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Why We Fight

  1. Jul 29, 2006 #1
    I just finished watching the movie tonight. Man, all I can say is that you *MUST* go out and rent this movie and watch it. Amazing stuff! It will open your eyes to what eisenhower predicted in terms of the American Military Industrial complex.

    We are becoming the Romans, aye carmba! :bugeye:
     
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  3. Jul 29, 2006 #2

    Evo

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    Oh, I thought this thread was about you, pengwuino & yomamma.
     
  4. Jul 29, 2006 #3
    Hardy har har har......:grumpy:

    Here is the link if you want to see their website.

    http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/

    If anyone else has seen it, you will know what I mean when I say you must go out and rent it.
     
  5. Jul 29, 2006 #4
    I haven't seen the film, just the trailer, but I would dispute it on one point: This started long before the Second World War, the scale is just bigger now. In case you haven't heard of Smedley Butler, here are a few quotes from him:

    Smedley Butler was a much-decorated U.S. Marine who became Major General at the age of 48. Also from Butler:

     
  6. Jul 29, 2006 #5
    Good one, Evo. :smile:

    cyrus, the full audio recording of that Eisenhower speech is online somewhere, and I recommend listening to it. When I heard it, I was surprised at how little time he dovoted to the military part, and how much time he spent on his dream for a America to be a good Christian nation filled with good Christian people or something. It's almost like the words "military industrial complex" were just a sidenote to support his broader ecumenical position.

    The Romans were becoming a Christian state too, right before they fell. :/

    I'm not trying to defend the excesses of militarization, but what Eisenhower said in the rest of the speech does not inspire me to think that he had some fantastic insight. The number of people who say their religion is "no religion" is always rising, and it's the fastest growing religious category in the US. Eisenhower would have seen this as the real nightmare, I think.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2009
  7. Jul 29, 2006 #6
    Great post Tojen, your post is by no means in contradiction with the overall message of the movie.
     
  8. Jul 29, 2006 #7
    Well, what do you mean by insight? The man was a five star general before he was president. The movie even quotes him as saying "god help us when we have a president who does not understand the military as well as I do."

    As for the religious part, I think thats debatable. There was not this Christian right movement at the time.
     
  9. Jul 29, 2006 #8

    russ_watters

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    Can you explain that comparison? How are we becoming the Romans?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  10. Jul 29, 2006 #9

    russ_watters

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    I did especially like the comment in the trailer on 725 bases in 130 countries followed by Rummy saying something like 'numbers can be distracting'. We've had the discussion before about what those numbers really mean (subtract embassies and 10-man liason posts and how many does that leave you?). So it makes me wonder: is the producer of the film making fun of the people who see it?

    I heard a review of a Michael Moore film once (can't remember which one) where the writer called it a "mocumentary", where the purpose is to mock and insult the audience into accepting his point, without consideration for the truth. He wasn't really sure if Moore believed his own point or not, but that isn't really relevant: the purpose of the movie is to make him rich. Its like Howard Stern: shock people into watching, but don't really show them anything of value. That's how the trailer strikes me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mockumentary
    The twist of it is, of course, that the numbers are all factually true - but they are a distraction. They are meant to overwhealm a person into suspending critical thought and succombing to shock.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  11. Jul 29, 2006 #10

    DaveC426913

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    Trailers can be a VERY unreliable indicator of a movie. The trailers are created by people who have nothing to do with the movie, and have completely different sensibilities. They are marketers. They create a trailer that they think will sell a movie. But that does not mean the trailer is representative of that movie.

    This is particularly true of movies where the concepts are more subtle and complex than can be portrayed in 30 seconds of action with snippets of pithy dialogue.

    I once saw a trailer that portrayed a movie as a romantic feel-good story for six weeks or so before opening. Then, in the last few weeks, they ran a different trailer that made it look like an wild action film (so the boyfriends would give in and take their girls). You'd have never known it was the same movie.
     
  12. Jul 29, 2006 #11
    Eisenhower's speech is an attempt to appeal to good Christian people to take a stand against our military industrial complex, but dispite his efforts many Christians work to do exactly the opposite.
    What grounds do you have to suggest Eisenhower would share your detest for our increasing non-religious population?
     
  13. Jul 29, 2006 #12
    That's right, it wasn't meant as a contradiction, just to show that the American military has been used for the financial benefit of a few good capitalists long before WW II. Now they have the mightiest military machine ever, and the world's largest treasury ever, to gamble with.

    Good point. We'll just have to watch the whole movie, then.
     
  14. Jul 29, 2006 #13
    By trying to flex our muscle and power the rest of the world into doing what we tell them to. We are building an empire, when that's exactly what our founding father were trying to avoid. Huge standing armies. Large military industries, giving up liberties for security. Etc, Etc, Etc.
     
  15. Jul 29, 2006 #14
    Well, if you know of point's that are being twisted, by all means show me, I would like to know.

    As for the bases, do you know off hand how many are insignificantly small as you say, and how many are significant?

    My point is, the movie is an eye opener. I mean, these are people like Richard Perle and John McCain. Not anyone off the street.
     
  16. Jul 29, 2006 #15

    selfAdjoint

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    It's always easy to dismiss anything you don't by attributing it to contemptible speculative motives you assign. And the web is surely full of posters who follow that practice; people of all persuasions. But gee, Russ, PF is supposed to be a cut above that. Critical analysis of content, not cheap debating points is what we look for.
     
  17. Jul 29, 2006 #16
    So what is the confirmed tally of our military bases in foreign countries?
     
  18. Jul 29, 2006 #17
    I just meant insight into present day events. I don't think he had a telescope for the future, let me put it that way.

    Also, his religous fervor meant his priorities are inconsistent with those of today's. He did not understand, apparently, that religion could also create highly militaristic organizations. Instead, he thought it was atheism that would do it, because the communists were establishing their own industrial military this way, via Marxist philosophy.

    Sure there was, and it was even more powerful than it is today. Christianity was what separated us from the communists. The problem with communism back then wasn't so much that they had big government, but that they had a godless government.

    I know that sounds hard to believe, but Christian politicians like Eisenhower are the reason we had the words "under God" inserted into the pledge in 1954 and "in God we trust" engrained on the money in 1956. Not coincidentally, Eisenhower's administration was from 1953 to 1961.

    Eisenhower's name is all over those Christo-fascist laws.

    Sort of. His speech was an attempt to appeal to good Christian people to take a stand against the imitation of the Russian military industrial complex by not imitating the atheism supporting it. He didn't think that you could have such a thing as moral atheism.

    Eek! I certainly do not detest a rising non-religious population.

    kyleb, I think I see how you could have completely misunderstood me there. The fact that a hero like Eisenhower could have such brazen authoritarian contempt for non-religious people is pretty disappointing and for that reason it is preferable not to think of it.


    Anyway, although I really don't like Eisenhower, I just want to reiterate what's important and say that big militaries suck... even though they subsidize the creation of technological wonders, like the computer and the internet.

    What's so "terrifying" about the terrorists is the fact that even they have figured this out and have now overpowered us in a way. Instead of having big military machines, they have small nimble religious groups to act as weapons themselves. We can't fight them with big militaries. When you have so many people killing themselves and surrounding their missles with civilians, I'm not sure that you can fight them at all, which is why world public opinion seems so divided over Israel.

    Can we have a more depressing thread? :frown:
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  19. Jul 29, 2006 #18
    Eisenhower's mistake was in thinking that Christrianity was an absolute authority, that it was unassailable by politics. In reality, it's a set of arbitrary values that can be used to sway the masses either way, as we're seeing today.
     
  20. Jul 29, 2006 #19
    Eisenhower's statement is not in context of Russia. Again, it is an appeal for us to take a stand against the dangers of our own military industrial complex:

    http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/farewell.htm

    I apologize, I simply confused myself as I didn't see any other reason you might project such bigotry on Eisenhower. But my question remains; what grounds do you have to suggest Eisenhower would harbor such detest for our increasing non-religious population?
     
  21. Jul 29, 2006 #20
    Russia is the historical and cultural context of his statements. He’s speaking as the president of the US during the Red Scare. He doesn’t mention Russia by name, but I’m trying to take the speech in the time and place it was given.

    He’s talking about the increasing role of government in America’s economy, which is causing the economy to become more militaristic, because one of the priorities of government is to provide a military. He believes that this is curtailing the freedom of spiritual people, who in time of peace would choose not to work on militaristic goods and services.

    Russia was the largest command economy in the world at the time. It was the paradigm of a government that had ultimately increased its role in the economy. Russia was highly militaristic. The country also infringed upon the freedom of its people. Last, but not least, it had no spirituality or religion. Perhaps, if it had religion to guide it, then it would not be overwhelmed by its military industry.

    Ike wanted the American people to hold on to their religion so that the country wouldn't be administered by godless politicians, like in Russia. He thought we would lose our moral principles otherwise, but he didn't realize that atheists could also be moral. He wished that, as America’s military grew stronger to fight the Russians, America would not lose God’s favor in the process.


    The best evidence that Ike was a poor prophet for our time, though, is this passage:

    Well, our mighty military establishment does not appear to dissuade Arab terrorists from risking their own destruction. In fact, our aggressors appear quite eager to ensure their own destruction, alongside our own.

    It’s only later that he says,

    Ike wasn’t worried about having a large and powerful military. He believed that military strength was essential.

    It’s the intersection of the military with the free market that worried him. He believed it would drain ourselves of our spirituality. That's why he would see the rising numbers of non-religious people as the ultimate sign of tragedy.

    I think his establishment of theism both on government property and in the minds of every child who has attended school during the past half-century is unqualified evidence of his bigotry against the non-religious.

    If that’s not enough, though, hear it in his own words:

    From Positive Atheism.

    His farewell speech is also available as a streaming video from the Disclosure Project.
    http://cseti.homesite.net/ike.rm
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
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