High School Students and Peace Making

Remarks at Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County, Va., March 10, 2019

By David Swanson, Director, World BEYOND War

Thank you for inviting me here. I’m honored. And I’m reminded of lots of happy memories of Herndon High School, class of 87. If there was encouragement back then to take on the sort of projects that our honorees today have taken on, I missed it. I suspect that some improvements have been made in high school education since my day. Yet I did manage to learn a lot at Herndon, and read more

Humanitarian Bombs

One should not sell bombs to a government that abuses human rights, which means murders a man without using one of the bombs.

If Saudi Arabia had murdered a man using a bomb, it would be fine to sell Saudi Arabia more bombs.

But Saudi Arabia murdered with a non-bomb weapon, and so shouldn’t have bombs anymore.

One should, in fact, bomb people whose government abuses human rights, which means murders children without using bombs.

Syria allegedly killed children using chemical weapons, and so read more

Russia Is Our Friend

Last May I was in Russia when fascists held a rally in my hometown of Charlottesville, not to be confused with their larger rally which followed in August. At the May rally, people shouted “Russia is our friend.” I was on a Russian TV show called Crosstalk the next day and discussed this. I also discussed it with other Russians, actual friends in the human sense. Some of them were completely bewildered, read more

Altruism and Sadism in Public Policy

By David Swanson
Remarks at Peace Resource Center of San Diego, June 23, 2018.

There are three things that are almost always underestimated: the U.S. military budget, altruism, and sadism.

First, the military budget.

The U.S. military budget, including all things military in various departments, is roughly 60% of federal discretionary spending, meaning the spending that Congress members decide on each year. It is also, by my very rough estimate, the topic of well under 1% of the discussions of government read more

The Case Against Iraqing Iran

The case against Iraqing Iran includes the following points:

Threatening war is a violation of the U.N. Charter.

Waging war is a violation of the U.N. Charter and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

Waging war without Congress is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Have you seen Iraq lately?

Have you seen the entire region?

Have you seen Afghanistan? Libya? Syria? Yemen? Pakistan? Somalia?

War supporters said the U.S. urgently needed to attack Iran in 2007. It did not attack. The claims turned out to be lies. read more

When a Nuclear War Planner Confesses

Daniel Ellsberg’s new book is The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. I’ve known the author for years, I’m prouder than ever to say. We have done speaking events and media interviews together. We’ve been arrested together protesting wars. We’ve publicly debated electoral politics. We’ve privately debated the justness of World War II. (Dan approves of U.S. entry into World War II, and it seems into the war on Korea as well, though he has nothing but condemnation read more

What We’re Supposed to Think

We’re supposed to think that the United States is threatened for no reason by irrational subhuman monsters arising out of the less important bits of the earth found beyond U.S. borders.

We’re supposed to think that the bigger the U.S. military is, and the more places it’s based in around the world, the better it can counter those monsters.

We’re supposed to think that other nations don’t have this sort of problem or depend on this sort of solution because the United read more

WAR STORIES

By David Swanson, World Beyond War

HUNTER OF STORIES

The late Eduardo Galeano’s forthcoming book, Hunter of Stories, has five or ten sentences on each page — each page a tiny story, their combination engaging and powerful. Galeano includes the story of a war resister who chose to die rather than kill, and that of an Iraqi who foretold and pre-grieved the 2003 looting of the National Museum, also the story of former drone pilot Brandon Bryant who quit after killing a child read more

Is the Nobel Committee Finally Abiding by Nobel’s Will?

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) — listen to my radio show with one of ICAN’s leaders two years ago here.

It’s conceivable that some Americans will now learn, because of this award, about the new treaty that bans the possession of nuclear weapons.

This treaty has been years in the works. This past summer 122 nations agreed on the language of it, including these words:

Each State Party undertakes read more

U.S. Wars and Hostile Actions: A List

There is a reason that most countries polled in December 2013 by Gallup called the United States the greatest threat to peace in the world, and why Pew found that viewpoint increased in 2017.

But it is a reason that eludes that strain of U.S. academia that first defines war as something that nations and groups other than the United States do, and then concludes that war has nearly vanished from the earth.

Since World War II, during a supposed golden age of peace, the United States military has killed read more