The war questions are back in everyday America: the talk of risk, the chance of ruin, the push and pull of righteousness, restraint; and all that history in our heads. Who gets it right about the moral stakes between war and peace, the plain people’s interest in the so-called strategic national interests? On this hour of In Search of Monsters, we reflect on Martin Luther King’s radical sermon against the Vietnam War half a century ago. “Somehow this madness must cease,” King said in April of 1967, half a decade of war before the war would finally end. The test of American maturity, Dr. King said, would come later: would we see and repent an immoral war of colonial domination? Would we atone for our damage to the Vietnamese people? Would we change our ways?
Addressing these questions and more on the legacy of this speech, host Chris Lydon speaks with QI President Andrew Bacevich and Harvard Professor of African American Studies Brandon Terry. Amidst the perpetually militaristic psyche in Washington, it is vital to heed the ever pertinent advice of Dr. King.
Listen to the full episode here:
Additionally, check out these related resources:
- America’s Militarism Will Be Its Downfall – QI President Andrew Bacevich in The Nation, 4/18/22.
- More than a half-century later, MLK’s famous anti-war speech given new life – QI Researcher Sam Fraser in Responsible Statecraft, 4/5/22.
- The ‘three evils’: Racism, materialism, militarism – QI Video, 1/27/21.