Senators Finally Hold Hearing on Pre-War Intelligence

By David Swanson

Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee, under Republican control, and with very polite (OK, almost nonexistent) Democratic protest, has yet to hold hearings on the Iraq War lies, but today the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a Hearing on the model of Rep. John Conyers’ Downing Street Memo hearing: no subpoena power, but great witnesses. And a Republican even came: Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina.

Here are the witnesses’ prepared statements.

Here are my notes read more

A Portrait of a Progressive Congressman

By David Swanson

Congressman Jim McDermott became involved in politics through his opposition to the Vietnam war. He came to Washington 17 years ago hoping to create national health coverage. Instead he’s spent much of his time opposing new wars and war crimes. McDermott’s record on matters of peace and war is unsurpassed in the Congress. On the matter of impeachment, however, he has lost all interest – as has every incumbent Democrat since Leader Nancy Pelosi decreed that impeachment read more

Will the Democrats Block Steps Toward Peace?

By David Swanson

An Associated Press story on Sunday carried a predictably militant headline: “Iraq amnesty offer upsets U.S. lawmakers.” But the story did something very atypical: it led with and focused on the views of Democrats, rather than Republicans. And the Democrats’ views were unusually straightforward and decisive, while the Republicans’ were peculiarly vague and noncommittal. While the story quoted more Republicans, their views had nothing to do with the headline read more

Congress Takes Steps Toward Peace

Congress Takes Steps Toward Peace

While both houses of Congress still lag dramatically behind the American and Iraqi people in support for ending the war, the past week has seen a sharp rise in Congressional willingness to talk about peace. The Republican leadership has been forced to hold public debates on the war; those debates and subsequent votes have forced Congress Members to go on the record on issues ranging from leaving Iraq this year, to constructing permanent military bases there, to read more

War Porn and Iraq

Tomgram: David Swanson on War Porn and Iraq

The history of war-atrocity snapshots did not start with the Abu Ghraib screen-savers from hell. After all, photography itself came into being as the industrializing West was imposing its rule on much of the planet. That imposition meant wars of conquest; and such colonial wars, in turn, meant slaughter.

From the moment the wooden sailing ship mounted with canons took to the high seas and Europeans began to seize the coasts read more

No Permanent Bases: Passed Both Houses, Removed in Conference Committee

By David Swanson

When the House and the Senate pass similar but not identical bills, they create a conference committee to work out the differences. When they both passed amendments to the “emergency supplemental” spending bill stipulating that none of the money could be used to build permanent bases in Iraq, the conference committee, behind closed doors this week, resolved that non-difference by deleting it.

This would appear to be a blatant violation of the rules of Congress and read more

Safe Passage on the Earth

By David Swanson

In 1975 Dorothy T. Samuel published “Safe Passage on City Streets,” a book that examined the state of mind and behavior of people who tended not to get attacked on city streets or tended to walk away unscathed. She found that the safest people were not those who focused on the danger, not those who walked in fear, and not those who carried weapons – which, as often as not, were turned against them. The safest people – though there was no guarantee – were people read more

Let's Stay in Iraq Until it's Peaceful or We're Sane, Whichever Comes First

By David Swanson

Have you ever heard someone try to argue that the Iraq War was a mistake but that now the proper course is to continue the mistake a bit longer or to carefully end it in a long and complicated way that could take months or years? Have you ever wondered how such a position, if examined in detail, could possibly make any sense?

Wonder no more. Such a position, in various forms, actually makes no sense. In fact, such a position requires a stunning degree of illogic.

There’s read more

Eleven Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

By David Swanson

I just read an excellent book from called “10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military.” Personally I was never attracted to the military because I could never stand having anyone tell me what to do – well, and because I had parents who helped me find other options in life.

The military glorifies the giving and obeying of orders as somehow something good for its own sake, something called “discipline” or “character.” read more

Peace in a Gas Pump or Bringing Pharaoh's Armed Madhouse Home

By David Swanson

May 28 — This evening here in Virginia, Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band jammed for hours at an outdoor pavilion, leading tens of thousands of us in protest songs, including a powerful rendition of “Bring Them Home.” The concert was held at the Nissan Pavilion, a characterless monument to automobiles surrounded by an ocean of the things, cars and trucks and SUVs which spent hours creeping in and out before and after the show. Many of us devoted read more