Usually around the time of his birthday, I quote Dr. Martin Luther King’s assertion that it’s abominable that poverty continues to exist in a country as rich as this, and there his words, lifted from “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community,” written in 1967, lie, until I exhume them again a year hence.
And then there’s this that he said: “Why have we substituted the arrogant undertaking of policing the whole world for the high task of putting our own house in order?”
In that respect, it is painful to think that our “arrogant undertaking” in the Mideast, though it began long before then, has been even more ardently pursued since the felling of the World Trade Towers — at the hands of Saudi fanatics, it should be remembered — a little more than 18 years ago.
And where has this arrogance, whose avatar now possesses the nuclear code, taken us? To the brink of incineration maybe, a not-all-that-remote possibility in a nuclear-armed world, a possibility that ought to concentrate our minds — as much as it has concentrated the minds of Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and the other Democratic presidential candidates who have taken issue with the president’s recent assassination of an Iranian general, who while anathema here was hugely popular there.
Surely, diplomacy, as Sanders says, ought to be at the fore when it comes to foreign relations. In this regard, we need intelligent, stable people who have studied thoroughly the histories of the nation states and regions with which we are dealing.
Where have all the levelheaded gone? Gone from the diplomatic corps every one. When will we ever learn?
And can someone tell us again what our objectives in the Mideast are? One of the president’s men mentioned that there were such the other night, but — presuming we knew, I guess — didn’t elaborate.
At any rate, the crisis — which continues as I write — served to concentrate my mind too when it comes to the Democratic candidates, insofar as their views on foreign and domestic policy go. It’s (see above) Bernie for me.