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economic justice | imperialism & war

Peace through strength is a fallacy: Mark Hatfield

"We seem to have lost sight of the fact that every dollar we spend on bombs and bullets means that we are underfunding programs to meet the Nation's desperate human needs: health care, education, our war on drugs, low income housing, prison construction, AIDS research- all of these things are part of our national defense."
"Mr. President, unfortunately we only have had one President of the United States, who in my view, understood national security, national defense. He was a five-star general: Dwight David Eisenhower.

Mr. President, these are his words:
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. * * * This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

This was the man who led the troops. This was the man who led the Allied troops in World War II - he understood war, but he also understood peace.

We are kidding ourselves, Mr. President. Today we are vulnerable. The national defense of this Nation, has left us vulnerable, but not because we lack an arsenal. The vulnerability of this Nation today is that we rank at the bottom of the list in math and science, and that at least 20 million Americans cannot read or write. The vulnerability of our Nation is the deterioration and erosion of our infrastructure, our highways, bridges, airports, our ports. Our vulnerability today is a nonproductive economy, a non-competitive economy. Our vulnerability is the people who are without homes, nutrition, education, health care.

Ultimately the security of the Nation is not found in its materialism. It is found in a spirit. It is found in a strength of heart and mind. It is found in its people- we the people.

We the people are vulnerable today. Let us at least be honest: we are not addressing those vulnerabilities with this bill or any other bill."

to read the August 1989 address by Sen. Mark Hatfield (D-OR), click on

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