The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

What war has stolen from us

with 4 comments

My father shook hands with General Eisenhower near an olive grove, somewhere in north Africa. Troops had been standing in the hot sun in formation, waiting for the General’s aircraft, for hours. Eisenhower ordered them at ease, and walked and chatted among farm boys and city kids like an uncle. Dad couldn’t believe his humility and unpretentiousness, and became a pretty loyal Eisenhower Republican after the war. My dad would have been eighty-nine this week.

And just today, half a century later, my friend Ratilfar at ClipMarks dropped this visionary Eisenhower quote on me:

EisenhowerEvery 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 hopes 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 a half 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 a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?

“The Chance for Peace” – a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors (1953-04)
President Eisehower

War is theft. Our society—to a degree that would astonish Ike—is an economic hostage to it.

Let’s change it. More on this later . . .


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Written by Monte

May 12, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Politics

4 Responses

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  1. That is why I made the clarification. I thought that was why it got stuck in the moderation folder.

    ralfast

    May 15, 2008 at 9:01 pm

  2. BTW, Masbury, Ratilfar and Ralfast are one in the same, sorry if I did not make that clear. Apologies if it seemed like I was hijacking your blog.

    Monte says: Far from it, friend – your input adds a great deal and is always welcome! I notice one of your comments went into a moderation folder – no idea why – it certainly wasn’t planned, and the comment’s posted now. Many thanks!

    ralfast

    May 13, 2008 at 9:05 pm

  3. (Thanks for the hat tip up Mas!)

    Thats just the tip of the spear DarthBen. The U.S. not only finances it’s own “defense” but also the military strength of entire nations such as Israel and Colombia. It is the only way to make the cost of the latest weapons systems (dubbed by some as “legacy systems” as legacy from the Cold War) seem palpable.

    The American “defense” industry (or as I like to call it, the Military-Information Complex) is as incestuous an un-capitalistic system as you will find in the modern world. It would make the old mercantile empires bow in shame.

    ralfast

    May 13, 2008 at 11:59 am

  4. I read that if we just took 10% of what America alone spends on war and weapons, we could end hunger and give everyone clean drinking water.

    DarthBen

    May 13, 2008 at 9:30 am


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