Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Say Good-bye

In the series of farewells in the final days of the Bush Administration, it seems a good time to reflect on perhaps the most memorable of farewells. On January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had served as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, left the nation with a warning about the way 20th century warfare might impact the very structure of American society, placing American democracy itself at risk. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex," he urged.

The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
The full address is here. Here's a video: