Wishing Martin Luther King, Jr. a Happy Birthday. Thanks for all you have done for America & the World. President Obama has lived half of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, now if he would only live up to the other half… but I guess when it comes to warfare & empire, it is just that, a dream (or a nightmare, depending on what country you live in)…
“I want to say one other challenge that we face is simply that we must find an alternative to war and bloodshed. Anyone who feels, and there are still a lot of people who feel that way, that war can solve the social problems facing mankind is sleeping through a great revolution. President Kennedy said on one occasion, “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” The world must hear this. I pray to God that America will hear this before it is too late, because today we’re fighting a war. I am convinced that it is one of the most unjust wars that has ever been fought in the history of the world. Our involvement in the war has torn up the Geneva Accord. It has strengthened the military-industrial complex; it has strengthened the forces of reaction in our nation. It has put us against the self-determination of a vast majority of people, and put us in the position of protecting a corrupt regime that is stacked against the poor.
It has played havoc with our domestic destinies. This day we are spending five hundred thousand dollars to kill every ‘enemy’ soldier. Every time we kill one we spend about five hundred thousand dollars while we spend only fifty-three dollars a year for every person characterized as poverty-stricken in the so-called poverty program, which is not even a good skirmish against poverty. Not only that, it has put us in a position of appearing to the world as an arrogant nation. And here we are ten thousand miles away from home fighting for the so-called freedom of the Vietnamese people when we have not even put our own house in order. And we force young black men and young white men to fight and kill in brutal solidarity. Yet when they come back home that can’t hardly live on the same block together. The judgment of God is upon us today. And we could go right down the line and see that something must be done—and something must be done quickly. We have alienated ourselves from other nations so we end up morally and politically isolated in the world. There is not a single major ally of the United States of America that would dare send a troop to _______(insert current nation we are war with here), and so the only friends that we have now are a few client-nations like Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and a few others.
This is where we are. “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind,” and the best way to start is to put an end to war in _______(insert current nation we are war with here), because if it continues, we will inevitably come to the point of confronting China which could lead the whole world to nuclear annihilation. It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine. —Martin Luther King, Jr., Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution
This speech was given 45 years ago and sadly it still applies today, except the human and financial cost of war is much higher than in 1968. On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. Most people don’t know this but in the next few years leading up to his death, he expanded his focus to include poverty and the Vietnam War—alienating many of his “allies” with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., called the Poor People’s Campaign. These are the real reasons he was silenced.
Since MLK’s speech in 1968, the US has been involved in over 51 military operations & occupations! NOT counting some of their more covert CIA operations, such as the ones carried out in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in the 1980s.
1968 – Laos & Cambodia. U.S. starts secret bombing campaign against targets along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the sovereign nations of Cambodia and Laos. The bombings last at least two years.
1970 – Cambodian Campaign. US troops are ordered into Cambodia to “clean out Communist sanctuaries” from which Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacked US and South Vietnamese forces in Vietnam.
1972 - North Vietnam - Christmas bombing Operation Linebacker II The operation was conducted from 18–29 December 1972. It was a bombing of the cities Hanoi and Haiphong by B-52 bombers.
1979 - Continued CIA, US military and drone attacks on Iran since its Islamic revolution in 1979.
1979-1990 - Nicaragua. US trained, supplied and armed Contra rebel groups in Honduras and Costa Rica opposing the Sandinista Revolution of 1979 and the subsequent FSLN/Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The Contra rebels received decisive financial and military support from the U.S. government, initially supplemented by the Argentine dictatorship of the time. After U.S. support was banned by Congress, the Reagan administration tried to covertly continue contra aid by selling Cocaine to the US inner cities, taking the profits and buying arms then selling them to Iran, in a scheme known as Iran/Contra. During the war against the Sandinista government, the contras carried out many human rights violations, and evidence suggests that these were systematically committed as an element of warfare strategy. Contra supporters often tried to downplay these violations, or countered that the Sandinista government carried out much more. In particular, the Reagan administration engaged in a campaign to alter public opinion on the contras which has been denoted as “white propaganda”.
1981 – El Salvador. After a guerrilla offensive against the government of El Salvador, additional US military advisers were sent to El Salvador, bringing the total to approximately 55, to assist in training government forces in “counterinsurgency.”
1981 – Libya. First Gulf of Sidra Incident On August 19, 1981, US planes based on the carrier USS Nimitz shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra after one of the Libyan jets had fired a heat-seeking missile. The United States periodically held freedom of navigation exercises in the Gulf of Sidra, claimed by Libya as territorial waters but considered international waters by the United States.
1982 – Lebanon. Multinational Force in Lebanon. On August 21, 1982, President Reagan reported the dispatch of 800 Marines to serve in the multinational force to assist in the withdrawal of members of the Palestine Liberation force from Beirut. The Marines left September 20, 1982.
1982–83 – Lebanon. On September 29, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment of 1200 marines to serve in a temporary multinational force to facilitate the restoration of Lebanese government sovereignty. On September 29, 1983, Congress passed the Multinational Force in Lebanon Resolution (P.L. 98-119) authorizing the continued participation for eighteen months.
1983 – Grenada. Operation Urgent Fury. Citing the increased threat of Soviet and Cuban influence and noting the development of an international airport following a coup d’état and alignment with the Soviets and Cuba, the U.S. invades the island nation of Grenada.
1983–89 – Honduras. In July 1983 the United States undertook a series of exercises in Honduras that some believed might lead to conflict with Nicaragua. On March 25, 1986, unarmed US military helicopters and crewmen ferried Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border to repel Nicaraguan troops.
1986 – Libya. Operation El Dorado Canyon. On April 16, 1986, President Reagan reported that U.S. air and naval forces had conducted bombing strikes on terrorist facilities and military installations in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli, claiming that Libyan leader Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi was responsible for a bomb attack at a German disco that killed two U.S. soldiers.
1988 – Honduras. Operation Golden Pheasant was an emergency deployment of U.S. troops to Honduras in 1988, as a result of threatening actions by the forces of the (then socialist) Nicaraguans.
1988 – USS Vincennes war ship shoots down commercial airliner; Iran Air Flight 655
1988 – Panama. In mid-March and April 1988, during a period of instability in Panama and as the United States increased pressure on Panamanian head of state General Manuel Noriega to resign, the United States sent 1,000 troops to Panama, to “further safeguard the canal, US lives, property and interests in the area.” The forces supplemented 10,000 US military personnel already in the Panama Canal Zone.
1989 – Libya. Second Gulf of Sidra Incident On January 4, 1989, two US Navy F-14 aircraft based on the USS John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan jet fighters over the Mediterranean Sea about 70 miles north of Libya. The US pilots said the Libyan planes had demonstrated hostile intentions.
1989 – Panama. On May 11, 1989, in response to General Noriega’s disregard of the results of the Panamanian election, President Bush ordered a brigade-sized force of approximately 1,900 troops to augment the estimated 1,000 U.S. forces already in the area.
1989 – Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. Andean Initiative in War on Drugs. On September 15, 1989, President Bush announced that military and law enforcement assistance would be sent to help the Andean nations of Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru combat illicit drug producers and traffickers. By mid-September there were 50–100 US military advisers in Colombia in connection with transport and training in the use of military equipment, plus seven Special Forces teams of 2–12 persons to train troops in the three countries.
1989–90 – Panama. Operation Just Cause. On December 21, 1989, President Bush reported that he had ordered US military forces to Panama to protect the lives of American citizens and bring General Noriega to justice. By February 13, 1990, all the invasion forces had been withdrawn. Thousands of Panamanian civilians were reported killed. The Panamanian head of state, General Manuel Noriega, was captured and brought to the U.S.
1991 – Iraq and Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm: On January 16, 1991, in response to the refusal by Iraq to leave Kuwait, U.S. and Coalition aircraft attacked Iraqi forces and military targets in Iraq and Kuwait in conjunction with a coalition of allies and under United Nations Security Council resolutions. In February 24, 1991, U.S.-led United Nation (UN) forces launched a ground offensive that finally drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait within 100 hours. Combat operations ended on February 28, 1991, when President Bush declared a ceasefire.
1992–1995 – Somalia. Operation Restore Hope. Somali Civil War: On December 10, 1992, President Bush reported that he had deployed U.S. armed forces to Somalia in response to a humanitarian crisis and a UN Security Council Resolution in support for UNITAF. The operation came to an end on May 4, 1993. U.S. forces continued to participate in the successor United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II).
1993 – Macedonia: On July 9, 1993, President Clinton reported the deployment of 350 U.S. soldiers to the Republic of Macedonia to participate in the UN Protection Force to help maintain stability in the area of former Yugoslavia.
1994: Bosnia. Banja Luka incident: NATO become involved in the first combat situation when NATO U.S. Air Force F-16 jets shot down four of the six Bosnian Serb J-21 Jastreb single-seat light attack jets for violating UN mandated no-fly zone.
1994–1995 – Haiti. Operation Uphold Democracy: U.S. ships had begun embargo against Haiti. Up to 20,000 U.S. military troops were later deployed to Haiti to restore democratically-elected Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from a military regime which came into power in 1991 after a major coup.
1995 – Bosnia. Operation Deliberate Force: In August 30, 1995, U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing campaign of Bosnian Serb Army in response to a Bosnian Serb mortar attack on a Sarajevo market that killed 37 people in August 28, 1995. This operation lasted until September 20, 1995. The air campaign along with a combined allied ground force of Muslim and Croatian Army against Serb positions led to a Dayton agreement in December 1995 with the signing of warring factions of the war. As part of Operation Joint Endeavor, U.S. and NATO dispatched the Implementation Force (IFOR) peacekeepers to Bosnia to uphold the Dayton agreement.
1998 – Iraq. Operation Desert Fox: U.S. and British forces conduct a major four-day bombing campaign from December 16–19, 1998 on Iraqi targets.
1998 – Afghanistan and Sudan. Operation Infinite Reach: On August 20, President Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against two suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical factory in Sudan.
1999–2001 - East Timor: Limited number of U.S. military forces deployed with the United Nations-mandated International Force for East Timor restore peace to East Timor.
1999 – Serbia. Operation Allied Force: U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing of Serbia and Serb positions in Kosovo in March 24, 1999, during the Kosovo War due to the refusal by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to end repression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. This operation ended in June 10, 1999, when Milosevic agreed to pull out his troops out of Kosovo. In response to the situation in Kosovo, NATO dispatched the KFOR peacekeepers to secure the peace under UNSC Resolution 1244.
2000 - Nigeria. Special Forces troops are sent to Nigeria to lead a training mission in the county.
2000 – East Timor. On February 25, 2000, a small number of U.S. military personnel were deployed to support the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
2001 – War in Afghanistan. The War on Terrorism begins with Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 7, 2001, US Armed Forces invade Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks and “begin combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters.”
2002 – Yemen. On November 3, 2002, an American MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a car in Yemen killing Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the USS Cole bombing.
2002 – Philippines. OEF-Philippines. January 2002 U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” have been deployed to the Philippines to train with, assist and advise the Philippines’ Armed Forces in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”
2003–2011 – War in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom. March 20, 2003. The United States leads a coalition that includes Britain, Australia and Spain to invade Iraq.
2003 – Liberia. Second Liberian Civil War. On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 US Marines into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the US Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.
2003 – Georgia and Djibouti. “US combat equipped and support forces” had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”
2004 – Haiti. 2004 Haïti rebellion occurs. The US first sent 55 combat equipped military personnel to augment the US Embassy security forces there and to protect American citizens and property in light. Later 200 additional US combat-equipped, military personnel were sent to prepare the way for a UN Multinational Interim Force, MINUSTAH.
2004 – War on Terrorism: US anti-terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.
2004–present: Drone attacks in Pakistan
2007 – Somalia. Battle of Ras Kamboni. On January 8, 2007, while the conflict between the Islamic Courts Union and the Transitional Federal Government continues, an AC-130 gunship conducts an aerial strike on a suspected Al-Qaeda operative, along with other Islamist fighters, on Badmadow Island near Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.
2008 – South Ossetia, Georgia. Helped Georgia humanitarian aid, helped to transport Georgian forces from Iraq during the conflict. In the past, the US has provided training and weapons to Georgia.
2010-11 War in Iraq. Operation New Dawn. On February 17, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that as of September 1, 2010, the name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” would be replaced by “Operation New Dawn”. This coincides with the reduction of American troops to 50,000.
2011 - Libya. Operation Odyssey Dawn. Coalition forces enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 with bombings of Libyan forces.
2011 - War on Terrorism. Osama Bin Laden is killed by U.S. military forces in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear.
2011 - Drone strikes on al-Shabab militants begin in Somalia. This marks the 6th nation in which such strikes have been carried out, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
2011 - Uganda. US Combat troops sent in as advisers to Uganda.
2011 - US begins CIA, NATO-led military intervention and drone attacks on Tunisia, Libya, and Syria, resulting in the ousting and death of Muammar Gaddafi, and the collapse of his 42-year “First of September Revolution” and 34-year-old Jamahiriya state.
2011-present - Sryria. US, CIA and NATO forces work to destabilize and overthrow Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian government.
2012 - Jordan. 150 US troops deployed to Jordan to help it contain the Syrian Civil War.
2012 - Turkey. 400 troops and two batteries of Patriot missiles sent to Turkey to prevent any missile strikes from Syria.