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When Martin Luther King Came Out Against Vietnam

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Credit Matt Rota

 

It would be a mistake to read Dr. King’s speech as merely an antiwar statement. It reflected his widening worldview that chronic domestic poverty and military adventurism overseas infected the wealthiest nation on earth just as indelibly as did deep-rooted racism. It went to the heart of the multilayered social and political conflicts of the 1960s — and, like all great rhetoric, continues to speak to us today.

David J. Garrow, New York (NY) Times 

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https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/04/04/opinion/04Garrow/04Garrow-master675.jpg The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at an antiwar demonstration in New York in April 1967, with Dr. Benjamin Spock to his right. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images  

April 4, 2017 | Fifty years ago today — and one year to the day before his assassination — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the most politically charged speech of his life at Riverside Church in Upper Manhattan. It was a blistering attack on the government’s conduct of the Vietnam War that, among other things, compared American tactics to those of the Nazis during World War II.

The speech drew widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum, including from this newspaper. Other civil rights leaders, who supported the war and sought to retain President Lyndon B. Johnson as a political ally, distanced themselves from Dr. King.

David J. Garrow is the author of “Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” and the forthcoming “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.”

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Trump's Austerity Budget Increases Military Recruiters' Power to Prey on Youth

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Rory Fanning speaks in Japan on a Veterans for Peace trip in 2016. (Photo: Yoshiaki Kawakami)

Since election night 2016, the streets of the US have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this ongoing "Interviews for Resistance" series, experienced organizers, troublemakers and thinkers share their insights on what works, what doesn't, what has changed and what is still the same. Today's interview is the 23rd in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.

Sarah Jaffe, Truthout

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Friday, March 24, 2017 | Donald Trump's budget slashes social programs while inflating an already massive military budget, meaning that for many people in already underserved and underemployed communities, the military will be the closest thing to a welfare state they have.

https://riseuptimes.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/if-war-is-the-answer.jpg?w=540 Today we bring you a conversation with Rory Fanning, a veteran and conscientious objector, and author of the book Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of the Military and Across America. His work centers on opposing US militarism at home. He is also the coauthor, with Craig Hodges, of the new book Long Shot: The Triumphs and Struggles of an NBA Freedom Fighter. He lives in Chicago, which has become ground zero for military recruiting in the country, and often speaks at high schools there. "There are more kids signed up in Chicago JROTC and NJROTC than any other school district in the country; ten thousand kids: 50 percent Latino and 45 percent Black," he told me. We spoke about opposing Trump's military buildup, the roles that veterans and athletes can play in movements for change, and the long tradition of imperialism in the US.

Sarah Jaffe is a reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and has covered labor, social and economic justice and politics for Truthout, The Atlantic, The Guardian, In These Times and many other publications. She is the cohost of Belabored, a labor podcast hosted by Dissent magazine, and the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans In Revolt (Nation Books, 2016). 

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How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era

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  • Why we need a peace movement - and why we don't have one 
  • Antiwar Organizing and the new movements
  • Related: How activists have already scored victories against Trump's policies

Daniel May, the Nation

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/May-Peace_img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80March 16, 2017 | Over the past 75 years, the United States has built the greatest war-making force the world has ever known. Today, our country boasts an infrastructure of global surveillance, flying killer robots, and floating aircraft carriers, all administered from a network of more than 800 military bases in over 70 countries. In recent decades, we decided to erase from that infrastructure any semblance of democratic accountability, allowing the president to make war almost anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

This year, we put at the helm of this global killing regime a reality-TV star who has promised to “bomb the shit” out of our enemies, attack the families of terrorists, and reinstitute torture—and who, in February, proposed increasing the already bloated military budget by $54 billion. Imagine the response of this president to a significant terrorist attack, the damage to our democracy and our world that he might unleash. It helps clear the mind.

Daniel May has been an organizer with ACORN, the IAF and the SEIU.

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In Peace and Solidarity,

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How activists have already scored victories against Trump's policies, Adam Gabbatt, the Guardian 

Through marches and dogged pursuit of elected officials, people across the US have helped to block some of the administration’s most anti-progressive policies

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Related: How to Turn an Outpouring of Progressive Activism Into a Winning Social Movement, Astra Taylor, the Nation 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/empty_protest_signs_ap_img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80 Discarded protest signs at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017. (Rex Features via AP

  • Why the left needs to build power, now.
  • Related: How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era

 

 

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How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze

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  • We cannot foresee a situation in which a competent and properly informed US president would order a surprise first strike against Russia or China. But our conclusion makes the increased sea-based offensive and defensive capabilities we have described seem all the more bizarre as a strategy for reducing the chances of nuclear war with either Russia or China.
  • Related: Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget

Hans M. Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, Theodore A. Postol, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

1 March 2017 | The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing—boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three—and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.

Because of improvements in the killing power of US submarine-launched ballistic missiles, those submarines now patrol with more than three times the number of warheads needed to destroy the entire fleet of Russian land-based missiles in their silos. US submarine-based missiles can carry multiple warheads, so hundreds of others, now in storage, could be added to the submarine-based missile force, making it all the more lethal.

Hans M. Kristensen is the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC. His work focuses on researching and writing about the status of...

Matthew McKinzie is the director of the Nuclear Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, DC. He and Kristensen recently co-authored...

A physicist, Theodore A. Postol, is professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT. His expertise is in ballistic...

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Related:

Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget, Alex Emmons, the Intercept

At a meeting of U.S. governors on Monday, Trump described his forthcoming budget proposal as “a public safety and national security budget.”

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