26 Juni 2008

Evidently One Can

Words of a truly great American, West Point graduate, soldier, general Dwight David Eisenhower, who managed to avert World War III, on leadership and war:

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.

Leadership is a word and a concept that has been more argued than almost any other I know. I am not one of the desk-pounding types that likes to stick out his jaw and look like he is bossing the show. I would far rather get behind and, recognizing the frailties and the requirements of human nature, would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.