Hampton Roads Newspaper Takes on Military Industrial Complex

David Swanson: War is a Lie

Words Jay Ford

War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Hampton Roads is military land.

Half of the Hampton Roads economy is defense related. Given the fact that the armed services permeate this region to its very core, you would think that discussions on the propriety of our military’s actions would be plentiful.

However, we see just the opposite here. Stickers that read “Give war a chance” or “I love jet noise” thrive in Hampton Roads, which comes as no surprise as the military built this region. Something about biting the hand that feeds you comes to mind. Nevertheless, Hampton Roads is the perfect setting to talk about the propriety of our military’s actions, as we are the people whose fortunes stand in the balance. Tonight the Naro Cinema is working to facilitate this conversation.

David Swanson served as the press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign, was a leading voice in the effort to impeach President Bush, and authored, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. His new book, War is a Lie, is being billed as a “…thorough refutation of every major argument used to justify wars, drawing on evidence from numerous past wars, with a focus on those wars that have been most widely defended as just and good.”

David will be leading a discussion at the Naro Cinema tonight for the premiere of The Tillman Story, which chronicles the government’s lies surrounding Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan. Mr. Swanson was kind enough to answer a couple of my questions and help whet the appetite for dialogue. Come out and join the conversation.

What first moved you to become such a staunch anti-war advocate?

I don’t know if there is any dramatic personal instance to point to. I just view it as one of the worst problems that faces us as humans. We are murdering people both of our country and others. War is demolishing the separation of powers in our nation, eroding our civil rights. It’s so devastating to our economy, the environment and to the risk of nuclear proliferation. We have to put an end to the idea that wars are ever acceptable and justifiable.

The Hampton Roads economy is 47% defense related. What is your message to those whose economic livelihood is dependent upon a robust military?

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