War Is A Lie

Related to 2010 publication "War Is A Lie"

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Tag: War Is A Lie

 Peace and counter-recruitment groups, libraries, coffee houses, and schools are distributing copies of War Is A Lie where they can do the most good.  And an admirer of the book is sending copies to every member of Congress and other decision makers.  You can fund this project!

Donate $50 or more and get your choice of a free audio book, Epub, kindle, or PDF.


Planet Green Takes on Planetary War: Mickey Z. Interviews David Swanson

Tag: War Is A Lie

By Mickey Z., Planet Green

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David Swanson, blogger and author of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, has a compelling and timely new book out called War is a Lie. A thorough refutation of every major argument used to justify wars, Swanson calls War is a Lie "a handbook of sorts, a manual to be used in debunking future lies before future wars have a chance to begin."

Rob Kall of OpEd News, goes further, calling Swanson's latest, "an intellectual accomplishment that lays out the truths about war and the lies that support in a way that every peace activist, every anti-war organization and group must digest and frankly, use as the tools to take the arguments against war to a new more effective level."

I recently spoke with David Swanson about his book and related issues. Our conversation is below.

WATCH VIDEO: Somehow, the good guys are now called "terrorists"


David Swanson on War and Peace


My Conversation With David Swanson

Planet Green: What is it about the way war is portrayed in mainstream culture that led you to write this book?

David Swanson: War is portrayed as good and glorious, as a crusade against the gravest dangers, as something that makes us safer rather than increasing our risk, as defensive rather than aggressive, as humanitarian and a question of our responsibility to the people we are terrorizing whether they want us in their countries or not, and as unavoidable. If war lies are exposed, they are treated as an exception. If one war is viewed as a mistake, it is as a mistake rather than a crime, and as an exception rather than the norm. I was tired of the Iraq War being treated as somehow unique when all wars are based on lies, and when authors like you have documented the lies told about World War II, the single most glorified and defended war.

PG: Has anything substantial changed about war-related propaganda in this post-9/11 world?

DS: There are always variations on the themes that have supported wars for 10,000 years or so. The threat of the Soviet Union or communism was, within a dozen years of its elimination, replaced with the threat of al Qaeda or terrorism. I write in the book:  

"Wars against an empire and an ideology would become wars against a small terrorist group and a tactic. The change had some advantages. While the Soviet Union could publicly collapse, a secretive and widely dispersed collection of terrorist cells to which we could apply the name al Qaeda could never be proven to have gone away. An ideology could fall out of favor, but anywhere we fought wars or imposed unwelcome control, people would fight back, and their fighting would be 'terrorism' because it was directed against us. This was a new justification for never-ending war. But the motivation was the war, not the crusade to eliminate terrorism which crusade would, of course, produce more terrorism. The motivation was U.S. control over areas of 'vital interest,' namely profitable natural resources and markets and strategic positions for military bases from which to extend power over yet more resources and markets, and from which to deny any imaginable 'rivals' anything resembling 'American self-confidence.' This is, of course, aided and abetted by the motivations of those who profit financially from the war making itself."

PG: For many of the more mainstream readers, your Table of Contents alone is a wake-up call:

Wars Are Not Fought Against Evil Wars Are Not Launched in Defense Wars Are Not Waged Out of Generosity Wars Are Not Unavoidable Warriors Are Not Heroes War Makers Do Not Have Noble Motives Wars Are Not Prolonged for the Good of Soldiers Wars Are Not Fought on Battlefields Wars Are Not Won, and Are Not Ended By Enlarging Them War News Does Not Come From Disinterested Observers War Does Not Bring Security and Is Not Sustainable Wars Are Not Legal Wars Cannot Be Both Planned and Avoided War Is Over If You Want It

DS: I intend through the course of this argument to demonstrate that all of the claims used to launch specific wars are false, and all of the beliefs that support the war economy and dangerous presidential war powers are based on fundamental lies. Not only were specific documented lies used to launch each war the United States has entered, but new lies have been told to keep them going and to defend them after the fact. And the lie that our nation and the world can survive the course we're on, environmentally, economically, or while maintaining representative government, is the largest lie there is. Through the argument of Chapter 4 against the inevitability of war, and through the proposals in Chapter 14 for a different approach to foreign relations, I intend to suggest that another world is possible and that seeing through deeply entrenched lies can help us get there—lies of the sort that allow us to utter such phrases as "military aid" or "department of defense" or "preemptive war."

PG: Absolutely another world is possible—a world in which the War Department being renamed the Department of Defense would be greeted with derision and outrage. But—and here’s the one million taxpayer dollars per minute question—how do we wean the public off its addiction to all things military?

DS: As much as I think the public needs enlightenment, I think the blame here goes first to our misrepresentatives in Congress. The public backs wars when they're new, but then turns against them and says they should never have been launched and should be ended. And Congress does not end them. When asked how they would alter the federal budget, a majority of Americans says we should significantly cut the military and invest in useful things. So, one answer is that we need the sort of reforms described in my earlier book, Daybreak, reforms to restrain the corrupting influence of money and party as well as propaganda.

That being said, the goal of my new book is to move people to the point where we don't support wars even when they're new. A little consideration of the past suggests that we've been fooled more than enough times. It's not just the incidents invented, manufactured, or seized upon to initiate wars that are lies. The stories we are told to keep wars going once begun and to whitewash them once they're over, as well as the pretenses that they're over when they are not, are likewise based on lies. A web of long-accepted lies supports the destruction of our economy through diversion of our wealth into wars, into preparation for wars, and into a network of military bases around the globe. The idea that we can survive this war machine environmentally, economically, or with a representative government intact is built on pure lies. And the secret, unaccountable war-making powers established by deeply entrenched lies about what endangers us and what protects us enables the rising threat of small and secret and proxy and even unmanned wars, wars that can be launched without any specific lies required.

PG: What would you like people to do immediately after reading your book?

DS: The easy answer is: buy more copies for your friends and libraries and congress members, and to hand out at recruiting stations; post your comments on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Powell's and my website, and call television producers to tell them about the book. The harder answer is what to do for a longer period. What each person can best do is going to vary with where they are and what they're good at and interested in. Everyone should sign up at my site and join the campaigns at Defund War. We have to push for cuts to the military machine as a key part of the answer to the economic crisis, without letting up on the central moral argument against the evil of war. Beyond that, should you work on counter-recruitment or media, lobbying or nonviolent protest, education or web design? I think it depends on what you find most rewarding, because it all needs to be done.


Helena Cobban Publishes Terrific Review of "War Is A Lie"

Tag: War Is A Lie
By Helena Cobban, Just World News

My neighbor and friend, the antiwar activist David Swanson, recently published a terrific book that takes on, one by one, all the main myths/lies that warmongers use to try to persuade people that wars are effective, moral, and necessary. The book's title 'War is a Lie' is a subtle reference to (and its contents a good complement to) Smedley Butler's 1935 classic study 'War is a Racket'.

Here are some of David's chapter titles:


NYC - Baltimore - DC - "War Is A Lie" Tour

Tag: War Is A Lie

David Swanson to Discuss, Sign Copies of "War Is A Lie" in NYC, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

"David Swanson’s War Is A Lie may be the most comprehensive antiwar statement available in the English language." — Kevin Young

"Not since General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published." — Geoffrey Millard

“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” — Jeff Cohen



Jan. 4 7:00 p.m. McNally Jackson Bookstore, 52 Prince St. (b/t Lafayette & Mulberry), NYC. With Mark Crispin Miller.



Jan. 10 7:00 p.m. Johns Hopkins Barnes & Noble, 3330 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, (410) 662-5850 Cosponsors: Pledge of Resistance Baltimore Chesapeake Citizens Voters for Peace Progressive Democrats of America/Maryland Generations for Peace and Democracy DETAILS and FLYER: http://davidswanson.org/node/2996



Jan. 18 6:30 p.m. Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Streets NW Cosponsors: Chesapeake Citizens CODE PINK Democracy for Montgomery County Democrats.com Global Exchange Marc Steiner Show Montgomery County Progressive Alliance Progressive Democrats of America PDA - Maryland PDA - Virginia WarIsACrime.org Washington Peace Center VFP Prosecute War Criminals Working Group HumaneJustice.org ProsecuteOfficials.org Peace Action Montgomery DETAILS and FLYER: http://davidswanson.org/node/2950


AUDIO: Great Interview by Marianne Barisonek of David Swanson on "War Is A Lie"

Tag: War Is A Lie


David Swanson, author and activist talks about his new book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming A More Perfect Union." The host is Marianne Barisonek.

 Swanson talks about how the office of Presidency has acquired more and more power while Congress neglects its duties. He offers ideas on how we the people can rebalance the political structures.

Powers taken by George Bush will become cemented into place during the Obama administration unless Congress takes action. The aberrations of the Bush years will become norms and now is the time to undo the damage.

Many of the abuses committed by the Bush presidency were given legitimacy by the actions of his predecessor, Bill Clinton. 

Title: David Swanson Interview Length: 54:39 minutes (50.03 MB) Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Ethan McCord Needs Your Help

Tag: War Is A Lie

If our movement for peace and justice is to prevail, we must reward those who join it.  When Wikileaks released a video called Collateral Murder earlier this year, one soldier was seen in the video rescuing injured children from a van that had been attacked by a U.S. helicopter.  That soldier, Ethan McCord, spoke out against the incident of murder and the murderous war.  He and another veteran, Josh Stieber, published an open letter of apology to the people of Iraq.

Last summer peace activists were calling Ethan McCord the bravest man alive, and corporate newspapers were calling him a soldier for peace

Now Ethan McCord cannot pay his bills.  The military doesn't even "support the troops" that keep quiet.  There is little chance of it supporting Ethan.  That's our job.

Do you appreciate what Ethan has done to expose the nature of our wars?  Then please contribute directly to him.  Every penny goes straight to Ethan:



Ethan McCord has also exposed more war crimes and even worse war crimes.

This is the kind of truth-telling that our government and our corporate media do not do.  In fact, the government would like to criminalize it, and the corporate media would like to silence it.  Wikileaks is only able to expose information when whistleblowers are willing to leak information or speak out.  They must be rewarded.


Peace on Earth.


VIDEO: David Swanson, Lila Garrett, Jason Leopold, Brad Friedman - 7 Parts

Tag: War Is A Lie

Los Angeles, Mimi Kennedy's House, David Swanson's "War Is A Lie" Book Tour, December 18, 2010. Sponsored by KPFK. http://warisalie.org Video by Lionel Heredia Editing by Joe Keating

wial baltimore

Tag: Democracy, Flyers, Posters, Postcards, Forms, War Is A Lie
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