’t know what you’re talking about and that you were wrong. I’m sorry if you didn’t like my tone, but I don’t appreciate people spouting off unfounded opinions without first questioning whether what they know is so.

    As a matter of historical fact, the Soviet Union was only compelled to “throw in the towel” when it faced a massive foreign exchange crisis and attempted to pay civil servants in vodka. The civil servants were supposed to sell the vodka on the black market and carry on with life, but most of them simply drank it. That’s when and how the Soviet Union fell. I was six when it happened, and I seem to remember it more clearly than you do. Why do you think that is?

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • TomK

    William, the story that our military spending crashed the USSR is just another legend. Since this show is about IKE, please note that we had 40 years of careful, conservative containment of the USSR by a whole line of presidents, starting with HST and DDE. Then they made the insane mistake of invading Afghanistan, the “graveyard of empires”. Can you imagine being that stupid? The USSR collapsed without much reference to who happened to be POTUS at the time.

    IKE deserves credit for setting the containment policy, which involved very little actual shooting, in place. We’d do well to remember that really big tasks can be done without war. Actually, we had Saddam completely contained, and would be a lot better off if we’d continued an IKE-like policy in iraq. “When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.”

    I like IKE, who would be denounced as a socialist RINO by today’s GOP.

  • Roy Merritt

    We will forever be subjected to this kind of ridiculous
    military spending unless we end this incestuous relationship between politicians, the generals and admirals, and the purveyors of this kind of hardware. The thought merchants and all others who rage and rant about the need for such overwhelming military force are merely propagandist for these industries not really considering that the security of a nation truly depends on expenditures that enhance the citizenry instead of diminish it. In the long run this kind of environment will fail. The American people will eventually figure out that all this one more demonstrate that our treasury is being looted. Hopefully it will not end in chaos and violence. My greatest fear is that in my old age I may witness the very country I served in another failed conflict devolve into a latter day Germany during the dying days of the Weimar Republic. Our politics are presently shrinking to that level. Our airwaves are daily assaulted by rabid right-wing demigods portraying the opposition as committed to treason. The elite is callous and uncaring, greedy beyond comprehension and forever demanding new tax cuts. Today our greatest danger comes from religious fanaticism who should be combated as a criminal act. Alluding to them as if a nation state grants them to much prestige. The only way to defeat these kind of people is through intelligence and black Ops. Israel has been a perfect example of this approach. In the past that nation tried to refrain from cavalier confrontations with their many enemies unless faced with an intimate threat. They sometimes attacked
    first, but later always proved it to be necessary. Sadly of late they have proved not to be so cautious having had their government at times captured as ours by venal politicians who represent no one but these
    greedy corporations. Its in the interest of these companies and politicians to perpetuate conflict around the world. The government for the most part is run by special interest and lobbyist who dictate to these politicians what policy will be lest they never get anymore campaign funding. We can end this with publicly funded elections. When we do that we may have a better caliber politician seeking public office realizing that public service means just that “public service”.

  • at, where is my perfect GPW S2000 for 15k I need one!!!, CA

    Once again I have just heard real information being broadcast nationwide. A significant and long over-due show.

    Is there really anyone to whom this could still be a blinding flash of the obvious? Or is the truth more like, Ike couldn’t do anything, and the political cognoscenti seem doubtful of freedom from the oppression of a elitist system were-in, the truth is that the higher up in the power-possessing continuum the more mechanical (dead actually) a person is, in the sense of having any real possibilities of seeing reality, and sensing the scope and significance of his/her own existence in anything approaching a view that is aware of, “additional dimensions” let us, or an objective, considered subjective view, or a perception of the — god what a tangent. I look forward to both reading the comments and some further tangentializing in about six hours.
    Gurdjieff said that a reasonable man would be totally horrified at the actual internal subjective state of a power-possessing being if they somehow came to glimpse it.
    On the other hand Jan Cox claimed that one should be darn glad that it is the baddest meanest wolfs who are in charge.

    I have of course paraphrased these two friends of mine. I have to hit the road.

    Look forward to reading your stuff.

  • Brett

    Eisenhower…now there was a good Republican!

  • Colm

    Sorry for the thread hijack … the onpoint home page indicates to leave ideas for new shows on the comment page for the days show so here goes …

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110117/us_yblog_thelookout/scientists-warn-california-could-be-struck-by-winter-superstorm

    I’d be very interested in this topic being discussed by those in the know, scientists & emergency planners, etc.

    I’d also like to hear more about this government study published on the topic… http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1312/

    Thank you.

  • Alex

    “Eisenhower…now there was a good Republican!”

    Yep. I seem to remember reading in the Steven Ambrose’s Eisenhower biography that he was considering running as a Democrat, too. I don’t think Eisenhower gave a **** which party he belonged too.

  • http://Rockport,MA Elaine Starrett

    As a senator in the early 40′s, Harry Truman chaired the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program – to see that defense contractors delivered to the nation quality goods at fair prices. Just imagine that kind of careful and honest oversight from our congress today. Sounds naive considering where we are today.

  • http://challenginglachesis.blogspot.com Dave Eger

    Great show! I especially liked the second Eisenhower clips where he says the cost of one bomber could have been put towards one great school. Thank you for highlighting that the link between increased military spending after 9/11 and the recession. What value is actually being produced by our war efforts? Is the return on investment there?

    I recommend a movie called War Inc. for a good laugh that also makes you think.

  • Peter

    President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address has stood the test of time. His warning about the Military Industrial Complex needs to be heeded. However, it is frustrating that this one warning receives consideration above his other warnings. The entirety of his Address needs to be heeded.

    Eisenhower noted several “threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.” Beside the Military Industrial Complex, he also warned about federal money in our academies – “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    The president also warned about federal spending in general – “As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantoms of tomorrow.”

    It is a shame that most commentators chose only to focus on the one item the find most agreeable, while ignoring the main thrust of his Farewell Address. It was to warn about the loss of freedom that comes from the swelling of government and its involvement in all aspects of the economy and society. This is the real lesson of his Farewell Address. I suggest everyone read the entire Farewell Address, not just one selected clause.

  • http://challenginglachesis.blogspot.com Dave Eger

    It would be kind of funny if we put so much money into new war machines and so little into schools, that the next generation of soldiers are too dumb to run them. I guess that’s how you get to Skynet.

  • http://google (mr.) jean morelle

    Terrific program!

    A caller mentioned,I beleive,a helicopter project at a southern Connecticut defense contractor which cost billions of dollars and was a failure.Can you give me more details?

    Thanks,

    jmorelle27@gmail.com

  • Flowen

    @ (mr.) jean morelle, on January 17th, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    I can’t provide any other than my belief that he was referring to the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a United Technology Company located in Stratford, CT.:

    http://www.sikorsky.com/Index

  • Atheist Grouch

    Though some commentors have discussed Ike’s “spirituality’, none so far has noted that Bacevitch lists CHURCHES among the new sponsors of militarism. Yes, you happy moderate Christians and Jews, America is rife with religious bigots who consign both you and the Moslems to a lurid hell! This repulsive form of militant Christianity infects the Tea Party, the military academies and about a third of America. Their allegiance is to the afterlife, so don’t be surprised if they don’t care about deficits, the environment or social justice.

  • Doug

    @ dan: Here’s why Ajax is germane. Ajax fed the infinite corporate maw he warned against as he left. Assets committed are irrelevant. The oil industry is part of the same maw as the MIC. Joined at the hip or the neck makes no difference. So I for one would love to know what Ike really thought of it as he was leaving. I’d like to know if he felt triumphant, or used.

  • Peter Parsons

    Daniel Ellsberg preseented an “alternate budget” to the MI Bloat several years’ ago. We need to focus on such. What do we get for this “Protection Racket”? Really?! And why are we so susceptible to manipulation, like “The War on Terror”?

  • http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html Ken Larson

    This is an excellent subject on a great American Hero with a tremendous message.

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Miltary Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”

    http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html

    The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

    How can any anyone, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

    Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

    From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

    This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

    This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

    We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

  • Chas V

    The Eisenhower Farewell was the first podcast I downloaded. I listen to it entirely every January.

    Your program did well in an hour. Not even hear the entire speech? Not 2 hours? Only discussed on the 50th?

    On to the next new thing…

    I enjoy listening to On-point.

    C v

    Walla Walla

  • Dee

    Hello Tom,

    It’s too bad you didn’t combine Dwight Eisenhower’s speech with Martin Luther King , jr 1967 speech
    Beyond Vietnam, Breaking the Silence. They are both
    woven out of the same concern and express the same
    call to action…(see below)

    Nevertheless, I wish to thank the author James Led- better for writing this important book and for high-
    lighting again Ike’s call to action. His warning has always stirred me …

    I opposed the war on Iraq from the beginning and now the buildup into Afganistan and beyond…

    Plus, it is madness to be imposing our will on others in this day and age and killing them with the latest technology in weaponry…This is plain evil today….

    Then to turn around and look at how the hawks in our
    government are robbing our childrens’ lives & futures
    and letting our infrastructure and services go to pot
    paying for their wars…is insane.

    Today, I have no second thoughts about marching and protesting against them. Indeed, I consider it my patriotic duty to oppose their madness…Dee

    P.S A special thanks to Andrew Bacevich for his con-
    cern and advocacy too. He is another modern day Ike
    in my book! Also, thanks to the servicemen who called the show expressing their misgivings about the build -up. It seems finally there might be the collective
    conscience to stop it today…It’s the word on the street today…”Bring Home the Troops and Money Too”

    Beyond Vietnam, Breaking the Silence
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

  • Joseph

    I just was finally able to listen to the program. Sigh, where have all the Eisenhower Republicans gone? Though it is late I just had to comment on the caller who claimed that the huge military spending from Kennedy through G.H.W. Bush was well worth it due to the fact that we “won” the Cold War. I thought your guests responded to that well. As to his comment that the Great Society spending failed because we now have poverty levels as high as ever I have to say this. I guess the caller didn’t get the memo. The Great Society ended over 30 years ago. Where we stand today is the result of 32 years of “Trickle Down Reaganomics.”

    • DJK

      The inconsistency in crediting Reagan with bankrupting the Soviets and ending the cold war while failing to blame his economic/taxation policies (to which we became addicted) for doing the same to us less than 30 years later is galling

  • Stan

    Hey, only because I see no other Paul-bot has blown this up, I feel obligated to point something out. Last night in the Republican debate, while the other four candidates war-mongered to a receptive South Carolina crowd, Ron Paul referred to Eisenhower’s speech warning against the influence of the military-industrial complex. In fact, Paul has referred to this speech many times over the last decade. He is the only current presidential contender who would honor our troops by cutting the legs out from underneath the modern-day war profiteers. Ron Paul 2012.

  • Pingback: January 17, 1961: President Eisenhower warns us of the growing power of the Military Industrial Complex. 51 years later, have we listened at all? « Investment Watch Blog – 2012

  • http://twitter.com/propagare propagare

    Just here to say „Thank You!“ Will vote for Ron Paul 2012!

  • Foo

    > We’re diving in today to what Ike
    > meant, exactly, and the sway of
    > those
    interests today — listening back
    > to Eisenhower on the
    military-industrial complex.

    Do you ever read what you write? The above sentence makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    • Wilson

      Foo, this sentence is text taken from an on-air broadcast, so the punctuation may not be perfect.  I listened to the broadcast and it made perfect sense.  Maybe the problem you’re experiencing is user error.

  • silverblaze18

    This great speech should be read and studied by all in this nation.  Eisenhower saw himself as a citizen first and that duty was the one he prized most.  We have lost sight of that.  Notice he ended the speech with thank you and goodnight- none of this God bless America with fifty flags behind him- that stuff is from weak men who need to shore up their image- he was the real thing- we have to dump these phonies and demand leaders who emulate this brand of citizenship first.  We are in this crisis because of this very lack of citizen leaders.  Our internet is threatened by the very corporate complex that has been created and has taken over our government- they want control and they have the money to pay for it.  We can only fight for our rights by keeping the internet free and turning back to our true citizen government, liberty for all!  Go Ron Paul!!

  • Fwfrw

    For the Ron Paul bots, maybe you should read the entire speech:

    “Each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs, **balance between the private and the public economy**, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages, balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable, balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual, balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future.” 

    • Anonymous

      Where is the balance in spending trillions of dollars on unwinnable wars? There is no balance. 

    • Rickbot

      Whenever someone tries to argue with insults, such as Paulbot, all credibility is thrown out the window.

  • Pingback: Breaking History » Archive » Examining Eisenhower’s Military-Industrial Prophecy, 50 Years Later

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