Peace and War


Upcoming Debate on "Is War Necessary." Please Come.

Tag: Peace and War

Is War Necessary?A DebateDavid Swanson (War Is A Lie) vs. Roger Bergman ("There are just wars.")Oct. 5, 7:00 p.m., McCarthy Arts Center, St. Michael's College.Campus Road, Colchester, Vermont 05439 (just outside of Burlington).Sponsored by the Peace and Justice Club and the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice.Signup and share on Facebook:


Damned Nations, Cursed Arms Trade

Tag: Peace and War

Samantha Nutt has spent decades working on humanitarian aid in war zones. Her book, Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies, and Aid, is rich in wisdom drawn from experience. But more powerful and pointed, and worth beginning and ending with, is her talk titled "The Real Harm of the Global Arms Trade."

Nutt describes child armies across the global south including eight-year-olds who have never been to school but have fought and killed using automatic weapons. Yet, she says, war can be ended despite its being "as old as existence." (I think part of the path to ending it may involve rejecting myths like the one that war is as old as existence, but never mind that.)

Nutt describes a root cause of war that the wealthy of the world could easily eliminate, because it's not found in the "human nature" of Africans but in the financial records of educated, well-off, comfortable people typically not involved in war directly.

There are 800,000,000 small arms and light weapons in use in the world, Nutt says. There are places where you can get an AK47 for $10, and where you can get an automatic weapon more easily than a glass of clean water. (Of course it would cost a tiny fraction of military spending to provide the world with clean water -- $11.3 billion per year, says the U.N.)

Nutt shows two maps of the world, one highlighting the locations of wars, the other the locations of the big weapons exporters. There's no overlap. Like alcohol for Native Americans and opium for Chinese, weapons of war are products that the United States and Europe (and Russia and China) push on targeted populations. Eighty percent of all war weapons, Nutt says, come from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.


Talk Nation Radio: Benjamin Madley on the California Indian Catastrophe

Benjamin Madley is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is also chair of American Indian Studies. He discusses his new book, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.Pacifica stations can usually download from Audioport, but I couldn't get the sample rate to be acceptable to the website this week, as the show was recorded elsewhere.

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Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital

Tag: Peace and War

The United States government recently gave more than a million dollars to the family of one victim it had killed in one of its wars. The victim happened to be Italian. If you were to find all the Iraqi families with any surviving members who had loved ones killed by the United States it might be a million families. A million times a million dollars would be enough to treat those Iraqis in this respect as if they were Europeans. Who can tell me — raise your hand — how much is a million times a million?

That’s right, a trillion.

Now, can you count to a trillion starting from one. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Actually we won’t wait, because if you counted one number per second you would get to a trillion in 31,709 years. And we have other speakers to get to here.

A trillion is a number we can’t comprehend. For most purposes it’s useless. The greediest oligarch doesn’t dream of ever seeing a fraction of that many dollars. Teeny fractions of that many dollars would transform the world. Three percent of it per year would end starvation on earth. One percent per year would end the lack of clean drinking water. Ten percent per year would transform green energy or agriculture or education. Three percent per year for four years, in current dollars, was the Marshall Plan.


What You Can Do to End War on the International Day of Peace

Tag: Peace and War

By David Swanson, Telesur

If you want to find peace in your heart, knock yourself out. Seriously, knock yourself out, there's nothing more peaceful. Or if you want to find peace in your family or your neighborhood, or on the sidelines of a football game during the playing of the National Anthem, there may be no better way to do it than to pledge your allegiance to permanent war on poor foreign countries.

A school board member in Virginia once agreed to support a celebration of the International Day of Peace "as long as everyone understands that I'm not opposing any wars."

But what if you want to find peace through the abolition of war? Then what do you do? Well, then you do the long, hard, exciting, fulfilling, nonviolent, community building work that may very well bring peace to everything from your heart to your local police department in the process, but which is aimed at reducing and eliminating the arms trade and militarism.

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