Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Eisenhower Revlog

Watch the Video
Public Domain video.

I went to my Continuing Education class this past Monday and was sitting in front of a Vietnam veteran. Out of curiosity I asked him before class started if there was war profiteering in the Vietnam War. From his usual mild mannered demeanor was a something like "...[D]amn right there was. Do you know Eisenhower's presidential farewell speech? Does anyone remember? He warned us of the military industrial complex!"

I then followed up by asking whether Eisenhower was simply "pro factory" or "pro military". The woman to my left, from around the same generation as the gentleman, firmly added "no, he was against the rise of the military industrial complex. No one seems to remember."

I did remember that Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and eventually the president. I also vaguely remembered he was from West Point. In my 3 years as a US Army enlisted soldier, West Point officers were great to work with. Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel officers had their "rivalry" but West Point platoon leaders were above it yet unaloof.

Using Google and YouTube I found the video and transcript. There's a video version out, punctuated by music but the version I am re vlogging is straight TV footage. As a human being I think equanimity and compassion should be practiced towards the less fortunate. War profiteering is disregard of life. The United States grows enough food to feed the world. The system of distribution obviously does not work and war profiteers don't help in this issue by arming people to go fight wars. What are we supposed to do as human beings? I think this woman has an idea. Also, I think I want to point out my video mashup from last January. How far can we the informed citizen go? We can go at least as far as watching how our elected officials vote on issues. We can write our representatives in government and let them know what's important to us. We can also join like minded individuals and make a combined effort to get our thought across. I don't think it's too late to make a change. It may not happen in our lifetime but for the next generation, it's worth it to work for peace.

transcript of Eisenhower's farewell speech

Flash version, voter registration, Project Vote Smart