But from April 4 1967, when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Prize Laureate for successful civil rights leadership, spoke from the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York, calling his country. "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world", until his assassination on April 4, 1968, America DID INDEED have inspiring moral political leadership for its anti-war movement.
King's murder was just in the nick of time to save the lies underpinning the crucifixion of the population of what had been Colonial French Indochina from being exposed by our greatest civil rights leader suddenly turned anti-imperialist war activist.
And just in the nick of time to prevent the public outrage over government sanctioned white racist brutality from spilling over into a new Rev. King led majority outrage over the napalming of Vietnamese children ("Viet Cong Nationalist sympathizer children" as former Seal Commander Bob Kerrey would later point out on "60 Minutes".)
The threat Martin Luther King's moral leadership posed was eliminated with one accurately fired rifle bullet to the head, allowing the Vietnam War to be propagated for a further seven years of carnage even more monstrous than before.
Today, there is no comparable voice capable of overwhelming the slick media news management that puts across ever changing reasons for continuing imperialist war for control of Middle East oil fields while deceptively hailing U.S. terrorism as “The War on Terror”
In Afghanistan during the past months, there have been daily air strikes with great loss of civilian life - in just one strike, 105 civilians. President Karzai complains bitterly, and the Afghan parliament many weeks ago voted for a twenty-five year amnesty, negotiations with the former governing Taliban, and the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The U.S. media hides this from the public and the heavy air strikes on ‘suspected’ Taliban continue.
Concern for the many children who are cut down or maimed every day is never heard in corporate big brother media or in the halls of Congress, and certainly not in conversations at bus stops, on coffee breaks or after church.
But wait! There was photo of an Afghan father holding his shrapnel wounded two-year-old child to his chest on the front page of the New York Times, August 9th. What if that heartbreaking photo had instead been that of an AMERICAN father clasping his dying infant son in his arms staring vacantly into the camera? And not an AFGHAN child, but an AMERICAN child with shrapnel wounds? You can bet that the U.S. media would have led the way in awakening compassion and action to protect AMERICAN CHILDREN FROM MISSILE AIR STRIKES, AND PROSECUTE PILOTS AND THE GENERALS ORDERING THEM.
That photo of the horror stricken Afghan father accompanied an article titled:
"British Criticize US Air Attacks in Afghan Region - because of the high level of
civilian casualties". A few days before, the Times had articles on how the U.S. military was going to make an effort to reduce civilian casualties by using smaller bombs, but follow day came the report of whole families wiped out by an American air strike.
A U.S. pilot will from previous knowledge know the farmhouse in Afghanistan or the apartment building in Baghdad is 90% sure to have families with children inside when he releases the programmed missile. Maybe the pilot has kids of his own. He has the rest of his life to imagine how the children he ‘took out’ looked, how old, how their families and relations must have cried in grief over never seeing their smiles ever again.
Which side shall people at home in the States take? Pro-pilot or pro-children? Will those taking the side of the children be attacked as a 'Jane Fonda' or 'Mohamed Ali'?
Without a spiritual leader of the stature of a Martin Luther King, the moral conscience of the average American, busy with personal affairs, has shrunk to be a vacant space the size of the head of a pin.
The U.S. Navy off the coast of Somalia routinely produces air strikes on suspected positions of members of the former Islamic Courts government never minding Somali civilian deaths.
Air strikes within Iraqi cities and towns are called in continually, civilians be damned, on “suspected” Sunni insurgents, al Qaeda, Shiite militias, and non-Iraqis come to fight the U.S. occupation. In the U.S., NO ONE laments the great loss Iraqi life. Compassion is limited solely for American soldiers.
A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial in Camp Pendleton, California, says a procedure called "dead-checking" was routine. If Marines entered a house where a man was wounded, instead of checking to see whether he needed medical aid, they shot him to make sure he was dead.