Building Trust in Afghanistan

By Kathy Kelly

Here in Kabul, I read a recent BBC op-ed by Ahmed Rashid, urging a “diplomatic offensive” to build or repair relationships with the varied groups representing armed extremism in Afghanistan. Rashid has insisted, for years, that severe mistrust makes it almost impossible for such groups to negotiate an end to Afghanistan’s nightmare of war.

Glancing upward at one of the six U.S. manufactured aerostat blimps performing constant surveillance over Kabul, I wonder if the expensively high-tech giant’s-eye view encourages a primitive notion that the best way to solve a problem here is to target a “bad guy” and then kill him. If the bad guys appear to be scurrying dots on the ground below, stomp them out.

Crushing only the right dots has proven very difficult for a U.S. drone warfare program documented to have killed many civilians. News sources speculate that the recent drone assassination of Taliban leader Akthar Mansour makes an end to this war far less likely.  A commentator for the highly respected Afghan Analyst Network has written that “with the U.S. killing Akhtar Mansur, it is unlikely the Taleban will be set on anything but revenge for now, as can be understood from the movement’s political psychology… There is no reason to believe the fighting will de-escalate with the new leadership.”

Was that simple prediction available to the U.S.' giant's-eye view?

My young friends among the Afghan Peace Volunteers have shown me a vastly different approach toward problem solving.  In a sense, they’ve been launching a diplomatic outreach, refining their approach through trial and error over the course of several years, taking careful steps toward building trust between different ethnic groups, and also relying on their own personal stories to help them understand the cares and concerns of others. Throughout their efforts they’ve tried to be guided by Gandhi’s advice about considering the poorest person’s needs before making a decision.

What has brought a non-violent future closer to Afghanistan – giant sized military and surveillance systems or the accomplishments of young volunteers working to develop inter-ethnic projects?

20 teams are working at the Borderfree Center organizing practical activities within communities coping with multiple economic woes, including food insecurity, unemployment, and inadequate income for meeting basic needs.

Young people travel to and from the Center along unpaved roads lined on both sides with sewage filled drainage ditches. Traffic is chaotic, and the air is so polluted that many wear protective face masks. Day laborers congregate at intersections waiting in desperation for the opportunity to perform hard labor for $2.00 a day or less.

Even those fortunate enough to receive an education will likely face extreme difficulty in finding a job. Unemployment is at an all-time high of 40% and many jobs are attained only through ‘connections.’

Throughout Kabul, refugees crowd into squalid, sprawling camps where people live without adequate protection from harsh weather. According to The U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, between Jan. 1 and April 30 this year, “117,976 people fled their homes due to conflict.”  And, the U.N. says it has only received 16 percent of funds needed for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan this year.

Nisar, one of the students at the Borderfree Center’s Street Kids School, understands destitution all too well.  He has been earning an income for his family since he was a small child, working as a shoeshine boy on Kabul streets and also in a butcher shop.  Now, at age 17, he will soon graduate from three years of classes with the Street Kids School.  In the past year, he has been a steady volunteer, taking on responsibilities with the duvet project and the organic gardening team.  Nisar says that when he first came to the Center, three years ago, he felt astonished to see people from different ethnic backgrounds sitting together. Nisar’s family comes from the Wardak province, and relatives of his are among those who recently fled the Taleban.  He clearly understands the terrible risks that armed struggle could bring, even here in “Ka-bubble” as Kabul is sometimes called because of the relative calm that still prevails here. In spite of tensions, Nisar feels sure that when people learn to overcome their fears and start talking with one another, they can set aside hatreds taught to them at young ages.

U.S. planners, heads lost in the sky, seemingly pay little heed to developing ways of building trust.  Resources are gobbled up by gigantic multinational “defense” companies dedicated to the task of further, trampling warfare, while withholding anything like the quantity of resources needed for the task of repairing the wreckage they themselves have caused.

U.S. think tanks cleverly promote cartoonized versions of foreign policy wherein the mighty giant strikes a fist and eliminates the “bad guy” whom we are told has caused our problems. But I believe U.S. people would be better off if we could see the often-suffering communities that show admirable qualities as they try to survive.  We could learn from their efforts to build mutual trust and solidarity, and their courage to reject war. We could insist that the massively well-endowed US and NATO powers finally acknowledge that the best hopes for a lasting peace come when communities experience a measure of stability and prosperity. The giant powers could help alleviate the desperate need faced by people enduring hunger, disease and homelessness. 

U.S. people should earnestly ask how the U.S. could help build trust here in Afghanistan, and, as a first step, begin transferring funds from the coffers of weapon companies to the UN accounts trying to meet humanitarian needs. The “giant” could be seen stooping, humbly, to help plant seeds, hoping for a humane harvest.

Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence. (vcnv.org) While in Kabul, she is a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers (ourjourneytosmile.com)

Case Dismissed for State of the Union Activists: Resistance Continues

By Joy First

It was with great apprehension that I left my home near Mount Horeb, WI and flew to Washington, DC on May 20, 2016.  I would be standing in Judge Wendell Gardner’s courtroom on Monday May 23, being charged with Blocking, obstructing and incommoding, and Failure to obey a lawful order. 

As we prepared for trial, we knew that Judge Gardner has jailed activists found guilty in the past, and so we knew we must be prepared for jail time.  We also knew that the government prosecutor had not responded to our latest motions, and so we wondered if that was a sign that they were not ready to proceed with a trial.  With this uncertainty in mind, for the first time ever I got a one-way ticket to DC, and it was with great sadness that I said goodbye to my family.

And what was my offense that brought me there?  On the day of Obama’s last State of the Union address, January 12, 2016, I joined 12 others as we exercised our First Amendment rights attempting to deliver a petition to President Obama in an action organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.  We suspected that Obama would not tell us what was really going on, and so our petition outlined what we believed to be the real state of the union along with remedies to create a world we all would want to live in.  The letter outlined our concerns regarding war, poverty, racism, and the climate crisis.

As about 40 concerned citizen activists walked toward the US Capitol on January 12, we saw the Capitol Police were already there and waiting for us.  We told the officer in charge that we had a petition we wanted to deliver to the president.  The officer told us we could not deliver a petition, but we could go demonstrate in another area.  We tried to explain that we were not there to demonstrate, but were there to exercise our First Amendment rights by delivering a petition to Obama.

As the officer continued to refuse our request, 13 of us began to walk up the steps of the Capitol.  We stopped short of a sign that read “Do not go beyond this point”.  We unfurled a banner that read “Stop the War Machine: Export Peace” and joined the rest of our colleagues in singing “We Shall Not be Moved”.

There was no one else trying to get inside the Capitol building, but nonetheless, we allowed plenty of room on the steps for others to get around us if they wanted to, and so we were not blocking anyone.  Though the police told us we could not deliver our petition, it is our First Amendment right to petition our government for a redress of grievances, so when the police told us to leave, no lawful order was given.  Why then were 13 of us arrested?  We were taken to the Capitol police station in handcuffs, charged, and released.

We were surprised when four members of the group, Martin Gugino from Buffalo, Phil Runkel from Wisconsin, Janice Sevre-Duszynska from Kentucky, and Trudy Silver from New York City,  had their charges dismissed within a couple of weeks of the action.  Why were there charges dropped when we all did the exact same thing?  Later, the government offered to drop the charges against us for a $50 post and forfeit.  Because of personal reasons four members of our group, Carol Gay from New Jersey, Linda LeTendre from New York, Alice Sutter from New York City, and Brian Terrell, Iowa, decided to accept that offer.  It seems the government knew early on that this case could not be prosecuted.

Five of us went to trial on May 23, Max Obusewski, Baltimore, Malachy Kilbride, Maryland, Joan Nicholson, Pennsylvania, Eve Tetaz, DC, and me.

We were in front of the judge for less than five minutes.  Max stood and introduced himself and asked if we could begin by talking about his motion for extended discovery.  Judge Gardner said we would hear from the government first.  The government prosecutor stood and said that the government was not ready to proceed.  Max moved that his case be dismissed.  Mark Goldstone, attorney advisor, moved that the case against Eve, Joan, Malachy, and me be dismissed.  Gardner granted the motions and it was over.

The government should have had the common courtesy to let us know they were not prepared to go to trial when they obviously knew ahead of time the trial would not go forward.  I would not have had to travel to DC, Joan would not have had to travel from Pennsylvania, and others more local would not have bothered to come to the court house.  I believe they wanted to mete out whatever punishment they could, even without going to trial, and not allow our voices to be heard in court. 

I have been arrested 40 times since 2003.  Of those 40, 19 arrests have been in DC.  In looking at my 19 arrests in DC, charges have been dismissed ten times and I have been acquitted four times.  I have only been found guilty four times out of 19 arrests in DC.  I think we are being falsely arrested to shut us down and get us out of the way, and not because we have committed a crime that we will likely be found guilty of.

What we were doing at the US Capitol on January 12 was an act of civil resistance.  It is important to understand the difference between civil disobedience and civil resistance.  In civil disobedience, a person knowingly breaks an unjust law in order to change it.  An example would be the lunch counter sit-ins during the civil rights movements in the early 1960s.  A law is broken and activists willingly face the consequences.

In civil resistance, we are not breaking the law; rather the government is breaking the law and we are acting in resistance to that law-breaking.  We did not go to the Capitol on January 12 because we wanted to get arrested, as was stated in the police report.  We went there because we had to call attention to the illegal and immoral actions of our government.  As we stated in our petition:

 We write to you as people committed to nonviolent social change with a deep concern for a variety of issues that are all interrelated. Please heed our petition—end our government’s continuing wars and military incursions around the world and use these tax dollars as a solution to end growing poverty which is a plague throughout this country in which vast wealth is controlled by a tiny percentage of its citizens. Establish a living wage for all workers. Condemn forcefully the policy of mass incarceration, solitary confinement, and the rampant police violence. Pledging to end the addiction to militarism will have a positive effect on our planet's climate and habitat. 

We delivered the petition knowing that we could be risking arrest by doing so and knowing that we would face the consequences, but we also believed that we were not breaking the law by attempting to deliver the petition.

And of course it is utterly essential that as we do this work we keep in mind that it is not our minor inconvenience that should be at the forefront of our thoughts, but rather the suffering of those we are speaking up for.  Those of us who took action on January 12 were 13 white middle-class citizens of the United States.  We have the privilege of being able to stand up and speak out against our government without serious consequences.  Even if we do end up going to jail, that is not the important part of the story.

Our focus always needs to be on our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering and dying because of our government’s policies and choices.  We think of those in the Middle East and Africa where drones are flying overhead and dropping bombs that are traumatizing and killing thousands of innocent children, women, and men.  We think of those in the United States who are living under the mantle of poverty, lacking such basic necessities as food, housing, and adequate medical care.  We think of those whose lives have been shattered by police violence because of the color of their skin.  We think of all of us who will perish if government leaders around the world don’t make drastic and immediate changes to deter climate chaos.  We think of all those who are oppressed by the powerful.

It is critical that those of us who are able to, come together and speak up against these crimes by our government.  The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) has been organizing actions of civil resistance since 2003.  In the fall, September 23-25, we will be part of a conference organized by World Beyond War (http://worldbeyondwar.org/NoWar2016/ ) in Washington, DC.  At the conference we will be talking about civil resistance and organizing future actions.

In January 2017, NCNR will be organizing an action on the day of the presidential inauguration.  Whoever becomes president, we went to send a strong message that we must end all wars.   We must provide liberty and justice for all.

We need many people to join us for future actions.  Please look into your heart and make a conscious decision about whether you are able to join us and stand up in resistance to the United States government.  The people have the power to bring about change and we must reclaim that power before it is too late.

For information on getting involved, contact joyfirst5@gmail.com

Veterans For Peace Calls for Nuclear Disarmament in Our Lifetime

Obama at Hiroshima: “We must change our mindset about war itself.”

President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima has been the subject of much commentary and debate.  Peace activists, scientists and even the New York Times called on Obama to use the occasion to announce meaningful steps toward worldwide nuclear disarmament, as he famously promised before receiving his premature Nobel Peace Prize.

At Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Barack Obama delivered the kind of eloquent speech he is known for – some say his most eloquent yet.  He called for an end to nuclear weapons.  He said that the nuclear powers “…must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.”  Incisively, Obama added“We must change our mindset about war itself.” 

President Obama announced no new steps, however, to achieve nuclear disarmament.  Disappointingly, he stated, “We may not realize this goal in my lifetime.” 

Certainly not if Obama hands the next administration his initiative to “modernize” the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal.  That is a 30-year program estimated to cost One Trillion Dollars, or $1,000,000,000,000.  Smaller, more precise and “usable” nukes would be in the mix.

There are other bad signs.  Standing next to Obama at Hiroshima was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is shredding Article 9 of the Japanese constitution,the “pacifist” clause that bars Japan from sending troops abroad or engaging in war.  The alarmingly militaristic Abe has even hinted that Japan itself should become a nuclear power. 

The Obama administration is encouraging Japan to have a more aggressive military posture, as part of a U.S. backed regional response to China’s assertion of primacy in the South China Sea.  That is also the context for Obama’s announcement that he is lifting the U.S. embargo of weapons sales to Vietnam.  The U.S. “normalizes” relations by selling weapons of war.

The so-called Asia Pivot, which would see 60% of U.S. military forces stationed in the Pacific, is only one current assertion of U.S. global hegemony.  The U.S. is involved in multiple wars in the Middle East, it continues its longest war in Afghanistan, and it is pushing NATO, including Germany, to station significant military forces on Russia’s borders.

The U.S. nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed 200,000 civilians, were inexcusable and morally reprehensible, especially since, according to many U.S. military leaders, they were absolutely unnecessary,as the Japanese were already defeated and were looking for a way to surrender.

 

Veterans For Peace Apologizes to Japanese People and the World

U.S. presidents may never apologize for what our country did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  But we do.  Veterans For Peace expresses our deepest condolences to all those who were killed and maimed, and to their families. We apologize to the Hibakusha,the survivorsof the nuclear bombings, and we thank them for their courageous, continuing witness. 

We apologize to all the Japanese people and to all the people of the world.  This hugely atrocious crime against humanity should never have happened.  As military veterans who have come to see the tragic futility of war, we promise that we will continue working for peace and disarmament.  We want to see nuclear disarmament in our lifetime.

It is a miracle that that there have been no nuclear wars since the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We now know that the world has been close to nuclear annihilation on several occasions.  The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty calls on the nuclear powers (nine nations and growing), to negotiate in good faith to reduce and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons.  Nothing of the sort is taking place. 

The aggressive U.S. military posture, including its development of new nuclear weapons, has prompted China and Russia to respond in kind.  China will soon be launching nuclear-armed submarines to cruise the Pacific Ocean.  Russia, threatened by the placement of “defensive” U.S. missile systems near its borders, is upgrading its nuclear capacities, and is touting new submarine-fired nuclear-armed cruise missiles.  U.S. and Russian missiles remain on a hair-trigger alert.  The U.S. reserves the right to a first strike. 

Is Nuclear War Inevitable?

India and Pakistan continue to test nuclear weapons and to fight over the territory of Kashmir, constantly risking the possibility of a greater war in which nuclear weapons might be used.

North Korea, threatened by the presence of nuclear weapons on U.S. Navy ships, and by the refusal of the U.S. to negotiate an end to the Korean War, brandishes its own nuclear weapons. 

Israel has as many as 200 nuclear weapons with which they intend to maintain their dominance in the Middle East. 

The possession of nuclear weapons earned the former colonial powers Britain and France their seats at the UN Security Council.

Iran does not have nuclear weapons, was not even close to acquiring them, and they claim they do not want them.  But one could certainly understand if they and other countries who feel threatened by nuclear powers might want to acquire the ultimate deterrent.  If Saddam Hussein had actually had nuclear weapons, the U.S. would not have invaded Iraq.

There is a very real possibility that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorist organizations, or just be inherited by governments that are more militarist than the last.

In short, the danger of nuclear war, or even multiple nuclear wars, has never been greater.  Given the current trajectory, nuclear war actually appears inevitable. 

Nuclear disarmament will likely occur only when the powers that be, beginning with the United States, are pressured by millions of peace-loving people into abandoning militarism and adopting a peaceful, cooperative foreign policy.  President Obama is right when he says that “we must rethink war itself.” 

Veterans For Peace is committed to opposing U.S. wars, both overt and covert.  Our Mission Statement also calls on us to expose the true costs of war, to heal the wounds of war, and to push for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.  We want to abolish war once and for all.

The Golden Rule Sails for a Nuclear-Free World

Last year Veterans For Peace (VFP) dramatically stepped up our efforts to educate people about the dangers of nuclear weapons when we relaunched the historic antinuclear sailboat, the Golden Rule.  The 34-foot peace boat was the star of the VFP Convention in San Diego last August, and stopped in ports along the California coast for unique public events.  Now the Golden Rule is beginning a 4-1/2 month voyage (June – October) throughout the waterways of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.  The Golden Rule will be sailing for a nuclear-free world and a peaceful, sustainable future.

We will make common cause with many people in the Pacific Northwest who are concerned about the devastation of climate change, and are organizing against dangerous coal, oil and natural gas infrastructure in their port towns.  We will remind them that the risk of nuclear war is also a threat to the very existence of human civilization.

Veterans For Peace will encourage climate justice activists to work also for peace and nuclear disarmament. The peace movement, in turn, will grow as it embraces the movement for climate justice.  We will build a profound international movement and work hopefully together for a peaceful, sustainable future for all.

Obama in Hiroshima Paints a Peace Sign on a Bomb

President Obama went to Hiroshima, did not apologize, did not state the facts of the matter (that there was no justification for the bombings there and in Nagasaki), and did not announce any steps to reverse his pro-nuke policies (building more nukes, putting more nukes in Europe, defying the nonproliferation treaty, opposing a ban treaty, upholding a first-strike policy, spreading nuclear energy far and wide, demonizing Iran and North Korea, antagonizing Russia, etc.).

Where Obama is usually credited -- and the reason he's usually given a pass on his actual actions -- is in the area of rhetoric. But in Hiroshima, as in Prague, his rhetoric did more harm than good. He claimed to want to eliminate nukes, but he declared that such a thing could not happen for decades (probably not in his lifetime) and he announced that humanity has always waged war (before later quietly claiming that this need not continue).

"Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind," said Obama.

"We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves," he added, leaping from a false claim about the past to a necessity to continue dumping our resources into the weapons that produce rather than avoid more wars.

After much in this higly damaging vein, Obama added: "But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe." He even said: "We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story. ..." That's right, but the U.S. President had already told a really bad one.

If war were inevitable, as Obama has repeatedly suggested, including in the first ever pro-war Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, there would be little point in trying to end it. If war were inevitable, a moral case might be made for trying to lessen its damage while it continued. And numerous parochial cases could be made for being prepared to win inevitable wars for this side or that side. That's the case Obama makes, without seeming to realize that it applies to other countries too, including countries that feel threatened by the U.S. military.

Developing ways to avoid generating conflicts is part of the answer to eliminating war, but some occurrence of conflict (or major disagreement) is inevitable, which is why we must use more effective and less destructive tools to resolve conflicts and to achieve security.
 
But there is nothing inevitable about war. It is not made necessary by our genes, by other inevitable forces in our culture, or by crises beyond our control.

War has only been around for the most recent fraction of the existence of our species. We did not evolve with it. During this most recent 10,000 years, war has been sporadic. Some societies have not known war. Some have known it and then abandoned it. Just as some of us find it hard to imagine a world without war or murder, some human societies have found it hard to imagine a world with those things. A man in Malaysia, asked why he wouldn’t shoot an arrow at slave raiders, replied “Because it would kill them.” He was unable to comprehend that anyone could choose to kill. It’s easy to suspect him of lacking imagination, but how easy is it for us to imagine a culture in which virtually nobody would ever choose to kill and war would be unknown? Whether easy or hard to imagine, or to create, this is decidedly a matter of culture and not of DNA.

According to myth, war is “natural.” Yet a great deal of conditioning is needed to prepare most people to take part in war, and a great deal of mental suffering is common among those who have taken part. In contrast, not a single person is known to have suffered deep moral regret or post-traumatic stress disorder from war deprivation.

In some societies women have been virtually excluded from war making for centuries and then included. Clearly, this is a question of culture, not of genetic makeup. War is optional, not inevitable, for women and men alike.

Some nations invest much more heavily in militarism than most and take part in many more wars. Some nations, under coercion, play minor parts in the wars of others. Some nations have completely abandoned war. Some have not attacked another country for centuries. Some have put their military in a museum. And even in the United States, 44% of the people tell pollsters that they "would" participate if there were a war, yet with the U.S. currently in 7 wars, less than 1% of the people are in the military.

War long predates capitalism, and surely Switzerland is a type of capitalist nation just as the United States is. But there is a widespread belief that a culture of capitalism — or of a particular type and degree of greed and destruction and short-sightedness — necessitates war. One answer to this concern is the following: any feature of a society that necessitates war can be changed and is not itself inevitable. The military-industrial complex is not an eternal and invincible force. Environmental destructiveness and economic structures based on greed are not immutable.

There is a sense in which this is unimportant; namely, we need to halt environmental destruction and reform corrupt government just as we need to end war, regardless of whether any of these changes depends on the others to succeed. Moreover, by uniting such campaigns into a comprehensive movement for change, strength in numbers will make each more likely to succeed.

But there is another sense in which this is important; namely, we need to understand war as the cultural creation that it is and stop imagining it as something imposed on us by forces beyond our control. In that sense it is important to recognize that no law of physics or sociology requires us to have war because we have some other institution. In fact, war is not required by a particular lifestyle or standard of living because any lifestyle can be changed, because unsustainable practices must end by definition with or without war, and because war actually impoverishes societies that use it.

War in human history up to this point has not correlated with population density or resource scarcity. The idea that climate change and the resulting catastrophes will inevitably generate wars could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is not a prediction based on facts.

The growing and looming climate crisis is a good reason for us to outgrow our culture of war, so that we are prepared to handle crises by other, less destructive means. And redirecting some or all of the vast sums of money and energy that go into war and war preparation to the urgent work of protecting the climate could make a significant difference, both by ending one of our mostenvironmentally destructive activities and by funding a transition to sustainable practices.

In contrast, the mistaken belief that wars must follow climate chaos will encourage investment in military preparedness, thus exacerbating the climate crisis and making more likely the compounding of one type of catastrophe with another.

Human societies have been known to abolish institutions that were widely considered permanent. These have included human sacrifice, blood feuds, duelling, slavery, the death penalty, and many others. In some societies some of these practices have been largely eradicated, but remain illicitly in the shadows and on the margins. Those exceptions don’t tend to convince most people that complete eradication is impossible, only that it hasn’t yet been achieved in that society. The idea of eliminating hunger from the globe was once considered ludicrous. Now it is widely understood that hunger could be abolished — and for a tiny fraction of what is spent on war. While nuclear weapons have not all been dismantled and eliminated, there exists a popular movement working to do just that.

Ending all war is an idea that has found great acceptance in various times and places. It was more popular in the United States, for example, in the 1920s and 1930s. In recent decades, the notion has been propogated that war is permanent. That notion is new, radical, and without basis in fact.

Polling is not often done on support for the abolition of war. Here’s one case when it was done.

Quite a few nations have chosen to have no military. Here’s a list.

And here's a movement to accomplish now what Obama discourages the world by claiming it can't be done anytime soon. Those who say that such things cannot be done have always had and still have the responsibility to get out of the way of the people doing them.

LEARN MORE:

Video and Audio:sad

This video addresses the myth that humans are naturally violent: Book Discussion with Paul Chappell on The Art of Waging Peace.

This 1939 antiwar cartoon from MGM gives some indication of how mainstream opposition to war was at the time.

Doug Fry on Talk Nation Radio.

John Horgan on Talk Nation Radio.

An example of humans’ inclination away from war: the 1914 Christmas truce.

Films:

Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce.

Articles:

Fry, Douglas P. & Souillac, Geneviéve (2013). The Relevance of Nomadic Forager Studies to Moral Foundations Theory: Moral Education and Global Ethics in the Twenty-First Century. Journal of Moral Education, (July) vol:xx-xx.

Henri Parens (2013) War Is Not Inevitable, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 25:2, 187-194.
Main arguments: Human civilization is at its best with universal education, affordable communication, and international travel as human connectors. War prevention is possible through support and fostering of human rights, securing of governments and institutions against abuses and exploitations by others, internationalization of children’s education, compulsory parenting education, and countering extremism of all kinds.

Brooks, Allan Laurence. “Must war be inevitable? A general semantics essay.”  ETC.: A Review of General Semantics 63.1 (2006): 86+. Academic OneFile. Web. 26 Dec. 2013.
Main arguments: Warns against two-valued positions: we are not either aggressive or non-aggressive. Points to the predominant mode of human cooperation throughout history. Arguments in line with many social and behavioral scientists who state that we have the potential to be aggressive and fight wars, but we also have the potential to be non-aggressive and peaceful.

Zur, Ofer. (1989). War Myths: Exploration of the Dominant Collective Beliefs about Warfare. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 29(3), 297-327. doi: 10.1177/0022167889293002.
Main arguments: Author critically examines three myths about war: (1) war is part of human nature; (2) decent people are peaceful and seek to avoid war; (3) war is a male institution. Good point made: Disqualifying myths scientifically does not reduce their importance to the people and cultures subscribing to them. “Exposing the erroneous nature of these beliefs can be the first step out of the vicious cycle of destructive, unconscious self-fulfilling prophecies”.

Zur, Ofer. (1987). The Psychohistory of Warfare: The Co-Evolution of Culture, Psyche and Enemy. Journal of Peace Research, 24(2), 125-134. doi: 10.1177/002234338702400203.
Main arguments: Humans have had the technical and physical ability to create and use weapons against each other for the last 200,000 years, but only created and used weapons against each other in the last 13,000 years. Wars have been waged only one percent of human evolutionary time.

The Seville Statement on Violence: PDF.
World’s leading behavior scientists refute the notion that organized human violence [e.g. war] is biologically determined. The statement was adopted by the UNESCO.

War Can Be Ended: Part I of “War No More: The Case for Abolition” by David Swanson

Wars Are Not Unavoidable: Chapter 4 of “War Is A Lie” by David Swanson

On Ending War by E. Douglas Kihn

Books:

Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Doug Fry

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman

Peaceful Revolution by Paul K. Chappell

The End of War by John Horgan

War Is A Lie by David Swanson

When the World Outlawed War by David Swanson

War No More: The Case for Abolition by David Swanson

A Future Without War: The Strategy of a Warfare Transition by Judith Hand

American Wars: Illusions and Realities by Paul Buchheit

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves by Adam Hochschild

Fry, Douglas. P. (2013). War, peace, and human nature : the convergence of evolutionary and cultural views. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kemp, Graham, & Fry, Douglas P. (2004). Keeping the peace : conflict resolution and peaceful societies around the world. New York: Routledge.

Focus: The Trump-Sanders Debate - May 26, 2016


If there will be a debate between Trump and Sanders, I hope it will be conducted in a civil, respectful manner. Trump has been viciously attacked by the media, politicians and pundits calling him names such as fascist, racist, bigot, misogynist, etc. In truth Trump and Sanders are the best presidential candidates compared to their opponents which are the relics of a past of wars, economic recession, inequality, corruption. They both reflect a popular desire to clean up this mess. They both try to address the root societal problems but with different solutions. They may even find a common ground on some issues. A debate between them should highlights their differences without resorting to personal insults and disparaging remarks.

I am a Sanders supporter and I disagree with some Trump statements but I recognize the beneficial effects of his campaign. Trump defeated his opponents who were backed by powerful, moneyed interest groups and the Republican establishment and certainly this was not a small feat! He spelled out his thoughts frankly, clearly, in a non professional style. And he found an audience tired of old policies and lies by consummate politicians and looking for someone who 'tells it like it is'. Whoever become the next U.S. president, either Sanders or Trump, after the elections they will need each other’s supporters to enact their programs.

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Statement Opposing US President Barack Obama’ Visit to Hiroshima

Action Committee for the 71st Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th
14-3-705 Noborimachi, Naka ward, Hiroshima City
Telephone/Fax: 082-221-7631 Email: hiro-100@cronos.ocn.ne.jp

 

 

We oppose the planned visit of the US President Barack Obama to Hiroshima on May 27th after Ise-Shima Summit.

 

"Looking Forward" Comes to Hiroshima

Never mind an apology, Obama should admit the truth

By David Swanson, TeleSUR

A boy looks at a huge photograph showing Hiroshima city after the 1945 atomic bombing, at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Japan August 6, 2007.

Since before he entered the White House, Barack Obama has proposed handling past crimes by powerful people and entities through a policy called "looking forward" -- in other words, by ignoring them. While President Obama has targeted whistleblowers with retribution and more prosecutions than his predecessors, deported more immigrants, and kept the lights on in Guantanamo, anyone responsible for war or assassination or torture or lawless imprisonment or most major Wall Street scams (or sharing military secrets with one's mistress) has been given a total pass. Why shouldn't Harry Truman receive the same privilege?

This policy, now being brought to Hiroshima, has been a miserable failure. Wars based on lies to Congress have been displaced by wars without Congress at all. Assassinations and support for coups are open public policy, with Tuesday kill list selections and State Department support for regimes in Honduras, Ukraine, and Brazil. Torture, in the new Washington consensus, is a policy choice with at least one presidential candidate campaigning on making greater use of it. Lawless imprisonment is likewise respectable in the hoped-and-changed world, and Wall Street is doing what it did before.

Obama has carried this policy of "looking forward" backward into the past, prior to his upcoming visit to Hiroshima. "Looking forward" requires only ignoring criminality and responsibility; it permits acknowledging occurrences in the past if one does so with a face that appears regretful and eager to move on. While Obama disagreed with President George W. Bush on Iraq, Bush meant well, or so Obama now says. As did U.S. forces in Vietnam, Obama says. The Korean War was actually a victory, Obama has rather surprisingly announced. "The risk-takers, the doers . . . [who] settled the West" prove "the greatness of our nation." That was how Obama euphemized the North American genocide in his first inaugural address. What might one expect him to say of the romanticized acts of mass-murder in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the Truman regime squeezed in before World War II could end?

Many peace activists whom I greatly respect have been, along with survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (called Hibakusha), urging Obama to apologize for the nuclear bombings and/or to meet briefly with survivors. I am not opposed to such steps, but rhetoric and photo ops are not what's really needed and can often work against what's really needed. By virtue of his rhetoric and party membership, Obama has been given a pass on his warmaking for over seven years. I'd have preferred he said nothing, made no speeches at all. By virtue of a speech in Prague in which Obama persuaded people that eliminating nukes must take decades, he has been given a pass on massive investment in new nukes, continued first-strike policy, more nukes in Europe, escalated hostility toward Russia, continued noncompliance with the nonproliferation treaty, and dangerous fear mongering around Iran's scary (though nonexistent) nuclear weapons program.

What's needed is not an apology so much as an admission of the facts. When people learn the facts around claims of mountaintop rescues in Iraq, or where ISIS came from, whether Gadaffi was really threatening to massacre and handing out Viagra for rape, whether Iraq really had WMDs or took babies out of incubators, what actually happened in the Gulf of Tonkin, why the USS Maine blew up in Havana harbor, and so forth, then people turn against war. Then they all come to believe that an apology is needed. And they offer apologies on behalf of their government. And they demand a formal apology. This is what should happen for Hiroshima.

I've joined over 50 U.S. signers on a letter drafted by historian Peter Kuznick to be published on May 23rd that asks President Obama to make good use of his visit to Hiroshima by:

  • "Meeting with all Hibakusha who are able to attend
  • Announcing the end of U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion for the new generation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems
  • Reinvigorating nuclear disarmament negotiations to go beyond New START by announcing the unilateral reduction of the deployed U.S. arsenal to 1,000 nuclear weapons or fewer
  • Calling on Russia to join with the United States in convening the 'good faith negotiations' required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for the complete elimination of the world's nuclear arsenals.
  • Reconsidering your refusal to apologize or discuss the history surrounding the A-bombings, which even President Eisenhower, Generals MacArthur, King, Arnold, and LeMay and Admirals Leahy and Nimitz stated were not necessary to end the war."

If President Obama just apologizes, without explaining the facts of the matter, then he'll simply get himself denounced as a traitor without making the U.S. public any less likely to back wars. The need to "discuss the history" is therefore critical.

When asked if Obama would himself have done what Truman did, Obama's spokesman Josh Earnest said: "I think what the president would say is that it's hard to put yourself in that position from the outside. I think what the president does appreciate is that president Truman made this decision for the right reasons. President Truman was focused on the national security interests of the United States, . . . on bringing an end to a terrible war. And president Truman made this decision fully mindful of the likely human toll. I think it's hard to look back and second-guess it too much."

This is quintessential "looking forward." One must not look back and second-guess that someone powerful did something wrong. One should look back and conclude that he had good intentions, thus rendering whatever damage he caused "collateral damage" of those all-absolving good intentions.

This wouldn't matter so much if people in the United States knew the actual history of what happened to Hiroshima. Here's a recent Reuters article tactfully distinguishing between what people in the United States imagine and what historians understand:

"A majority of Americans see the bombings as having been necessary to end the war and save U.S. and Japanese lives, although many historians question that view. Most Japanese believe they were unjustified."

Reuters goes on to advocate for looking forward:

"Officials in both countries have made clear they want to stress the present and future, not dig into the past, even as the two leaders honor all victims of the war."

Honoring victims by avoiding looking at what happened to them? Almost humorously, Reuters turns immediately to asking the Japanese government to look backward:

"Even without an apology, some hope that Obama's visit will highlight the huge human cost of the bombings and pressure Japan to own up more forthrightly to its responsibilities and atrocities."

As it should. But how will Obama visiting the site of a massive and unprecedented crime, and blatantly failing to acknowledge the criminality and responsibility encourage Japan to take the opposite approach?

I have previously drafted what I'd like to hear Obama say in Hiroshima. Here's an excerpt:

"There has for many years no longer been any serious dispute. Weeks before the first bomb was dropped, on July 13, 1945, Japan sent a telegram to the Soviet Union expressing its desire to surrender and end the war. The United States had broken Japan's codes and read the telegram. Truman referred in his diary to 'the telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.' President Truman had been informed through Swiss and Portuguese channels of Japanese peace overtures as early as three months before Hiroshima. Japan objected only to surrendering unconditionally and giving up its emperor, but the United States insisted on those terms until after the bombs fell, at which point it allowed Japan to keep its emperor.

"Presidential advisor James Byrnes had told Truman that dropping the bombs would allow the United States to 'dictate the terms of ending the war.' Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal wrote in his diary that Byrnes was 'most anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in.' Truman wrote in his diary that the Soviets were preparing to march against Japan and 'Fini Japs when that comes about.' Truman ordered the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th and another type of bomb, a plutonium bomb, which the military also wanted to test and demonstrate, on Nagasaki on August 9th. Also on August 9th, the Soviets attacked the Japanese. During the next two weeks, the Soviets killed 84,000 Japanese while losing 12,000 of their own soldiers, and the United States continued bombing Japan with non-nuclear weapons. Then the Japanese surrendered.

"The United States Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that, '… certainly prior to 31 December, 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November, 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.' One dissenter who had expressed this same view to the Secretary of War prior to the bombings was General Dwight Eisenhower. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William D. Leahy agreed: 'The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender,' he said."

Fortunately for the world, the non-nuclear nations are moving to ban nuclear weapons. Bringing nuclear nations on board and effecting disarmament will require beginning to tell the truth.

Key issue left unraised is secret financial deals: With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers

By Dave Lindorff

 

            When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s State Department email scandal, reporters -- and even her right-wing critics in the Republican Party -- are asking the wrong question.

 

Off With Their Heads, She Said

 

 


Clinton’s Imperious Brush-off of Email Rules

 

 

 

Editor Note: The State Department’s Inspector General issued a blunt report criticizing Hillary Clinton’s imperious refusal to follow email rules as Secretary of State, adding to Clinton’s credibility problem.

By Ray McGovern

State Department functionaries faced a hopeless task as they tried to spin their own Inspector General’s matter-of-fact critique of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s imperial attitude toward basic security measures everyone else is required by law to follow.

Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Oil World in Chaos

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 26, 2016


State Dept. watchdog: Clinton violated email rules, failed to comply with the agency’s policies on records while using a personal server  - POLITICO


Key findings from inspector general report on Clinton emails - AP


Hillary Clinton failed to report several hacking attempts: IG - Washington Times


REPORT: Full text of the State Department report on Clinton's email practices - POLITICO


VIDEO: State Department briefing on Hillary Clinton email (Starts at 3:00 min) - C-SPAN.org


Clinton campaign statement on the IG report claiming Hillary’s email practices were consistent with those of other Secretaries and senior officials - Townhall


VIDEO: 'Looks as if she’s got something to hide’: Blitzer grills Hillary spox Brian Fallon on email report - CNN


VIDEO: Why Clinton’s email woes are deemed worse than predecessors’ - PBS NewsHour


VIDEO: Judge Napolitano: State Dept audit could be ‘devastating' for Hillary - Fox News Insider


Guccifer, hacker who says he breached Clinton server, pleads guilty - NBC News


VIDEO: What does Guccifer know about Hillary's email and why did he get such a sweet deal from prosecutors? - Fox News


I am pretty sure Bill Clinton's doodles prove Guccifer hacked into Hillary's server. No Joke - reddit.com


ARCHIVE: Here’s some new hacked presidential art from the Clinton White House - Gawker

 

----------------------------------------------------

Republicans rip Clinton after IG email report - POLITICO


Trump: Email scandal might force Clinton out of race - TheHill


VIDEO: Trump: Hillary got some bad news about her emails today - YouTube


Gowdy: Benghazi probe forced exposure of Clinton email abuse - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: Senator Boxer: Clinton email audit ‘such a nothingburger’ - MSNBC


VIDEO: Pelosi: Sec. Clinton acted in ‘good conscience’ on emails - YouTube


Democrat Elijah Cummings defends Hillary’s email practices - BizPac Review


Sanders camp refuses to pounce on Clinton State IG report - POLITICO


Bernie Sanders camp: We're getting 'zero' pressure from Democrats to drop out - POLITICO


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Documents: IOGCC-Spawned Loophole Creating Frackquake Crisis Faces Federal Lawsuit

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On May 4, several environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for an end to the regulatory exemption it carved out in the late 1980s for the oil and gas industry with regards to how it handles industrial waste.


Photo Credit: United States Geological Survey

Will You Join Me in Voting for Neither Trump Nor Clinton?

I'm committing to not vote for Clinton or Trump, and you can do the same.

The Democratic Party's undemocratic primaries are not over, and nobody has won them. It is entirely possible that Hillary Clinton will not be nominated for any office. That doesn't prevent us from going ahead and committing to never vote for either her or Donald Trump for president of the United States.

Making this commitment could send a badly needed message to the world: There are people in the United States with some minimal level of decency. It could also kickstart the movement that will be needed to resist the regime of whichever of them wins. It could also alert Californian Democrats to the need to vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary.

There's a cartoon floating around at which a Muslim U.S. voter tries to choose between "Ban my relatives from entering country" and "Bomb the s--- out of my relatives." Not much of a choice, is it? Especially when the bomber is following the model of our current president with his record deportations, and the banner is a loose cannon who's proposed to kill the families of designated enemies in the Middle East.

This is the essence of the problem. Whichever of these two you were to vote for, you'd get wars, nasty policies toward immigrants, plutocratic policies toward wealth, and destructive policies toward the natural environment -- barring the arising of a powerful popular movement to bring the government under control.

Sure, one candidate is a comically ill-informed jackass who hates women, while the other is a woman whose comically jackassy policies will come with great scholarly volumns of ill information. But where does either of those really get us?

Lesser evilism predictably produces a pair of candidates each cycle who are both worse than was the more evil candidate last time. This cannot go on forever, and has already gone too far. We need a nonviolent movement to reform our election system -- something not done through elections. But there are plenty of good candidates, such as Jill Stein, to check or write in. We should vote for those good candidates and get right back to work on improving the world.

Will you click here and join me?

Here are a few reminders of who the "progressive" candidate of the "Democratic" Party is:

"For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be." —Robert Kagan

"I have a sense that she's one of the more competent members of the current administration and it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president." —Dick Cheney

"I've known her for many years now, and I respect her intellect. And she ran the State Department in the most effective way that I've ever seen." —Henry Kissinger

Nobody Beats This Record

  • She says President Obama was wrong not to launch missile strikes on Syria in 2013.
  • She pushed hard for the overthrow of Qadaffi in 2011.
  • She supported the coup government in Honduras in 2009.
  • She has backed escalation and prolongation of war in Afghanistan.
  • She voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
  • She skillfully promoted the White House justification for the war on Iraq.
  • She does not hesitate to back the use of drones for targeted killing.
  • She has consistently backed the military initiatives of Israel.
  • She was not ashamed to laugh at the killing of Qadaffi.
  • She has not hesitated to warn that she could obliterate Iran.
  • She is not afraid to antagonize Russia.
  • She helped facilitate a military coup in Ukraine.
  • She has the financial support of the arms makers and many of their foreign customers.
  • She waived restrictions at the State Department on selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar, all states wise enough to donate to the Clinton Foundation.
  • She supported President Bill Clinton's wars and the power of the president to make war without Congress.
  • She has advocated for arming fighters in Syria.
  • She supported a surge in Iraq even before President Bush did.

Hammering for Peace

Bdownloady Kathy Kelly

Last winter, at the Voices home/office in Chicago, we welcomed two friends who were in town for a Mennonite church gathering focused on the symbol of beating swords into plowshares. Their project embraces a vision from the biblical “Book of Isaiah” which longs for the day when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they study war anymore.” Our friends quite literally enact this vision. They use saws to cut guns and rifles in half and then hammer on the broken weapons, turning them into useful tools for gardening and light construction.

Throughout the service, one of the men could be seen, on a screen, standing outside the Mennonite church hall, fashioning, with hammer and anvil, a rifle into a garden tool. Sparks flew with his hammer, but no-one was inflamed into anger. The fire our friends wanted to ignite was inside us. With what work can we replace war? If we are no longer training for war, what else could we be doing?” 

That winter night, at the Mennonite church, I couldn’t help but think of another activist who had swung a tool last December, in this case, a sledgehammer, because she was inspired to confront weapon makers and encourage alternatives to war. Jessica Reznicek, age 34, didn’t own the weapon system she wanted to transform. But she felt responsible to help the general public own up to its complicity with weapon systems funded by U.S. taxpayers. She took a sledgehammer to the doors of a major weapon producing company, Northrop Grumman, outside Offut Air Force base. In a written statement explaining why she swung her tool at the plate glass, Jessica asks people to understand that Northrop Grumman's weapon systems shatter and destroy the lives of people the world over.

As one of the manufacturers with the largest share of the global Unmanned Aerial Systems market, (18.9%), Northrop Grumman profits immensely from peddling complex weapon systems often designed to be eyes in the skies monitoring targets for assassination. This kind of surveillance and extrajudicial execution generates intense anger and backlashes in other lands. It also promotes proliferation of robotic weapons. But the U.S. military and acquiescent institutions encourage us to feel that we've been made safer by complex weapons of destruction, and we should instead be frightened of a young woman wielding a sledgehammer to break a plate glass window.

On May 24, Jessica Reznicek went go to a trial in Nebraska, expected to last two days, for her action. She has chosen to go “pro se,” – to defend herself. Courts in the U.S. seldom allow the necessity defense. If the judge in Jessica’s case does so, Jessica could try to defend herself saying she acted to prevent a greater harm. She could establish that the U.S. government consistently provides Northrop Grumman with lavish funding, devoting immense resources of materials and scientific ingenuity to the study of war, all desperately needed elsewhere. Northrop Grumman steadily experiments in perfecting the high-tech advantage of an empire bent on endlessly dominating the world through endless war.

I wish that the testimony of my friends who literally beat guns into garden tools  could be part of the courtroom proceeding. They urge us to make guns and other weapons unnecessary, using raw tools of compassion and service to heal the conflicts in which weapons are used. I wish my young Afghan friends here in Kabul, who live under constant surveillance of Unmanned Aerial Systems, could testify about their desire to refine tools of peace making and constructive service.

Tomgram: William Hartung, How to Disappear Money, Pentagon-Style

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Top 12 Reasons the Good War Was Bad: Hiroshima in Context

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Welcome Ceremony in Japan 33962

Consider this a friendly reminder to President Obama on his way to Hiroshima.

No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you've advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question.

Of course this belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there's a good war next year, even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there's general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me.

And of course the funding generated by the Good War legend leads to more bad wars, rather than preventing them.

I've written on this topic at great length in many articles and books, especially this one. But perhaps it would be helpful to provide a column-length list of the top reasons that the good war was not good.

1. World War II could not have happened without World War I, without the stupid manner of starting World War I and the even stupider manner of ending World War I which led numerous wise people to predict World War II on the spot, without Wall Street's funding of Nazi Germany for decades (as preferable to commies), and without the arms race and numerous bad decisions that do not need to be repeated in the future.

2. The U.S. government was not hit with a surprise attack. President Franklin Roosevelt had committed to Churchill to provoking Japan and worked hard to provoke Japan, and knew the attack was coming, and initially drafted a declaration of war against both Germany and Japan on the evening of Pearl Harbor -- before which time, FDR had built up bases in the U.S. and multiple oceans, traded weapons to the Brits for bases, started the draft, created a list of every Japanese American person in the country, provided planes, trainers, and pilots to China, imposed harsh sanctions on Japan, and advised the U.S. military that a war with Japan was beginning.

3. The war was not humanitarian and was not even marketed as such until after it was over. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees was chased away from Miami by the Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations would not allow Jewish refugees in, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that Hitler might very well agree to that but it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa.

4. The war was not defensive. FDR lied that he had a map of Nazi plans to carve up South America, that he had a Nazi plan to eliminate religion, that U.S. ships actually assisting British war planes were innocently attacked by Nazis, that Germany was in fact a threat to the United States. A case can be made that the U.S. needed to enter the war in Europe to defend other nations, which had entered to defend yet other nations, but a case could also be made that the U.S. escalated the targeting of civilians, extended the war, and created more damage than might have been, had it done nothing, attempted diplomacy, or invested in nonviolence. To claim that a Nazi empire could have grown to someday include an occupation of the United States is wildly far fetched and not borne out by any earlier or later examples of other wars.

5. We now know much more widely and with much more data that nonviolent resistance to occupation and injustice is more likely to succeed, and that success more likely to last, than violent resistance. With this knowledge, we can look back at the stunning successes of nonviolent actions against the Nazis that were not well organized or built on beyond their initial successes.

6. The good war was not for supporting the troops. In fact, lacking intense modern conditioning to prepare soldiers to engage in the unnatural act of murder, some 80 percent of U.S. and other troops in World War II did not fire their weapons at the enemies. That those soldiers were treated better after the war than soldiers in other wars had been, or have been since, was the result of the pressure created by the Bonus Army after the previous war. That veterans were given free college was not due to the merits of the war or in some way a result of the war. Without the war, everyone could have been given free college for many years. If we provided free college to everyone today, it would take way more than World War II stories to get people into military recruiting stations.

7. Several times the number of people killed in German camps were killed outside of them in the war. The majority of those people were civilians. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made this war the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in a short space of time. That it was somehow "opposed" to the far lesser killing in the camps -- although, again, it actually wasn't -- can't justify the cure that was worse than the disease.

8. Escalating the war to include the all-out destruction of civilian cities, culminating in the completely indefensible nuking of cities took this war out of the realm of defensible projects for many who had defended its initiation -- and rightly so. Demanding unconditional surrender and seeking to maximize death and suffering did immense damage and left a legacy that has continued.

9. Killing huge numbers of people is supposedly defensible for the "good" side in a war, but not the "bad." The distinction between the two is never as stark as fantasized. The United States had an apartheid state for African Americans, camps for Japanese Americans, a tradition of genocide against Native Americans that inspired Nazis, programs of eugenics and human experimentation before, during, and after the war (including giving syphilis to people in Guatemala during the Nuremberg trials). The U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war. They fit right in. The U.S. aimed for a wider world empire, before the war, during it, and ever since.

10. The "good" side of the "good war," the party that did most of the killing and dying for the winning side, was the communist Soviet Union. That doesn't make the war a triumph for communism, but it does tarnish the tales of triumph for "democracy."

11. World War II still hasn't ended. Ordinary people in the United States didn't have their incomes taxed until World War II and that's never stopped. It was supposed to be temporary. The bases have never closed. The troops have never left Germany or Japan. There are over 100,000 U.S. and British bombs still in the ground in Germany, still killing.

12. Going back 75 years to a nuclear-free, colonial, world of completely different structures, laws, and habits to justify what has been the greatest expense of the United States in each of the years since is a bizarre feat of self-deception that isn't attempted in the justification of any lesser enterprise. Assume I've got numbers 1 through 11 totally wrong, and you've still got to explain how the world of the early 1940s justifies dumping into 2017 wars funding that could have fed, clothed, cured, and environmentally protected the earth.

Over 70 Prominent Activists and Scholars Urge Action by Obama in Hiroshima

May 23, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President,

We were happy to learn of your plans to be the first sitting president of the United States to visit Hiroshima this week, after the G-7 economic summit in Japan. Many of us have been to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and found it a profound, life-changing experience, as did Secretary of State John Kerry on his recent visit.

In particular, meeting and hearing the personal stories of A-bomb survivors, Hibakusha, has made a unique impact on our work for global peace and disarmament. Learning of the suffering of the Hibakusha, but also their wisdom, their awe-inspiring sense of humanity, and steadfast advocacy of nuclear abolition so the horror they experienced can never happen again to other human beings, is a precious gift that cannot help but strengthen anyone’s resolve to dispose of the nuclear menace.

Your 2009 Prague speech calling for a world free of nuclear weapons inspired hope around the world, and the New START pact with Russia, historic nuclear agreement with Iran and securing and reducing stocks of nuclear weapons-grade material globally have been significant achievements.

Yet, with more than 15,000 nuclear weapons (93% held by the U.S. and Russia) still threatening all the peoples of the planet, much more needs to be done. We believe you can still offer crucial leadership in your remaining time in office to move more boldly toward a world without nuclear weapons.

In this light, we strongly urge you to honor your promise in Prague to work for a nuclear weapons-free world by:

  • Meeting with all Hibakusha who are able to attend;
  • Announcing the end of U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion for the new generation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems;
  • Reinvigorating nuclear disarmament negotiations to go beyond New START by announcing the unilateral reduction of the deployed U.S. arsenal to 1,000 nuclear weapons or fewer;
  • Calling on Russia to join with the United States in convening the “good faith negotiations” required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for the complete elimination of the world’s nuclear arsenals;
  • Reconsidering your refusal to apologize or discuss the history surrounding the A-bombings, which even President Eisenhower, Generals MacArthur, King, Arnold, and LeMay and Admirals Leahy and Nimitz stated were not necessary to end the war.

Sincerely,

Gar Alperowitz, University of Maryland

Christian Appy, Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts,

Amherst, author of American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity

Colin Archer, Secretary-General, International Peace Bureau

Charles K. Armstrong, Professor of History, Columbia University

Medea Benjamin, Co-founder, CODE PINK, Women for Peace and Global Exchange

Phyllis Bennis, Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies

Herbert Bix, Professor of History, State University of New York, Binghamton

Norman Birnbaum, University Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University Law Center

Reiner Braun, Co-President, International Peace Bureau

Philip Brenner, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Graduate Program in US Foreign Policy and National Security, American University

Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation; National Co-convener, United for Peace and Justice

James Carroll, Author of An American Requiem

Noam Chomsky, Professor (emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

David Cortright, Director of Policy Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame and former Executive Director, SANE

Frank Costigliola, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, niversity of Connecticut

Bruce Cumings, Professor of History, University of Chicago

Alexis Dudden, Professor of History, University of Connecticut

Daniel Ellsberg, Former State and Defense Department official

John Feffer, Director, Foreign Policy In Focus,  Institute for Policy Studies

Gordon Fellman,  Professor of Sociology and Peace Studies, Brandeis University.
Bill Fletcher, Jr., Talk Show Host, Writer & Activist.

Norma Field, professor emerita, University of Chicago

Carolyn Forché, University Professor, Georgetown University

Max Paul Friedman, Professor of History, American University.

Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Lloyd Gardner, Professor of History Emeritus, Rutgers University, author Architects of Illusion and The Road to Baghdad.

Irene Gendzier Prof. Emeritus, Department of of History, Boston University

Joseph Gerson, Director, American Friends Service Committee Peace & Economic Security Program, author of With Hiroshima Eyes and Empire and the Bomb

Todd Gitlin, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

Andrew Gordon. Professor of History, Harvard University

John Hallam, Human Survival Project, People for Nuclear Disarmament, Australia

Melvin Hardy, Heiwa Peace Committee, Washington, DC

Laura Hein, Professor of History, Northwestern University

Martin Hellman, Member, US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Kate Hudson, General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)

Paul Joseph, Professor of Sociology, Tufts University

Louis Kampf, Professor of Humanities Emeritus MIT

Michael Kazin, Professor of History, Georgetown University

Asaf Kfoury, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Boston University

Peter King, Honorary Associate, Government & International Relations School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Sydney, NSW

David Krieger, President Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, is author of Beyond the Laboratory

John W. Lamperti, Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, Dartmouth College

Steven Leeper, Co-founder PEACE Institute, Former Chairman, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation

Robert Jay Lifton, MD, Lecturer in Psychiatry Columbia University, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, The City University of New York

Elaine Tyler May, Regents Professor, University of Minnesota, Author of Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Kevin Martin, President, Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund

Ray McGovern, Veterans For Peace, Former Head of CIA Soviet Desk and Presidential Daily Briefer

David McReynolds, Former Chair, War Resister International

Zia Mian, Professor, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Tetsuo Najita, Professor of Japanese History, Emeritus, University of Chicago, former  president of Association of Asian Studies

Sophie Quinn-Judge, Retired Professor, Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture and Society, Temple University

Steve Rabson, Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies, Brown University, Veteran, United States Army

Betty Reardon, Founding Director Emeritus of the International Institute on Peace Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Terry Rockefeller, Founding Member, September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows,

David Rothauser Filmmaker, Memory Productions, producer of “Hibakusha, Our Life to Live” and “Article 9 Comes to America

James C. Scott, Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University, ex-President of the Association of Asian Studies

Peter Dale Scott, Professor of English Emeritus, University of California, Berkleley and author of American War Machine

Mark Selden, Senior Research Associate Cornell University, editor, Asia-Pacific Journal, coauthor, The Atomic Bomb: Voices From Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Martin Sherwin, Professor of History, George Mason University, Pulitzer Prize for American Prometheus

John Steinbach, Hiroshima Nagasaki Committee

Oliver Stone, Academy Award-winning writer and director

David Swanson, director of World Beyond War

Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  Founder, Future of Life Institute

Ellen Thomas, Proposition One Campaign Executive Director, Co-Chair, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (US) Disarm/End Wars Issue Committee

Michael True, Emeritus Professor, Assumption College, is co-founder of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions

David Vine, Professor, Department of Sociology, American University

Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament 2009 Laureate, Right Livelihood Award

Jon Weiner, Professor Emeritus of History, University of California Irvine

Lawrence Wittner, Professor of History emeritus, SUNY/Albany

Col. Ann Wright, US Army Reserved (Ret.) & former US diplomat

Marilyn Young, Professor of History, New York University

Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics & Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies, University of San Francisco

Focus: Hillary Clinton - May 24, 2016


FBI investigation into Clinton emails nears completion, will probably culminate in a sit-down with Hillary - CBS New York


U.S. intelligence veterans urge fast FBI report on Clinton’s emails, so the public can assess this issue in a timely fashion - Consortiumnews


Romanian hacker who says he breached Clinton server finalizing plea deal - Fox News


Former Clinton Global Initiative board member Terry McAuliffe under FBI investigation over his 2013 campaign finance - Daily Mail Online


A Clinton-involved scandal? Washington Post called McAuliffe a 'insider who got rich as he rose to power within the Democratic Party' - WND


Gov. McAuliffe takes state plane to Cuba, Final Four, U2 concert, Bill Clinton's birthday party among other destinations - AP


ARCHIVE: Clinton Foundation and campaign donors also pumped millions into McAuliffe’s coffers - Washington Post


ARCHIVE: Graphics: Clinton Foundation donors gave $13 million to Terry McAuliffe - Washington Post


ARCHIVE: I Can’t Believe Terry McAuliffe Is Going to Be Governor of Virginia, No experience in office? Check. Sketchy business partners? Check. Media manipulation? Check. - Mother Jones


Super PAC seeks IRS audit of Clinton Foundation - WSJ


Would Bill and Hillary's Clinton Foundation withstand IRS scrutiny? You decide - Forbes


FTC accused of engaging in ‘partisan’ defense of Clintons, after it refused a congressional request to investigate the family’s foundation - freebeacon.com


A deep dive into how the Clinton Foundation operates illegally and in Haiti - Charles Ortel


Clinton Disaster fundraising in Haiti: Predatory humanitarianism? Interview with Charles Ortel - HAITIAN-TRUTH.ORG


VIDEO: Interview with Charles Ortel: Charity fraud at the Clinton Foundation - YouTube


ABC, CBS and NBC spend less than 5 minutes on Clinton Foundation scandals since Jan 2016 - newsbusters.org


How corporate America bought Hillary Clinton for $21M - New York Post


Inside the Clinton paid speech machine, What, exactly, do you get when you pay a Clinton $285,000 for an intimate, closed-to-the-press speech? - POLITICO


Wealthy Saudi family emerges as Clinton Foundation, Dem donor - freebeacon.com


Clintons gave $15 mil to charity since ’07 – $14.8 mil went to the Clinton Foundation - Press24


Rep. Trey Gowdy says Benghazi report will be released before conventions - usatoday.com


Clinton declines another debate with Sanders, which was to be held in California ahead of its June 7 primary - usatoday.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

The Return of Democratic Socialism

Democratic socialism used to be a vibrant force in American life.  During the first two decades of the twentieth century, the Socialist Party of America, headed by the charismatic union leader, Eugene V. Debs, grew rapidly, much like its sister parties in Europe and elsewhere:  the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party, the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Australian Labor Party, and dozens of similar parties that voters chose to govern their countries.

FBI: Clinton Email Investigation Must Be "Thorough" -- and Irelevant

 

 


Intel Vets Urge Fast Report on Clinton’s Emails

 

 

A group of U.S. intelligence veterans is calling on President Obama to expedite the FBI review of former Secretary of State Clinton’s alleged email security violations so the public can assess this issue in a timely fashion.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Those “Damn Emails” – “Really a Concern”

Introduction

Iraq Needs Actual Aid More Than Ever

Statement Adopted at the Annual Meeting of the Iraq Solidarity Association

May 19, 2016

The people of Iraq are tormented by continued violence and destruction.

Decades of war are never ending. It is one of the world ́s worst crises. The UN

fears that 10 million Iraqis are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

Make serving in war an option, not an order

No one should be forced to register to represent our country in combat

By Kristin Christman

Published in the Albany Times Union May 22, 2016 

Josef Beno didn't want to go to war. A Czech, he didn't want to kill his fellow Slavs, the Russians. A father, he didn't want to leave his starving family unprotected.

But the year was 1915 and Austria-Hungary was rounding up men and boys to serve in the war. Those who resisted were shot. After hiding for a year, Josef was captured for conscription. He escaped, only to be captured by Russians and marched to Siberia.

As the story goes, troops received injections by needle to make them aggressive. Perhaps it was merely a tale to explain a father's changed temper, for upon returning home, Josef physically abused his wife and children, including his daughter, my grandmother.

A lesson here for Sanders?: 72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election

By Dave Lindorff

 

A 72-year-old college professor named Alexander van der Bellen, running for president as the candidate of the leftist Austrian Green Party, a fringe party that had never been considered a serious contender in post-war Austrian politics, just won a narrow victory over Norbert Hofer, a right-wing candidate of the neo-fascist Freedom Party who had been favored to win.

Let's Back All Moderates in Syria and the World

I've come around in favor of backing all moderates. The question appeared to me for a long time as a difficult one. Should one give anti-aircraft weaponry, for example, to al Qaeda fighters in Syria in order to better combat ISIS (which could some day develop the airplane)?

The answer is yes, if, and only if, those fighters are moderates.

Now, who's a moderate? Some people get confused on this part, but it's not really that difficult to get straight. Fighters who want to blow up buildings and airplanes and cars and pedestrians and playgrounds can be either moderates or extremists, since war has nothing to do with their categorization. After all, we're picking which people to arm in the war.

Also, the question of whom a fighter is fighting for or against is completely irrelevant. The CIA and the Department of Defense have armed and trained forces that are fighting against each other in Syria. Obviously, both are moderate.

The answer to "Who is a moderate?" actually comes down to this: What sort of an ideal world would they like to see in the future, and is there anyone else who would like to see some sort of world that sucks worse than theirs? That's it. Simple. And you have to keep it simple. Don't go looking into whether they're actually creating that ideal world. That's not relevant. Both the moderates and the extremists are obviously creating a world of death, injury, trauma, bitterness, vengeance, rubble, starvation, and toxic pollution. The moderates, again, are the ones who are doing this while envisioning a utopia that's not as grotesque as someone else's.

This is also why I'm routing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs. All the teams dribble and pass (well, except Oklahoma City) and shoot. But if you survey the players as to what sort of society they'd like to live in, the Cleveland players have the best answers -- or at least that's what my 18 intelligence agencies guess without actually, you know, asking them.

I believe we should be applying this policy to rapists as well. Just as fighters in a war all murder people, rapists all rape. But some of them must be moderates, and those are the ones we should support. We just need to determine their political ideologies. The same goes, I think, for sweatshop owners, and ought to be a guide to ethical investment and shopping. One need only keep up on the political views of the new owners after every sale.

The U.S. government has been distributing military weapons to local police forces in a rather haphazard manner heretofore. Some have asked that police departments that murder too many unarmed citizens not receive free military weapons any longer. This misses the point entirely. The departments that should be cut off are those whose members envision the worst future society.

You see the universality of this? All things in moderation, as the saying goes.

I'm personally delighted to have discovered this guide to life's difficult decisions. I plan to use it in voting come November, and to abandon all active thought processes immediately.

Talk Nation Radio: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: U.S. Was Always at War

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-roxanne-dunbar-ortiz-us-was-always-at-war

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has taught in the Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. Her 1977 book The Great Sioux Nation was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. Dunbar-Ortiz is the author or editor of seven other books, including Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico, and including An Indigenous People's History of the United States.

She discusses the idea that President Obama is the longest serving war president.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Obama is not first president at permanent war

The New York Times recently claimed, and peace advocates repeated, that President Barack Obama will be the first U.S. president to have been at war for two complete four-year terms. It's also become common to refer to the current U.S. war on Afghanistan as the longest U.S. war ever. These ideas fit well with the universal activist demand that we return to the time of peace or the age of justice or the wisdom of the Founding Fathers or the era before superdelegates.

This is all based on a fundamental misunderstanding of history, and of its uses and abuses for life. You cannot "take back our country!" because you never had it. There is no age of peace or justice to be returned to. The United States has been at war since before it was a United States, and formed itself as such in part in order to expand its western wars.

One value of history is in fact to recognize how much better or worse or simply different things have been in other times and places. But the purpose of that is not to restore some better time. All past times thus far, each taken as a whole, have been horrendously awful. The purpose is to facilitate the rejection of the silly idea that we're stuck with whatever we happen to have in the way of a lifestyle at the moment.

One can always find specific ways in which things were once better. Bush used to lie to Congress and get authorizations for wars. Obama just goes to war. But both are awful. The desire to end war was common in the 1920s. Now it's unthinkable for millions of U.S. citizens. But both frames of mind lacked an effective path to peace.

One can always find specific ways in which things were once worse. The war on Vietnam and neighboring nations killed some 6 million people. The latest U.S. wars may have killed less than half of that. Teddy Roosevelt marketed wars as desirable means of building character and slaughtering lesser races. Barack Obama markets wars as philanthropic assistance to the places being bombed. But both kill just the same.

In the perspective of the recent past, we should not be looking at Obama as the longest war president, but rather as a president who has added his bit to the normalization of war, to the restoration of permanent war as routine and unquestionable. It's not the length of his wars that stands out, but the number of them: seven significant wars that we know of, the 2001 AUMF used and misused for military actions in 14 countries, "special" forces active in 75 countries, troops permanently stationed in 175 countries -- and all of this with very little public or Congressional involvement or even awareness.

Targeted and not-so-targeted assassinations, coups, and counter-insurgency operations stretch through the entire history of the United States, as do decades-long wars. To understand this, we have to begin thinking of Native Americans as real people, so that wars against them count as real wars. A good way to do this is by listening to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Read her book, An Indigenous People's History of the United States, or catch her interview on this week's Talk Nation Radio.

Dunbar-Ortiz tells a story of endless genocidal war that employed settlers and their militias against the native people of North America in a manner not unlike Israel's use of settlers against the Palestinians. The first law created by the United States was the Northwest Ordinance, a "blueprint for gobbling up the British-protected Indian Territory." According to Dunbar-Ortiz, "documented policies of genocide on the part of U.S. administrations can be identified in at least four distinct periods: the Jacksonian era of forced removal; the California gold rush in Northern California; the Post-Civil War era of the so-called Indian wars in the Great Plains; and the 1950s termination period."

Some of the settlers of the United States had previously settled Ireland, where the British had paid rewards for Irish heads and body parts, just as they would for Indian scalps. The United States for many years sought out immigrants who could settle on native land. The war on Mexico was not the first foreign war of the United States. The U.S. had attacked numerous Indian nations. Mexico was just one more in that string. With the land now filled, attitudes toward immigrants and toward the rest of the globe have shifted. "Indian Country," in the dialect of the U.S. military, refers to distant lands to be attacked with dozens of weapons named for Native American nations.

John Yoo justified lawless imprisonment, now evolved into lawless murder by drone, with the ancient Roman concept of homo sacer, a person who must obey the government but whom the government or anyone else may kill. Yoo referred to past U.S. Supreme Court opinions upholding this category for Native Americans. The Indian was the original "terrorist."

The United States did not go to war after reaching California. Rather it simply continued the war it had been in from the start. The United States didn't wage war for decades because of a communist threat and then for additional decades because of a terrorist threat. Rather, lies about Crazy Horse on the warpath (while he was in a reservation) evolved into lies about missile gaps which evolved into lies about incubators, WMDs, and Libyan Viagra.

None of this makes war unendable. We can end it tomorrow if we choose. The unimaginative can check the history of other parts of the world that have engaged in war far less or not at all. But we will not bring the U.S. corner of the world under control until after we recognize what the problem is.

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

Find Events Here.

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