You are hereWhen the World Outlawed War

When the World Outlawed War


2011 Book by David Swanson

This is the Israeli Military Calling: Civilizing War Has Failed

http://www.worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/voltaire.jpgProbably the biggest news story of 1928 was the war-making nations of the world coming together on August 27th and legally outlawing war.  It's a story that's not told in our history books, but it's not secret CIA history.  There was no CIA.  There was virtually no weapons industry as we know it.  There weren't two political parties in the United States uniting in support of war after war.  In fact, the four biggest political parties in the United States all backed abolishing war.

Cue whining, polysyllabic screech: "But it didn't wooooooooork!"

I wouldn't be bothering with it if it had.  In its defense, the Kellogg-Briand Pact (look it up or read my book) was used to prosecute the makers of war on the losing sides following World War II (an historic first), and -- for whatever combination of reasons (nukes? enlightenment? luck?) -- the armed nations of the world have not waged war on each other since, preferring to slaughter the world's poor instead. Significant compliance following the very first prosecution is a record that almost no other law can claim.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact has two chief values, as I see it.  First, it's the law of the land in 85 nations including the United States, and it bans all war-making.  For those who claim that the U.S. Constitution sanctions or requires wars regardless of treaty obligations, the Peace Pact is no more relevant than the U.N. Charter or the Geneva Conventions or the Anti-Torture Convention or any other treaty.  But for those who read the laws as they are written, beginning to comply with the Kellogg-Briand Pact makes far more sense than legalizing drone murders or torture or bribery or corporate personhood or imprisonment without trial or any of the other lovely practices we've been "legalizing" on the flimsiest of legal arguments.  I'm not against new national or international laws against war; ban it 1,000 times, by all means, if there's the slightest chance that one of them will stick. But there is, for what it's worth, already a law on the books if we care to acknowledge it.

Second, the movement that created the Pact of Paris grew out of a widespread mainstream international understanding that war must be abolished, as slavery and blood feuds and duelling and other institutions were being abolished.  While advocates of outlawing war believed other steps would be required: a change in the culture, demilitarization, the establishment of international authorities and nonviolent forms of conflict resolution, prosecutions and targeted sanctions against war-makers; while most believed this would be the work of generations; while the forces leading toward World War II were understood and protested against for decades; the explicit and successful intention was to make a start of it by outlawing and formally renouncing and rendering illegitimate all war, not aggressive war or unsanctioned war or inappropriate war, but war.

In the never-ending aftermath of World War II, the U.N. Charter has formalized and popularized a very different conception of war's legality.  I've just interviewed Ben Ferencz, aged 94, the last living Nuremberg prosecutor, for an upcoming edition of Talk Nation Radio.  He describes the Nuremberg prosecutions as happening under the framework of the U.N. Charter, or something identical to it, despite the chronological problem.  He believes that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegal.  But he claims not to know whether the U.S. invasion and ongoing over-12-year war on Afghanistan is legal or not.  Why? Not because it fits either of the two gaping loopholes opened up by the U.N. Charter, that is: not because it is U.N.-authorized or defensive, but -- as far as I can make out -- just because those loopholes exist and therefore wars might be legal and it's unpleasant to acknowledge that the wars waged by one's own nation are not.

Of course, plenty of people thought more or less like that in the 1920s and 1930s, but plenty of people also did not.  In the era of the United Nations, NATO, the CIA, and Lockheed Martin we have seen steady progress in the doomed attempt, not to eliminate war, but to civilize it.  The United States leads the way in arming the rest of the world, maintaining a military presence in most of the world, and launching wars.  Western allies and nations armed, free-of-charge, by the United States, including Israel, advance war-making and war-civilizing, not war-abolition.  The notion that war can be eliminated using the tool of war, making war on war-makers in order to teach them not to make war, has had a far longer run than the Kellogg-Briand Pact had prior to its supposed failure and the Truman Administration's remaking of the U.S. government into a permanent war machine in the cause of progress. 

Civilizing war for the benefit of the world has been an abysmal failure.  We now have wars launched on unarmed defenseless people thousands of miles away in the name of "defense."  We now have wars depicted as U.N.-authorized because the U.N. once passed a resolution related to the nation being destroyed.  And just seconds before the Israeli military blows up your house in Gaza, they ring you up on the telephone to give you a proper warning. 

I remember a comedy sketch from Steve Martin mocking the phony politeness of Los Angeles: a line of people waited their turn to withdraw cash from a bank machine, while a line of armed robbers waited their turn in a separate line to politely ask for and steal each person's money.  War is past the point of such parody.  There is no space left for satire.  Governments are phoning families to tell them they're about to be slaughtered, and then bombing the shelters they flee to if they manage to flee. 

Is mass-murder acceptable if done without rape or torture or excessive targeting of children or the use of particular types of chemical weapons, as long as the victims are telephoned first or the murderers are associated with a group of people harmed by war several decades back?

Here's a new initiative that says No, the abolition of the greatest evil needs a renaissance and completion: WorldBeyondWar.org.

Frank Kellogg's Peace Treaty

We've collectively forgotten what was probably the single biggest news story of 1928.  It is little known and even less appreciated that the United States is party to a treaty that bans all war. This treaty, known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, or the Peace Pact, or the Renunciation of War, is listed on the U.S. State Department's website as in force. The Pact reads:

"The High Contracting Parties solemly [sic] declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

"The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means."

Pacific means only. No martial means. No war. No targeted murder. No surgical strikes.

The story of how this treaty, to which over 80 nations are party, came to be is inspiring. The peace movement of the 1920s that convinced U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg from St. Paul, Minn., to work for it was a model of dedication, patience, strategy, integrity, and struggle.

Playing a leading role was the movement for "outlawry," for the outlawing of war. War had been legal until that point. Following World War I, atrocities could be objected to but not the launching of war, and not the seizing of territory.  The Kellogg-Briand Pact changed that.

With the creation of the peace pact, wars were avoided and ended. But nations continued to arm themselves and to support the rise of militaristic governments.  Following World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt used the Kellogg-Briand Pact to prosecute the losers of the war for the brand new crime of war. From that day to this, despite an endless plague of war on and among the poor nations of the world, the wealthy armed nations have yet to launch a third world war among themselves.

When not simply ignored or unknown, the Kellogg-Briand Pact is dismissed because World War II happened. But what other legal ban have we ever tossed out following the very first violation and what appears to have been a quite effective prosecution?

An argument can also be made that the U.N. Charter undoes the peace pact simply by coming later in time. But this is by no means an easy argument, and it requires understanding the U.N. Charter as the re-legalization of war rather than the ban on war that most people imagine it to be. While Frank Kellogg's treaty bans all war, the U.N. Charter allows wars that are either defensive or U.N.-authorized.

In fact, the Kellogg-Briand Pact has continued to be used in international law, including in a case at the World Court in 1998 that arguably prevented a U.S. war against Libya.

Eliminating war, the outlawrists believed, would not be easy. A first step would be to ban it, to stigmatize it, to render it unrespectable. A second step would be to establish accepted laws for international relations. A third would be to create courts with the authority to settle international disputes. The outlawrists took the first big step, but we haven't followed through.

We should. 

Supporters of torture and unlimited election spending and all sorts of dubious innovations point to court proceedings marginalia, overridden vetoes, speeches, and tangentially related ancient precedents, but not laws.

Supporters of peace have a law that can be pointed to, and a stronger one than the U.N. Charter.  As long as some wars are deemed legal, supporters of any war will argue for its legality. 

But how do you enforce a ban on war, without using war to do it?  There are other means.  If Canada were to invade the U.S., Americans could refuse to cooperate with the occupation, Canadians could refuse to take part in it, activists from around the world could come to the U.S. as human shields.  The world's governments could condemn, ostracize, sanction, and prosecute the Canadian war-makers.  In other words, war could be resisted using tools other than war. (Sorry for the example, Canada! I am aware which nation has a history of invading the other.)

There's a song from 1950 that describes the scene on August 27, 1928:

Last night I had the strangest dream, I ever dreamed before.

I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war.

That was Frank Kellogg's dream.  It's time we started dreaming it again.

A Built-In Cure for War

Erin Niemela's recent proposal that we amend the Constitution to ban war is provocative and persuasive.  Count me in.  But I have a related idea that I think should be tried first.

While banning war is just what the world ordered, it has about it something of the whole Bush-Cheney ordeal during which we spent years trying to persuade Congress to ban torture.  By no means do I want to be counted among those opposed to banning torture.  But it is relevant, I want to suggest, that torture had already been banned.  Torture had been banned by treaty and been made a felony, under two different statutes, before George W. Bush was made president.  In fact, the pre-existing ban on torture was stronger and more comprehensive than any of the loophole-ridden efforts to re-criminalize it.  Had the debate over "banning torture" been entirely replaced with a stronger demand to prosecute torture, we might be better off today.

We are in that same situation with regard to war.  War was banned 84 years ago, making talk of banning war problematic.

We were in that same situation, in fact, even before the U.N. Charter was drafted 68 years ago.  By any reasonable interpretation of the U.N. Charter, most -- if not all -- U.S. wars are forbidden.  The United Nations did not authorize the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq, the overthrow of the Libyan government, or the drone wars in Pakistan or Yemen or Somalia.  And by only the wildest stretch of the imagination are these wars defensive from the U.S. side.  But the two loopholes created by the U.N. Charter (for defensive and U.N.-authorized wars) are severe weaknesses.  There will always be those who claim that a current war is in compliance with the U.N. Charter or that a future war might be.  So, when I say that war is illegal, I don't have the U.N. Charter in mind.

Nor am I thinking that every war inevitably violates the so-called laws of war, involving countless atrocities that don't stand up under a defense of "necessity" or "distinction" or "proportionality," although this is certainly true.  Banning improper war, while useful as far as it goes, actually supports the barbaric notion that one can conduct a proper war.  The situation in which a war would be a "just war" is as mythical as the much-imagined situation in which torture would be justified.

Nor do I mean that U.S. Constitutional war powers are violated or fraud is perpetrated in making the case for war, although these and other violations of law are frequent companions of U.S. wars.

I also do not want to dispute the advantages of banning war in the highest law, the Constitution.  There is a common misconception that holds up lesser, statutory law as more serious than the Constitution or the treaties that it makes "supreme law of the land."  This is a dangerous inversion.  Edward Snowden is right to expose violations of the Fourth Amendment.  Senator Dianne Feinstein is wrong to insist that those violations have been legalized by statutes.  Amending the Constitution to ban war would (if the Constitution were complied with) prevent any lesser law from legalizing war.  But a treaty would do that too.  And we already have one.

THE 84-YEAR-OLD BAN ON WAR

It is little known and even less appreciated that the United States is party to a treaty that bans all war.  This treaty, known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, or the Peace Pact of Paris, or the Renunciation of War, is listed on the U.S. State Department's website (go here, open the document, scroll to page 454).  The Pact reads:

"The High Contracting Parties solemly [sic] declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

"The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means."

Pacific means only.  No martial means.  No war.  No targeted murder.  No surgical strikes. 

The story of how this treaty, to which over 80 nations are party, came to be is inspiring.  The peace movement of the 1920s is a model of dedication, patience, strategy, integrity, and struggle.  Playing a leading role was the movement for "outlawry," for the outlawing of war, which had been legal until that point (just as people falsely imagine it to be today).  Slavery had been outlawed.  Blood feuds had been outlawed.  Duelling had been outlawed.  And outlawrists pointedly noted that not just "aggressive duelling" had been banned.  Those who went before us didn't keep defensive duelling or humanitarian duelling around but set the whole barbaric practice behind them.

Eliminating war, the outlawrists believed, would not be easy.  A first step would be to ban it, to stigmatize it, to render it unrespectable.  A second step would be to establish accepted laws for international relations.  A third would be to create courts with the power to settle international disputes.  They took the first big step in 1928, with the treaty taking effect in 1929.  We haven't followed through.  In fact we've collectively buried what was probably the single biggest news story of 1928.

With the creation of the peace pact, wars were avoided and ended.  But armament and hostility continued.  The mentality that accepts war as an instrument of national policy would not vanish swiftly.  World War II came.  And, following World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt used the Kellogg-Briand Pact to prosecute the losers of the war, not just for "war crimes," but also for the brand new crime of war.  Despite an endless plague of war on and among the poor nations of the world, the wealthy armed nations have yet to launch a third world war.

When not simply ignored or unknown, the Kellogg-Briand Pact is dismissed because World War II happened.  But what other legal ban on undesired behavior have we ever tossed out following the very first violation and what appears to have been a quite effective prosecution?  An argument can also be made that the U.N. Charter undoes the earlier pact simply by coming later in time.  But this is by no means an easy argument, and it requires understanding the U.N. Charter as the re-legalization of war rather than the ban on war that most people imagine it to be. 

In the two years since I published an account of the activism that created the Pact, I have found a great deal of interest in reviving awareness of it.  People may not be as sick of war now as they were following World War I, or at least not as open to the possibility of abolition, but many are pretty far down that road.  Groups and individuals have launched petitions.  City councils are creating a peace holiday on August 27th, the day the treaty was signed in 1928 in a scene well described in the song Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.  A fan of the story has created an essay contest that's received thousands of entries.  Drone protesters have educated judges about the Peace Pact when they've been hauled into court for making use of the First Amendment.  A Congress member has put into the Congressional Record his recognition that the Kellogg-Briand Pact made war illegal.  And I've been in touch with other nations not party to the treaty and not party to any wars, encouraging them to sign on to the Pact and then urge certain other parties to begin complying with it.

When someone wants to legalize torture or campaign bribery they point to court proceedings marginalia, overridden vetoes, speeches, and tangentially related ancient precedents.  When we want to de-legalize war, why not point to the Kellogg-Briand Pact? It is a treaty to which the United States is party.  It is the Supreme Law of the Land.  It not only does what we want.  It does more than most people dare to dream.  I've found that some people are inspired by the Pact's existence and by the fact that our great-grandparents were able to create a public movement that brought it into existence.

This seems to me a good place to start.

David Swanson is the author of When the World Outlawed War.

Peace Essay Contest

How Can We Obey the Law Against War?

Top Prize $1,000

Peace Essay Rules

In 800 words or less answer the question:

How can we obey the law against war?

Please include your: (1) name, (2) age (if under 19), (3) mailing address, (4) phone number, (5) email address, and (6) year and school that you first learned about the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

Mail your Peace Essay – postmarked by April 14, 2013 – to:

Peace Desk, 213 S. Wheaton Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187

Peace Essays will be judged by members of the West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition (WSFPC) (www.FaithPeace.org) based on:

(1) Knowledge of the Kellogg-Briand Pact

(2) Insight into how the Pact influences U.S. foreign policy

(3) Creativity in recommendations regarding compliance

(4) Quality of the Peace Essay prose

 

The author of the best essay will receive $1,000. Also, if the award winner identifies the school where she/he learned about the Kellogg-Briand Pact, a book – When the World Outlawed War, by David Swanson – will be donated to the school library. The WSFPC will also send the best Peace Essays to key members of the U.S. Congress.

For more information please contact

Frank Goetz at frankgoetz@comcast.net

Everyone who respects the Law should work for Peace.

Background

Most People understand that war is destructive but few know that it is illegal. On August 27, 1928 many countries signed a treaty called the Kellogg-Briand Pact which outlawed war. After ratification by the U.S. Senate the following year this Pact became the supreme law of the land in the United States and sixty-five other countries. How can we respect the law if most of us are ignorant of its existence? Members of the Peace Community have decided to: 1) educate the population on why this law was passed, and 2) encourage insight and creative expression on how we can bring our country into compliance.

Frank Goetz

213 S. Wheaton Avenue

Wheaton, IL 60187

Phone: 630-510-8500 ext. 104

frankgoetz@comcast.net

Books for Loved Ones

Choose any book below and have it signed by the author to you or to a person you plan to give it to.  It will be signed and mailed to you right away.

When you donate $20 or more at http://davidswanson.org/donate using credit card or paypal, or by check to the address below, just indicate which book you'd like, where to send it, and how to inscribe it.  For $40 pick two books.  For $50 pick three.  For $60 pick four! For $70 pick five!!

Peace Essay Contest: How Can We Obey the Law Against War?

Most people understand that war is destructive, but few know that it is illegal.  On August 27, 1928 many countries signed a treaty called the Kellogg-Briand Pact which outlawed war.  After ratification by the U.S. Senate the following year this Pact became the supreme law of the land in the United States and sixty five other countries.  How can we respect the law if most of us are ignorant of its existence?  Members of the Peace Community have decided to: (1) educate the population on why this law was passed and (2) encourage insight and creative expression on how we can bring our country into compliance.

Tw

Peace Essay Rules:
Although we are focusing on the student population, anyone can enter the Peace Essay Contest.  In 800 words or less answer the question: How can we Obey the Law against War?  Send your Peace Essay to:

Peace Desk
213 S. Wheaton Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187

Please include: (1) Your Name, (2) Age, (3) Mailing Address, (4) Email Address or Phone Number, and (5) Year and school that you first learned about the Kellogg-Briand Pact.  Peace Essays will be judged by members of the West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition (www.FaithPeace.org) based on: (1) Knowledge of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, (2) Insight into how the Pact influences U.S. foreign policy, (3) Creativity in recommendations regarding compliance, and (4) Quality of the Peace Essay prose. 

Age-appropriate prizes will be awarded for the top 25 Peace Essays received by November 1, 2012.   Also, if the award winner identifies the school where she/he learned about the Pact, a book – “When the World Outlawed War” by David Swanson - will be donated to the school library.  The WSFPC will also send the best Peace Essays to key members of the U.S. Congress.  For more information please contact Frank Goetz at frankgoetz@comcast.net.

When the World Outlawed War -- In German

When the World Outlawed War has been translated into German.  Now we need a German publisher.

About the translator:

Jochen Lembke, Europe´s cab-driving writer

Born ´61 in Germany, finished school with the Abitur, did studies in politics and medicine and a vocational training as a masseur. Drove a cab in four cities, in three countries, France will be next. Began writing in 2001, written 6 books, translated 5, (not counting this one) one of which was a yet unauthorized version to the Hitch-Hiker´s Guide to the Galaxy, first written in German.

I'll Be Speaking at May Day Books in Minneapolis on July 13th

Join me there, leading up to the big event of Peacestock the next day.

Friday, July 13, 2012
7 pm at Mayday Books
301 Cedar Ave. South on the West Bank in Minneapolis

progressive, non-profit, volunteer-run bookstore, not making a profit since 1975

In the basement of THE HUB, enter on side of building. Public parking ramp behind the building.
For info, call 612-333-4719 or go to http://www.maydaybookstore.org

Event is posted here: http://antiwarcommittee.org/ai1ec_event/war-is-a-lie-book-talk-with-david-swanson/?instance_id=

Chicago on May 19th David Swanson Speaking Against War and in Favor of the Next Day's Protest of NATO

Illinois Coalition for Justice Peace and the Environment:

As we prepare for our presence at the NATO Summit, Voices for Creative Nonviolence is happy to welcome author David Swanson. His highly informed perspective continues to shed light on the important issues that lead us to action.

He will speak and lead a discussion on the topic of "Lifting the Shadow of War."

Admission is free.

Date: 2012-05-19

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ
615 W WELLINGTON AVE
CHICAGO, IL, 60657-5305


Also Swanson will sign his books which include:
Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union (2009)
War Is A Lie (2010)
When the World Outlawed War (2011)
The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012)

Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. In December 2011, The Hook newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., named him a runner-up Person of the Year. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org

"David Swanson is a truth-teller and witness-bearer whose voice and action warrant our attention." —Cornel West, author.

"The world needs more true advocates of democracy like David Swanson!" —Thom Hartmann, radio host.

"David Swanson will be remembered and well recognized as the citizen who held up a lamp in the darkness and cried, as did good Tom Paine: 'We have it in our power to begin the world over again.'" —John Nichols, columnist, The Nation.

"David Swanson predicates his belief that nonviolence can change the world on careful research and historical analysis." —Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

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

"Our times cry out for a smart, witty and courageous Populist who hasn’t forgotten how to play offense. Luckily we have David Swanson." —Mike Ferner, President of Veterans For Peace.

"David Swanson, who has been a one-man wonder leading the charge for accountability, writes a compelling narrative that inspires not just outrage, but ACTION." —Medea Benjamin, Code Pink and Global Exchange.

“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” —Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR.
"David Swanson's book is a masterful exposure of the emergence of a monarch-like president coupled with an effete, irresponsible, and constitutionally ignorant Congress." —Bruce Fein, former Associate Deputy Attorney General.

“David Swanson has written a fascinating account of how peace once became the law of the land. It is particularly pertinent in the era of the Endless War, by giving encouragement and suggestions of a path forward to those who want to give peace a chance.” —Liz Holtzman, former member of the U.S. Congress.

"Swanson's book is far more uplifting and inspiring than virtually any other book in its genre, as it devotes itself to laying out a detailed plan for how American citizens — through the activism to which he has devoted himself — can bring about a rejuvenation of our political values." —Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com.

“David Swanson is an antidote to the toxins of complacency and evasion. He insists on rousing the sleepwalkers, confronting the deadly prevaricators and shining a bright light on possibilities for a truly better world.” —Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy.

Date: Sat, May 19th, 2012

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ
615 W WELLINGTON AVE
CHICAGO, IL, 60657-5305
MAP

More Info: http://vcnv.org/vcnv-calendar/david-swanson-will-speak......

Upcoming Speaking Events in Hilton Head, S.C.

David Swanson will speak and lead a discussion on the topic of

"Lifting the Shadow of War."

http://davidswanson.org/sites/davidswanson.org/files/images/davidsmiling.jpg

WHEN: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. February 25, 2012.

WHERE: Hilton Head Library, 11 Beach City Road, Hilton Head, SC 29926, Tel. 843-255-6500, Fax 843-255-9495, Website, Map.

SPONSOR: Hilton Head for Peace, Tel. 603-264-6102.

Admission is free.

Printable flyer: PDF.

SECOND EVENT:

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. February 26, 2012

WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Low Country, 110 Malphrus Rd., Bluffton, SC, Tel. 837-3330.

Printable flyer: PDF.

Flyer for both events: PDF.

Swanson will sign his books which include:
Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union (2009)
War Is A Lie (2010)
When the World Outlawed War (2011)
The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012)

Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011.

In December 2011, The Hook newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., named him a runner-up Person of the Year.

Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org

"David Swanson is a truth-teller and witness-bearer whose voice and action warrant our attention."Cornel West, author.

"The world needs more true advocates of democracy like David Swanson!" —Thom Hartmann, radio host.

"David Swanson will be remembered and well recognized as the citizen who held up a lamp in the darkness and cried, as did good Tom Paine: 'We have it in our power to begin the world over again.'" —John Nichols, columnist, The Nation.

"David Swanson predicates his belief that nonviolence can change the world on careful research and historical analysis." —Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

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

"Our times cry out for a smart, witty and courageous Populist who hasn’t forgotten how to play offense. Luckily we have David Swanson." Mike Ferner, President of Veterans For Peace.

"David Swanson, who has been a one-man wonder leading the charge for accountability, writes a compelling narrative that inspires not just outrage, but ACTION." —Medea Benjamin, Code Pink and Global Exchange.

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

"David Swanson's book is a masterful exposure of the emergence of a monarch-like president coupled with an effete, irresponsible, and constitutionally ignorant Congress." —Bruce Fein, former Associate Deputy Attorney General.

“David Swanson has written a fascinating account of how peace once became the law of the land.  It is particularly pertinent in the era of the Endless War, by giving encouragement and suggestions of a path forward to those who want to give peace a chance.” —Liz Holtzman, former member of the U.S. Congress.

"Swanson's book is far more uplifting and inspiring than virtually any other book in its genre, as it devotes itself to laying out a detailed plan for how American citizens — through the activism to which he has devoted himself — can bring about a rejuvenation of our political values." —Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com.

“David Swanson is an antidote to the toxins of complacency and evasion. He insists on rousing the sleepwalkers, confronting the deadly prevaricators and shining a bright light on possibilities for a truly better world.” —Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy.