human rights activist Blase Bonpane has died. For more than half a
century, the former Maryknoll priest and longtime director of the Office
of the Americas worked to promote human rights in Latin America. He was
a Catholic priest in Guatemala during the 1960s where he was expelled
for his efforts on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. For 50 years,
he hosted the show “World Focus” on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK
in Los Angeles. He also authored many books, including “Civilization Is
Possible” and his autobiography “Imagine No Religion.” Noam Chomsky
wrote of the book, “I am often asked by young people, deeply disturbed
by the state of the world, ‘What can I do to make this sad world a
better place?’ An eloquent answer now is, ‘Read Blase Bonpane’s
autobiography. If you can aspire to a fraction of what he has achieved,
you will look back on a life well lived.’” This is Bonpane speaking in
1991 about U.S. militarism.

Blase Bonpane: “I think we have to deal with the
ideology of militarism, because the militarism has become the very
fabric of our culture. Militarism has no relationship to democracy. If
it’s militarist, it is anti-democratic. And if we base our thinking on
might makes right, we really don’t care about who has a claim to
anything, and we don’t care about law. We become lawless. Our policy has
been lawless in Central America, in South America, in Africa, in the
Middle East. It has been lawless. It has been an argument and a policy
of power and militarism.”