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I Don't Like Ike

Mises Daily: Monday, January 31, 2011 by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
[This article originally appeared in The American Conservative (2011).]

Eisenhower's farewell speech was a long and nearly hysterical argument for the Cold War. He presented it as more than a military policy against Russia, but rather as a grand metaphysical struggle that should take over our minds and souls, as bizarre as that must sound to the current generation.

His words were Wilsonian, even messianic. The job of US military policy is to "foster progress in human achievement" and enhance "dignity and integrity" the world over. That's a rather expansive role for government by any standard. But he went further. An enemy stands in the way of achieving this dream, and this enemy is "global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method." This great struggle "commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings."

Because some crusty apparatchiks are imposing every manner of economic control over Russia and a few satellites, US foreign policy must absorb the whole of our beings? So much for limited government.

The rhetoric had to be hysterical to overcome a few obvious problems. Russia is a faraway country and the notion of an invasion was about as likely as one from Mars. Russia, an authoritarian state operating under the ideological cover of Communism, had only a few years earlier been declared our valiant ally in the struggle against Japan and Germany.

But Americans woke up one day to find that the line had suddenly changed: now Russia was the enemy to be defeated. In fact, the Russian government already in deep economic trouble as a socialist regime was bankrupted by World War II and dealing with incredible internal problems. The Soviets couldn't begin to manage the world of Eastern Europe that had been given as a prize for being the ally of the United States during the war. It was for this reason that Nikita Khrushchev began the first great period of liberalization that would end in the eventual unraveling of this nonviable state. The United States not only failed to encourage this liberalization, but pretended it wasn't happening so as to build up a new form of socialism at home.

Indeed, the entire Cold War ideology was invented by Harry Truman and his advisers in 1948 as

a political trick to keep from losing more congressional backing,
a way to circumvent political pressure for postwar disarmament, and
a method to maintain US industrial dependence on government spending, particularly with regard to American corporations operating overseas.

I Like Ike

It was an unprecedented form of peacetime socialism, designed to appeal to big business, and Eisenhower became its spokesman. Savvy libertarians knew exactly what was going on and supported Cold War opponent Robert Taft for the Republican nomination in 1952. But the nomination was effectively stolen by Eisenhower, with massive establishment backing. He repaid his backers with his support and expansion of Truman's program.

It's true that his farewell speech warned against "unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex," and this is the part that people remember. But Eisenhower himself entrenched this very machinery in American life, virtually inventing the peacetime armaments industry and imposing military regimentation on the country. His approach was fundamentally un-American; or, another way to put it, he redefined what it meant to be an American. Instead of a free people, he forged a program for the permanent militarization of the country.

The evidence for this militarization begins with massive increases in military spending. As a percent of total budget outlays, military spending went from 30 percent in 1950 to 70 percent in 1957. This was the largest peacetime buildup in American history. During a dramatic economic expansion, the president worked to maintain a high military-spending level as a percentage of the rising GDP establishing the modern precedent that military socialism is integral to the economic life of the country. Spending rose in absolute terms every year he was president, from $358 billion in 1952 to $585 billion in the last budget for which he bore responsibility in 1962, a whopping 63.4 percent increase during the Eisenhower years.

His buildup was not limited to the arms sector; it penetrated every aspect of civilian life. Our schools were made to feature scary and abusive drills to practice what children should do if the Russians should drop bombs on their heads. An entire generation was raised with irrational fears of mythical threats.

Then there was the catastrophic Interstate Highway System, which was not built to make your trip to the beach go faster. Its purpose was to permit the military to move troops quickly. There were also cockamamie schemes of driving nuclear bombs around on those highways to prevent the commies from keeping track of them.

Eisenhower was influenced in funding this amazing boondoggle by his experience in 1919 with the Transcontinental Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, which drove military trucks from one coast to the other. Another influence was Hitler's project of building cross-country roads, again to move troops. The Interstate Highway System led to huge population upheavals and continues to distort commercial demographics in every town in the United States.

Given all this, the notion that Eisenhower was worried about the military-industrial complex is preposterous. He was devoted to it.
Dr. Frankenstein loved his monster, too... at first.
1952-60: UNITED STATES. The team which had been so successful in installing der Führer in Germany, decides it will install der President in the U.S. Once again, ruling class bum boy Prescott Bush is there to help things along as are Nazi lawyer John Foster Dulles and C. Douglas Dillon of Dillon, Read and Company, financiers and organizers of the Thyssen Nazi steel trust among other enlightened enterprises. The perfect candidate for the latest project is General Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower who doubtless appealed to the boys in the back room as a result of his operation of the "Eisenhower Death Camps" in which more than a million German POWs are thought to have been exterminated by starvation, exposure and abuse in the years immediately after World War Two.

When the Dillons invite Ike to dinner it is to introduce him to Wall Street bankers and lawyers. The managers of the Ike Project believe, correctly, that Ike will not interfere with even the dirtiest of their covert action programs. Bland, pleasant Harriman errand boy and front man, Prescott Bush is positioned as a "friend" to Eisenhower, to be perceived by him as an early backer of his presidency. Also involved in the Ike Project is Clint Murchison, a mob-connected Texas oil multi-millionaire who funds much of the anti-Semitic press in the U.S. as well as Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party and provides a fortune in "no-lose" investment income (otherwise known as bribes) to FBI Director J. "Edna" Hoover.

In gratitude, perhaps, for the profitable investment "tips", Hoover and the FBI get into the act during the election campaign, orchestrating a smear campaign against Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson with the stock allegations that he is a "commie" and a homosexual, a classic ploy of the homosexual, cross-dressing Hoover. The FBI file on Stevenson is marked "Stevenson, Adlai Ewing-Governor of Illinois-Sex Deviate".

Eisenhower is duly elected and immediately starts doling out oil leases on government land to his friends and supporters.
The whole Hoover plan leads back to the CFR war plan to use WWII to elevate the US to the status of the new global imperial power. War is good business.

And Martin Brotherhood and the large rump of the escaped nazi "Brotherhood" enjoying life down in Latin America are also busy at this same time funnelling billions of dollars worth of money (war plunder) into "blue chip industries of the United States and Europe" via 750 corporations created in the last year of WWII. The Brotherhood are also going to profit from the cold war and rebuild Germany to become the future European economic and political powerhouse.