Today is of course a day of celebration for millions throughout the world - but it is also, sadly, the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Bob Herbert of the New York Times had an excellent column on King's anti-war speech, on the same day, a year before his death, which includes the following passage:
He spoke of both the carnage in the war zone and the toll the war was taking here in the United States. The speech comes to mind now for two reasons: A Tavis Smiley documentary currently airing on PBS revisits the controversy set off by Dr. King’s indictment of “the madness of Vietnam.” And recent news reports show ever-increasing evidence that we have ensnared ourselves in a mad and tragic venture in Afghanistan.
Dr. King spoke of how, in Vietnam, the United States increased its commitment of troops “in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support.”
It’s strange, indeed, to read those words more than four decades later as we are increasing our commitment of troops in Afghanistan to fight in support of Hamid Karzai, who remains in power after an election that the world knows was riddled with fraud and whose government is one of the most corrupt and inept on the planet.