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Tue Jan 21, 2014, 08:26 AM

 

"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I can not be Silent."- Dr. King

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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm
At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless on Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called enemy, I am as deeply concerned about our troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

This Madness Must Cease
Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:

"Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."

If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horribly clumsy and deadly game we have decided to play.

The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways.

In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:


End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.
Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.
Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.
Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and in any future Vietnam government.
Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva agreement.

Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We most provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country if necessary.

Protesting The War
Meanwhile we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible.

As we counsel young men concerning military service we must clarify for them our nation's role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is the path now being chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I can not be Silent."- Dr. King (Original post)
grahamhgreen Jan 2014 OP
jwirr Jan 2014 #1
grahamhgreen Jan 2014 #7
jwirr Jan 2014 #8
heaven05 Jan 2014 #2
niyad Jan 2014 #3
Enthusiast Jan 2014 #4
dotymed Jan 2014 #5
FairWinds Jan 2014 #6
NuclearDem Jan 2014 #9
grahamhgreen Jan 2014 #10

Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 10:49 AM

1. Imagine what he would say today.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:07 PM

7. I imagine he would say the same about our violence in the Middle East.

 

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:37 PM

8. That is what I was thinking.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 11:08 AM

2. this voicing of concern

 

of our war in Vietnam and it's effect upon the Vietnamese people was one of the reasons, besides MLK starting to bring all peoples here in amerikkka together, that the 1%ers killed him. Period.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 11:44 AM

3. change the name of the country and that same speech still applies.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 11:51 AM

4. He was absolutely right on.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 11:51 AM

5. Now TPTB

have really rigged the "game."
All of our average young people either join the military our attempt to subsist on minimum wage jobs.
Those that have the aptitude can go to college and spend most of their lives paying back student loans that are ridiculously over-inflated.

Worldwide, 86 elite people have more wealth than poorest 3.5 BILLION.

It is time to stop this evil madness.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 11:53 AM

6. I was just going into the military . .

 

when MLK delivered that speech. Really, I did not even hear about
it at the time. I wound up in Vietnam.
King was right and I was wrong, and I have tried since then to atone.
If you too are a vet, think about joining Veterans for Peace.

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Response to FairWinds (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:39 PM

9. +1

 

No veteran in their right mind should want more war.

Spoken as an OEF vet.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 08:21 PM

10. It was you veteran-activists that kept me from the war. Thank you.

 

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