Thursday, February 2


Great column about the Kings' (Martin Luther, Jr. and Coretta Scott) leadership in the international peace movement:

ONE OF the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most famous speeches was his April 4, 1967, condemnation of the Vietnam War. He said America could never end poverty at home as long as ''adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube."
In the months leading up to the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, Coretta Scott King was one of the voices who opposed it, warning, ''A war with Iraq will increase anti-American sentiment, create more terrorists, and drain as much as 200 billion taxpayer dollars, which should be invested in human development here in America."

The Sage and I were watching the Discovery Channel the other night. It was a story about the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the upper Yangtze River in China. It will be the largest dam in the world. It's an incredible project, requiring resettlement of hundreds of thousands of people. At the end, when the narrator cited the cost of the project at $25 billion, The Sage turned to me and said, "How much have we spent on the Iraq War?" I reminded him that it now stands at $238 billion and counting, and current estimates of direct budgetary impact could top $2 trillion. "Can you believe it?" he cried. "For that kind of money we could have rebuilt every bridge and highway in the U.S., providing good jobs for thousands of people. We could have funded Social Security for the next several generations. We could have fixed our schools and given every child in America a college education. We could have given every American access to healthcare. We could have secured our borders, our transit centers, our ports."

Yeah. To borrow from Martin, this war on terror is one great "demonic destructive suction tube" -- sucking money, lives and American ideals down a deep dark black hole, money and lives that could have been used to fix real problems for real people and set us on a course of peace, progress and hope.

Thanks, Dubya. We all feel much better now that we've given up that dream in favor of fear and perpetual war.

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