Imagine what Martin Luther King Jr. would say about the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia.
Actually, we don’t have to just imagine.
In 1963, the same year as his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King pointedly said: “We have guided missiles and misguided men.” Later -- speaking of “a world torn between the tensions of East and West” -- he warned that “we live each day on the verge of nuclear co-annihilation.”
Speaking at the National Cathedral in Washington four days before he was assassinated, King denounced war and said: “On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?”
Today, many Congress members are doing what's expedient and popular -- voicing hostility toward Russia while increasing the chances of a cataclysmic military clash between the world's two nuclear superpowers.
Of course independent investigations are needed to probe allegations of Russian interference with the U.S. election. That doesn’t change the fact that pushing tensions between the two governments is making nuclear annihilation more likely.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists marked the start of this year by moving its “Doomsday Clock” even closer to midnight, declaring: “The United States and Russia -- which together possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons -- remained at odds in a variety of theaters, from Syria to Ukraine to the borders of NATO; both countries continued wide-ranging modernizations of their nuclear forces, and serious arms control negotiations were nowhere to be seen.”
If you’d like to urge your senators and representative to cool the jets of anti-Russia rhetoric and speak out for détente between Washington and Moscow, click here.
Countless politicians, pundits and political organizations have been tossing rhetorical matches toward this nuclear tinderbox. Transfixed with the next couple of elections, few seem to have given much thought to where the path they’re clearing is apt to lead.
In all the U.S. media uproar, very rarely do we hear even a mention of the fact that the United States and Russia have arsenals with thousands of nuclear weapons -- and the reality that heightening U.S.-Russian tensions means boosting the likelihood of global nuclear catastrophe.
“Guided missiles and misguided men.”
These days it isn’t popular to talk about the dangers of rhetorical bombast aimed at Russia. That must change.
To help make the change, contact your senators and House member. And please share this message with people you know.
In his speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” exactly 50 years ago, Martin Luther King said: “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.”
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
>> Dr. King Warns About Nuclear Annihilation
>> Martin Luther King Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” Passion Sunday sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., March 31, 1968
>> Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Doomsday Clock