Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remember Dwight Eisenhower

A half century ago President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex. As the allied supreme commander from World War II who supervised sometimes fractious generals from different nations and later NATO commander who faced a far more hostile Soviet Union, Eisenhowever obviously was no wimp. Whatever one thinks of his administration's policies, he understood his duties as president--promoting peace, believing in civilian rule, and emphasizing congressional authority over the decision to go to war.

Three days before leaving office, he spoke to the American people. He feared the potential influence of the war lobby:

"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 State house, 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."

Unfortunately, we seem to have lost that "alert and knowledgeable citizenry" holding the military-industrial complex in check. But we still have time. Indeed, accountability in government is one of the basic missions of Campaign for Liberty.

Full article HERE.

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