David Swanson's Blog (121)

The Special Loophole in Hell for War Lawyers

The strict rule of law is an ideal and a fantasy.  Conflicting and archaic words must be interpreted, and doing so is an art, not a science.



But there is an enormous chasm between honest attempts to approach the ideal of compliance with written law, and open disregard for it.



It is becoming standard practice for our government to enforce laws selectively or not at all, to openly defy laws, to enact laws in violation of the higher law called the Constitution or in violation…

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Added by David Swanson on May 25, 2012 at 1:47pm — No Comments

Why Even Failed Activism Succeeds

I enjoy reading histories of past activism, including memoirs by long-time activists, such as Lawrence Wittner's new book, Working for Peace and Justice.

Almost every such account includes belated discoveries of the extent to which a government has been spying on and infiltrating activist groups.

And almost every such account includes belated discoveries of the extent to which…

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Added by David Swanson on May 22, 2012 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Ending the Minset That Gets Us Into War

MAY 20, 2012, MILITARIZED CHICAGO -- Next month in Baltimore they're going to celebrate the War of 1812.  That's what we do with wars.  We say they're the last resort.  We say they're hell.  We say they're for the purpose of eliminating themselves: we fight wars for peace.  Although we never keep peace for wars.  We claim to wage only wars we have been forced into despite all possible effort to find a better way.  And then we celebrate the wars.  We keep the wars going for their own sake…

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Added by David Swanson on May 20, 2012 at 8:26am — No Comments

Even Star Spangled War Is Hell

Originally published in the Indypendent Reader



In this bicentennial year of the War of 1812, the StarSpangledBaltimore.com website tells us:…

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Added by David Swanson on May 12, 2012 at 7:53pm — No Comments

In Four Minutes Thom Hartmann Explains What's Wrong With War and Violence

Listen to this four-minute clip from the Thom Hartmann Show:

http://warisacrime.org/downloads/thomhartmannviolence.mp3

Thom tells his caller to read War Is A Lie:

http://warisalie.org

But Thom uses brilliant arguments and facts that are not even in the book, which is really the best result an author…

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Added by David Swanson on May 9, 2012 at 9:46am — No Comments

Drones in U.S. Flight Paths: What Could Go Wrong?

On March 9th the Federal Aviation Administration requested comments from the public on drone test sites.  On May 8th, lengthy comments were submitted by Not 1 More Acre! and Purgatoire, Apishapa & Comanche Grassland Trust.  The FAA asked all the wrong questions, but still got a lot of the right answers.  When the drone accidents start, and you're told "Nobody could have known," refer them here:…

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Added by David Swanson on May 8, 2012 at 3:41pm — No Comments

"We Did Not Choose This War" and Other Hypocrisies

By Leah Bolger and David Swanson

"We did not choose this war.  This war came to us on 9/11.  We don't go looking for a fight.  But when we see our homeland violated, when we see our fellow citizens killed, then we understand what we have to do." 

These are the words that President Obama used on Tuesday to describe the Afghanistan war, but they would have been more appropriately said by any Afghan citizen.

Coming out of the mouth of the President of the United…

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Added by David Swanson on May 2, 2012 at 1:38pm — 1 Comment

The Libyan Model and the Oxymoron

There's a new Atrocity Prevention Board in town, and its chief tool for preventing atrocities will be . . . wait for it . . . atrocities! 

What a breakthrough! And this clown is forming a tentative life partnership with an unbelievably beautiful model from Libya.  The key word is "unbelievably." 

The Atrocity Prevention Board is rumored to…

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Added by David Swanson on May 1, 2012 at 3:12pm — No Comments

Sibel Edmonds Finally Wins

Sibel Edmonds' new book, "Classified Woman," is like an FBI file on the FBI, only without the incompetence.

The experiences she recounts resemble K.'s trip to the castle, as told by Franz Kafka, only without the pleasantness and humanity. 

I've read a million reviews of nonfiction books about our government that referred to them as "page-turners" and "gripping dramas," but I had never read a book that actually fit that…

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Added by David Swanson on April 30, 2012 at 10:38am — No Comments

What a Real Peace Candidate Looks Like

I recently wrote about a conversation I'd had with a fairly typical Democratic candidate for Congress (O.K. perhaps he was below average) -- a former military officer who claims to be for peace, but whose every solution involves war.  I asked him to make commitments on what sort of things he would vote for or against, and he evaded every such question, while maintaining that he held a desire for peace somewhere in his heart.

The…

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Added by David Swanson on April 25, 2012 at 12:52pm — No Comments

How to Tell if a Candidate Backs Peace or War

I just had a chat with a Democratic candidate who has just about wrapped up his party's nomination for Congress here in Virginia's Fifth Congressional District.  John Douglass is a retired Brigadier General, a former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and a former deputy U.S. military representative to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.  



Obviously a candidate for war, right?  That's not what people were telling me, and not what Douglass himself says.  He tells me he's…

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Added by David Swanson on April 25, 2012 at 12:36am — No Comments

Veterans for Peace Among 33 Arrested Outside Drone Base in NY State

Three members of Veterans For Peace -- Russell Brown, John Amidon, and Elliott Adams -- were among 33 peaceful protesters arrested on Sunday outside Hancock Air Field in New York State.  Almost all of the 33 were arrested preemptively, as they walked single-file and silently along a road, prior to reaching the military base, at which they intended to approach the gate and deliver a written statement.

Here is video of the walk:…

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Added by David Swanson on April 23, 2012 at 8:12am — 1 Comment

Member of Veterans for Peace Alters War Debate on CNN

Scott Camil, a veteran of the second-longest U.S. war in history, that on Vietnam, radically changed a discussion of the longest war in U.S. history, that on Afghanistan, on CNN on Sunday.

CNN's Don Lemon tried repeatedly to explain troops posing with body parts as an inscrutable result of war, without questioning the justification of that war.  Repeatedly, Lemon instructed viewers not to judge soldiers. 

A guest to whom Lemon devoted a great deal of time, Dr. Terry Lyles,…

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Added by David Swanson on April 22, 2012 at 9:17pm — No Comments

Is Peace Getting in the Way of Our War Plans?

What a bizarre circumstance this is.  The irrational Iranians are behaving too reasonably

The unmovable Iranians seem to be compromising too readily.

This past weekend, the United States and other major nations finally spoke with Iran. In 10 hours of talks (or 5 with translations), minus a lunch break, Iran agreed to a framework for ensuring that…

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Added by David Swanson on April 19, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Daddy, Where Do Taxes Come From?

I'll tell you when you get a little older.

But I want to know.

Well, I'll tell you where taxes come from in other countries, OK? They come from the idea that if we all pool our resources we can better acquire things like schools, hospitals, parks, trains, you know, things that belong to everybody.

But what about our country?

Well, in our country we pay for private schools if we want good schools, and we all buy something called health insurance to take care of us…

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Added by David Swanson on April 13, 2012 at 12:11pm — 1 Comment

Heard the One About the Peace Activist on the Titanic?

As we mark the 100-year anniversary of the unsinkable Titanic sinking, we should recall both the good and bad of that long-forgotten world of 1912.  Were an unbelievably expensive means of luxury travel between the United States and Europe invented today, there would be no reason to expect peace activists to be found among the passengers.  But it is not at all surprising that among the first-class passengers on the world's largest ship in 1912 was a well-known advocate of peace.  This is…

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Added by David Swanson on April 9, 2012 at 11:25pm — No Comments

New York City Tuesday Night: David Swanson, John Horgan, Jackson Lears, Mark Crispin Miller: Peace in Age of Empire

News from Underground: "Imagining Peace in an Age of Empire"

WHEN: Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 7:00 p.m. 
 
WHERE: McNally Jackson…
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Added by David Swanson on March 30, 2012 at 8:09am — No Comments

Why We Should Outgrow "Diversity of Tactics" Before Protesting NATO

The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda  has nothing on its website about using nonviolence, supporting nonviolence, or opposing violence.

The G8 and NATO Protest also has nothing like that, but does have this:

"As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations…

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Added by David Swanson on March 29, 2012 at 10:31am — No Comments

The Shifting Strategies of Empire

Remarks at the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Conference:

President Obama this week declared the war on Iraq to be an honorable success that has given us a brighter future. Are you fired up? Ready to go?

Eric Holder this month explained that it's legal for a president to kill anyone anywhere, or to imprison them, or to spy on them. I started to get upset about this, but then I remembered that Holder is a Democrat. That made me feel much better.

Leon Panetta…

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Added by David Swanson on March 23, 2012 at 10:53pm — No Comments

Robots Kill, But the Blood Is on Our Hands

In her spare time, between nonstop peace activism and leading international exchanges, Medea Benjamin has somehow managed to write the best book yet on the most inhuman form of war yet.  The book is called "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control."  The foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich and a form to pre-order the book are here.

Even if you've been reading everything you could about drones, attending peace conferences, and…

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Added by David Swanson on March 21, 2012 at 3:11pm — No Comments

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