I am publishing the short article and embedded YouTube video below, in my ‘Anti-War’ category. For some time now, I have felt a need to supplement my engagement with the problem of the egoic mind – which has been primarily through meditation and self-enquiry – with some engagement with the disturbing reflection of that egoic violence and hatred that we can see when we look in a penetrating way at the values, systems, and structures (and individuals), that govern our outer world. While most of us in the modern West have a complacent sense of safety and stability, those around the world in less fortunate countries are finding themselves in the cross-hairs – the object of regime change operations funded by our governments, and supported by various well-funded pro-war propaganda agencies. This war has two enemies – because the propaganda war is always being simultaneously waged against ourselves, by these same agencies, who desperately need to cover up or justify what is being done in our name.
We live in extraordinary times; dark times in which great crimes are being committed both covertly and in plain sight; times in which the economic and political culture of the liberal democracies of the West has degraded to such an extent that both government and media are frequently propagating misinformation and acting in a way that is not only not at all in the interests of their populations, but very dangerous for the future of our planet. In a modern world where both nation states and international institutions are failing to maintain their integrity in the face of corporate and oligarchic forces and the march of new technologies, we need to create a culture of non-violence and wisdom – and as part of this we need to support those embattled independant voices for peace, truth and justice that are trying to push back against these dangerous collective manifestations of the egoic mind.
Please forgive my forthright and unqualified style in these short anti-war articles. My research is very deep and thorough however – certainly not confined to the mainstream media channels. I wish I had time to write longer, more detailed articles with references and sources.
I have wanted to post this video for some time. This speech by Dr Martin Luther King against the Vietnam War, is a moving example for me of how those who would uplift humanity are often drawn to face into the evil of war – and to study its historical roots and oppose the political, cultural and economic forces that foster it.
The anti-war sentiment and intention that Dr King is expressing here, has been very effectively sidelined in our current world. This is because the pro-war propaganda operations against us are now very much more sophisticated, comprehensive and effective. The voices of dissent in our media and in our parliaments are now very quickly crushed – there is not so much need to assassinate people as they did with Dr King. It could be argued that democratic restraint of the war machine is now largely absent – that our mainstream media commentators do not seem able to perform their function as educators of our populations, and of our elected representatives in government. In academia, the same process is evident – the removal the truth-telling trouble-makers.
The last four decades have increasingly shown us that if those in power want a war (either those in elected government, or those in the unelected government agencies that are really in control), they will find a way of creating a justification for it – frequently by generating allegations and provocations that later turn out to be just lies, or even false flag operations. In a strange, ‘Orwellian’ development since the events of September 11th, 2001, it has became acceptable for the foreign policy and defence establishment agencies of the so-called liberal-democratic nation states, to employ numerous specialist public relations firms and covert psychological operations agencies to propagandise their own populations, and to ensure a steady flow of favourable misinformation into all media channels – even training Islamic terrorists to create propaganda videos to present themselves as victims or as liberating heroes (as was achieved in Syria).
This propaganda war against us all was particularly evident in the case of the secret proxy-war to bring down the secular state of Syria using Islamic jihadist armies. Given the incredible success of the similar secret proxy-war in Afghanistan in the 80s against the Soviet Russians, the strategy is an understandable one for the Pentagon. One might think it would make no sense, given the concurrent ‘War on Terror’, for the US, the UK, France, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to be funding, supplying, and in various ways supporting, Islamic terrorists – hence the need for the massive propaganda operation (an estimated billion dollars a year out of the CIA budget). The operation to support the various Islamic terrorist groups who were intent on destroying the secular state of Syria, and on slaughtering its many non-Muslim populations, would certainly have been successful if it had not been for the Russian Federation coming to the aid of the people of Syria. The Russians have there own problems at home with Islamic terrorism and did not want to see it flourish. Because it took this principled stand in relationship to Syria, Russia has found itself increasingly vilified, especially by the US-UK propaganda machine.
Prior to June 1965, Dr. King had occasionally expressed concern about the war in Vietnam, but he had done so publicly only in a tentative and extremely cautious manner. Dr King was acutely aware of the risk that direct criticism of President Lyndon Johnson on his Vietnam policy risked jeopardising the strong and critically important relationship he had developed with President Johnson in support of his civil rights efforts. However, various factors began to shift Dr. King’s understanding of the vast human suffering being caused by the US in Vietnam and, as a result, his opposition to the war slowly began to intensify, eventually leading to an unequivocal moral condemnation of US war policy, and a fundamental break in his relationship with Johnson.
The late Thich Nhat Hanh, now know to the world as a great Buddhist leader and writer, was at that time known only as the immensely courageous young Buddhist monk from Vietnam, who played the key role of educating Dr. King about the reality of the Vietnam War from a Vietnamese perspective and inspiring his transformation into a leader in the US anti-war movement.
The video below is of the speech, or “sermon”, that Dr King gave at the culmination of his soul-searching. He delivered it on April 30th, 1967 in New York, expressing a clear stand, not only for civil rights, but against the war in Vietnam. In it he spoke about the “triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism”. Just over two years later, after a period of increased police persecution he was assassinated.