Audio clip of Douglas
MacArthur's Old Soldiers Never Die speech with still images.
See text transcript below.
It follows the full text transcript of
Douglas MacArthur's Old Soldiers Never Die speech, delivered at
Washington D.C. - April 19, 1951.
Mr. President, Mr.
Speaker and Distinguished Members of the
I stand on this
rostrum with a sense of deep humility and great
pride -- humility in the weight of those great
architects of our history who have stood here
before me, pride in the reflection that this
home of legislative debate represents human
liberty in the purest form yet devised.
Here are centered the hopes and aspirations and
faith of the entire human race.
I do not stand here as advocate for any partisan
cause, for the issues are fundamental and reach
quite beyond the realm of partisan
considerations. They must be resolved on the
highest plane of national interest if our course
is to prove sound and our future protected.
I trust, therefore, that you will do me the
justice of receiving that which I have to say as
solely expressing the considered viewpoint of a
I address you with neither rancor nor bitterness
in the fading twilight of life, with but one
purpose in mind: to serve my country.
The issues are global, and so interlocked that
to consider the problems of one sector oblivious
to those of another is to court disaster for the
whole. While Asia is commonly referred to as the
Gateway to Europe, it is no less true that
Europe is the Gateway to Asia, and the broad
influence of the one cannot fail to have its
impact upon the other. There are those who claim
our strength is inadequate to protect on both
fronts, that we cannot divide our effort. I can
think of no greater expression of defeatism.
If a potential enemy can divide his strength on
two fronts, it is for us to counter his effort.
The Communist threat is a global one.
Its successful advance in one sector threatens
the destruction of every other sector. You can
not appease or otherwise surrender to communism
in Asia without simultaneously undermining our
efforts to halt its advance in Europe.
Beyond pointing out these general truisms, I
shall confine my discussion to the general areas
of Asia. Before one may objectively assess the
situation now existing there, he must comprehend
something of Asia's past and the revolutionary
changes which have marked her course up to, the
present. Long exploited by the so-called
colonial powers, with little opportunity to
achieve any degree of social justice, individual
dignity or a higher standard life such as guided
our own noble administration in the Philippines,
the people of Asia found their opportunity in
the war just past to throw off the shackles of
colonialism and now see the dawn of new
opportunity and heretofore unfelt dignity, and
the self-respect of political freedom.
Mustering half of the earth's population, and 60
percent of its natural resources these peoples
are rapidly consolidating a new force, both
moral and material, with which to raise the
living standard and erect adaptations of the
design of modern progress to their own distinct
Whether one adheres to the concept of
colonization or not, this is the direction of
Asian progress and it may not be stopped. It is
a corollary to the shift of the world economic
frontiers as the whole epicenter of world
affairs rotates back toward the area whence it
In this situation, it becomes vital that our own
country orient its policies in consonance with
this basic evolutionary condition rather than
pursue a course blind to reality that the
colonial era is now past and the Asian peoples
covet the right to shape their own free destiny.
What they seek now is friendly guidanc