MLK: Beyond Vietnam
A year to the day before his assassination, on April 4, 1967, King gave a speech, Beyond Vietnam, at the Riverside Church in New York City:
"The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing Clergy and Laymen Concerned committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.What's the cost of today's military industrial complex?
"This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
A congressional report released Tuesday said the U.S. Defense Department's spending on weapon systems has surged to a record high of $1.6 trillion in 2007 from $790 billion in 2000.
Despite budgets being strained by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department still plans to invest about $900 million over the next five years in weapon systems' development and procurement, including more than $335 billion, or 37 percent, for new major weapon systems, the report added.