Wednesday, April 05, 2006

King's Murder, Like His Message, is Largely Forgotten

by Jim Glover

The anniversary of Martin Luther King’s murder came and went recently without much notice. It was April 4.

King’s advocacy for black civil rights was tolerated (barely) for many years. But when he came out against the U.S.’s immoral war in southeast Asia, his doom was sealed.

In announcing his war opposition, King said one especially interesting thing. “My own government,” he observed, “is the biggest purveyor of violence in the world.” That fact has since become obvious to most people around the world. Here in the “homeland” (as our government absurdly likes to call the U.S.), we prefer to remain in denial.

The Bush administration has raised the ante with its various war crimes against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. But we should recall that Clinton bombed Iraq incessantly for eight straight years and imposed sanctions that resulted – by U.N. estimates – in the death by starvation and disease of half a million Iraqi children.

Clinton also signed off on the saturation bombing of Kosovo (part of the former Yugoslavia) that went on for 72 straight days. Over 20,000 tons of explosives were used. That’s more than were used by the Nazis in all of World War II.

We may, and no doubt will, continue to pretend that our government bombs and invades for peace. Some continue to believe that 9/11 justifies everything. But, as King also observed (echoing the voices of such radicals as Jesus of Nazareth and Mahatma Ghandi), “returning violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”

Jim Glover
202 N. Parrish Lane
Carbondale, IL 62901