Armistice Day (A reprint of Vol. XXII, Art. 30, “The Hidden Truth”)
“My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle.
“I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their own leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality.
“The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.
“This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor … This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them.” – Albert Einstein
And this from the Department of Veterans Affairs, dated way back on December 11, 2007:
“Total U.S. Military Gulf War Deaths: 73,846
Total number permanently disabled: 1,620,906”
Why were the “official” government numbers of 3,777 deaths as of December 11, 2007 so low? The government doesn’t want the 73,846 dead soldiers killed in the Gulf War to be compared to the 55,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Vietnam, otherwise the American public will realize that the Iraq fiasco is even worse than the Vietnam one.
Other “official” government figures recently announced through the media indicate that the cost to wage war in Iraq has amounted to some $ 650 billion. The cost to U.S. taxpayers actually exceeds $ 2 trillion. But that’s just in dollars. The real cost is the 73,846 American deaths. The great Albert Einstein had his head on straight.
Instead of sending Americans off to foreign wars, if we paid each young American $50,000 a year to work a job – or to go to school – over a ten-year period, $ 2 trillion would provide for the development of 4 million military-age young Americans over that ten-year period.
We could even educate them in the maritime trades, and with the millions of job opportunities developed by an Emergency Shipbuilding Program, they would then be building – not destroying.