Tag Archives: President Eisenhower

Ike Was Right, by Eric Margolis

Ike’s famous “Military-Industrial Complex” was right as far as it went, but it’s become the military-industrial-intelligence-academia-media complex. From Eric Margolis at ericmargolis.com:

“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.
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.”

General Dwight D Eisenhower
Farewell address 1961

Congress just passed a near trillion dollar military budget at a time when the United States faces no evident state threats at home or abroad. Ike was right.

Illustrating Ike’s prescient warning, Brown University’s respected Watson Institute just released a major study which found that the so-called ‘wars on terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan have cost US taxpayers $6.4 trillion since they began in 2001.

The extensive study found that over 800,000 people have died as a result of these military operations, a third of them civilians. An additional 21 million civilians have been displaced by US military operations. According to the Pentagon, these US wars have so far cost each American taxpayer $7,623 – and that’s a very conservative estimate.

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What Could Be More Important Than A Seat On The Supreme Court? by Christopher Manion

The story of a man who put principle over political power, told by his son. From Christopher Manion at lewrockwell.com:

The noise of the universe surrounding the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to take the seat of retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy calls to mind an earlier nomination – less contentious, but profoundly consequential.

It all began on April 6, 1953, my father, Clarence Manion, confronted Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, in testimony given before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The issue was the Bricker Amendment, designed by Ohio Senator John Bricker to forbid the president from making secret deals like those that Roosevelt and Truman had made with Stalin during World War II.

Thirty years later, Dulles’ son Avery – by then a Cardinal in the Catholic Church –told me had attended that hearing. His dad was mad.

What galled Secretary Dulles most that day was how Dad buttressed his testimony by quoting Dulles himself, from a speech he had given a year before, when Ike was still running hard to defeat Senator Robert Taft, an avid supporter of Bricker. “The treaty-making power is an extraordinary power, liable to abuse,” Dulles had railed then. Treaties “can cut across the rights given to the people by their Constitutional Bill of Rights.”

The Bricker Amendment was designed to restore the Constitutional requirement that such agreements among nations be publicly disclosed as treaties, debated, and valid only after they had received a 2/3 vote of the Senate. Without the amendment, Bricker warned, any president could run rampant over the Constitution simply by making secret “executive compacts” that changed the Constitution. All he needed was a foreign leader who would go along.

After all, Article VI of the Constitution states that treaties shall become part of the “supreme law of the land.”

Although the platform of the 1952 Republican Convention that nominated Eisenhower strongly endorsed the Bricker Amendment, Ike began backing away from it as soon as he took office in 1953. During that year, the American Legion strongly backed Bricker, and my father sang its praises to packed Legion audiences in every state in the union.

To continue reading: What Could Be More Important Than A Seat On The Supreme Court?

Trump’s Not Like Ike, by Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner wishes Trump were like Ike. From Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

Yesterday came word that the European Central Bank followed through, just like the Fed.

After $2.7 trillion in “stimulus,” it has officially taken its foot off the pedal.

No more bond purchases by the end of the year.

It follows the Fed in returning to “normal” monetary policy.

The announcement scarcely made the headlines. The media knows what keeps the public engaged – reality TV and fake news, mostly. Not central bank monetary policy.

Trump Show

On the front pages, it’s the Trump Show, 24/7… and performances are always sold out.

Many of our readers love it. They’re convinced that America’s president is a genius who will Make America Great Again. No need to read the back pages or wonder exactly how he’ll do it.

Typically, they write to say that we “don’t understand him.” Or that “he has done more in 18 months than Obama did in eight years.” Or that, since the other choice was Hillary, our only hope is to “get behind the president.” Or, “Finally, our side is winning… What’s wrong with you?” [Read more in today’s Mailbag.]

It must be as puzzling to readers as it is to us. How could we resist the charm of The Donald? How could we fail to fall under his spell?

Some readers think that there must be a hidden agenda. “You’re a closet liberal…” wrote one. “You’re one of the swamp critters,” wrote another, while a third accused us of “being part of the Deep State.”

The puzzlement goes both ways. While they can’t imagine why we don’t see the halo over his head, we can’t quite figure out what they see at all.

So to gain perspective, we put the old jalopy in reverse… and try to take another look. We’ll back up to those golden green days… of Gunsmoke and I Love Lucy… back when America really was great.

To continue reading: Trump’s Not Like Ike

He Said That? 11/12/14

From President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 1/17/1961:

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 by any of my predecessors in peace time, 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 now 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 more than the net income of all United State corporations.

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 huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

The smart money bet is that the Republican victory leads to more involvement in disastrous, costly, and counterproductive wars, with their inevitable restrictions on civil liberties, and rains government largess on the “military-industrial complex” of which President Eisenhower so aptly warned (the phrase is often quoted; the warning has been ignored).