davidswanson's blog

Feb
03

No, Trump Did Not Make a Mistake in Yemen

Tag: Peace and War

I gather these are the features people have concerns about in the recent U.S. raid in Yemen.

1. It was fought on the ground rather than from the air.

2. An American died.

3. The American was a Navy SEAL Team 6 member, more valuable than other Americans.

4. Trump approved it instead of Obama.

5. Trump didn't have "proper" "intelligence."

6. Trump had the wrong accomplices in the room.

7. Trump wasn't in the room.

8. The U.S. hasn't declared war against Yemen.

9. Trump, who is legally responsible for this crime, sounds like an intoxicated idiot.

10. Last and certainly least, a bit too many children and women were killed.

May I respectfully request everyone pushing these ideas to stick a "Make America Great Again" hat in their mouth and eat it?

What in the hell is the matter with you people?

War is a crime. War is murder. Murder is a crime. What if Trump were articulate? What if he had the right damn intelligence, as Obama supposedly did during the past 8 years of murdering men, women, and children? If you bomb them from on high are they less murdered than if you do it from the ground? How many dead foreigners are worth one American? or one member of the criminal enterprise called Navy SEAL Team 6? The United States hasn't declared war since 1941. Every war is criminal under Kellogg-Briand and under the United Nations Charter. Every murder of every human being in a war, regardless of age or gender, is an immoral and criminal murder.

Are you the same people who are starting to care about refugees from U.S. wars? Are you utterly incapable of caring about ending the wars that create the refugees by killing their loved ones?

I'm sure the sheets are comfortable, but as you sleep actual monsters are approaching your bed. Please, please, please -- PLEASE -- wake the fuck up!

Jan
31

Talk Nation Radio: U.S. Mass Incarceration, Police Militarization, and Crimes Against Palestinians

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-us-mass-incarceration-police-militarization-and-crimes-against-palestinians

Two guests this week: Jeff Fogel and Ntebo Mokuena.

 

Jeff Fogel is a candidate for Commonwealth's Attorney here in Charlottesville, Virginia. After graduating from Rutgers School of Law in 1969, Jeff received a fellowship to work providing legal services to indigent residents in Newark, New Jersey.  After several years, he left that position to become a highly touted criminal defense lawyer.  Recognizing that he was limited in impact by representing one criminal defendant at a time, Jeff moved into a civil rights practice with the hope of having an impact on the criminal justice system while preserving the constitutional rights of everyone.  Jeff has practiced in NJ, NY, PR and, for the last 10 years, Virginia. He has been the executive and legal director of the ACLU of New Jersey and the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights while teaching civil rights, civil liberties and trial practice at Rutgers and NYU School of Law. See http://fogelforcca.us

 

 

Ntebo Mokuena is a senior at American University and is majoring in Political Science with a gender, race,  and politics concentration along with a minor in Art History and a certificate in Women, Policy, and Political Leadership. She was born and raised in the DC area and on campus is involved with Students for Justice in Palestine, which is a decentralized student group that supports the BDS movement and self determination of Palestinians. The group is part of the Community Action and Social Justice coalition. See https://m.facebook.com/AmericanSJP/

 

Useful links with regards to Israel-U.S. police exchange programs:

http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/enforcement-training-terrorism

https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/report-israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel/

https://electronicintifada.net/content/police-training-programs-twin-us-israeli-racism/9834

https://www.kravmaga.com/programs/law-enforcement-military/force-training-division-law-enforcement

 

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete athttp://TalkNationRadio.org

and athttps://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Jan
31

The Next Step in Caring

Tag: Peace and War, Political Ideas

Airport resistance is the biggest step forward by the U.S. public in years.

Why do I say that? Because this is unfunded, largely unpartisan activism that is largely selfless, largely focused on helping unknown strangers, driven by compassion and love, not political ideology, greed, or vengeance, and in line with activism around the globe. It's also targeted at the location of the harm, directly resisting the injustice, and achieving immediate partial successes, including very meaningful successes for certain individuals. It's gaining support from people never before engaged in any activism. And it shows no signs of any significant undesirable side-effects. This is a movement to be built on, and I have an idea what a next step should be.

Jan
30

Open Letter to Donald Trump: End U.S. War in Afghanistan

Tag: Peace and War

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is well into its 16th year. In 2014 President Obama declared it over, but it will remain a political, financial, security, legal, and moral problem unless you actually end it.

The U.S. military now has approximately 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan , plus 6,000 other NATO troops, 1,000 mercenaries, and another 26,000 contractors (of whom about 8,000 are from the United States). That's 41,000 people engaged in a foreign occupation of a country 15 years after the accomplishment of their stated mission to overthrow the Taliban government.

During each of the past 15 years, our government in Washington has informed us that success was imminent. During each of the past 15 years, Afghanistan has continued its descent into poverty, violence, environmental degradation, and instability. The withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops would send a signal to the world, and to the people of Afghanistan, that the time has come to try a different approach, something other than more troops and weaponry.

The ambassador from the U.S.-brokered and funded Afghan Unity government has reportedly told you that maintaining U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is "as urgent as it was on Sept. 11, 2001." There's no reason to believe he won't tell you that for the next four years, even though John Kerry tells us “Afghanistan now has a well-trained armed force ...meeting the challenge posed by the Taliban and other terrorists groups.” But involvement need not take its current form.  

The United States is spending $4 million an hour on planes, drones, bombs, guns, and over-priced contractors in a country that needs food and agricultural equipment, much of which could be provided by U.S. businesses. Thus far, the United States has spent an outrageous $783 billion with virtually nothing to show for it except the death of thousands of U.S. soldiers , and the death, injury and displacement of millions of Afghans. The Afghanistan War has been and will continue to be, as long as it lasts, a steady source of scandalous stories of fraud and waste. Even as an investment in the U.S. economy this war has been a bust.

But the war has had a substantial impact on our security: it has endangered us. Before Faisal Shahzad tried to blow up a car in Times Square, he had tried to join the war against the United States in Afghanistan. In numerous other incidents, terrorists targeting the United States have stated their motives as including revenge for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, along with other U.S. wars in the region. There is no reason to imagine this will change.

In addition, Afghanistan is the one nation where the United States is engaged in major warfare with a country that is a member of the International Criminal Court. That body has now announced that it is investigating possible prosecutions for U.S. crimes in Afghanistan. Over the past 15 years, we have been treated to an almost routine repetition of scandals: hunting children from helicopters, blowing up hospitals with drones, urinating on corpses -- all fueling anti-U.S. propaganda, all brutalizing and shaming the United States.

Ordering young American men and women into a kill-or-die mission that was accomplished 15 years ago is a lot to ask. Expecting them to believe in that mission is too much. That fact may help explain this one: the top killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is suicide. The second highest killer of American military is green on blue, or the Afghan youth who the U.S. is training are turning their weapons on their trainers! You yourself recognized this, saying: "Let's get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghans we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA."

The withdrawal of U.S. troops would also be good for the Afghan people, as the presence of foreign soldiers has been an obstacle to peace talks. The Afghans themselves have to determine their future, and will only be able to do so once there is an end to foreign intervention.

We urge you to turn the page on this catastrophic military intervention. Bring all U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. Cease U.S. airstrikes and instead, for a fraction of the cost, help the Afghans with food, shelter, and agricultural equipment.

SIGNED BY:Elliott Adams, Veterans For PeaceDeborah K. Andresen, Tackling Torture at the TopRita Archibald, Nonviolence TrainerJudy Bello, Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the WarsMedea Benjamin, Code PinkFred BiallyBarry Binks, Veterans for Peace Ch. 87, Occupy BealeToby Blome', Code PinkAlison Bodine, Mobilization Against War and OccupationLeah Bolger, World Beyond WarJohn Calder, Veterans for Peace Ch. 69Kathleen Christison, Author, Veterans for PeaceRamsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney GeneralHelena Cobban, Just World BooksDavid Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential NomineeJeff Cohen, RootsAction.orgGerry Condon,Veterans for Peace National Board of DirectorsMary Crosby, Roman Catholic Women PriestsJames Eilers, Code Pink AuxiliaryMichael Eisenscher, U.S. Labor Against the WarMelissa Crosby, Black Lives MatterNicolas J S Davies, authorMary Dean, World Beyond WarThomas Dickinson, Tackling Torture at the Top, Women Against Military MadnessJennifer DiZio, UC BerkeleyMaria Eitz, Roman Catholic Women PriestsDaniel Ellsberg, whistleblowerJodie Evans, Code PinkJoseph J. Fahey, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of PeaceRobert Fantina, World Beyond WarBill Fletcher Jr., BlackCommentator.comMargaret Flowers, Popular ResistanceGlen Ford, Black Agenda ReportBruce K. Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in SpaceJohan Galtung, Founder Trancend InterntionalLindsey German, Stop the War Coalition UKThe Rev. Dr. Diana C. Gibson, Multifaith Voices for Peace & JusticeMichael Goldstein, The 99 PercentKevin Gosztola, Shadowproof.comWill Griffin, The Peace ReportPatty Guerrero, Tackling Torture at the Top, Women Against  Military Madness, Pax-SalonBishop Thomas Gumbleton, Catholic Archdiocese of DetroitAmith Gupta, student, NYU School of LawBill Habedank, Veterans For Peace Ch. 115Steve Harms, Peace Lutheran Church, Past-President Interfaith Council of Contra Costa CountyDavid Hartsough, PeaceworkersJan Hartsough, San Francisco Friends MeetingHayley Hathaway, Quaker Earthcare WitnessDud Hendrick, Veterans for PeaceAdam Hochschild, authorMatthew Hoh, former director of Afghanistan Study GroupMartha Hubert, Code Pink San FranciscoAaron Hughes, Iraq Veterans Against the WarTony Jenkins, World Beyond WarSonja Johnson, Women Against Military MadnessKathy Kelly, Voices For Creative NonviolenceGary W. King, Tackling Torture at the Top, Women Against Military MadnessJohn Kiriakou, former Central Intelligence agency officerDennis Kucinich, former Member of United States CongressPeter Kuznick, Professor of History, American UniversityBarry Ladendorf, Veterans For Peace President Board of DirectorsPaul Leuenberger, Veterans for PeaceDave Lindorff, This Can't Be HappeningDave Logsdon, Veterans For Peace Ch. 27Richard Lord, Charlottesville Center for Peace and JusticeDouglas Mackey, Global Days of ListeningJody Mackey, New Traditions Fair TradeMike Madden, Veterans For Peace Ch. 27Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace LaureateBen Manski, Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic RevolutionStephen Matchett, AVP Trainer, San Francisco Friends MeetingSherri Maurin, Campaign Nonviolence, Associate Veterans for Peace Ch. 69Ken Mayers, Veterans for PeaceRay McGovern, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for SanityCynthia McKinney, former member of United States CongressStephen McNeil, American Friends Service CommitteeMichael T. McPhearson, Veterans For Peace Executive DirectorTom Morman, Nonviolence Coalition San JoseNick Mottern, Knowdrones.comElizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, NICMichael Nagler, Metta Center for Nonviolence Founder and PresidentCarroll Nast, Veterans for Peace Ch. 122Agneta Norberg, Swedish Peace CouncilCathe Norman, Veterans for Peace AssociateTom Norman, Veterans for Peace Ch. 60Todd E. Pierce, JA, MAJ, USA (Ret.)Gareth Porter, journalist, authorPancho Francisco Ramos-Stierle, Casa de Paz, Canticle FarmJohn C. Reiger, Veterans For PeaceDenny Riley, Veterans For Peace Chapter 69Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and legal counselMike Rufo, MusicianJudith Sandoval, Veterans for Peace Ch. 69Bill Schwab, Americans for JusticeJulie Searle, EducatorMichael Shaughnessy, educatorCindy Sheehan, peace activistEva Sivill, Casa de Paz, Canticle FarmAlice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace FoundationGar Smith, Environmentalists Against WarDavid Solnit, Global Organizer, Writer, PuppeteerNorman Solomon, RootsAction.orgMelvin Starks, Unitarian Universalist ChurchJill Stein, 2016 Green Party presidential candidateDavid Swanson, World Beyond WarShelley Tannenbaum, Quaker Earthcare WitnessBrian Terrell, Voices for Creative NonviolenceTiffany Tool, Nonviolent PeaceforceChip Tucker, Charlottesville Friends MeetingLouie J. Vitale, OFM, Pace e Bene, Nevada Desert ExperienceZohreh Whitaker, Veterans for Peace, Peace ActionPhil Wilayto, the Virginia DefenderAnn Wright, retired U.S. Army colonelKevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

(organizations above for identification)

ALSO SIGNED BY:

Creating a Culture of PeaceMobilization Against War and Occupation, Vancouver CanadaPopular ResistanceVeterans For PeaceVoices for Creative NonviolenceWorld Beyond War

ADD YOUR NAME.

Jan
29

War and Peace in Trump Time: A World Beyond Arlington

Tag: Peace and War

Remarks in Arlington, Va., January 29, 2017

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Thank you for inviting me. Thank you to Archer Heinzen for setting this up. Of course I wouldn't have come had I known UVA's basketball team would be playing Villanova at 1 o'clock. I'm kidding, but I'll catch it on the radio or watch the replay without the commercials. And when I do I can guarantee only this: the announcer will thank U.S. troops for watching from 175 countries, and nobody will wonder whether 174 wouldn't be just about enough.

I wish I could also guarantee that UVA will win, but this is where sports monkeys around with rational thinking. I don't actually have any say over whether UVA wins. So I can turn my wish into a prediction "We will win" and then declare that "we" won as if I'd been involved. Or let's say that UVA blows it. Then I can remark that "we" decided to keep London Perrantes in the game even though he had a sprained wrist and the flu and had just lost one leg in a car accident, even though the obvious fact is that were I really the coach I would never have done that, just as -- if I fully controlled the U.S. government -- I wouldn't actually spend a trillion dollars a year on war preparations.

Jan
28

Does Rachel Maddow Want Russia Bombed?

Tag: Media, Peace and War

Here's why I ask. Maddow devotes many minutes on MSNBC stirring up hatred of Russia in order to establish that there is a vague possibility that President Donald Trump might be corrupted by a foreign government.

But that's already established beyond any doubt. China's state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest tenant in Trump Tower. It is also a major lender to Trump. Its rent payments and its loans put Trump in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Every building approval, extension of credit, tax break, subsidy, or waiver of normal rules that Trump's businesses get from numerous foreign governments, state governments, and the U.S. government define him as quintessentially impeachable.

So, if the point is just to document corruption by Trump, why reach and stretch for a speculative possibility, when you've got a solid case sitting in your lap?

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Jan
27

David Swanson: Imagine Impeachment!

Tag: Impeachment
Exclusive to OpEdNews:General News 1/27/2017 at 18:35:57 By           Permalink

 

  opednews.com     Senior Editor Become a Fan  (83 fans)

  David Swanson

My guest today is blogger, peace activist activist, author, David Swanson.

Joan Brunwasser: Welcome back to OpEdNews, David. We last spoke a few weeks before the election. I just read your new piece, Why Impeach Donald Trump? When you posted this, the guy had been in office two days. He clearly isn't widely liked but aren't you jumping the gun a bit?

David Swanson: Speaking for myself and not for colleagues or organizations, much less George Soros from whom I've never received a dime ever (though apparently connecting him to some activist campaign serves some people as a refutation of its demands), I'd say we waited much too long. Some impeachable offenses were guaranteed on Day 1, but we didn't have to wait until Day 1 to know that. Under the Constitution, the president is not allowed financial gains or business favors from the U.S., state, or foreign governments.

Trump's lease of the Old Post Office Building violates an explicit clause in the General Services Administration lease contract. Since 1980, Trump and his businesses have brought in $885 million in tax breaks, grants and other subsidies from New York State. China's state-owned bank is the largest tenant in Trump Tower. It is also a major lender to Trump. These are a few examples of many.

Now, days later, Trump has discriminated against Muslims in a new way with his ban on immigration from certain countries. And he's carried on the outrages of his predecessors with drone murders, bombing campaigns, and occupations. He's even apparently threatened to send troops into Chicago. So, I think the impeachable offenses are beginning to pile up.

Jan
25

Be Glad the White House Comment Line Is Closed

Tag: Political Ideas

The White House comment phone line directs people to kindly go away and think about what losers they are. Oops, sorry, I mean it directs people not to leave any comments. Instead it says to use a White House web form or to send a message through a White House Facebook account (which has no messaging capability). I'm not inclined to use the web form, because I doubt anyone reads it and I'd rather not be added to a White House email list.

If I'm going to publish a comment to the White House elsewhere, maybe I'll submit it through their website form too. But what I need is a place to post my comments publicly and then tweet them @POTUS.

So I've created http://commentstotrump.org Anybody can post any comment to Trump there that they like. It's public and uncensored. Using it does not put you on any email list or provide your information to anyone. It's just an automated website that displays comments as they come in. All I expect to do is perhaps create more categories for the comments as new topics arise.

Here's a taste of what people have posted there, for Trump, thus far:

Please do not repeal the affordable health care act before replacing it with something even better. It should be something that is similar to what other advanced countries have, namely Universal Healthcare system.

Stop Obama's policy of drone murder.

Do not continue it, please.

Drones make us judge, jury and executioner.

No one, NO ONE is advocating for abortion.  No one celebrates them.  The issue is just this:  whose body do YOU have the right to control?  Your own.  Well, my body is mine and I have the right to control it.  Even if some monstrous male rapes and impregnates me.  When I am eleven years old.  What I do in such a case is not in your power to decide.  

If the right to decide when/if pregnancy is to occur belongs to both parents (man and woman in most cases), then the right to terminate a forced pregnancy or one that endangers the life of the mother belongs to the person doing the carrying.  Not to the beast who impregnated her.

To think otherwise is to put the welfare of the molester before that of the victim.  And if you can concede in this one case, then a total ban on abortion is illogical.

I wish you ONE pregnancy to enlarge your understanding of this most sacred responsibility.  I love my children with all my being but were your sperm in my uterus making one more child I assure you I would jump down a flight of stairs rather than bring your offspring to term.  You are an offense to your gender and your lack of understanding or compassion for the act of motherhood is revolting.  May you be ever childless for you have no compassion. 

Purge toxic leadership from the military.  

Donald Trump is absolutely correct:  The Election Was Rigged.  However, he absolutely lied when he said that between 3 and 5 million "illegals" cast votes in the election.  The election was "rigged" because of the many states which have passed laws designed to restrict voter access -- primarily aimed at the poor and people of color.  The election was "rigged" by the use of "cross-check" which inappropriately removed properly registered voters from the roles [see Greg Palast's most recent book].  The election was possibly "rigged" by the use of voting machines whose software is proprietary and not available for review.

Overt lying by the President for the sole purpose of self-agrandizement, lying which places into question a major hallmark of a democratic society, should be sufficient to label this narcisistic psychopathic con artist as unfit for office.

Nominate an Educator for Secretary of Education

Not a billionaire contributor who has not attended, and whose children have not attended, public schools. 

Shut down firing ranges and marksmanship programs affiliated with JROTC programs in the nation's high schools.  

Not too sure this is a good idea to go ahead with this project at this time, considering the controversy over it, at the present time, in North Dakota. We have plenty of oil. In fact, we are awash in the stuff at the present time. In order to keep a modicum of peace, put it on the shelf, for now, and maybe consider it some time down the road, if oil is needed.

OMG! The Keystone and DAPL pipelines are the last things we need if the earth is to survive climate change. The fossils need to stay in the ground. Reverse this terrible act immediately!

GMO foods are developed to withstand high doses of toxic pesticides, some of which have been linked to cancer.  In order to safeguard the health of Federal workers and to avoid exorbitant  health care costs, the President should sign an executive order mandating that all food purchased by the US Government be GMO free.

How high is the atmosphere? I will give it to you, 60 miles, beyond that is considered outer space. You can't breath above 15,000 feet. That's only about 3 miles . There are how many people breathing and making use of available energy sources? 

I'm sure you can do even better. Have at it: http://commentstotrump.org

Jan
24

Talk Nation Radio: Sarah Van Gelder on The Revolution Where You Live

Tag: Political Ideas, Talk Nation Radio

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-sarah-van-gelder-on-the-revolution-where-you-live

As co-founder and executive director of Yes! Magazine, Sarah van Gelder leads the framing and development of each issue of Yes! and writes a column introducing each issue. Sarah blogs at Yes! and Huffington Post, writes articles and does interviews for Yes! Magazine, and speaks on leading-edge innovations that show that another world is not only possible, it is being created. Her new book is called The Revolution Where You Live: Stories From a 12,000-Mile Journey Through a New America.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete athttp://TalkNationRadio.org

and athttps://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Jan
24

The War Horror Has Begun

Tag: Peace and War

Here we are on Day 5 of the Donald Trump presidency, and he's got "special" forces of the U.S. military in two-thirds of the world's nations. He's engaged in serious occupation and/or bombing campaigns in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. He just sent malicious robot airplanes armed with missiles to blow to pieces a bunch of vaguely-identified but never indicted "criminals" in Yemen. Their body parts were widely scattered and their loved ones devastated. The injured writhed in agony.

We made it through a presidential campaign in which a debate moderator asked if a candidate would be willing to kill thousands of innocent children, and in which Donald Trump promised to "kill their families" and "steal their oil." And here we are on Trump's very first Terror Tuesday, and he's already in possession of the most expensive and extensive military machine ever seen on earth. His speed is remarkable. Already he has troops in 175 nations (and announcers are thanking them for watching sporting events as if it were all just normal).

World Beyond War

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War Is A Crime

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There Is No Way To Peace

Peace is the way.

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