King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

MLK Jr. I have a dream speech
Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking on National Mall

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” needs to be more emphasized today, especially by those who claim to walk in his vision.  The video is below.  If you want to read the transcript, click here.

The key point that I want emphasize is from a conversation that I had with a coworker a couple of years ago.  He (as a black man) was bemoaning the demise and downfall of black culture including the rise of single moms, lack of fathers and the increase of hatred of white people from his discussions inside the black community.  He then mentioned that he believed the reason society had all these problems was that those who were pushing for Civil Rights in America today had deviated from the path laid out by Martin Luther King, Jr.  He believed that MLK, Jr. was so successful because he was espousing the equality of blacks and whites as God sees people—equally created in His Image and His Likeness through His Son.

We see a great example of this in King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  Lets take a look at a few of these.

God-language in King’s Speech

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

Here King is making it clear that in the struggle for Civil Rights, blacks need to rise above the protests and win on the conviction of their arguments rather than the projection of force.  The force is the force of their ideas, which King makes clear comes from God and is expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.

Interestingly enough this is exactly what has happened with the implementation by Democrats/Liberals. The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan forsaw this and predicted where we stand in the black community today. Exactly what King was speaking against here.  In fact, the Moynihan Report has been mentioned by Washington Post Opinion writer George Will a few days ago.

… when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Martin Luther King, Jr. pins the Civil Rights on religious texts and the equality of all people under God.  He appeals to all Jews and Christians for the cause.  Clearly, for Martin Luther King, Jr. it is a moral issue stemming from a higher moral authority.  Not an issue of power or money.  But what is right in the eyes of God.  Today’s civil rights movement has lost that.

The Christian Response

The best Christian response is to get involved.  To be active against injustice.  Not for the sake of social justice which is a buzzword of social activism and liberalism masked in the disguise of tolerance.  But Christianity has provided great equality and enhancement for all classes and all races.  Jesus himself does the unthinkable in his day and speaks to a Samaritan woman.  Christianity breaks the barriers imposed upon society with the force of God’s culture.  Like Martin Luther King, Jr., Christians should use the might of Jesus to fight for equality and not impose it.  We should move forward as a nation on race, not backwards as we have been doing.

The Demise of Turkey

With the downing of a Russian fighter plane that crossed into Turkish airspace, the Cold War is back between Russia and the West with Turkey, once again, playing a pivotal role in the conflict.  However, this incident, I believe, marks the beginning of the end of Turkey as we know it.  The key to this understanding is looking at this from the broader perspective of where Turkey fits in the Islamic spectrum.

Brief History of Turkey

This video does it much better than I could.

But to pull a major threat alluded to in the video and elaborated on in the classic book by the esteemed Middle East historian, Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong?, Turkey shifted towards Europe and the West.  Ataturk switched the script from right-to-left to left-to-right and in so doing began the alignment of Turkey towards Europe instead of the Middle East.  This alignment was complete with Turkey’s ascension into NATO.

Turkey’s Involvement in NATO

Turkey joined NATO alongside Greece in 1952.  There were two strategic goals to both of these inclusions.  For Greece, the country was recovering from what some call the first clash between Capitalism and Communism as Greek communists were attempting to take over the country.  Including Greece into NATO legitimized the ruling government, provided stability for the people and—most importantly—provided a strong signal to the Soviet Union their intervention would be met with force.

Turkey’s inclusion into the union had two important geopolitical ramifications.  First, NATO was concerned about communist activity in the Middle East, specifically Iran, and Turkey’s entrance provided NATO engagement and basing opportunities should communism creep up their “southern flank.”  Second, the Soviet Union does not have a warm water port.  This is a source of anxiety for any Soviet/Russian leader.  The only way for Russian ships to transit from the Black Sea are through two natural straits connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea: the Bosphorus and Dardanelles.

Image of Bosphorus (top) and Dardanelles (bottom-left) Straits.

According to the Wikipedia article, the Bosphorus Straits are the narrowest, internationally navigable water channel in the world.  They are so narrow that only a chain is needed to impeed ships from crossing them.

Yet, it is these two channels that provide Russia her easiest access to warm water.

Turkey’s inclusion into NATO meant that these two straits would be continuously monitored for Soviet ship movement and provide NATO easy access to block Soviet ship movement in the event of hostilities.

Ergodan’s Turkey and Turkey’s Demise

A BBC article highlights the importance of Ergodan’s rule in Turkey as

harbouring a secret agenda to turn Turkey into a fundamentally conservative Muslim society.

And here is a Guardian posting providing more details on Ergodan’s rise in power with some caveats.

However, the point is that under Ergodan, Turkey is enjoying immense staying power, even if his calls for Assad to step down have been rebuffed by the world and Russia as well.  Russia has actively begun supporting his Syrian ally against Turkey, NATO and the U.S. who are supporting rebels who have been fighting to remove Assad from power for over two years.

On the heels of the shoot-down Russia releases a report and various news articles pick it up, claiming that the Ergodan family supports ISIS, primarily through purchasing their oil.  I’m not making claims on this one-way-or-the-other, because the Russian press certainly is used as a mouth piece for the Kremlim’s talking points, but as Ergodan wants to increase his Muslim stature and given ISIS’ popularity, from an Islamic point-of-view, supporting ISIS could be seen as a good strategic move.  One has to wonder why ISIS hasn’t gone into Turkey?  It could be that Turkey is secretly supporting them or it could simply be that ISIS can read.  Article V of the NATO Treaty makes clear that an attack on one is an attack on all member-states and they are obliged to contribute either money or forces to the organizations defense.  Ironic that France is looking to invoke the clause after not participating in military matters for much of the organizations history.

Should Turkey be taking the side of Islam it could mean the end of Turkey as we know it, with Ergodan leading the way.

Kennedy’s UN Speech in 1961

In writing for my post on The Sword of Damocles, I noted that the first reference of the sword of Damocles was made by President Kennedy at a UN speech in 1961 in reference to nuclear weapons. However, I noticed that it is possible Kennedy is using extortion to push for the elimination of nuclear weapons.  Let’s look.

Speech before the United Nations (UN)

His purpose in the speech is two-fold. First, he wants to pay tribute to the deceased Secretary General of the UN, Dag Hammarskjold, and stop calls for the creation of a triumvirate leadership by the Soviet Union.  Since the inception of the United Nations, the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and China hold permanent veto on the UN Security Council (UNSC).  Any one veto is enough to stop the proposals of the UNSC.  The Soviet Union was utilizing this with great effect to keep U.S.-led proposals on Berlin, nuclear testing and other issues from moving forward.  To further solidify their success in the UNSC, the Soviet Union had been pushing to reorganize the Secretariat to provide the Soviet Union a veto on the UN Secretariat by requiring unanimous consent amongst three equal leaders–the triumvirate.  This would keep any unfavored action from proceeding inside the UN.  Kennedy appeals to the body that this would stop the peace the UN has worked on creating and is thus his reference

But to give this organization three drivers-to permit each great power to decide its own case, would entrench the Cold War in the headquarters of peace.

Second, he desires to move forward on a nuclear testing ban, specifically one that would ban all nuclear testing, but is also taking the moral high-ground in proposing an all out atmospheric testing ban known as the Limited Test Ban Treaty.  This is one measure that the Soviet Union has been blocking within the UNSC.  To accomplish these goals, Kennedy is appealing to the UN through the fear of nuclear annihilation and ineffectiveness to resist the change proposed by the Soviet Union and to eliminate the weapons of war which hold the world in fear.  This extortion is not all bad because it demonstrates something the U.S. made clear during the early days of the Cold War—the moral high-ground of the United States.  Kennedy is using the moral capital of the U.S. in contrast to the Soviet Union to push forward and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Is this extortion?

As I have shown in previous posts extortion is using threats to get someone to do something that they would not normally do.  I don’t think that Kennedy’s speech qualifies here.  He is appealing to reason regarding the destructive power of nuclear weapons and wanting to build trust to prevent force instead of relying on mutual assured destruction.  Ironically this mutual assured destruction provided Kennedy great latitude during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the nuclear triad allowed flexible negotiations with the Soviet Union without sacrificing capability; something the Soviets could not say the same.

So, while Kennedy’s speech here is appealing to the horror of nuclear war and destruction to accomplish his goals of extending the moral capital of the U.S., he isn’t extorting the population or the UN because achieving a world free of nuclear weapons is something anyone would do.  However, today as then it still is not probable.

hit job on President Bush

Now, in all fairness, I admit that the first President George W. Bush term was better than the second.  I completely disagree with TARP, but here is another piece by Politico (who’s veracity is questionable after the Ben Carson hit piece) but this seems legit, except for the obvious implication that Bush knew there was going to be an attack.  Without spoiling the article, I’ll let you read it, Politico goes into great fanfare of saying that the CIA meeting mentioned that al Qaeda was “coming here.”  However, they don’t specify when or where there is going to be an attack.

The simple truth is that the CIA didn’t know when or where there was going to be an attack.  All they knew that something big was brewing.  Yes, it doesn’t look good that Dr. Rice, then the National Security Adviser, did not want to go to a war footing, but my sense of the emotion here is that Tenet et. Al. have been reading the intelligence day by day and year after year and with the multitude of issues and demands on the President’s time, including a new President, then without the smoking gun there was nothing to rouse the President’s interest.  If President Bush would have been at the hastily called meeting, things might have been different, he might have asked questions or taken it seriously.  The point is that given the nature of the intelligence profession, of course they knew something was going to happen they didn’t know when or where. Continue reading “hit job on President Bush”