America is for WarLovers
By Robert Aber
Me and my dad used to play a game: “Who’s the best President since FDR?”
Ike always won. This from the dad who took the nine-year old me to a 1948 Henry Wallace For President rally at Gilmore Field – now CBS Television City. We signed the Stockholm Peace Petition and put both our asses on J. Edgar Hoover’s shit-list. Dad had made J. Edgar’s list by the 1930s. I was new.
20,000 attended on the night Henry’s campaign peaked in LA. Half the cheering crowd were Freebies, courtesy the FBI’s petty-cash tab. Henry never wised up. Dad was no Red nor did he die an embittered, old ex-Red. A lot of his friends were and most of them dropped us when dad wouldn’t “name names.” Go figure. Paranoia is very weird even after 40-ump years. Like me, dad never could keep a straight face.
Ike won our “Best Since FDR” game because he was the only President who could and did tell the Pentagon: “That is so much crap!”. Try imagining Colin Powell saying that to The Brass about anything. To be fair [HOW I lust to be fair!] Powell’s ‘rep’ was and is as a world-class butt-smoocher. Fair’s fair. ‘Give ’em hell Harry’ Truman gets points for staring crazed General Douglas MacArthur down in Korea.
But that came after Harry’s OJT presidential term……. America might have elected Dugout Doug to the presidency had not Remington-Rand foolishly offered Doug millions per year to do…..well, nothing.
Stanley Kubrick’s Gen. Jack D. Ripper and Flight-Commander Mandrake might never have been inspired. We would be the poorer for it.
Stand up to the Pentagon? Both US Nobel Peace Prize Presidents or any of the rest since Ike? 10 angry NFL Head Coaches might do it but not these guys. (Whether or not you’d live six more days after doing so is beside the point.)
Gore Vidal once wrote that JFK told him any President who truly wanted to dismantle the Pentagon’s excess could do nothing else for his entire four-year term. This would include campaigning for other bills, attending Diplomatic or Ceremonial functions, filling Supreme Court vacancies or Federal judgeships. He could not campaign for his own re-nomination, which would certainly be denied him. Assuming this to be true, it is wise to recall that at least 46 years have passed since President Kennedy allegedly said these words. …..
And we’ve had Vietnam/Grenada/Panama/Gulf War/Iraq and Afghanistan since then.