How to Stop the Carnage? STOP THE WAR!

By Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials. McGovern is co-founder of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence and Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. Originally published at

In 1967, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. faced a painful dilemma. How could he tell oppressed young blacks and police to shun violence on the streets of our country, but rather to behave nonviolently, when the entire country watched state-sanctioned violence in Vietnam on evening TV?

What Dr. King chose to do then needs to happen again – NOW. Against the “practical” advice of virtually all his Realpolitik associates, King asked one of his closest advisers, Vincent Harding, to draft a speech, Beyond Vietnam, in the dangerous prophetic tradition of speaking truth to power. (Thirty-five years later, I studied under the late Dr. Harding at Word and World, a timely workshop in Greensboro, North Carolina, aimed at making faith relevant by closing the gaping gaps between Seminary, Sanctuary, and Street.)

In that momentous Vietnam speech before 3,000 people at Riverside Church in New York, Dr. King broke multiple taboos by making unmistakably clear and explicit the organic connection between violence at home and abroad. The date of the speech was April 4, 1967; King was murdered exactly a year later.

But who will be today’s Dr. King? Who will have the courage of Harding and King to tell it like it is – to draw the connections between 15 years of state-sanctioned violence abroad and what is happening in our streets at home? Are there no prophets left?

I edged toward this key issue in an article that I wrote last year, which dusted off from the archives and posted again in the wake of the despicable, but – I would suggest – largely explainable violence in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas.

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  • Brockland A.T.

    Be your own prophet. It not like there’s going to be much choice.

    Messiah figures became COINTELPRO’s main target, d’oh. The program never really ended. Its ongoing history is ‘net fodder.

    Any pubic figure honestly uniting across race and class is looking to get shot. John Lennon, for example, was strongly suspected to be a cointelpro victim; he was just an entertainer in an era that recently witnessed the demise of its greatest charismatic political leaders.

    Its reputedly very effective.

    So, there are few if any genuine prophets; that is to say genuinely populist and competent charismatic leaders. Certainly none of non-white race surviving early detection and removal.

    Its no accident Black Lives Matter is only about Blacks and has no visible leadership figure; no grassroots pan-racial organization would be allowed to survive nor contrived leader risked to go rogue. Obama was clearly manufactured; Birthers are nuts but their instinct is correct; Obama is very much an elite-manufactured phenomenon.

    Ron Paul and Donald Trump come far closer to real, and avoided culling by being white and controversial. Ron Paul ‘just happened’ to have those racist newsletters for example; a long-ticking time bomb planted early in his career. Its not clear what Trump has in his closet; nothing likely or it would have been found by now.

    No leadership figure exists in a vacuum, though. We the People are there first; walking the path we lay and road we pave to victory ourselves if need be.

  • “But who will be today’s Dr. King?”

    There are already many prominent, respected, visionary people in this country speaking out
    courageously. You, Ray, are one. But the message will never get heard as long as the media is a handmaiden to the state, and as long as spectators only pay attention to spectacle. Even in his day, Dr. King was subjected to ridicule and suppression, because he wasn’t “on message” and supportive of the phobic agenda of DC. He was characterized as having lost perspective and giving comfort to the enemy. Things are worse now.

  • Randa Jaza
    • Yesenia Alston

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