ATLANTA - The widow of Martin Luther King
Jr. spoke out on Tuesday against a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq,
evoking the assassinated U.S. civil rights leader's message of
"I believe that more people are thinking about him and
yearning to hear his voice because of concerns about terrorism
and the buildup of war," Coretta Scott King told Reuters.
King said there were alternative means to possible war with
Iraq, such as negotiation.
"When you use war as a way of settling disputes, you only
cause more war," she said in an interview given to highlight the
observance of the King holiday on Monday. "In the long run, the
only way to have peace is to use peaceful means."
Martin Luther King Jr. advocated passive resistance to racial
segregation and co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference as a base for nonviolent marches and civil rights
demonstrations for U.S. blacks. He was killed in April 1968.
Coretta Scott King said one of the reasons her husband was
assassinated was because of his opposition to the Vietnam War.
She said King initially feared that if he took a stand against
that war, fund-raising for his group would dry up.
But she said that after King was awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1964, he felt compelled to work to bring about
"He proved to be right," she said. After his anti-Vietnam War
speech in 1967, "the nation within a year's time reversed itself
on Vietnam and Martin lived to know that his courageous statement
was not in vain."
Copyright 2003 Reuters Ltd