Anything War Can Do, Peace Can Do Better

William James’ idea of the need to create a moral equivalent of war first struck me, decades ago, when I read about it, as about as sensible an idea as inventing a new way to punch yourself in the face. This was not purely because times have changed, because weapons have become more powerful, because the earth’s climate is collapsing, or because nonviolent activism has become widely understood as requiring courage, sacrifice, camarderie, dedication, discipline, and strength, without read more

U.S. Bases in Okinawa Are a Threat to Freedom

By David Swanson, Director, World BEYOND War
Remarks at Rally outside White House, January 7, 2019.

There are a number of problems with the idea that maintaining and expanding giant military bases in other people’s countries protects freedom in the U.S. or in the occupied land.

For one thing, the United States maintains these bases in everything from the most brutal dictatorships to the most liberal so-called democracies. Are the U.S. troops in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia protecting the same freedoms read more

A Green New PayGo Shutdown

“She’ll cut your head off.” That’s Nancy Pelosi’s daughter’s praise for her mother.

I guess you’re supposed to imagine it always being somebody else’s head and to really hate all those somebody elses.

But then, what is PayGo? This looks like a deal aiming a big ole Pentagon bone saw at so many heads that our powers of hatred are likely to fall far short.

Pelosi’s PayGo rule says that any money spent must be made up for by cutting other spending read more

Corrupt Spineless Iraqi Legislators Are Right

You’ve got 5,000 armed foreign troops stationed in your country. You don’t say a word until the idiot foreign emperor stages a surprise visit. Then you’re outraged principally because he didn’t notify you or meet with you or put up any pretense that your country belonged to you in any way. At that point you demand that the U.S. occupation of Iraq finally be brought to a bitter better-late-than-never end. And you’re damn right.

The U.S. has been helping Iraq into ever-worsening read more

Charlottesville As Cartoon

Here in Charlottesville, as in most places, we like our stories simple. Most books by local author John Grisham have good guys and bad guys. When a UVa sports team wins, everybody says “Yay, we won!” When it loses, three-quarters of the people say “Boo, we lost!” Reality that gets messier than a coyote and roadrunner adventure gives us trouble.

When we’re fed a fictional tale of sexual assault at a UVa fraternity by Rollingstone magazine, we like to declare read more

Isolationism or Imperialism: You Really Can’t Imagine a Third Possibility?

Of the United Nations’ 18 major human rights treaties, the United States is party to 5, fewer than any other nation on earth, except Bhutan (4), and tied with Malaya Malaysia, Myanmar, and South Sudan, a country torn by warfare since its creation in 2011. The United States is the only nation on earth that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the only country to have read more

Russiagate Smashes Human Survival Attempts

By David Swanson

“There’s millions of commies in the freedom fight
“Yelling for Lenin and civil rights
“How do I know? I read it in the Daily News
—Tom Paxton

Humanity faces climate and nuclear threats to its existence, spearheaded by the U.S. government. Survival proposals, or what your television calls fringe leftist schemes backed by Vladimir Putin (who, for the most part, does not back them), face many hurdles just to be heard. Unless you’re a 15-year-old read more