This cartoon reminded me of a quotation from Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower. I saw it earlier this week in a comment from Herb Van Fleet on his blog, The Humanist Challenge:
“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. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . 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.”
— President Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The Chance for Peace” address, April 16, 1953,
shortly after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin
And that was the cost of war more than fifty years ago.
Van Fleet’s comment accompanied his reprint of Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer,” first published in 1916, which addresses the cost of war in different but equally compelling terms.