April 11, 2014
Mistakes Were Made

Speaking of counterfactuals, as I was in Monday’s posting, here’s another one I wrote elsewhere some years ago on President Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address — the speech in which he warned against “unwarranted influence … by the military-industrial complex.”

I also remember Eisenhower’s farewell address, but have trouble getting too misty-eyed about it. Who had been president for the previous eight years? Who had sent White Star special forces teams to Northern Thailand just months before? Who was to tell the incoming president that the greatest threat to world peace facing him was Laos? Who made the unspeakable Dulles secretary of state and kept him in the job? Who sent thousands of “advisers” and billions in military aid to Diem after he violated the terms reached at Geneva by refusing to hold the national elections that he (and we) knew Ho Chi Minh would win?

Who blew the very real possibility of ending the Cold War by continuing the U-2 flights and making it impossible for Khrushchev to pursue the detente he was plainly seeking? Who let the other unspeakable Dulles gin up an invasion of Cuba and then left the whole mess on Kennedy’s plate? Who was the only president of my lifetime who had the military knowledge, popularity and heroic stature to actually do something about that whole military industrial complex thingy that upset him so?


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at April 11, 2014 02:14 PM
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This is excellent. No more excuses!

Posted by: Charles D on April 11, 2014 9:30 PM

President Obama will likely speak out against war when he's out of office too. History provides lessons if we will read them. http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2013/08/secretary-of-defense-james-forrestal-murder-or-suicide-tony-hays

But then Truman got us into Korea you know.

And neighbors died.

So it goes.

Posted by: BP on April 13, 2014 4:43 AM

Said to be a direct Oboma quote: "It’s Western Europe’s – it’s your turn. Incipient fascism is under way in our country. Corporations, the government, the intelligence services, the security establishment, the media, and even the Congress – they are all in one way or another complicit. This is a situation not far from the classic definition Mussolini gave to fascism."
You won't read that if you stick to your comfortable zone. But I don't speak German, so check it out for yourself.

Posted by: noseyparkerunit on April 13, 2014 12:09 PM

This was precisely the issue with Eisenhower's speech. If he was unable to do anything about the menace he described, then who would be able to?

There are stories that Eisenhower actually stopped the U2 flights before the meeting with Kruschev but the Dulles brothers sent a flight anyway, and sure enough it did the trick.

But even if that's true it's hard to see Eisenhower as anything other than an enabler of the dangerous social entity he described.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree on April 14, 2014 2:50 PM
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