Martin Luther King Would Fuck Bush's Shit Up (2008 - and Final - Edition):
Here's some excerpts from Martin Luther King, Jr. on "The Domestic Impact of the War," a speech delivered on November 11, 1967 to the National Labor Leadership Assembly for Peace:
"Now what are some of the domestic consequences of the war in Vietnam? It has made the Great Society a myth and replaced it with a troubled and confused society. The war has strengthened domestic reaction. It has given the extreme right, the anti-labor, anti-Negro, and anti-humanistic forces a weapon of spurious patriotism to galvanize its supporters into reaching for power, right up to the White House. It hopes to use national frustration to take control and restore the America of social insecurity and power for the privileged. When a Hollywood performer, lacking distinction even as an actor can become a leading war hawk candidate for the Presidency, only the irrationalities induced by a war psychosis can explain such a melancholy turn of events...
"In the past two months unemployment has increased approximately 15%. At this moment tens of thousands of people and anti-poverty programs are being abruptly thrown out of jobs and training programs to search in a diminishing job market for work and survival. It is disgraceful that a Congress that can vote upwards of $35 billion a year for a senseless immoral war in Vietnam cannot vote a weak $2 billion dollars to carry on our all too feeble efforts to bind up the wound of our nation's 35 million poor. This is nothing short of a Congress engaging in political guerrilla warfare against the defenseless poor of our nation.
"Thank God we have John Conyers is Congress. I only wish that we had more like him.
"The inflation of war cuts the pay of the employed, the pension check of the retired, and the savings of almost everyone. Inflation has stopped creeping and has begun running. Working people feel the double impact of inflation and unemployment immediately. But Negroes feel its impact with crushing severity because they live on the margin in all respects and have no reserve to cushion shock. There is a great deal of debate about the nation's ability to maintain war and commit the billions required to attack poverty. Theoretically the United States has resources for both. But an iron logic dictates that we shall never voluntarily do both for two reasons. First, the majority of the present Congress and the Administration, as distinguished from the majority of the people, is single-mindedly devoted to the pursuit of the war. It has been estimated by Senator (Harkey) that we spend approximately $500,000 to kill a single enemy soldier in Vietnam. And yet we spend about $53 for each impoverished American in anti-poverty programs. Congress appropriates military funds with alacrity and generosity. It appropriates poverty funds with miserliness and grudging reluctance. The government is emotionally committed to the war. It is emotionally hostile to the needs of the poor.
"Second, the government will resist committing adequate resources for domestic reform because these are reserves indispensable for a military adventure. The logical war requires of a nation deploy its well fought and immediate combat and simultaneously that it maintain substantial reserves. It will resist any diminishing of its military power through the draining off of resources for the social good. This is the inescapable contradiction between war and social progress at home. Military adventures must stultify domestic progress to ensure the certainty of military success. This is the reason the poor, and particularly Negroes, have a double stake in peace and international harmony. This is not to say it is useless to fight for domestic reform, on the contrary, as people discover in the struggle what is impeding their progress they comprehend the full and real cost of the war to them in their daily lives.
"Another tragic consequence of the war domestically is its destructive effect on the young generation. There cannot be enough sympathy for those who are sent into battle. More and more it is revealed how many of our soldiers cannot understand the purpose of their sacrifice. It is harrowing under any circumstance to kill but it is psychologically devastating to be forced to kill when one doubts it is right."
When President George W. Bush spoke about the economy last Friday, he did not mention the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For most Republicans and many Democrats, the economy and the war exist in separate, vacuum-sealed rooms. (Let's be clear here: None of the viable Democratic candidates for president make that leap. Hillary Clinton's economic stimulus proposal makes no linkage to the hundreds of billions spent on the wars. Barack Obama and John Edwards do not, either.)
When Bush makes whatever bullshit little speech he makes today, it will be like John Wayne Gacy praising the work of Marian Wright Edelman. Once he began to speak out against the Vietnam War, King knew, fucking knew, that economic justice was inextricably bound to the grotesque exercise of a nation fighting a war that was to the detriment of and against the will of the vast majority of its citizens.
Everyone in power knows goddamn well the easiest way to make all economic dreams come true. King saw that inaction on the domestic front was a natural consequence of warmongers and their cowardly complicitors. It would fuck Bush's shit up to have a voice out there that couldn't be marginalized by the media (a la Kucinich or Paul), calling out the morally spineless for their failure to act.