Unam Sanctam (1302) – tekst pauselijke bul van Bonifatius VIII

Over de achtergrond van de pauselijke bul Unam Sanctam lees je meer op Historiek, dat de context van de Unam Sanctam beschrijft.

Nederlandse tekst van de Unam Sanctam (1302)

[Noot: onderstaande tekst is uit het Engels via Google Translate en kritisch doorgenomen door de redactie van Histobron.] Lees verder Unam Sanctam (1302) – tekst pauselijke bul van Bonifatius VIII

Dictatus Papae (1075) – pauselijke bul van Gregorius VII

Over de bul
In de pauselijke bul Dictatus Papae legde paus Gregorius VII (ca.1023-1085) in 27 artikelen het pauselijke primaat vast. De bul is geschreven in 1075 of daarna. De paus claimt met dit document veel werelds gezag. De bul Dictatus Papae vormde dan ook een belangrijke oorzaak van de Investituurstrijd (tot 1122). Lees verder Dictatus Papae (1075) – pauselijke bul van Gregorius VII

Nixon-doctrine (25 juli 1969)

Tijdens een persconferentie in Guam op 25 juli 1968 verklaarde Nixon – de boodschap is vermoedelijk bedacht door Henry Kissinger, minister van Buitenlandse Zaken – dat de Verenigde Staten zich aan al de eerder afgesloten politiek-militaire verdragen ten aanzien van Azië zouden houden en landen in de regio’s zou steunen als dat nodig was. Maar tegelijk stuurde hij met onderstaande uitspraak aan op een Azië dat zijn eigen problemen zou gaan oplossen:

As far as the problems of international security are concerned…the United States is going to encourage and has a right to expect that this problem will increasingly be handled by, and the responsibility for it taken by, the Asian nations themselves.

In een Vietnam-speech op 3 november 1969 verwoordde Nixon deze doctrine met andere woorden:

First, the United States will keep all of its treaty commitments.

Second, we shall provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security.

- advertentie -

Third, in cases involving other types of aggression, we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense.

Nederlandse vertaling:

Ten eerste houden de Verenigde Staten zich aan al hun verdragsverplichtingen.

Ten tweede zullen we een schild bieden als een kernmacht de vrijheid bedreigt van een natie die onze bondgenoot is of van een natie wier overleven we van vitaal belang achten voor onze veiligheid.

Ten derde, in andere gevallen van agressie, zullen we militaire en economische ondersteuning bieden als dat wordt verzocht in het kader van onze verdragsverplichtingen. Maar we zullen de bedreigde natie primair verantwoordelijk houden voor het leveren van de mankracht voor haar eigen defensie.

De Nixon doctrine beïnvloedde het Amerikaanse besluit om in de jaren 1970 wapens te verkopen aan Iran en Israël, zodat die landen hun eigen boontjes zouden kunnen doppen.


Martin Luther King jr. – Beyond Vietnam-speech (4 april 1967) – tekst

Speech van dr. Martin Luther King jr. (1929-1968) op 4 april 1967, gehouden voor prominente baptisten en kerkleden in de Riverside Church in New York City.

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. 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. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

In the light of such tragic misunderstandings, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church — the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate — leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.

I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia.

Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they can play in a successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reason to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.

Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents. Since I am a preacher by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor — both black and white — through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

For those who ask the question, “Aren’t you a civil rights leader?” and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: “To save the soul of America.” We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself unless the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!
Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission — a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for “the brotherhood of man.” This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men — for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the “Vietcong” or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

Finally, as I try to delineate for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond to compassion my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them too because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation, and before the Communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony.

Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not “ready” for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination, and a government that had been established not by China (for whom the Vietnamese have no great love) but by clearly indigenous forces that included some Communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam.

Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of the reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

After the French were defeated it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva agreements. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators — our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly routed out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords and refused even to discuss reunification with the north. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by U.S. influence and then by increasing numbers of U.S. troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem’s methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictatorships seemed to offer no real change — especially in terms of their need for land and peace.

The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace and democracy — and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us — not their fellow Vietnamese –the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go — primarily women and children and the aged.

They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals, with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one “Vietcong”-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them — mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children, degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?

We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation’s only non-Communist revolutionary political force — the unified Buddhist church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. What liberators?

Now there is little left to build on — save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call fortified hamlets. The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these? Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These too are our brothers.

Perhaps the more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front — that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of “aggression from the north” as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent Communist and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will have no part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them — the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again and then shore it up with the power of new violence?

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

So, too, with Hanoi. In the north, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which would have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again.

When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. Also it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva agreements concerning foreign troops, and they remind us that they did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.

Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard of the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the north. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor weak nation more than eight thousand miles away from its shores.

At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless on Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called enemy, I am as deeply concerned about our troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:

“Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.”

If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horribly clumsy and deadly game we have decided to play.

The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways.

In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:

1. End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.
2. Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.
3. Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.
4. Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and in any future Vietnam government.
5. Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva agreement.

Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We most provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country if necessary.

Meanwhile we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible.

As we counsel young men concerning military service we must clarify for them our nation’s role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is the path now being chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.

There is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter the struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. 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. Such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.

In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military “advisors” in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counter-revolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken — the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” 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.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and through their misguided passions urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not call everyone a Communist or an appeaser who advocates the seating of Red China in the United Nations and who recognizes that hate and hysteria are not the final answers to the problem of these turbulent days. We must not engage in a negative anti-communism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity and injustice which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” We in the West must support these revolutions. It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has the revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgement against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores and thereby speed the day when “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain.”

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept — so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force — has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:

Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : “Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word.”

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The “tide in the affairs of men” does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on…” We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.

We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world — a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter — but beautiful — struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:

Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
Off’ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
Twixt that darkness and that light.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet this truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong:
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above his own.

Bronnen waar deze speech te vinden is::
-King, Martin Luther Jr., ‘Beyond Vietnam’, in: Joanne Grant (ed.), Black Protest: History, Documents, and Analyses, 1619 to the Present, 2nd ed. Greenwich, Connecticut: Fawcett, 1974, p.418-425.
-King, Martin Luther Jr., ‘Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam’, in: Banning Garrett en Katherine Barkley (eds.), Two, Three…Many Vietnam’s: A Radical Reader on the Wars in Southeast Asia and the Conflicts at Home, San Francisco: Canfield Press, 1971, p.206-215.

Dolkstootlegende – Von Hindenburg en Ludendorff (Duitse tekst, 1919)

Dolkstootlegende: korte introductie

De Dolkstootlegende – in het Duits Dolchstoßlegende of Dolchstoßlüge – is een bekende complottheorie uit de moderne Duitse geschiedenis. De twee belangrijkste bedenkers van deze theorie waren de Duitse generaals Erich Ludendorff (1865-1937), die de kiem legde in 1918, en Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934), die de legende bij het grote publiek bekendmaakte. Met name militairen, nationalisten en conservatieven geloofden dat Duitsland de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1914-1918) verloren had door verraad van de sociaaldemocraten en andere ‘interne vijanden’, onder wie de Joden, links-revolutionaire bewegingen en de kleurloze massa dan wel burgerbevolking. Deze groepen hadden Duitsland, terwijl het leger (zogenaamd) wilde en kón doorvechten, een dolkstoot in de rug gegeven.

Fragment ‘Dolkstootlegende-rede’ (Duits)

Erklärung des Generalfeldmarschalls von Hindenburg vor dem Parlamentarischen Untersuchungsausschuß, 18. November 1919:

[…] Zeuge Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg: Bevor ich diese Frage beantworte, bitte ich die Grundlage für unser ganzes Denken, Tun und Handeln während der Kriegszeit im folgenden Abriß hier verlesen zu dürfen, denn aus dieser Grundlage ist alles herausgewachsen, was wir getan haben. […] Ich gebe nur historische Daten, halte es aber für unbedingt notwendig, dass ich sie in kurzem Abriß den Herren ins Gedächtnis rufe. Als wir in die Oberste Heeresleitung traten, war der Weltkrieg zwei Jahre im Fluß. Die Ereignisse nach dem 29. August 1916 lassen sich nicht losgelöst vor diesem Datum denken. Der Krieg, der 1914 zwischen Deutschland und Österreich-Ungarn einerseits und Rußland, Frankreich und Serbien, bald darauf England, Belgien und Japan andererseits begonnen hatte, hat an Ausdehnung zugenommen. 1915 griff Italien, 1916 Rumänien an der Seite unserer Gegner in den Kampf ein. Der Krieg hatte kein Beispiel mehr in der Geschichte. Die Räume dehnten sich ins Gigantische, die Truppenmassen erreichten ungeahnte Stärken, die Technik gewann eine vorherrschende Bedeutung. Krieg und Weltwirtschaft griffen ineinander über wie nie
zuvor. Das zahlenmäßige Verhältnis der Streitkräfte an Maschinen, Munition und wirtschaftlichen Hilfsmitteln war für uns, und zwar von Anfang an, so ungünstig wie möglich. Niemals wog der Wert der Imponderabilien des Krieges, der moralischen Qualität der Truppen, der Anforderungen an die zentrale und lokale Führung so schwer, niemals endlich war die Leistung der Minderheit so ungeheuer wie in diesem Kriege. Diesem Grundcharakter des Krieges hatte die Oberste Heeresleitung Rechnung zu tragen; auf ihm ruhte unsere unablässige Arbeit. Getragen von der Liebe zum Vaterlande, kannten wir nur ein Ziel: Das Deutsche Reich und das deutsche Volk, soweit Menschenkraft und militärische Mittel es vermochten, vor Schaden zu bewahren und es militärischerseits einem guten Frieden entgegenzuführen. Um diese gewaltige Aufgabe unten den schwierigsten Bedingungen durchzuführen, mussten wir den unerschütterlichen Willen zum Siege haben. Dieser Wille zum Siege aber war unlöslich gebunden an den Glauben an unser gutes Recht. Dabei waren wir uns bewußt, dass wir in dem ungleichen Kampfe unterlegen mussten, wenn nicht die gesamte Kraft der Heimat für den Sieg auf dem Schlachtfelde eingestellt wurde und die moralischen Kräfte des Heeres nicht dauernd aus der Heimat erneuert wurden. Der Wille zum Siege erschien natürlich nicht als eine Frage persönlicher Entschlossenheit, sondern als Ausfluß des Volkswillens. Hätten wir den Willen zum Siege nicht gehabt oder hätten wir ihn nicht beim Volke als selbstverständlich angesehen, so hätten wir das schwere Amt nicht übernommen. Ein General, der seinem Lande nicht den Sieg erstreiten will, darf kein Kommando übernehmen oder doch nur mit dem gleichzeitigen Auftrag, zu kapitulieren. Solchen Auftrag haben wir nicht erhalten. Wir hätten bei solchem Auftrag auch die Übernahme der Obersten Heeresleitung abgelehnt.

[…] Die Absichten der Führung konnten nicht mehr zur Ausführung gebracht werden. Unsere wiederholten Anträge auf strenge Zucht und strenge Gesetzgebung wurden nicht erfüllt. So mußten unsere Operationen mißlingen, es mußte der Zusammenbruch kommen; die Revolution bildete nur den Schlußstein. […] Ein englischer General sagte mit Recht: “Die deutsche Armee ist von hinten erdolcht worden.” Den guten Kern des Heeres trifft keine Schuld. Seine Leistung ist ebenso bewunderungswürdig wie die des Offizierkorps. Wo die Schuld liegt, ist klar erwiesen. Bedurfte es noch eines Beweises, so liegt er in dem angeführten Ausspruche des englischen Generals und in dem maßlosen Erstaunen unserer Feinde über ihren

Das ist die große Linie der tragischen Entwicklung des Krieges für Deutschland nach einer Reihe so glänzender, nie dagewesener Erfolge an zahlreichen Fronten, nach einer Leistung von Heer und Volk, für die kein Lob groß genug ist. Diese große Linie mußte festgelegt werden, damit die militärischen Maßnahmen, die wir zu vertreten haben, richtig bewertet werden können.

Im übrigen erkläre ich, daß General Ludendorff und ich bei allen großen Entscheidungen die gleiche Auffassung gehabt und in voller Übereinstimmung gearbeitet haben. Wir haben Sorge und Verantwortung gemeinschaftlich getragen.

-Ulrich Heinemann, Die Verdrängte Niederlage. Politische Öffentlichkeit und Kriegsschuldfrage in der Weimarer Republik (Göttingen 1983), mit Anhang: Verzeichnis der Mitglieder und Mitarbeiter des Parlamentarischen Untersuchungsausschusses für die Schuldfragen des Weltkriegs.

Tekst Verdrag van Tordesillas (7 juni 1494)

Introductie op Verdrag van Tordesillas

Het Verdrag van Tordesillas werd afgesloten op 7 juni 1494 tussen Spanje en Portugal. Via dit verdrag verdeelde paus Alexander VI (1431-1503), in opdracht van de Spaanse koning, de niet-Europese koloniale wereld tussen beide landen. In 1529 volgde nog het Verdrag van Zaragoza, die de Indische wereld in het Oosten opdeelde tussen de twee landen. In 1778 bleek nog een derde afspraak nodig, namelijk het Verdrag El Pardo. Lees verder Tekst Verdrag van Tordesillas (7 juni 1494)

Brief van Amerikaanse soldaat uit Vietnamoorlog (1966)

Vietnamoorlog: Brief van een jonge soldaat (1966)

Een jonge Amerikaanse soldaat schrijf in 1966 naar zijn vriend het volgende (de brief is geanonimiseerd):

Gegroet uit Vietnam. (…)

Chris, ik ben nog nooit zo teleurgesteld geweest over mijn land als na mijn ervaringen hier gedurende de laatste vijf maanden of zo. Voor het eerst ben ik op het toneel, waar het nieuws gemaakt wordt, en ik zie duidelijk voor mijn ogen dat de verslaggevers er niet naar sterven een juist beeld te geven van wat er gebeurt – ze schrijven liever iets, dat verkoopbaar is en zoveel mogelijk geld en reputatie zal opleveren. Voor de meeste gevechtsfoto’s wordt geposeerd, of het zijn trainingsfoto’s van achter de linie onder het motto van gevechtsfoto’s in de frontlinie. Nadat ik gedurende de laatste paarmaanden aan de gevechten heb deelgenomen, weet ik wel zo’n beetje wat mogelijk is en wat niet. Als je een foto van een Vietcong ziet, die met zijn handen omhoog uit een hol komt, dan kan je er donder op zeggen, dat er voor die foto geposeerd is. Als je een Vietnamese moeder het lichaam van haar kind tegen kogels ziet beschermen, dan kan je er donder op zeggen, dat de fotograaf ook zijn… naar beneden zou hebben. Wat een larie!

Het meest ben ik echter teleurgesteld door de droevige houding van het Vietnamese volk. Speciaal de ontwikkelde leiders van dit land zijn zo door en door rot, gemene, vuile dieven. Het zijn communistenhaters, maar ze hebben alleen een flinke rekening op buitenlandse banken. Ze deponeren ieder maand een bedrag van vele malen hun salaris op die bankrekening buiten hun land. (…)

De rapporten beweerden dat mijn bataljon (250 man) 175 Vietcong doodde of gevangen nam. Maar uit al onze acties heb ik slechts twee lijken en acht gevangenen overgehouden. Zelfs wanneer ik rekening houd met degenen, die na gesneuveld te zijn door de Vietcong weggesleept werden, geloof ik dat we er slechts twintig doodden. Maar onze verliezen waren vijftig gesneuvelden, vijfendertig gewonden en zestien krijgsgevangenen. Ik heb persoonlijk vijfentwintig van onze doden gezien en helpen dragen – maar volgens het verslag waren onze verliezen ongeveer twaalf man. Deze foutieve krantenverslagen stellen Washington tevreden.

De nadruk ligt niet op wat wij presteren en hoe groot de vooruitgang is die wij maken. Als je op papier zou zetten, dat er vooruitgang gemaakt werd, is het voldoende. Ze leven in een droomwereld, maar ik vrees, dat ze alleen zichzelf voor de gek houden – en het Amerikaanse publiek: beiden zullen er op de lange duur de nadelen van ondervinden. (…)

De Vietnamese bevolking zelf – de kooplieden, de boeren, enzovoort – waarderen niet in ’t minst wat we voor hen doen. Restaurants en winkels hebben twee prijzen, één voor de Vietnamezen en één voor de Amerikaanse soldaten (die voor deze mensen sterven). Bier kost voor een Vietnamees 16 cent en voor een soldaat 40 cent. Een blok ijs kost voor een Vietnamees 60 cent en voor een Amerikaans soldaat 2,5 dollar. Een Vietnamees betaalt voor het vervoer in een fietskarretje 20 cent en een Amerikaan betaalt voor hetzelfde ritje één dollar. Zo zou ik door kunnen blijven gaan. Als je er op staat dezelfde prijs als een Vietnamees te betalen, lachen ze je uit en weigeren. In welke winkel je het ook probeert, het is overal hetzelfde. Ze hebben je in hun macht. Een soldaat, die als een dier zestig dagen lang in een eenmansgat vol modder heeft geleefd, kan het niet opbrengen hun prijzen te weigeren. Als hij enigszins wil genieten van de halve dag ontspanning in de stad, die zijn commandant hem heeft toegestaan, moet hij de schandalige prijzen betalen of zich alles ontzeggen. De meesten knarsetanden en betalen.

Ook een van de dingen, die de Vietnamese bevolking doet, is het bestelen van de Amerikaanse soldaat. Terwijl ik bij daglicht door de binnenstad van Danang reed, werden mijn sigaretten van het stoeltje naast me in de jeep gestolen. Op een keer kreeg ik de man, die het deed, te pakken. De Vietnamese politieman, waar ik hem heen bracht, sprak een paar woorden in het Vietnamees tegen hem en liet hem gaan. Hij glimlachte allervriendelijkst tegen mij en zei: ‘Spijt me erg.’ Ja, ze zijn vol waarderen voor hetgeen we hier voor hen doen. Een tijdje geleden werd een vriend van mij, kapitein… in een hinderlaag van de Vietcong gedood. Bij hem waren ongeveer tien Vietnamese soldaten. Hoewel… gedood werd, zagen de Vietnamese soldaten die bij hem waren, kans zich de Vietcong van het lijf te houden. Maar toen zijn lichaam nar onze commandopost werd teruggebracht, waren zijn horloge, pistool, geweer, geld, et cetera verdwenen. Een andere vriend van mij ging bij de compagnie op bezoek en ontdekte dat een van onze Vietnamese geallieerden het pistool van de dode, een ander zijn geweer en een derde zijn horloge had. Het is duidelijk te bewijzen, want het geweer is van het type, dat alleen door Amerikaanse soldaten gebruikt wordt en het pistool was een 1917 model Duitse Luger en zijn persoonlijk bezit. Toen ik dit hoorde, had ik er zelf op af willen gaan om er een paar te vermoorden. Het is zo onvoorstelbaar gemeen. Tot nu toe is het ons alleen gelukt het geweer terug te krijgen. De Vietnamese officieren weigeren eenvoudig de andere dingen terug te geven. (…)

Het maakt me woedend mijn vrienden hier te zien sneuvelen en gewond raken en mijn eigen leven dagelijks op het spel te zetten, wanneer ik zie dat de Vietnamezen zelf zich niet in ’t minst uitsloven of ook maar enige waardering hebben voor je gezwoeg en offers. Ik zie Vietnamezen hier met hun vrouwen lachen en plezier maken. Ik zie menige jonge Vietnamees, die niet in het leger is. En ik vraag me af waarom ik hier moet zitten en mijn vrouw aan het andere eind van de wereld en waarom ik moet vechten en mijn leven moet riskeren, terwijl zoveel jonge Vietnamese mannen dat niet doen.

Bron: Onze Jaren, blz. 2919, aldaar geciteerd uit: Bill Adler, Veldpost uit Vietnam (1967). Zie ook: https://www.geschiedenisportaal.nl/v2/2013/08/08/vietnamoorlog-brief-van-een-jonge-soldaat-1966/

Tonkin-resolutie (7 augustus 1964)

Historische achtergrond Tonkin-resolutie

De Tonkin-resolutie werd op 7 augustus 1964 door het Amerikaanse Congres aangenomen. Dit naar aanleiding een (vermeend) incident in de Golf van Tonkin op 2 augustus 1964. Volgens de Amerikanen vielen daar Noord-Vietnamese torpedoschepen de Amerikaanse torpedojager Maddox aan. De Amerikanen reageerden met de Tonkin-resolutie. De Tonkin-bepaling gaf de Amerikaanse president Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) de vrijmacht om alles in te zetten om het gevaar van Noord-Vietnam in te dammen. Hij kreeg toestemming om… Lees verder Tonkin-resolutie (7 augustus 1964)

Monroe-doctrine (2 dec. 1823)

Monroe Doctrine – 2 december 1823

The Monroe Doctrine werd uitgevaardigd in James Monroes 7e toespraak tot het Amerikaanse congres:

At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the minister of the United States at St. Petersburg to arrange by amicable negotiation the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal has been made by His Imperial Majesty to the Government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded to. The Government of the United States has been desirous by this friendly proceeding of manifesting the great value which they have invariably attached to the friendship of the Emperor and their solicitude to cultivate the best understanding with his Government. In the discussions to which this interest has given rise and in the arrangements by which they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. . .

It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great effort was then making in Spain and Portugal to improve the condition of the people of those countries, and that it appeared to be conducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked that the results have been so far very different from what was then anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which we have so much intercourse and from which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators. The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow-men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective Governments; and to the defense of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. In the war between those new Governments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the time of their recognition, and to this we have adhered, and shall continue to adhere, provided no change shall occur which, in the judgement of the competent authorities of this Government, shall make a corresponding change on the part of the United States indispensable to their security.

The late events in Spain and Portugal shew that Europe is still unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on any principle satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed by force in the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a question in which all independent powers whose governments differ from theirs are interested, even those most remote, and surely none of them more so than the United States. Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting in all instances the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries from none. But in regard to those continents circumstances are eminently and conspicuously different.

It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition in any form with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new Governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in hope that other powers will pursue the same course.

Bron: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/monroe.asp