Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Obama's inaugural posture can't disguise King's true indictment

In 1967, Martin Luther King gave a speech in which he called the US government:
"the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today".
If King himself were alive today, he would surely be declaring the same powerful indictment. And more.

As Barack Obama invoked the spirit of King in his second inaugural address, we heard the stark hypocrisy of a president who oversees and continues that legacy of violent militarism across the globe.

King's 1967 speech and Obama's appropriation of his memory is highlighted by Glenn Greenwald in this excellent article:
MLK's vehement condemnations of US militarism are more relevant than ever
Unlike Obama's media-adulated text, read it and be illuminated.

As noted by Greenwald, it's not hard to see why King's bold and prophetic condemnation of American militarism has been so conveniently ignored, or why by this point, precisely a year before his killing, he was considered so radically dangerous by the US establishment.

Nor should we be surprised, even if we're disgusted, by the US military's latest attempt to usurp his memory in the name of their ongoing crimes.

Greenwald again on that ugly violation of King:
US military says Martin Luther King would be proud of its weapons
Unlike Obama's latest lofty pontifications from Washington, King's speech tells us all we need to know, even all these years on, about the curse of US militarism and the crass ideology fronting its violence. 


Felicity Arbuthnot said...

We are on the same page, John. Great piece.

John Hilley said...

Many thanks for sharing, Felicity, a really excellent article. Well done.