War is Peace

The apologists and propagandists of the global warfare state truly have no shame.  As you may have heard, last week Jeh C. Johnson, the Defense Department's general counsel, delivered the keynote address at the Pentagon's annual observance of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Johnson concluded his otherwise honorable speech by essentially arguing that our endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world are fully in line with the vision of peace promoted by King.  Or at least, this is how the speech was received by those in attendance.  As the American Forces Press Service reported:
In the final year of his life, King became an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, Johnson told a packed auditorium. However, he added, today’s wars are not out of line with the iconic Nobel Peace Prize winner’s teachings.  [Emphasis added.]

“I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation's military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack,” he said.
Perhaps a soul such as Johnson must believe such things if he is to retain his sense of honor and decency, or simply even to be able to look himself in the mirror.  This, however, does not make them true.  From King's speech "Beyond Vietnam," April 4, 1967:
When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered . . . A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death . . . Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." [Emphasis added.]
Today, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether our nation is indeed spiritually dead.  Liam Fox provides a few simple figures in an article at the News Junkie Post:
When a society allows for more than $45,000 a year to be paid to incarcerate each of its many, many inmates, $1,000,000 dollars a year on each of its soldiers invading a foreign country, and only $11,287.50 per year (based on current $903 Billion budget for estimated 80 mil students) on each of its students the resulting social dilemma is inevitable.
Given the apparently intractable character of this dilemma under the conditions of the two-party state, we may have to draw the conclusion that we are not spiritually dead, but rather spiritually undead.


Samuel Wilson said...

King was a disciple of Gandhi. Ask whether Gandhi would endorse any of India's wars against Pakistan. To suggest that King would endorse any American war is just as absurd -- or obscene.

d.eris said...

Given the number of people who likely believe that Jesus Christ himself would support their favored wars, I guess there is no surprise that they would say the same of King and Ghandi.