John Edwards' folks sent out a notice yesterday about his speech this afternoon at Riverside Church in Harlem, which is where MLK delivered his "Silence is Betrayal" sermon in opposition to the Vietnam War.
Edwards will use the opportunity to underscore his opposition to the escalation of the Iraq War.
Edwards is calling on Congress not to fund the escalation.
The speech will be available live on the Web. Information at this link.
Following is a YouTube clip of Edwards explaining what he's going to say and why. I've passed on excerpts from Edwards' prepared remarks as well.
EXCERPT OF REMARKS AS PREPARED
"Realizing the Dream"
Senator John Edwards
Riverside Church, Harlem, January 14, 2007
Forty years ago, almost to the month, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
stood at this pulpit, in this house of God, and with the full force of his
conscience, his principles and his love of peace, denounced the war in
Vietnam, calling it a tragedy that threatened to drag our nation down to
As he put it then, there comes a time when silence is a betrayal -- not only
of one's personal convictions, or even of one's country alone, but also of
our deeper obligations to one another and to the brotherhood of man.
That's the thing I find the most important about the sermon Dr. King
delivered here that day. He did not direct his demands to the
government of the United States, which was escalating the war. He
issued a direct appeal to the people of the United States, calling on
us to break our own silence, and to take responsibility for bringing about
what he called a revolution of values.
A revolution whose starting point is personal responsibility, of course, but
whose animating force is the belief that we cannot stand idly by and wait
for others to right the wrongs of the world.
And this, in my view, is at the heart of what we should remember and
celebrate on this day. This is the dream we must commit ourselves to
* * *
Escalation is not the answer, and our generals will be the first to tell you
so. The answer is for the Iraqi people and others in the region to take
responsibility for rebuilding their own country. If we want them to take
responsibility, we need to show them that we are serious about leaving – and
the best way to do that is actually to start leaving and immediately
withdraw 40-50,000 troops.
That is why I have spoken out against the McCain Doctrine of escalation.
That's why Congress must step up and stop the president from putting more
troops in harm's way.
If you're in Congress and you know this war is going in the wrong direction,
it is no longer enough to study your options and keep your own counsel.
Silence is betrayal. Speak out, and stop this escalation now. You have the
power to prohibit the president from spending any money to escalate the
war – use it.
And to all of you here today – and the millions like us around the country
who know this escalation is wrong – your job is to reject the easy way of
apathy and choose instead the hard course of action.
Silence is betrayal. Speak out. Tell your elected leaders to block this
misguided plan that is destined to cost more lives and further damage
America's ability to lead. And tell them also, that the reward of courage …