Wise words of warning from Ike
I just read an article that included a quote from President Eisenhower. It came from the first major speech our military hero made as President, in 1953. It’s a stark and strong reminder of a culture and economy dominated by military thinking and military spending.
Ike said, “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 not clothed. This is a world in arms. 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 … This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
Today, with our single conventional war winding down, loud voices on the right are pushing mightily against any defense budget cuts. Those same loud voices are hinting at new military action against a variety of perceived enemies to keep the military machine big, healthy and lucrative for the defense establishment. Now is a good time to heed the words of a military icon we elected to lead the country. His words can help guide us today.