David Swanson's Blog – March 2011 Archive (6)

On Visiting an Unwinnable War

I'll be visiting my nation's longest war next week in Afghanistan, thanks to a wonderful organization called Voices for Creative Nonviolence which seeks to build friendship and understanding between countries. I'll be meeting with ordinary and prominent Afghans and reporting on what they think of their country's future -- often a more complex view than will fit into a television sound byte.

In preparation, I've been trying to ascertain…

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Added by David Swanson on March 30, 2011 at 10:28am — 6 Comments

Obama on Libya: What Would MLK Say?

President Obama on Monday said he would "never hesitate" to use the U.S. military "unilaterally" to defend "interests" and "values," including "maintaining the flow of commerce." Fear of exactly that led the founders of this republic to give Congress the exclusive power to declare war. James Madison did not believe any single individual could be trusted with such power:

"The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast, ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable…

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Added by David Swanson on March 29, 2011 at 9:56am — No Comments

Wars Cannot Be Both Planned and Avoided

Congress held an emergency meeting to defund NPR, and then did nothing as the President spent vastly more money on bombing Libya.  President Obama didn't have to ask for the funding, because the Pentagon had enough lying around for just such an occasion.



A fundamental lie that keeps war going is the idea that we avoid war by preparing for it. "Speak softly and carry a big stick," said Theodore Roosevelt, who favored building a big military just in case, but of course not actually using… Continue

Added by David Swanson on March 22, 2011 at 8:45am — No Comments

War Is Illegal - Even in Libya

It's a simple point, but an important one, and one that gets overlooked. Whether or not you think a particular war is moral and good, the fact remains that war is illegal. Actual defense by a country when attacked is legal, but that only occurs once another country has actually attacked, and it must not be used as a loophole to excuse wider war that is not employed in actual defense.



Needless to say, a strong moral argument can be made for preferring the rule of law to the law of… Continue

Added by David Swanson on March 14, 2011 at 1:08pm — No Comments

Kindness, Generosity, and Bombing Libya

Wouldn't it be kind and generous of us to send the US or NATO or a UN-approved military into Libya to bloodlessly prevent the vicious slaughter of masses of people by a truly evil lunatic?

Would it?

In a study called "Why Civil Resistance Works," Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth examined major uses of violence and nonviolence against tyrannical governments around the world between 1900 and 2006. They found that violence succeeded 26 percent of the time. I think they were…

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Added by David Swanson on March 9, 2011 at 12:21am — No Comments

Another Life Focuses This One

Brilliant and humane playwright Karen Malpede has produced another play that grabs this country by the lapels, shakes it, caresses its cheek, and kicks its ass.  The play is called "Another Life" and the life it leaves me thinking about is the life of our dreams. 



The play is not so much a national nightmare or a national fantasy as a surreal reproduction of the mixture of horrors and hopes that most dreaming is: the most gruesome and graphic and taboo of our collective fears without… Continue

Added by David Swanson on March 8, 2011 at 12:33am — No Comments

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