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In reply to the discussion: Red Scare #9 [View all]

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28. excellent contrast using Johnson's 'Great' Society efforts vs. his Vietnam push
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 03:19 PM
Mar 2015

...represented today, I suppose, by Barack Obama's domestic policy successes vs. his own military engagements - support of one aspect of his presidency and protest of his other more controversial one for many Democrats (in the country and here at DU).

I view the steadfastness and consistency of MLK in standing up for what he believed - despite any allegiances he may have forged with politicians responsible for a military involvement he objected to and perhaps abhorred - politicians responsible for our nation's military involvement in Vietnam, from republican Eisenhower through Democratic presidents Kennedy and Johnson, who he also personally lobbied in the WH for civil and equal rights and programs to aid the poor, and today's debate/dilemma of support or dissent with Barack Obama's policies as a challenge to place principle ahead of politics. That's a quality that MLK never appeared to lack as he defined his opposition to war as a natural extension of his concern for the poor and disenfranchised minorities here in America.

Martin Luther King said in his 'Beyond Vietnam speech of the war:

"I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such."


Quite correct, and very much relevant to our country's needs today which get nothing more than a miserly pittance of attention at budget time in Congress where the money for their military adventurism is reflexively approved and almost automatic. In fact, Bush's initial Iraq 'military misadventure' was the realization of a conservative dream which surfaced during Ronald Reagan's term that envisioned a federal budget which bled the social programs and entitlements dry by directing almost every dollar to defense spending and corporate welfare.

Nothing must have thrilled al-Qaeda more than to hear Bush read off passages of propaganda from the terrorists' very own speeches and dispatches -- nothing . . . except maybe the slick campaign commercial the republican party put out featuring the terrorist's words lovingly super-imposed against the smiling image of bin-Laden.

"What is yet to come will be even greater," the announcer the republican commercial in support of Bush's re-election quoted bin-Laden as saying. "These are the stakes," was the hook; strangely reminiscent of the '64 'Daisy' ad Johnson ran in his campaign which featured a countdown to a nuclear explosion.

The legacy that would come from allowing the republican party, and both parties in Congress, to exploit our fears to spend records amount of our borrowed money on warring would be that bin-Laden and his accomplices would be able to continue to run loose in Afghanistan/Pakistan for years while the administration continued to direct the bulk of our defenses the other direction, to Iraq. In the face of Bush's retreat from the hunt in Afghanistan they managed to greatly expand the numbers of those who would associate themselves with their 'organization'; just by encouraging resistance among their followers and others in the region against our violently repressive military adventurism. The American fools gave them life, meaning, and elevation. In return, the terrorist goons provided the fear for our leaders to exploit and lord over us. They were "two bodies with one soul inspired." Beloved and inseparable.

But, I digress. Principle. That's what those who would be strongly in favor of domestic improvements and accomplishments from our present administration recognize and defend in their opposition to our politician's obsessive warring. It's that same principle of steadfastness and principle against the politics of reflexive militarism which many Democrats have been advocating that Barack Obama adhere to in their protests alongside support offered for other more worthy pursuits of his presidency.

At the end of his remarks in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, the president quoted Martin Luther King Jr.'s remarks made at his own acceptance of the prestigious award many years earlier . . .

As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago: "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him . . . We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace . . .


It's understandable that President Obama would want to justify his own duplicity between his stated ideals against 'dumb wars' with a declaration of a pursuit of peace behind his own exercise of military force; or as a defense against what he correctly terms genocide against this (relatively) newly recognized faction of combatants threatening a newly recognized faction of civilians in Iraq.

Yet, King's answer to the dilemma the president faced was non-violence. His own acceptance speech was a promotion of peace and love, not a litany of excuses for militarism.

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy," King said in 1967. "Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."

Principle over politics. Who could argue with a defense of that?
Red Scare #9 [View all] H2O Man Mar 2015 OP
kick Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #1
Thanks. H2O Man Mar 2015 #4
Go to church ...or the Devil will take over. L0oniX Mar 2015 #2
"Heaven for the climate, H2O Man Mar 2015 #8
What is this... nuance? Bucky Mar 2015 #3
No, I promise! H2O Man Mar 2015 #10
The Day Joe McCarthy came to DU. leveymg Mar 2015 #51
It's the "Love it or Leave It", "You're with us or against us", "Not as Bad" wing of the party. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #5
Iraq... Love it or leave it! world wide wally Mar 2015 #9
Outstanding answer. H2O Man Mar 2015 #12
Excellent comment.. You could add to your list of the 'blame game' tactic, 'blame the voters' sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #14
Can we get the pledge flavored with Vanilla? Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #34
I suppose so, but I am resistant to 'loyalty pledges' regardless of how they are flavored! Lol! sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #35
Flavored with Rum or Tequila might be a more effective inducement to oath taking. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #36
It would take a whole lot of that with a few stronger drugs to get me to take any 'loyalty oaths' sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #40
Even as a drunk & druggie I found them unpalatable and even more so now. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #43
Great quote from Jefferson. And that is why we have a country AND parties to even fight over, sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #55
But Lemon Pledge keeps your table shiney! hootinholler Mar 2015 #68
+ 1000. nt antigop Mar 2015 #15
and our "outrage" is "manufactured". nt antigop Mar 2015 #16
"vote for the candidate who can win and ignore their record" Martin Eden Mar 2015 #18
Thanks... onyourleft Mar 2015 #21
I don't think they are even pretending this time will be different, any more. djean111 Mar 2015 #26
+1 ! KoKo Mar 2015 #69
I've seen this here, and I don't like it either... ms liberty Mar 2015 #6
Thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #23
Alerting. Zorra Mar 2015 #7
Jury Results: H2O Man Mar 2015 #29
I'm fixing this. Few realize that Nixon was a staunch McCartneyist who almost beat Kennedy in 1960. Zorra Mar 2015 #39
The strange thing H2O Man Mar 2015 #44
Your OP's are exactly the length they need to be. Zorra Mar 2015 #56
Exactly. H2O Man Mar 2015 #57
Number NIne, Number Nine, Number Nine zeemike Mar 2015 #11
Right. H2O Man Mar 2015 #31
When I played it backwards, I thought I heard "Paul is a dead man" (perhaps an KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #45
The end of H2O Man Mar 2015 #52
why can't you write pretty KG Mar 2015 #13
I'll try my best: H2O Man Mar 2015 #32
Thank you... onyourleft Mar 2015 #17
And thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #38
Part of it I believe is driven by overconfidence. Rex Mar 2015 #19
And some of it is actually support for neo-liberal policies. sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #20
True and it appears there are a few here that do. Rex Mar 2015 #22
Yes, like Chained CPI eg. Or the support for the continuation of neocon wars. At least we are no sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #25
Well it is sad when all people want is for money to get out of politics and they get yelled at. Rex Mar 2015 #42
Interesting points. H2O Man Mar 2015 #41
I don't think it is the leaders as much as the policy wonks they hire Rex Mar 2015 #46
And then again, a real leader doesn't need policy wonks to tell them how to think. sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #54
Excellent OP, H20 Man Oilwellian Mar 2015 #24
Someone on another thread called Trotsky a 'red Fascist,' so clearly logo- KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #47
! H2O Man Mar 2015 #59
Right. H2O Man Mar 2015 #58
As always, sane and articulate and taking the long view. Thanks H2O Man. Hekate Mar 2015 #27
Thank you. H2O Man Mar 2015 #60
I skip a lot, trash others. Had my faith almost restored by the responses to FLyellowdog Hekate Mar 2015 #64
I am trying to learn to do that. But sometimes some things require a response, to correct the sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #70
"Your thinking, Sir, H2O Man Mar 2015 #71
excellent contrast using Johnson's 'Great' Society efforts vs. his Vietnam push bigtree Mar 2015 #28
Very good! H2O Man Mar 2015 #61
don't remember Truman and MLK associating bigtree Mar 2015 #62
Fair enough. H2O Man Mar 2015 #66
fascinating bigtree Mar 2015 #67
Excellent OP as always, H20 Man ... sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #30
Thank you. H2O Man Mar 2015 #72
Because happiness is a warm gun seveneyes Mar 2015 #33
Since "half of what I say is meaningless," think I'll just KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #48
A great song. H2O Man Mar 2015 #73
Excellent post malaise Mar 2015 #37
Thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #74
Joseph Heller spoofs the whole 'loyalty oath' segment in "Catch 22" when his KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #49
"Give me Eat". Major ___de Coverly. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #50
Holy shit! H2O Man Mar 2015 #53
was written by McCartney in India after he saw two GeorgeGist Mar 2015 #63
k&r... spanone Mar 2015 #65
K&Ring bit late! MannyGoldstein Mar 2015 #75
I missed this one H2O Man.. 2banon Apr 2015 #76
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