No Room for the Pentagon's Wars in Dr. King's Dream
No Room for the Pentagon's Wars in Dr. King's Dream
By Robert Greenwald / huffingtonpost.com
Jan 16, 2011

This Monday, January 17th, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It's a day for us to celebrate one of the most important peacemaking heroes in our nation's history, and an appropriate moment to reflect on the power of nonviolent social activism motivated by love and a sense of justice. For the millions of us who oppose the Afghanistan War (and yes, there are many, many millions of us in the U.S.), Dr. King points the way to the end of the Afghanistan War and beyond, to the onset of the Beloved Community.

Just don't tell the Pentagon.

I was amazed and bewildered to find Pentagon officials and paid military propagandists scrabbling to claim Dr. King as a supporter for war-making. From the general counsel down to the writers at the American Forces Press Service, the military bureaucracy was humming with the assertion that if Dr. King were alive today, he'd "understand" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and would consider the activities that take place while fighting those wars akin to the actions of the Good Samaritan from the Christian gospel story. It was one of the most shameful attempts to cover these brutal, futile wars in humanitarian wallpaper I've seen in years.

Of course, Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and the American Forces Press Service are wrong. As our new Rethink Afghanistan video shows, virtually every reason given by King in his "Time to Break the Silence" speech for opposing the Vietnam War would damn the Afghanistan War as well.

Here are just a few examples:

King decried the awful willingness of his country to spend $500,000 per each killed enemy soldier in Vietnam while so many Americans struggled in poverty. Yet last year, a conservative figure for the amount we spent per killed enemy fighter in Afghanistan was roughly $20 million.

King spoke of the "monumental dissent" that arose around the Vietnam War. "Polls reveal that almost 15 million Americans explicitly oppose the war in Vietnam," he said. But today, 63 percent of Americans oppose the Afghanistan War, and when you do the math, that's 196 million people, give or take the margin of error.

Dr. King also spoke of the "demonic, destructive suction tube" yanking resources and lives out of the fight to get Americans on their feet. That tube is still demonic and destructive: we've spent more than $360 billion on this war so far and it will cost us roughly $3 billion per week in the coming year. Add to that the 10,000 people, including about 500 U.S. troops and countless civilians who died last year alone, and you can see exactly what he's talking about. The hope of our getting out of this abysmal economic vice is burning on the roadsides of Afghanistan every day we refuse to start bringing troops home.

No, it's safe to say that Dr. King would not regard any conflict that killed 10,000 people in a year as a humanitarian exercise. Nor would he "understand" how a nation in the grip of an economic meltdown like this one could again throw lives and resources away for almost a decade. It's safe to say that he would move beyond the "prophesying of smooth patriotism" and stand up to end this war that's not making us safer and that's not worth the cost.

As Dr. King was fond of reminding us, "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again." Help us spread the truth about his legacy and fight the Pentagon's propaganda by sharing our new video with your friends. Then, join others who want to end this war at http://facebook.com/RethinkAfghanistan.

4.0 ·
1
Featured Pay Per View Films
Generation Revolution (2017)
72 min
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min
Trending Today
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine6,406 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli3,875 views today ·
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min2,697 views today ·
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min2,200 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley1,875 views today ·
The Surprising Nobility of Shit: a Serious Response to President Donald Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Remarks About African Immigrants
Adebayo Akomolafe1,524 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min1,369 views today ·
A Brief History of The 40 Hour Work Week
8 min716 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick521 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

It's hard to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going.
If you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today.

Support us on Patreon

Coming soon! We're days away from launching a Patreon campaign! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported!

Join us on Facebook
No Room for the Pentagon's Wars in Dr. King's Dream