Skip to main content

tv   The Presidency Dwight D. Eisenhower - Champion of Peace  CSPAN  August 19, 2021 7:39pm-8:29pm EDT

7:39 pm
their latest nonfiction books and on sunday at 12:45 eastern senate minority leader mitch mcconnell shares was on his reading list and ought to be in eastern other discussions on afghanistan including wesley morgan with his book the hardest place the american military adrift in afghanistan's valley. national security analyst talks about his book the rise and fall of osama bin laden and from freedom fest libertarian institute director scott horton argues that the war on terror has been counterproductive and too costly to continue. in his book enough already. time to end the war on terrorism. watch american history tv and book tv every weekend on c-span two. and find a full schedule on your program guide or visit >> next, on the presidency, dwight d. eisenhower's
7:40 pm
diplomatic and peacemaking efforts through his military career and presidency speakers are curatorial team members troy elkins and jeff nelson of the dwight d. eisenhower presidential museum which hosted this event and provided the video. >> a person that spent a majority of their life studying or learning how to apply not just man power but technology towards fighting major battles it's weird it seems weird that the man that studied all this ended up leading an allied army in multiple nations over 5 million men would be the person he would be at such a large advocate for people and that was just a few decades later.
7:41 pm
>> his foundations for this starts in abilene. and actually the majority of his life he was always reading, observing, listening and learning from other people and those around him the lessons he gained over time, they compounded on each other and they created a personal understood that piece is not a lasting peace is not the normal state of humanity it is the most desired one. i clearance ever lessons about diplomacy from his boyhood time in abilene. his first lesson and a lot of these stories you can read about them in his book at ease. which gives him the best detail of his life as a young boy growing up up until he's the president. he mentions that allies are
7:42 pm
always needed. and he learned this lesson on the very first days at school. he's being chased around the playground by a larger bully, and he had ran around a couple times trying to avoid this guy and finally we's older brother basically said that's enough. and came in and defended ike and stopped. another story is sometimes strength is required and sometimes peace is not advantageous. both ike and his parents were pacifists. and would not really accept too much fighting. one day i came running home from school, being chased by another boy and we david standing there like why are you
7:43 pm
letting this boy chase you around? and i said, well, if i fight him, you're going to give me a looking. if i don't fight, and you will give me a looking. others either way. his dad is like, no, turn around, take care of this. and i proceeded to show quite a bit of strength by knocking at the boy down and say if you come at me again we're going to have a very long year because every day i'm going to be on you. third story, which growing up in a rural community, and having some form when for a time, i can definitely associate with, he spent some time with his aunt and uncle in north of topeka. they had a gander that didn't like ike. about five or six years old. and would chase like all around the yard. we eventually, ickes uncle got upset and tired of him doing that. of running away, so he handed
7:44 pm
him a broom handle he kept a broom off of. next time that gander comes at you, give him a whack. well, true enough, the gander comes automatic takes a swing out of mainland say it on him and says that instigated an uneasy peace between the two. we gander would stay out of his way and honk at him the entire time. so, the groundwork for what would become ickes ideas on peace and how to foster peace are being born here. his mom taught him a lesson, hatred is futile. anger is futile, and this comes from when he got, i got so mad his brothers were being allowed to do something that he wasn't, that he beat his hands against the tree until they were bleeding. and after he calm down and everything, his moms dressing his wounds and she was talking
7:45 pm
to him about some scripture, and also about hatred, saying this is, you have to control this. and too much hatred, or even hatred itself becomes futile and all of this is destructive. probably the last lesson is a small town community being tight with so others. there is a built-in concern for your neighbor. that it was this concern that should be fostered between more than just your local neighbors. it should be spread out. as a child he noticed he loved reading historical books. to the point his mom actually locked the books up. and told him, hey, you cannot
7:46 pm
read this. you need to do your other school work. he found he always cheered for the underdogs. one of his favorite historical persons, persona's, was handle. and how he pursued the fight against rome. and against overwhelming odds, he was able to keep roam at bay from cartridge for so many years. this idea of always being for the underdog will come back into play here in a little while. in a little bit. when i -- ike graduates high school, he ends up at west point, he is immediately introduced to boys abruptly the same age. he's a little bit older. but a different upbringings, different education. different parts of the united states.
7:47 pm
so while he is learning from these other cadets he is learning about, you know, their traditions of where they are from. their lifestyle, and while there is a lot of commonalities between them, for each region, each region there is a little bit of difference. after he gets out of west point he goes into the army, the early army, days he's bounced around from fort cenk houston, and he's bounced run from posing to posting in world war i due to training. now he's exposed to not only men that were educated, as were most of the students at west point, he is introduced to an educated, introduced all kinds of financial and social aspects of the young men, of the early
7:48 pm
manhood age group. the guys that were volunteering, being drafted for the war. after the war he experiences the same thing but with the convoy across the united states in 1919 he experiences finding a whole new region of the u.s. that he had never been to. it's not talking to boys, man in his same age group to have the same military background. these are the common people that are coming out to meet this convoy going across the united states. it's not that he just drives by and waves. he does stop and talk to them. the speed of the convoy was such, the mechanical problems on the convoy was such that they stopped pretty often and had to do repairs in these town. like the photo here is of a woman bringing out a big wash tub full of lemonade to give to the soldiers. so while he's doing this he's
7:49 pm
acting as an ambassador for the army, at the same time he is learning about regions in people that he'd been not exposed to previously. this comes down to wanting to understand the hopes and fears of people. in 1956 he will make a quote. it says people are what count. a sympathetic understanding of the aspirations of these hopes and fears, the traditions and practices of other peoples and nations, it's essential to the promotion of mutual prosperity. so while he is doing these travels he's learning about these traditions, would these people take pride in. yes, they are americans, they all have a basic similar background. but there are also major regional differences, you're also talking at the turn of the century when you still had solid immigrant enclaves. even in the midwest and west.
7:50 pm
he's encountering them, learning more from them. each one of these moments has exposed eisenhower to the aspirations and traditions of these people. when it comes to the hopes and fears he had an introduction himself. his first hope of being sent over to france to fight in world war i is dashed. he it's so important with training they don't let him leave. when they have them signed up to leave the war ends. so to spend the last five or six years of his life learning, preparing for war, being left out, it did affect him. probably the worst, his worst fear became realized when after the war he is stationed at camp meade. his son dies of scarlet fever.
7:51 pm
this creates, this devastates him. he writes 60 years later, there's never been a point in my life worse for me than that day. and this creates a sympathy, maybe a sense of empathy in him. that everybody has hopes and dreams, everybody has hopes and fears. we all have to respect that, understand that if we want to get along. so also during the war ike was doing with the army stuff you would do. he was serving with different commands. he actually managed to get himself some prime spot for education in the commander general staff school. in the army war college. he also was able to encounter and travel, finally meeting
7:52 pm
people from overseas on their own territory. this exposure started out and panama. and then france and the philippines. each place he was exposed to the people, learning of their traditions, how they acted. while he was in france, he was working for the battle monuments commission, revising a battlefield guide for u.s. soldiers that had fought in world war i, he gets the habit of going out in turn the battlefields, he puts a lunch in the trunk of his car. it's usually one. some canned meats, some other stuff. anytime he sees he's driving around for lunch, anytime he sees french locals sitting on the side of the road having when she pulls over and shares his lunch with them. and he is doing this because he
7:53 pm
wants to talk to the people, learn from them. and also just share the good will. this is really his exposure to diplomacy one-on-one. this was not something he had to do, he could've taken lunches on his own, not been worried about trying to translate what was being said in everything like that. instead he's reaching out to people to get to know them. to learn what their lives are about. in the philippines his diplomacy gets a lot more important because while he's working on mcarthur staff he basically becomes the point of contact for the philippine president. and anytime, he actually has an office right next to the president. so the anytime there is a questioner issue that he can go and work between a mcarthur and
7:54 pm
his own. and he can help build up the philippine army as they are trying to prepare and become an independent nation. frankly his spills of diplomacy are -- mcarthur is probably not the easiest bosses. whatever troubles, around and by the time the united states and evades north africa on november 8th, 1942, it's already been a rollercoaster for ike. he's gone from being a colonel two years prior to being a general in charge of a major offense. the difficulties are set right off. when they land they are not landing as an army of occupation. they are landing as ones who are trying to free the french
7:55 pm
people in colony so that they can join the allied effort. what's difficult, it arises from the military head of the vc french government, and eisenhower had brought in french general, general gerard, they had him removed from france. they put him with the innovation foot. he was the talk to all the french soldiers that were in north africa and have them surrender, join the allies, start fighting for the allies. well none of these french soldiers would do that. they totally ignore gerard. they thought he had no authority. they would only surrender and join the allies if darlington told them to. so ike is facing a quandary here. he's got still in 1942 a very
7:56 pm
limited pool of resources. he know he has german army that is eventually going to be coming where he is for his troops. and now has to worry about whether has to fight the french forces in north africa or not. and knowing he does not have the resources to make an army of occupation out of what he has, and continue to fight the french and germans at the same time, he cuts a deal. saying if you get the french forces to fight for us then we will -- you will be named head of the french military and you will also be, you can have your title of the head of the french government in north africa and west africa. on the surface it's a satisfactory deal. the problem as far as getting
7:57 pm
troops onto our side, preventing unnecessary bloodshed, however darlington is a well-known collaborator with the nazi government. and it raises all kinds of, it ruffles all kinds of feathers in london in the u.s.. eventually roosevelt and churchill agree he made eisenhower, eisenhower made the right decision to save lives and foster the peace and get it going after our common enemy of the nazis. you made the right decision. however this was a tough diplomat, eisenhower's first real diplomatic choice and it left a bad taste in his mouth. he was shrewd get fired over this and in the end it worked out.
7:58 pm
the alliance was not easy in and of itself. there is diplomacy going on and if you look at the first picture on the left you have montgomery and paton standing there looking at a map together. it's my opinion, if you can get those two guys to fight on the same side, agree long enough to conduct operations then you are pretty good at diplomacy. because it was not easy for those two to work together. each nation has its individual and political ideas and how things should be run. it was a contest of wills between the u.s. and great britain. even as they are alliances. they're talking about what is the best strategy. do we go on a narrow front, a broad front, the underbelly? this is a constant discussion.
7:59 pm
a lot of them are diplomatic discussions eisenhower cannot escape though he has -- they become political. he has to jog the line between political and in the military. but the thing is that both sides, every part of the allies are one in the same thing to defeat germany and bring an end to the nazi rain. this keeps and focused on winning the peace, and how to get to that piece. the common goals of each nation have to be, you don't look at the differences, you look at the common goals, you go with that. that is how you and conflict, that is how you build peace. at the end of the war ike learns, he comes back that ida had taught him years ago that -- it's utah. the cause of hatred itself.
8:00 pm
when the discovery of concentration camps, this is a watershed front. walking through the concentration camp, he is witnessing the culminating effects of all this hatred. and if you look at the photo on the left look on ike's face i am hard-pressed if you will ever find another picture of him being so angry. that is we've always grown-ups seeing photos of him smiling or having a serious look. that's the look of anger right there, and rightfully so. this is what happens when the commonalities of men are ignored. when people disparage the customs and traditions of one another. when they failed to understand them. you have the holocaust.
8:01 pm
as world war ii is closing out, the two atomic bombs dropped on japan. i can see is another issue. you now have not only people who can come up with the same hatred the nazis did, but if they got weapons, modern weapons, how easy it would be to cause every town to look like this, to suffer such losses. this moment, you know, should be a joyous time, the war is over, everyone is coming home, and it was. there's also realization that if they don't get a control on this, that lives lost, the hatred will kill everyone. so, ike holds three major
8:02 pm
stations after the war, he's the chief of staff of the army. he ends up being president of columbia university and just as he is really getting full stride, enjoying the job, truman calls him back and makes in the supreme allied commander, of european forces. he was enjoying what he's doing in columbia because he felt like he was working to better the lives of people through education and pushing for peace. h post he did that was kind of his thing was looking for the way for a lasting peace. this lasting peace can't be built solely on military strength. we have to put the full might of the nation behind us. the education, the science, the
8:03 pm
sacrifice to bank a common goal. the role of supreme allied commander, i could probably viewed as one of his greatest as far as striving for peace. it was the most important. 's goal and the goal of nato at the time was just to provide western europe with enough protection that the people could become confident in themselves as a dog out from the debris of world war ii. and start producing a fulfilling life that was peaceful. he wanted them to have the confidence to thrive. so, ike has, in a selection of speeches he is made from world
8:04 pm
war ii, is inauguration, eisenhower library has 300 pages digitized. of those 300 pages, the word peace or peaceful is mentioned 703 times. the majority of that is between the end of the war and while he's at nato. these are all different speeches he gave, speeches to the american legion, army, universities, at each speech of courses tailored to the audience he was having at that time. but the principles that he posted about, piece where the same. a lasting peace must be accomplished. there is no doubt about that. the cost of war is far too, high we hit killer weapons now, the cost of war is so high that humanity will not survive.
8:05 pm
despite all the time, all the hours, all the blood, all the effort put into winning world war ii, he believes the work of a lasting peace is much more difficult than that of winning the war. peace is the underdog. it is not the de facto status of humanity. it is the desired state. the only way to get to that is through education, understanding your fellow humans, learning the commonalities and focusing on that. respecting the differences of each other. and with that, i will turn this over to jeff so he can talk about how that supplied. >> thank you. thank you, troy. on january 20th, 1953, dwight eisenhower was inaugurated as the 34th president of the
8:06 pm
united states. he entered office with a deeply developed sense of duty to serve his nation, that sense of duty was developed during his years in the military where he did nothing but serve the united states. his duty as president was a little bit different than his duty as general. no longer was there to simply seek victory over enemies. he was there to make sure that the nation as a whole thrived and survived. he also felt an obligation to work for a lasting global peace in a world with that was severely divided by ideology, as troy mentioned earlier, he used a word peace hundreds of times in his speech is up until the presidency. he concluded his inaugural
8:07 pm
address by highlighting the importance of cooperation in a world that was ever more closely bound economically and politically. rookie said the piece we seek then is nothing less than the practice and fulfillment of our whole faith among ourselves, and in our dealings with others. one of eisenhower's greatest tools in this effort to create a more equitable world community was his vision of personal diplomacy and the value he placed on face to face communication with other national leaders. there were many hurdles ahead of eisenhower during his administration. the cold war with the soviet union which was basically a
8:08 pm
bilateral division of much of the world based on competing and conflicting ideology was probably the single greatest impediment to piece that i faced. the ideological division was basically down to the individual freedoms cherished by the western nations and the collective socialist beliefs held in the eastern bloc. this division would color how ike reacted to international crises throughout his administration. of nearly as great importance to ickes foreign policy and peace initiatives, was the decline of colonialism and the rise of nationalist movements, in newly independent nations around the world. these new nations are often rich in resources, but lacking infrastructure.
8:09 pm
it struggled to gain a foothold in the global economy. they became fertile ground for the superpowers in their efforts to spread their chosen ideologies. basically, ike's duty and mission and trying to create global peace was to limit the spread of communism, and to promote the development of a lot of new nations that were created with the decline on colonialism in the 1930s. next, thank you. cold war issues dominated the foreign policy of eisenhower's administration. the nuclear arms race, which realistically made wore a fatal prospect, made going to war insane prospect. it highlighted that cold war
8:10 pm
division. other agreements seemed smaller of the lens of time but they were major disagreements during exit ministration. disagreements over the allied occupation of berlin was a major issue during most of his administration. as we're uprisings against communist governments in poland and hungary. ultimately, i explore mary goal is to contain the spread of communist ideology. at the beginning of his first term, eisenhower attended a press conference on february 25th in 1953 and one of the reporters asked if he would consider meeting with soviet premier joseph stalin. more importantly, if he would consider traveling outside the united states to meet with joseph stalin.
8:11 pm
presidents by and large did not make many foreign trips for any reason prior to the mid 20th century. partly, it was due to difficulties in getting overseas. it took a long time to make these trips. eisenhower's reply to this question about whether he would meet stalin who was, at the time, probably america's staunchest and then me, quote i would meet anybody anywhere where i thought there was the slightest chance of doing any good. despite the heavy chill and diplomatic relationships between the u.s. and the soviet union, eisenhower was willing to use any personal means to reduce tensions between the two nations. joseph stalin died of a stroke just ten days after that press conference in which i opened the door to a possible meeting between the two superpowers.
8:12 pm
it would be two more years before he was able to meet with the new soviet leadership. that meeting happened at the geneva conference in 1955. this big conference consisted of the leaders of the soviet union united states, united kingdom and france. they attended this conference to discuss general disarmament proposals, and the position of allied forces in berlin. soviets were particularly upset that western powers still maintained troops in west berlin which were surrounded by east germany. eisenhower was chosen to be chairman of the first of this conference meetings. he opened the conference by saying the following we meet here for a simple purpose we.
8:13 pm
we have come to find a basis for accommodation, which will make life safer and happier, not only for the nations we represent, but for people everywhere. so, already, specifically dealing with the soviet leadership, he's implying everything they do will have an impact on people around the world we. eisenhower knew they would there would be little in the way of concrete accomplishments relating to major issues. he did use the conference as a chance to create and strengthen personal relations, relationships with leaders of the most powerful nations in the northern hemisphere. we held personal meetings with each government leader and he was able to learn their strengths and weaknesses. when he returned from geneva, he wrote a letter to his brother milton we, and in that
8:14 pm
letter he discusses the results of the geneva conference. at the moment, i can't possibly make an objective appraisal the final results in geneva. there is no doubt in my mind that in a few days we were there, i personally gained insight and understanding that i could never have achieved otherwise we. >> the results of the geneva conference was popularly termed the spirit of geneva. it resulted in a slight thawing of relations between east and west. the major points of contention still divided the u.s. and the soviet union, the geneva spirit did allow for a rise in diplomatic culture and economic exchanges, which peaked the 1959 of soviet premier -- to the united states.
8:15 pm
eisenhower and khrushchev were never close. but they did engage in many private conversations that were attended by only one translator. i preferred this style of meeting. he preferred to have as few people as possible when discussing relations with world leaders because he felt that it allowed the leaders to be more honest and open. that there were less ears listening to them. the meetings that i can khrushchev held at camp david and in washington d.c. did further thaw u.s. relations with the soviet union. it brought them closer to an agreement on the disposition of west berlin. and when khrushchev finally departed washington d.c. from moscow he implied to eisenhower that the personal relationship
8:16 pm
between the two would prove helpful approaching their mutual disagreements. now eisenhower also at the deal with his personal diplomacy not solely focusing on the soviet union. he was already quite friendly and it knew most of the leaders of western europe. england and france were close and strong allies. near the end of his presidency he started meeting with more leaders outside of the northern hemisphere. and he met with lots of leaders throughout his administration. on september 28th, 1953, president ramon can tara of pamela became the first head of state to visit the white house during the eisenhower
8:17 pm
presidency. this was the first of 37 official head of state visits to the white house in the eight years that eisenhower was president. in october of 1953, eisenhower made his first international goodwill visit, visiting with the mexican president cortez at the opening of the falcon dam on the rio grande river. all in all, eisenhower held 210 meetings with heads of state, both at home and abroad. he summed up his beliefs regarding personal diplomacy as follows. for special purposes i strongly believe that in the conduct of foreign relations personal discussions between heads of government can be helpful and even imperative. for most of his administration
8:18 pm
eisenhower spent time building or renewing relationships with leaders around the world. his most ambitious goodwill trips happened near the end of his second term as president. now unlike a lot of the world leaders he dealt with, the united states was somewhat unique in that the presidency is limited to two terms. at the end of his second term ike is wet and american politics would be called a lame duck. so he, in actuality, or maybe just in people's minds he loses some of his power because other politicians know he cannot be reelected. and so especially domestically, often presidents start to lose white power they had. eisenhower's idea, he understood it would be harder to work with congress, his idea was instead of wasting lame
8:19 pm
duck time sitting at home he wanted to make several goodwill trips. he had his staff plan and organize three goodwill trips in 1959 and 1960. he visited the near east latin america and the far east. these goodwill trips resulted in eisenhower visits to only over 20 different nations. and allowed him to meet with the leaders of all those nations. on this particular slide the photographs is of the pakistan president and eisenhower, on his arrival there in 1959. most of these countries he visited were not the normal countries in american president would visit. they were not the staunchest allies, they were not the strongest enemies. they were emerging nations that were trying to sort out their
8:20 pm
place in global politics. pakistan, india, afghanistan. iran, turkey, tunisia, morocco, places such as this. eisenhower was very impressed by how all of his meetings with these leaders went. for example, since his photograph is up there, i use the example of pakistan president i oaken. eisenhower is impressed with his bearing and how he discussed developing an emerging democracy in the nation of pakistan. from the very beginning i conceived for the president a warm infection that still indoors. i have more than once disagreed with his views. but i had no reason to doubt
8:21 pm
his sincerity. and eisenhower's meetings with leaders throughout these trips, mostly resulted in similar feelings. he was equally impressed with prime minister of india, private escutcheon's with a charismatic leader led ike to write understanding between our two governments have been deepened, i felt, and our ease of communication improved. basically these visits were designed to expose to a world that it never met americans when america was about. into also counter some of the communist propaganda about america, proving to the rest of the world in america was not trying to gain any imperial powers, was not trying to dominate any other countries
8:22 pm
were offering friendship. as a means in and of itself. there was no ulterior motive. the president summed up his overall view of the goodwill trips in his memoir, waging peace. he said i believe that our talks, formal and informal, hope to persuade national leaders and millions of people that the united states had no selfish purpose in cooperating and believed in freely chosen governments for peoples and nations everywhere. next slide, please? finally eisenhower's diplomatic efforts, and ideas, stretched to everyone, to every individual. the ideology of the west that eisenhower was duty bound to defend was one of individual freedoms. and so much of his diplomatic
8:23 pm
effort was designed to get every individual to play a role in creating a more peaceful world. with this idea in mind, the president was instrumental in the founding of two non governmental organizations in 1956. these organizations both exist to this day and still fulfill eisenhower's idea of individual diplomacy. people to people international, and sister cities international. at the first people to people conference in 1956 i pointed out that a group controlled by the people, not the government, could be effective in reaching out globally with educational, cultural and humanitarian activities. at the third conference in 1959 he spoke to the delegates saying we need more individual
8:24 pm
diplomats from main street. from our farms, schools, laboratories. from every walk of life. people to people diplomacy means thousands of part-time ambassadors all working for better relationships among all peoples. both people to people and sister cities international still seek to promote peaceful exchange of ideas unequivocal basis to this day. these organizations have been practicing and spreading individual diplomacy for over 65 years as an example, the city of abilene, which hosts the eisenhower presidential library participates in a sister cities program. with one in japan. they engage in a personal, or didn't throw covid, personal exchanges between the countries. sending young people from abilene to learn about japan, hosting young people from japan to learn about abilene.
8:25 pm
next slide. eisenhower's particular brand of personal diplomacy was overall a very effective. during his years as president from 1953 to 1961 the united states was able to navigate many foreign policy storms in large part due to eisenhower's personal meetings with national leaders of all stripes. sat the end of his administration relations with our european allies were quite strong. as strong as they had ever been. despite several difficulties in the middle east. u.s. soviet relations on the whole were slightly friendlier at the end of eight years and then they were at the beginning. and a goodwill tours created new ties with nations in the near east, far, east and latin america that would help determine how the united states dealt with foreign policy for
8:26 pm
decades to come. personal diplomacy, the way that i could practiced it, frankly as i could say, worked.
8:27 pm
8:28 pm
>> harry truman and white eisenhower grew up within 180 miles of each other in america's heartland. next, on the presidency, a look at these two-term presidents and one-time allies who is political roads diverge during the contentious 1952 presidential campaign when ike declared his intention to be the republican standard bearer. they're meeting at president kennedy's 1963 funeral provided a chance for reconciliation. the speakers are truman library supervisory archivist samuel w. rushay jr.samuel w. rushay and eisenhower library deputy director timothy rives. libraries cohosted this event and the truman library institute provided the video. >> harry ostermann was president of the heartland. but what does it mean to say he was the president of the heartland? here, i am referring to


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on