Wednesday, January 17, 2007

War is not the answer

'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter' said Martin Luther King. I would like to give him more space here since his views are important in todays world. The following compillation is taken from DemocracyRising.US

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was mostly known for his work on civil rights in the United States. But, he was also concerned about poverty around the world and militarism where war becomes the primary instrument of foreign policy. On his birthday it is good to remember some of his words on these issues as we grapple with the Iraq War and the so-called “war on terror.”

Below are a series of quotations organized by Barry Kissin, an attorney, anti-war and social justice advocate from Frederick, MD.


1. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing”-oriented society to a “person”-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered… The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually… A civilization can flounder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy.
2. We must honestly admit that capitalism has often left a gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, has created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many to give luxuries to the few, and has encouraged small-hearted men to become cold and conscience less…The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encourages a cut throat competition and selfish ambition that inspire men to be more I-centered than thou-centered.
3. Look across the oceans and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries. This is not just.
4. In country after country we see white men building empires on the sweat and suffering of colored people…Here we see racism in its more sophisticated form: neo-colonialism.
5. The right-wing slogans on “government control” and “creeping socialism” are meaningless and adolescent…
All of the above quotations are from “The World House” by Martin Luther King, Jr.


1. Recent events have vividly reminded us that nations are not reducing but rather increasing their arsenals of weapons of mass destruction. The best brains in the highly developed nations of the world are devoted to military technology. The proliferation of nuclear weapons has not been halted …
2. The large power blocs talk passionately of pursuing peace while expanding defense budgets that already bulge, enlarging already awesome armies and devising ever more devastating weapons.
3. It is, after all, nation-states which make war, which have produced the weapons that threaten the survival of mankind and which are both genocidal and suicidal in character.
4. War is not the answer.
All of the above quotations are from “The World House” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
1. When I see our country today intervening in what is basically a civil war, mutilating hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese children with napalm, burning villages and rice fields at random, painting the valleys of that small Asian country red with human blood, leaving broken bodies in countless ditches and sending home half-men, mutilated mentally and physically …I tremble for our world.
2. This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
All of the above quotations are from “The World House” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. We must concentrate not merely on the eradication of war but on the affirmation of peace.
2. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.
3. So we must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody that is far superior to the discords of war.
4. The United Nations is a gesture in the direction of nonviolence on a world scale. There, at least, states that oppose one another have sought to do so with words instead of with weapons.
5. Let us not join those who shout war and who through their misguided passions urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations.
6. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole…
7. This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This often misunderstood and misinterpreted concept has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man.
8. Without this spiritual and moral reawakening we shall destroy ourselves in the misuse of our own instruments.
All of the above quotations are from “The World House” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. When I speak of love, I am speaking of that force which all the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This is a Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality…
2. When men and governments work devotedly for the good of others, they achieve their own enrichment…

All of the above quotations are from “The World House” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
1. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
2. We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.
3. Before it is too late, we must narrow the gaping chasm between our proclamations of peace and our lowly deeds which precipitate and perpetuate war.
4. The stages of history are replete with the chants and choruses of the conquerors of old who came killing in pursuit of peace.
5. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.”
6. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.
7. If modern man continues to flirt unhesitatingly with war, he will transform his earthly habitat into an inferno such as even the mind of Dante could not imagine.
All of the above quotations are from “The World House” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome posting. You and I blog very much the same. I look forward to reading more of your offerings. Feel free to visit my little corner of the WWW as well.