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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Would Ike Strike Iran?

You never hear the name Dwight D. Eisenhower invoked as one of our great Presidents. Like Ulysses S. Grant, Eisenhower is generally regarded as a great general who was relatively ineffective as President. But that common perception is being revisited, thanks to two recent biographies: "Eisenhower in War and Peace" (Jean Edward Smith) and "Ike's Bluff" (Evan Thomas). I'm currently reading the latter. It is thanks, mainly to him, that we spent eight relatively peaceful years.

Biographer Evan Thomas was interviewed on PRI's The World yesterday, who was asked what Ike would do about Iran?

The master of "shock and awe" and overwhelming power would discourage Israel from striking Iran, not because he'd be willing to acquiesce in a nuclear Iran, but because he'd want the U.S, to do it. Noting that Israel has no bunker busters, has refueling problems and is unable to send in waves, he'd commit U.S. forces if necessary.

"Eisenhower was an all or nothing guy," claims Thomas. "He would seriously consider using U.S. force to take it out."

Interestingly, Ike never told a soul under what circumstance he was willing to go nuclear, and he urged JFK to keep that decision to himself as well.

PRI Interview:


Anonymous said...


Ike was a moderate Republican who wanted to limit any direct American involvement in war. He was a true war vetern, who understood the costs.

Unlike the modern neo-con teabagger chicken hawk Republicans, who are happy to send other peoples kids to kill for them.

Another round of Golf?

Anonymous said...

"I like Ike! My bike likes Ike!"

Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli

Anonymous said...

Eisenhower would not invade Iran. He'd conduct a large covert operation, away from the prying eyes of Congress.

He'd use rendering and black prisons (invented by Clinton and perfected by Obama) to secretly eliminate or assassinate our threats.

Lazy flea baggers used to be anti-war, prior to January 20, 2008. Now, they're OK with all the crap they squealed about while changing their tampons during the Bush years.

Bozos like 2:58 (no need to sleep when you're on the dole) are left defending covert wars and assassination lists.

Anonymous said...

"He'd use rendering and black prisons (invented by Clinton and perfected by Obama)"
I think your timing is a bit off.

Anonymous said...

If Ike were Ronald Reagan, he negotiate behind the President's back, promise to trade arms, and have Iran hold off on relinquishing its pursuit of nukes until inauguration day.

Anonymous said...

No, the question posed is a hypothetical about Eisenhower dealing with today's threat. Clinton initiated black prisons and rendering. Bush and Obama have used them extensively. Eisenhower would have opted for covert tactics vs. a un-winnable ground war or the limited effectiveness of airstrikes. He may keep a private assassination list like Obama, too. Although it's doubtful a R would get away with assassinating an American citizen, as Obama did, with no questioning from the country's left. They used to be anti-war.

Guy Williams said...

Ike was a good president and in war was great in his leadership.Technology what it is in this day and age makes a big differerence in how wars are handled.With warfare at a push of a button much descretion is warrented however the threat of iran getting nuclear weapons must be eliminated by force if necessary.How else can you contain enemies that are suicidal in their beliefs?Truman did.

Anonymous said...

Regan administration traded arms for hostages and in effect negotiated with terrorists.

Anonymous said...

Reagan's use of the ayatollahs' money to fight communist midget Daniel Ortega is why Reagan is so revered.

Same with Romney's numbers after his 47% remarks. The lefty media has a fit. The sane majority sighs in relief that someone actually gets it.

Jimmy Carter would send broken helicopters and boycott the Olympics. That's why he's considered one of the worst presidents in history. Obama can't even muster broken helicopters. History is going to deal harshly with his weak presidency.

Anonymous said...


You are wrong in your assertion that Ike wasn't one of the better Presidents the United States has had through it's history. He is one of the underrated greats.

During his Presidency, the interstate highway system was built, anti-segregation was enforced, the Korean War ended, the Cold War remained nice and cold, and he had a balanced budget throughout his entire Presidency.

Just to name a few things that happened.

I'm not sure you'll find a "modern" President that can accomplish that much.

As for the question of whether Eisenhower would attack Iran, he already did in a way.

Operation Ajax. His administration through the CIA overthrew Mossadegh and installed the Shah which set up the future events of 1979.

Anonymous said...

... and there's your covert operation.

Anonymous said...

We need another war in the Middle East...it will make everything OK again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You are wrong in your assertion that Ike wasn't one of the better Presidents the United States has had through it's history. He is one of the underrated greats."

I agree. I stated that history has not viewed him that way, but that is changing.

Anonymous said...

Ike like Kennedy enjoyed having sex with employees. He is great like Clinton and 50% of all the presidents who served our Nation. their motto was "screw em".

Anonymous said...

The guy was a war hero and Mamie looked like.... well, Mamie. Give Ike's penis a break.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you have something substantive to say, say it. Knock off the childish nonsense.

Anonymous said...


seems you are the only one on this blog that can get your facts together.

Anonymous said...

The US used the "bomb", when the numbere of nuclear weapons in the world was two. Both owned by the US. In the modern world the idea that the US will "bomb" someone into submission will be the ultimate undoing of the exremeists rightwing teabaggers.

This is Romneys race to lose at this point. If the American people think he will play cowboy with Iran, he is toast. This isn't a teabagger meeting and that nonsense doesn't fly with most people.

"Keep the government out of my medicare"
actual bagger sign circa 2009

Anonymous said...

I am a Democrat, and always felt that Ike was underrated as a President. As time goes by, I think his stature will only rise. He helped navigate the US and free world through a very dangerous time. He also had a way to call bullshit on the generals and Industrialists clamoring for "wars" to test their new toys and products.

However, we need to have a reality check. If Ike were to run for President today, he would never make it out of a Republican primary.

Hell, I question if 1980 Regan could get support fiorm the crazed right wing fanatics that have taken over the Republican Party in 2012.

I like Ike but he could never be a Republican presdint in 2012. For one thing he was a real soldier and not a neo-con chicken hawk.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Give me a break. A wildly popular General would be welcome by either party. Assholes like you are the real divisive ones.