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Dwight Eisenhower, Radical Leftist?

November 18, 2010

This has been published in Harper’s magazine and Glenn Greenwald has an excellent commentary on it in his column “Gates v. Eisenhower and Obama v. Justice” on; however, this deserves the widest possible circulation so I’m reposting it here.  Here is the text of what Republican President Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and the architect of D-Day,t he largest military operation in world history, said in a 1953 speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors about the tragic waste of military spending:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,  the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. it is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with half a million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer  with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.  This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from the cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?”

Remember, this is Ike, career military commander, victor in WWII,  Free World leader during the most dangerous years of the Cold War, and two-term US President, the hero of the Republican Party, saying these things. If  the words of a man as traditional and conservative as Eisenhower now sound like “liberal” or “progressive” propaganda, that is only a measure of how far to the extreme right our media-mediated “center” has moved.   Eisenhower and almost anyone  else to the left of the Nazis has come to be seen as (O dreaded word) “liberal,”  “socialist,” and a naive pacifist.  If Dwight Eisenhower were alive today, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh would be sneering at him as weak-kneed socialist pacifist, who needs to “man up” and bomb Iran now. That’s how far from sanity and reality we have come: Dwight Eisenhower as a dangerous radical!









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