Oh, the cynicism. The man whose words - "I have a dream" - have rung down over four decades, encapsulating a non-violent demand for peace, equality and fairness has again been resurrected as President Barack Obama's philosophical icon.
In the most blatant act of symbolism, as Africa is now threatened by a president who touted the importance of his African roots four years ago, Obama reaffirmed his presidential oath on two bibles, which once belonged to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King respectively. It was in fact a day after Martin Luther King Day in the United States.
In truth the event was a bit of a sham. The president was sworn in on Monday in a private ceremony in the White House, with, according to the New York Times, "Michelle Obama holding the family bible," as their daughters Malia and Sasha stood beside their father in the Blue Room.
He recited the 35-word oath from the constitution, as he did four years ago, in the presence of Chief Justice John G Roberts.
Back on January 20 2009 his inaugural address contained some fine words.
"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit. To choose our better history. To carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation - the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness … from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born, know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more (but) power … does not entitle us to do as we please…
"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect." People would be judged on "what you can build, not what you destroy."
Tell that to the droned and dismembered of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the ruined of Libya, Syria, Iraq, the fearful and threatened in Iran and now those in Africa in villages similar to where his father was born.
Six months later in Cairo he avowed: "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world … I have known Islam on three continents."
It now seems he now is prepared to blow it up on three continents.
The scale of human carnage under the Nobel peace laureate president is astounding, shaming and chilling.
Bush's roughly 24,000 air strikes in the seven years from 2002 to 2008 amounted to an air strike about once every three hours. Obama's 20,130 in four years amount to one every one-and-three-quarter hours.
Researcher and author Nicolas Davies estimates that the Obama administration has conducted "at least" 18,274 air strikes in Afghanistan since 2009, of which at least 1,160 were attacks by pilotless killer drones. Hundreds of air strikes were still conducted in Iraq in 2009. In Libya in 2011 1,460 of Nato's 7,700 strikes were US bombings.
There is also thought to be a five-fold increase in air and drone strikes over George W Bush's second term's murderous record in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
The man who swore on King's Bible on Sunday is reported as personally deciding, weekly, who will be dismembered by drone. The execution is carried out by a youth at a computer screen around 6,000 miles from the target.
No law, no trial, just extra-judicial murder or mass murder of "suspected Islamic militants." No questions ever asked, even when they are later proved to be baby, toddler or kindergarten-age "militants."
But assassinations are now the sickening norm.
As the president was swearing solemnly to "preserve and protect" on Sunday nine Yemenis were summarily executed by a US drone. The "indispensable nation" had struck again.
As the new year was celebrated two more election promises were reduced to dust. The president signed into law the 2013 National Defence Authorisation Act, blocking any attempt to close the Guantanamo concentration camp.
There are more funds for war in Afghanistan - which might have a US presence until 2025 or forever, depending on your view - and of course the inhuman sanctions on Iran were tightened.
Obama's initial nomination to the Democratic convention was on the 45th anniversary of King's "I have a dream" speech. King had called the US "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world."
What an irony that his memory is being used by a man who jokes about his assassination programme at parties and whose secretary of state laughs hilariously at the beating to death of Libya's former leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, saying: "We came, we saw, he died."
King was a Nobel peace laureate too. It has to be wondered if the recipient now in the White House read this passage from his acceptance speech on December 11 1964: "So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody that is far superior to the discords of war. In short, we must shift the arms race into a 'peace race'."
Before Obama Bush had also manipulated King's words to justify a wanton act of war.
At a Nato summit meeting in Turkey on June 28 2004, after Iraq's first elections following the US-led invasion, then secretary of state Condoleeza Rice passed the president a note from the US "viceroy" in Iraq Paul Bremer: "Mr President, Iraq is sovereign."
Bush scrawled back: "Let freedom reign," a clear echo of King: "From every mountainside, let freedom ring."
The might of presidents has seemingly hijacked the dream of an assassinated dreamer. Humanity is surely shamed.
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