Hillary Clinton, a Democratic presidential hopeful, speaks during a rally in New York, April 18, 2016. The corporate media has drawn very little attention to US wars and military intervention abroad during the 2016 presidential primary campaign. (Photo: Sam Hodgson / The New York Times)
Apr
24

My Interview at Truthout.org -- David Swanson: US Wars Are Not Waged Out of Generosity or for Democracy

Tag: Peace and War

Go HERE.

By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally in New York, April 18, 2016. Corporate media have drawn very little attention to US wars and military intervention abroad during the 2016 presidential primary campaign. (Photo: Sam Hodgson / The New York Times)

Why do we seem to be trapped in an endless cycle of war, with each new military adventure promised to be different than the last? David Swanson's War Is a Lie takes apart and thoroughly refutes every major argument that has been used to justify wars, especially those wars most widely trumpeted as just and good. Order the new edition of this vital antiwar handbook by making a donation to Truthout today!

In this interview, David Swanson, author of War Is a Lie, counters the theory that war is an inevitable part of human nature, says the antiwar movement is larger than the dominant media suggest and shares the view that wars are fought primarily for money and markets.

Mark Karlin: How do you respond to people who say that war is due to human hard-wiring that goes back to battling clans of cave people over territory and resources?

David Swanson: Thanks for the terrific questions. At least 90 percent of humanity is represented by governments that wage war much less than the US government. Over 99 percent of people in the United States are not in the military. There is not a single case of PTSD from war deprivation. The largest cause of death in members of the US military is suicide. So you can try to claim that hunter-gatherers waged wars despite the lack of evidence, or that chimpanzees wage wars despite the lack of either evidence or relevance. But the very claim that humans all wage war is ridiculous on its face. The notion that it comes naturally to them is a horrible joke, given the damage it inflicts even on drastically better-armed aggressors who kill even from the safety of a drone base thousands of miles from their victims. If someone thinks war comes naturally, I would suggest, respectfully, that they should try sexual abstinence, starvation or eating feces.

Stop Bombing Syria 4ad41
Apr
24

Their Mouths Are Moving, or How Can You Tell a Politician Is Lying About War?

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Someone asked me to find war lies during the past few years. Perhaps they had in mind the humanitarian pretenses around attacking Libya in 2011 and Iraq in 2014, or the false claims about chemical weapons in 2013, or the lies about an airplane in Ukraine or the endlessly reported Russian invasions of Ukraine. Maybe they were thinking of the "ISIS Is In Brooklyn" headlines or the routine false claims about the identities of drone victims or the supposedly imminent victory in Afghanistan or in one of the other wars. The lies seem far too numerous for me to fit into an essay, though I've tried many times, and they are layered over a bedrock of more general lies about what works, what is legal, and what is moral. Just a Prince Tribute selection of lies could include Qadaffi's viagra for the troops and CNN's sex-toys flag as evidence of ISIS in Europe. It's hard to scrape the surface of all U.S. war lies in something less than a book, which is why I wrote a book.

So, I replied that I would look for war lies just in 2016. But that was way too big as well, of course. I once tried to find all the lies in one speech by Obama and ended up just writing about the top 45. So, I've taken a glance at two of the most recent speeches on the White House website, one by Obama and one by Susan Rice. I think they provide ample evidence of how we're being lied to.

In an April 13th speech to the CIA, President Barack Obama declared, "One of my main messages today is that destroying ISIL continues to be my top priority." The next day, in a speech to the U.S. Air Force Academy, National Security Advisor Susan Rice repeated the claim: "This evening, I’d like to focus on one threat in particular—the threat at the very top of President Obama’s agenda—and that is ISIL." And here's Senator Bernie Sanders during the recent presidential primary debate in Brooklyn, N.Y.: "Right now our fight is to destroy ISIS first, and to get rid of Assad second."

Apr
21

Fear of ISIS Used to Justify Continued Military Intervention in Middle East

Tag: Peace and War, War Is A Lie

By David Swanson, Just World Books | Book Excerpt

Why was the US public willing to tolerate new US war-making in Iraq and Syria in 2014–2015, after having opposed it in 2013? This time the advertised enemy was not the Syrian government, but terrorists scarier than al Qaeda, called ISIS. And ISIS was shown to be cutting the throats of Americans on videos. And something switched off in people's brains and they stopped thinking -- with a few exceptions. A few journalists pointed out that the Iraqi government bombing Iraqi Sunnis was in fact driving the latter to support ISIS. As if to hammer this point home, ISIS produced a 60-minute movie depicting itself as the leading enemy of the United States and virtually begging the United States to attack it. (When the United States did attack, recruitment soared, just as ISIS had expected.) Even Newsweek published a clear-eyed warning that ISIS would not last long unless the United States saved it by bombing it. Matthew Hoh warned that the beheadings were bait not to be taken. And of course I shouted the warnings of this book everywhere I could. But the US government and much of the public took the bait.

READ THE REST AT Truthout.org.

saudi obama 8fbf2
Apr
19

Sue Saudi for 9/11 and U.S. for all its wars

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry say that allowing family members of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its complicity in that crime would set a terrible precedent that would open the United States up to lawsuits from abroad.

Wonderful! Let the lawsuits rain down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream!

Apr
19

Talk Nation Radio: John Hanrahan on Avaaz's Warmongering

Tag: Peace and War, Political Ideas, Talk Nation Radio

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-john-hanrahan-on-avaazs-warmongering

John Hanrahan, currently on the editorial board of ExposeFacts, is a former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism and reporter for  The Washington Post, The Washington Star, UPI and other news organizations. He also has extensive experience as a legal investigator. Hanrahan is the author of Government by Contract and co-author of Lost Frontier: The Marketing of Alaska. He has written extensively for NiemanWatchdog.org, a project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

We discuss these articles by Hanrahan at Truthout.org:

As in Libya, Avaaz Campaigned for Syria No-Fly Zone That Even Top Generals Opposed

***

Avaaz Ignored Libya Lessons When Advocating for Syria No-Fly Zone

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.Producer: David Swanson.Music by Duke Ellington.

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Apr
19

Guinness Book of Warmongering

Tag: Peace and War

My son left a 2015 Guinness Book of World Records lying around. It's largely a mix of athletic feats, extravagant spending, freakish body conditions and diseases, and people who do dumb stuff in order to get into the book. It also features two sections focused on mass-murder. One celebrates the technology used to kill people. In that section, the United States is featured almost exclusively. The other section looks more at the wars, killing, and dying. In that section, the United States could not be avoided, but every effort was made.

Starting with the celebration of the tools of death, Guinness chooses to include these awards for the United States of America:

Apr
18

The Really Strangest Dream

Tag: Peace and War

Watch the video:

What in the world is he singing about? This: http://davidswanson.org/outlawry

Apr
17

What's the Truth Hidden by the "Super Predators" Lie?

Tag: Civil Rights, Prison Industry, Race Relations

The desire to punish for the joy of punishing, for revenge, or for racist or sadistic domination has always had certain difficulties hiding behind the pretense of punishing for protection from danger. Creating fear of (young, black, male) "super predators" was a propaganda tactic for politicians like Hillary Clinton that bore some similarity to the efforts by politicians like Hillary Clinton to create fear of Iraqi weapons that didn't exist. The latter was meant to hide U.S. aggression toward Iraq. The former was meant to hide mad, raging punitive vindictiveness that sought to put lots of people in cages for lots of time regardless of the damage done.

One of the difficulties that pretending to punish people for public safety has in hiding real motives for mass incarceration is that the people whom the punishers most want to lock up for the longest time (or execute) are generally the least likely people to commit another crime (even if guilty of the first one). A 2009 study cited in the remarkable new book, Boy With a Knife, found that those who had been incarcerated for homicide were the very least likely to commit any kind of crime. In California in 2011 almost 49% of prisoners released later returned to prison for new criminal convictions, but that figure was less than 1% for those released who had been convicted of murder.

Apr
14

The Catholic Church is Now More Advanced Than U.S. Philosophy Departments

Tag: Peace and War, Philosophy

It ought to be with considerable embarrassment that I say this, as an atheist who thinks religion does far more harm than good, and that it does so not only through the pretense that death isn't real but first and foremost through the promotion of blind obedience to supposedly infallible authority. Yet, I don't feel any sort of group loyalty or opposition to the parties involved here, and I'm actually entirely thrilled to recognize the good news that the Catholic Church has now surged far ahead of U.S. academia in the basic measure of opposition to institutionalized mass murder.

The Catholic Church has a great deal to answer for over the centuries, from the dehumanization of much of humanity to the normalization of "collateral damage." The idea of a "just war" has been propped up by flimsy arguments for many, many years, leaning on the notion of divine sanction. But the current Pope has had enough of it. He's just held a conference in Rome on rejecting any further use of "just war" sophism to prop up mass killing. Not long back he told the United States Congress to end the bloody arms trade. He understands the connection between war waging and arms dealing. Once we admit that all war is evil, we can reject as evil the enormous business U.S. corporations do in providing much of the weaponry. As long as we pretend that some wars are good ones, the industrial complex that arms the wars and in large part produces the wars can roll on.

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