Thursday, September 30, 2004

Is John Eisenhower that big a Surprise?

I speculated yesterday what Ike would think if he were alive today...

First, I imagine he'd really want to take a leak.

Second, he'd feel pretty damn old at 114.

Third, I think the guy would endorse Kerry.

Why?

Because the guy hated the stupid waste of soldier's lives. Dwight Eisenhower was responsible for sending soldiers to their deaths, on June 5, 1944 he thought he was sending thousands to slaughter, and he was.

He knew war the way a soldier knows it, not the way a chickenhawk does.

Big Path has a nice collection of Eisenhower quotes placed next to those of John Eisenhower yesterday. But let's just focus on the guy who was instrumental in defeating Hitler and ending the Korean War.

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”


-- Makes you wonder what he'd tell the Chimp?

“There is no way in which a country can satisfy the craving for absolute security, but it can bankrupt itself morally and economically in attempting to reach that illusory goal through arms alone.”


...

“May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”


I tell you one thing, he'd have no time for Rush Limbaugh or Fox News.

There are other famous Eisenhower quotes.

"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 are not clothed."


Oops, that one is hard to reconcile for Reagan era bottomless military trough.

"If men can develop weapons that are so terrifying as to make the thought of global war include almost a sentence for suicide, you would think that man's intelligence and his comprehension... would include also his ability to find a peaceful solution."


This next one would get Dubya's panties all knotted.

"If the United Nations once admits that international disputes can be settled by using force, then we will have destroyed the foundation of the organization and our best hope of establishing a world order."


...

"You don't lead by hitting people over the head-that's assault, not leadership."


...

And we should remember what Eisenhower said when he returned to Normandy in 1964 and talked to Walter Cronkite about the 9,000 boys buried on the coast of France.

“. . . these men came here - British and our allies, and Americans - to storm these beaches for one purpose only, not to gain anything for ourselves, not to fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest, but just to preserve freedom. . . . Many thousands of men have died for such ideals as these. . . but these young boys. . . were cut off in their prime. . . I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these. I think and hope, and pray, that humanity will have learned. . . we must find some way . . . to gain an eternal peace for this world.”


This, it should be said was completely off the cuff. This was a man who thought deeply about the awesome responsibility that comes with ordering men to their deaths, even in a good cause.

Eisenhower was a man.

In comparison, Bush is a yellow-streaked coward!

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