Tremble for Our World

From Martin Luther King Jr.’s Where Do We Go From Here?, the chapter entitled, “The World House”:Lorraine Motel

So when in this day I see the leaders of nations again talking peace while preparing for war, I take fearful pause.  When I see our country today intervening in what is basically a civil war, mutilating hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese children with napalm, burning villages and rice fields at random, painting the valleys of that small Asian country red with human blood, leaving broken bodies in countless ditches and sending home half-men, mutilated mentally and physically; when I see the unwillingness of our government to create the atmosphere for a negotiated settlement of this awful conflict by halting bombings in the North and agreeing unequivocally to talk with the Vietcong–and all this in the name of pursuing the goal of peace–I tremble for our world.  I do so not only from dire recall of the nightmares wreaked in the wars of yesterday, but also from dreadful realization of today’s possible nuclear  destructiveness and tomorrow’s even more calamitous prospects.

Before it is too late, we must narrow the gaping chasm between our proclamations of peace and our lowly deeds which precipitate and perpetuate war.  We are called upon to look up from the quagmire of military programs and defense commitments and read the warnings on history’s signposts.

One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.  We must pursue peaceful end through peaceful means.

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