Posted by | January 18, 2011 00:48 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

In an astounding coincidence, Martin Luther King day is also the 50th anniversary of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous “Military-Industrial Complex” speech as he bid farewell to the country. Eisenhower choose that moment, as an outgoing Republican president and former general, to warn the country about the influence of special interests that profit from war.

Eisenhower, like Dr. King, was a man of peace and he understood the dangers of large corporations having a financial incentive to drive American foreign policy in a more militaristic direction. Unfortunately, 50 years later it could not be more clear that our nation has failed miserably to heed Eisenhower’s warning. Since Ike’s farewell speech on January 17th, 1961, we as a nation have allowed ourselves to be deceived into starting and prolonging multiple unnecessary military conflicts.

Whether it was not being able to see through the deception of the Gulf of Tonkin incident and allowing 50,000 American soldiers to senselessly die in Vietnam, or letting 9/11 fears and anxieties allow an administration of crooks and buffoons to lead us needlessly into war in Iraq; from Vietnam to Iraq and everything else in between, we have failed to learn Ike’s lesson.

History only has to repeat itself if we let it. I make a plea here for peace. I ask if we as Americans can learn from the mistakes of the past 50 years and see through the deceptions of today to fight for an end to American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s how we can all truly honor the memories of great men like Martin Luther King and Dwight Eisenhower.

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