David Swanson's Blog (121)

No Justice Without Peace

By David Swanson,  Remarks at Left Forum

Last night in New York City, by my unscientific estimate, two-thirds of the people on the streets had alcohol in them.  A young man celebrating his wedding engagement was stabbed to death.  A party a third floor apartment to collapse into the second floor.  And the NYPD was busy beating the only sober people in town, the nonviolent activists at Occupy Wall Street.  When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Louisiana National Guard was busy…

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Added by David Swanson on March 18, 2012 at 12:24pm — 4 Comments

Nine Years Later: More Shocked, Less Awed

By David Swanson, Remarks at the Left Forum

When I lived in New York 20 years ago, the United States was beginning a 20-year war on Iraq. We protested at the United Nations. The Miami Herald depicted Saddam Hussein as a giant fanged spider attacking the United States. Hussein was frequently compared to Adolf Hitler. On October 9, 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl told a U.S. congressional committee that she’d seen Iraqi soldiers take 15 babies out of an incubator in a Kuwaiti hospital…

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Added by David Swanson on March 17, 2012 at 4:16pm — No Comments

Top 10 Genius Reasons to Keep Troops in Afghanistan

1. When you're setting a record for the longest modern war, cutting it short just increases the chances of somebody breaking your record some day.

2. When Newt Gingrich, Cal Thomas, and Lindsey Graham turn against a war, keeping it going will really confuse Republicans.

3. If we pull U.S. troops out after they have shot children from helicopters, kicked in doors at night, waved Nazi flags, urinated on corpses, and burned Korans it will look like we're sorry they did those…

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Added by David Swanson on March 8, 2012 at 11:13am — No Comments

The Peace Movement Needs Kucinich, With or Without Congress

If Congressman Dennis Kucinich becomes simply Dennis Kucinich sans the "Congressman" his value to the peace movement need not diminish. 

I admit it's been nice having someone in Congress who would say and do what he would.  There have been and remain other relatively strong voices for peace, but none as strong as Kucinich's.  His resolutions have forced the debates.  His bills have changed the conversation.  His questioning of witnesses has afflicted the comfortable while seeking to…

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Added by David Swanson on March 7, 2012 at 4:39pm — No Comments

What's the Matter With Norway?

The beautiful thing about the internet is that whenever you write an essay on a topic you imagine is new, some wonderful person contacts you within about an hour who's written a whole book about it.  This is different from writing a book…

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Added by David Swanson on March 2, 2012 at 5:25pm — No Comments

Newt Gingrich Says Withdraw from Afghanistan

Even a broken radioactive timebomb is right twice a day.

Here's Newt:

"And, candidly, if Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, doesn't feel like apologizing then we should say good bye and good luck, we don't need to be here risking our lives and wasting our money on somebody who doesn't care."

Now, this was preceded by the declaration that one must…

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Added by David Swanson on February 24, 2012 at 7:45am — No Comments

The 10 Most Excellent Reasons to Attack Iran

1. Iran has threatened to fight back if attacked, and that's a war crime. War crimes must be punished.

2. My television says Iran has nukes.  I'm sure it's true this time.  Just like with North Korea.  I'm sure they're next.  We only bomb places that really truly have nukes and are in the Axis of Evil.  Except Iraq, which was different.

3. Iraq didn't go so badly. Considering how lousy its government is, the place is better off with so many people having…

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Added by David Swanson on February 21, 2012 at 12:55am — No Comments

The Election We Should Be Following

For progressives and populists around the country who take an interest in Congressional races there are always a few good challengers we might hope to send to Washington.  Incumbents, we assume, can take care of themselves. 

But in Northern Ohio, redistricting has thrown two incumbents into one district.  It's a heavily Democratic district created purposely to guarantee a number of other districts to Republicans.  The incumbents are both Democrats, both white, both 65, and many…

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Added by David Swanson on February 8, 2012 at 2:00am — No Comments

The Betrayal of the Nobel Peace Prize

Alfred Nobel's will, written in 1895, left funding for a prize to be awarded to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."  



The first such prize, awarded in 1901, went to Jean Henry Dunant and Frédéric Passy, two men who held and promoted peace congresses, two peace activists, two men who were not elected officials.  Nor were they…

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Added by David Swanson on February 5, 2012 at 1:52am — 8 Comments

Japanese Delegation Want U.S. Out of Okinawa

A 24-member delegation from Japan is in Washington, D.C., this week opposing the presence and new construction of U.S. military bases in Okinawa.  Participating are members of the Japanese House of Councilors, of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, and of city governments in Okinawa, as well as leading protest organizers and the heads of several important organizations opposed to the ongoing U.S. military occupation of Okinawa.



The famously stingy U.S. tax payer, frequently seen…

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Added by David Swanson on January 24, 2012 at 1:24pm — No Comments

War and Being and Nothingness

The best book I've read in a very long time is a new one: "The End of War" by John Horgan. Its conclusions will be vigorously resisted by many and yet, in a certain light, considered perfectly obvious to some others. The central conclusion -- that ending the institution of war is entirely up to us to choose -- was, arguably, reached by (among many others before and since) John Paul Sartre sitting in a café utilizing exactly no research.

Horgan is a writer for "Scientific American,"…

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Added by David Swanson on January 21, 2012 at 2:30am — No Comments

Charlottesville, Va., City Council Passes Resolution Against Attacking Iran

The City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, home of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and the University of Virginia, passed on Tuesday evening, January 17, 2012, a resolution believed to be a first in the country, opposing the launching of a war on Iran, as well as calling for an end to current ground and drone wars engaged in by the United States and urging Congress and the President of the United States to significantly reduce military spending.  Below is the text of the resolution,…

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Added by David Swanson on January 17, 2012 at 10:26pm — No Comments

What We Owe to Bertha von Suttner

Just saying her name sounds like a joke: Baroness Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von Suttner, Gräfin, née Countess Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. And when she began talking about ending war in mid-nineteenth century Austria it wasn't her name that was treated as a joke. Yet by the turn of the century, her idea seemed to be one whose time had come.

Bertha von Suttner's novel "Ground Arms," or "Lay Down Your Arms," was widely described as the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of war abolition. It…

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Added by David Swanson on January 11, 2012 at 10:47pm — No Comments

Prospects for Peace on Earth

This time of year is ideal for reflecting on the miracle of Christmas 1914, that famous temporary truce and friendship between opposing sides in the midst of a war. Here was a new type of slaughter confronted with a new type of humanism, the leading edges of two opposing trends.

An op-ed in the New York Times last week by…

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Added by David Swanson on December 22, 2011 at 12:31pm — 1 Comment

Set Your Doomsday Clock to 11:51

The National Defense Authorization Act is not a leap from democracy to tyranny, but it is another major step on a steady and accelerating decade-long march toward a police state. The doomsday clock of our republic just got noticeably closer to midnight, and the fact that almost nobody knows it, simply moves that fatal minute-hand a bit further still.

I'm not referring to the “doomsday”…

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Added by David Swanson on December 16, 2011 at 2:06pm — 1 Comment

What to Replace the Imprison-Americans Bill With

The funny thing about the bill that the Senate just passed that lets presidents and the military lock you up without a charge or a trial — well, not funny ha ha but funny unusual — is that the basic bill to which that little monstrosity was attached is even worse. It's a bill to dump over $650 billion into wars and aggressive weaponry, continue the slaughter in Afghanistan, ramp up the creation and use of drones, and expand U.S. military bases around the globe.

When these bills move…

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Added by David Swanson on December 4, 2011 at 1:28am — No Comments

Bruce Levine Interviews David Swanson on When the World Outlawed War

For those who know war only through television, criminalizing it sounds like proposing to…
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Added by David Swanson on November 26, 2011 at 8:55am — No Comments

One Veteran's Rough Path to Peace

Not yet 30, Evan Knappenberger has already lived several lives.  His story destroys the U.S. government's case against whistleblower Bradley Manning, exposes the toxic mix of fraud and incompetence that creates U.S. war policies, and highlights the damage so often done to soldiers who come home without visible injuries.

Knappenberger, seen in this video, was trained as an "intelligence analyst" at the U.S. Army's Intelligence…

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Added by David Swanson on November 15, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Fahrenheit 11-11-11

Believe it or not, November 11th was not made a holiday in order to celebrate war, support troops, or cheer the 11th year of occupying Afghanistan.  This day was made a holiday in order to celebrate an armistice that ended what was up until that point, in 1918, one of the worst things our species had thus far done to itself, namely World War I.

World War I, then known simply as the world war or the great war, had been marketed as a war to end war.  Celebrating…

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Added by David Swanson on November 8, 2011 at 8:55am — No Comments

Imagine If War Were Illegal — It Is!

A Forgotten Law We Need

When the World Outlawed War Graphic

In January 1929 the U.S. Senate ratified by a vote of 85 to 1 a treaty that is still on the books, still upheld by most of the world, still listed on the U.S. State Department's website -- a treaty that under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme law of the land."



This treaty, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, bans all war.  Bad wars…

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Added by David Swanson on November 7, 2011 at 12:27am — 6 Comments

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