Will We Break Our Silence?

This January 2011 I find it disturbing that Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” is as eerily appropriate for the current state of war making as it was in regard to the Vietnam War. It is terrifyingly easy to insert Afghanistan and Iraq in place of Vietnam. But there is one respect in which the issues of April 1967 are in contrast to January 2011–we do not see images of our war zones every day on the evening news nor in the newspapers. The wars of the last 10 years have become increasingly INVISIBLE. It is easy to go about daily life in America without encountering a single reference to war.  Those who attempt to voice dissent regarding war are silenced by the very media whose job it is to inform the public about issues and events across the nation and around the world.  I’m referring to the corporate media blackout of the Stop These Wars Peace Protest in Washington DC on December 16, 2010 at which 134 people were arrested for refusing to leave the fence outside the Obama White House.  It is very easy to ignore the war-zones we do not experience in any manner.  Ignorance is ‘bliss’ in America. Blissfully ignorant Americans are precisely what our government’s military industrial complex desires as the lack of unified opposition to war allows the war machine to continue even as it rapes the resources of America to the detriment of  the majority of the population. Will “we” ever break our silence?  At the time of this speech King was under fire from many for these views.    

King’s entire speech is in 7 parts:

Shanti Om



  1. ichabod said,

    January 21, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Hi 47whitebuffalo;

    They do not want people to know the truth. I have had many friends serve in Vietnam. When I was a teenager I knew a fighter pilot who was so disgusted with the situation he moved to Canada after his tour was done.

    I daresay, most who fought in that was as with the two wars which are raging now do not really know why they are there except for what the propaganda people tell them. Ninety percent of Afghan men don’t know about 9/11 and why they have been invaded. They have more important things on their mind, surviving.

    • January 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm

      Hello Ich and Bernie. Yes, surviving is a priority that trumps worrying about events that have nothing to do with you. Oh, wait, it does effect you because there are all these soldiers in your country so that corporate developers can get to your natural resources. Eegads, how many civilian Afghans have died for 9/11? Or is that a question that makes folks uncomfortable to think about? Hmm. Blood for Oil is the reality. Peace.

  2. Barbara said,

    January 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I suspect a part of the reason these wars are invisible is that there is no draft. If citizens were required to serve in the military there would be many more people objecting, and with much louder voices!

    • January 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Hello Barbara. I agree that if there was a draft everyone would then be paying attention to the wars because it would be affecting everyone across the country directly. If people were paying attention then they’d demand to be informed and that would lead to much objection. Thanks for visiting.

  3. slpmartin said,

    January 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    The invisible wars of the last few years have been wrapped in the flag and anyone who speaks against them is viewed as being againat the soldiers which is not true…but it has been an effective control tool.

    • January 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      Oh yes, a very effective and manipulative control tool, Charles. If people thought it through and weren’t so intimidated by the loudness of those who do not respect the right to dissent/disagree–then they might engage in true patriotism of adhering to our country’s ‘ideals’ ratther than the propaganda machine of the corporate media. True support for the soldiers would be getting them OUT of warzones and healed in body, mind and spirit for returning to quality civilian life.

  4. bigsurkate said,

    January 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Great post, Eva. So appropriate. Having graduated HS in the “Summer of Love” I remember well how vocal we were then, and how silent we are now. Keep opening people’s eyes, memories, and thoughts, as you do so well.

    • January 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you for your supportive words, bigsurkate. I so wonder about all this ongoing silence and wonder what it will take to break it. I know people who will not even discuss current affairs in public for FEAR of being overheard by someone who disagrees and confronted with verbal violence. Yes, FEAR of exercising our right to freedom of speech here in America. The “Summer of Love”–well, I’m too young to have experienced that time. Why do you suppose those vocal then are so silent now?

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