0 votes

Ike on the MIC: "God help this country when somebody sits at this desk who..."

(MIC = Military Industrial Complex)

USA Today: 50th Anniversary of Ike's MIC Speech

* * *
Andrew Bacevich on the MIC: The Tyranny of Defense Inc.
By Andrew Bacevich | The Atlantic

AMERICAN POLITICS IS typically a grimy business of horses traded and pork delivered. Political speech, for its part, tends to be formulaic and eminently forgettable. Yet on occasion, a politician will transcend circumstance and bear witness to some lasting truth: George Washington in his Farewell Address, for example, or Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural.

Fifty years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower joined such august company when, in his own farewell address, he warned of the rise in America of the “military-industrial complex.” An accomplished soldier and a better-than-average president, Eisenhower had devoted the preponderance of his adult life to studying, waging, and then seeking to avert war. Not surprisingly, therefore, his prophetic voice rang clearest when as president he reflected on matters related to military power and policy.

Ike’s farewell address, nationally televised on the evening of January 17, 1961, offered one such occasion, although not the only one. Equally significant, if now nearly forgotten, was his presentation to the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 16, 1953. In this speech, the president contemplated a world permanently perched on the brink of war—“humanity hanging from a cross of iron”— and he appealed to Americans to assess the consequences likely to ensue.

Continue at The Atlantic...

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Still can't say Ike was bad

Read Rockwells take over the weekend. Then I read the Atlantic article. My take for today might be that Ike either knuckled under to the unwarranted influence's, or tried to play ball with them and lost. At least he passed it on when he quit.

Just a comment though as my historical expertise on Ike is pretty limited.



A very well written piece. Although it elevates Ike a bit much, its the final paragraph that the writer is attempting to emphasis.
We at the Daily Paul, and yes it is rare that I respond any more, are the few that take care and action as Citizens. Thats the point that some below fail to see as to why Michael posted this.

Thanks MN...

Come on, you guys…

The first thing you learn when you figure out the truth about politicians is to look at what they do, not what they say. In other words, their record, not their rhetoric.

In very rare cases, they match. Off the top of my head, I can only name one recently, and we all know who he is. (And, technically, I would call him a statesman, not a politician.)

As far as Eisenhower goes, if he was warning us against the military-industrial complex, I'm the Pope. It would be just like George Bush (either one) or Clinton or Carter or Reagan or Obama warning us against the New World Order. Eisenhower was just as much a part of it as they were/are.

As I mentioned in a previous post on the same subject, and for the benefit of those who may not have seen it, I said that "he was a traitor, plain and simple - like all other presidents in our lifetime. Find out about Operation Keelhaul. Read Robert Welch's book, The Politician, if you want to know what a bum Eisenhower was.

"Even though he is famous for use of the term 'military-industrial complex,' he was not warning against it, he was advocating its use. If you read the entire speech, slowly and carefully, you will see he was a one-worlder, just like his successors. This was no warning - just code for his fellow globalists."

Here's an article on the subject recently posted at The New American magazine website http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/history/american/520... and here is the article in the Salt Lake Tribune that they referenced http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/50349153-78/benson-hoover-...

Remember: Don't listen to what they say, look at what they do. When Reagan gave a speech, you wanted to stand up and salute the flag. But he was as much a one-worlder as the rest of them. Look past the warm fuzzy feelings and get to the truth.

Here is Lew Rockwell's take on Ike: http://www.amconmag.com/blog/ikes-last-stand/i-dont-like-ike/ The last sentence says it all: "...the notion that Eisenhower was worried about the military-industrial complex is preposterous. He was devoted to it."

No King but Jesus, no President but Ron Paul

these ghouls only "see the light" when *leaving* office

seen it too many times to count.

The sad thing is that Ike didn't stand up to them himself.

The one man closest to the birth of the National Security State, who could have established precedent on the issue, like Washington set precedent in the first two terms, Ike utterly failed to put restraint on the military-industrial complex or the national security apparatus.

To receive a warning from someone who was in a position to stop them and did nothing, to me, is like saying, "Hey, I screwed up big time - it's your mess now!"

Ike could have used the "new" medium of television, and the old one of radio to educate the People against these dangers.

Instead, he left us with a few paragraphs as he was on his way out.

It wasn't like a warning from an author, poet, songwriter, or academic. No, this guy was a five star general, commander of the allied forces in Europe, and President of the most powerful and freest nation on Earth. And he failed to act. He wasn't just in a position to warn us, he had an obligation and duty to preserve Liberty. He had the knowledge means, and opportunity to do so. Yet all he did was warn us.

Thanks for the heads up Ike, but no thanks.

ytc's picture

Andrew Bacevich & Glenn Greenwald. . .

are a couple of many wise and admirable "progressives" that we can and should work with on multiple fronts.

(a note to our friends, SIERRAHPBT, BigT, Peal et al ;-)



it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

good article

I read the article and really like this author. I saw him on TV once and he is quite articulate. To review this piece, I would only comment that the main theme is kensyian militarism. The Eisenhower speech and refeferences are supporting facts only. He used Eisenhower as a hook to get the reader but he really wanted to show how militarism and economic kensyianism are not sustainable or ultimately profitable.
Worthwhile facts and great writing. Thanks for posting it.


From the documentary - Why We Fight


Thank you

That was a great article.

Michael Nystrom's picture

It really is

I wish more people would read it.

He's the man.

Eisenhowers Warning

have it on my website here:

Every American should listen to it.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

He warned us about 9/11

in the 6th paragraph of his speech! Count the number of times he uses the word peace in the speech.

Andrew Bacevich is extremely smart, has a fabulous way of looking at things and explaining what we can do to change the course we are on. Just finished his newest book Washington Rules, suggest everybody do the same.

Dr. Mike Vasovski
South Carolina Campaign Chairman, Ron Paul 2012
The SINGLE vote in the SC delegation for RP, GOP Convention, Tampa, FL
2010 Candidate, US Congress SC-03
Past Chairman, Aiken, SC County Tea Party

Good article. If you're

Good article. If you're short on time I'd recommend reading at least reading the 3rd page. I like Ike's words on page 1:
“Every gun that is made,” Eisenhower told his listeners, “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.” Any nation that pours its treasure into the purchase of armaments is spending more than mere money. “It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

Yet people still think spending money on war "got us out of the Depression".

Other highlights (pg 3):
The spending spree extends well beyond intelligence. The Pentagon’s budget has more than doubled in the past decade, to some $700 billion per year. All told, the ostensible imperatives of national security thereby consume roughly half of all federal discretionary dollars. Even more astonishing, annual U.S. military outlays now approximate those of all other nations, friends as well as foes, combined.

In memos written after September 11, then–Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged his staff to “keep elevating the threat” and demanded “bumper sticker statements” to gin up public enthusiasm for the global war on terror. The key, he wrote, was to “make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists.” What worked during the Cold War still works today: to get Americans on board with your military policy, scare the hell out of them.

BTW there was a piece on NPR today that talks about Ike's MIC speech and Bacevich is mentioned and he gives a quote on America's interventionist policy:
"Maintaining U.S. military forces in the so-called 'Greater Middle East' doesn't contribute to stability — it contributes to instability," Bacevich says. "It increases anti-Americanism. So why persist in the belief that maintaining all these U.S. forces scattered around the globe are necessary?"

Michael Nystrom's picture


I'm glad someone read this. It is long, but very good.

I read it in the print edition last night. It is a lot easier to read a long article like this in print than online.

I even didn't realize today was the 50th Anniversary of his MIC speech.


He's the man.


Thanks for posting Michael.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15