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Friday, January 14, 2011


The continuing effort to co-opt Martin Luther King

In a speech at the Pentagon's commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. that beggars belief, the Pentagon's General Counsel today invoked King to back U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation's military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack."
Later, discussing King's invocation of the "Good Samaritan," he dared to use the analogy to apply to America's military in Iraq and Afghanistan, just off to "help a neighbor in need."

For this gentlemen's benefit, let's start with just a mild quote on the subject from Dr. King:

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
Then let's close with what Dr. King really thought about America's military role:
"I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government."
That was April, 1967. If anything, the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world" in 1967 has become an even greater purveyor of violence in 2011.

For more on the real Dr. King, suggested reading.

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