Top King Essays Note Similarities between Two Wars

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), January 21, 2002 | Go to article overview

Top King Essays Note Similarities between Two Wars


Byline: The Register-Guard

Here are three winning submissions in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day essay contest for Eugene and Bethel students, sponsored by the Eugene School District Multicultural/Equity Office. A fourth winning essay starts on Page 1B.

In his speech "Beyond Vietnam," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. describes the negative impacts of the Vietnam war on society and the importance, therefore, of changing battle plans. He suggests compromising to achieve a result far more heroic in the long run. There are both parallels to and striking opposites between this speech and the current global situation.

First, Dr. King spoke of a war that was very different from the war we face today. The United States of America's participation in the first war of the millennium is in response to a direct attack on our country. Vietnam was distant and foreign to America; this war has been practically demanded by its citizens. People feel empty if they fail to exact revenge. Taking an eye and more for an eye is basic instinct. Does Dr. King's speech then not apply to today's situation?

Quotes from Dr. King's speech protest otherwise. This speech reads as though Dr. King presented it last week on national television.

"Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war." Measures that President Bush failed in passing earlier flew through Congress almost unanimously. Once the hurdle of patriotism and the looming possibility of war presented themselves, members found it hard to turn down the president's requests.

"And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies ... so long as adventures like Vietnam ... continued to draw ... skills and money ..." Both then and now, war has rearranged our country's priorities.

"... at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury." A fact not widely broadcast via the media is that the death toll on Sept. 11 has been surpassed by the total number of civilian deaths taken by American bombs in Afghanistan.

If those examples read true today, then pieces of advice given by Dr. King in his speech must surely apply as well.

"... history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursue this self-defeating path of war." Similarly, the future looks just as bleak if we as a global community continue to take this path. Add in the increasing threat of nuclear weapons if war erupts in the wrong places, and the risk shoots up. We've already seen the danger of chemical weapons in the anthrax scare, which hardly involved advanced methods and was by no means pursued as thoroughly as could have been.

"America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world can lead the way in this revolution ..." America has not to any degree lost its hegemony over the rest of the world since the Vietnam era. Anything America wants to do and proceeds to pursue will not be long in being followed by the rest of the world, to some degree. What if the United States had responded to terrorism differently? The media has been flooded with rumored threats of bin Laden and company to carry out more such attacks, yet have we seen any? Is this because of our bombing of Afghanistan or simply because we're now on a much higher level of security and readiness? We could revolutionize our methods even now. Call the military back. Use techniques involving less "collateral damage."

"We can no longer afford to worship hate or bow before the altar of retaliation." There are endless reasons for a "radical revolution of values" now in the time of war. This is the first war, in purpose if not in name, of the millennium as well as the year and century. A new year is the metaphorical blank slate, the very time for changes and new starts. War today is potentially disastrous to the scale of Armageddon. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Top King Essays Note Similarities between Two Wars
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.