Sun Tzu: The Ass of War

Sun Tzu, whose book, The Art of War, was written some 2,500 years ago during a period of constant war, and popularized in the West some 100 years ago (just in time for industrialized warfare), is the leading example of what’s wrong with digging up ancient platitudes as guides for action today in the areas of war and peace.

“That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against an egg — this is effected by the science of weak points and strong.”

This “wisdom” provides nothing read more

76 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies

Donald Trump is tweeting about a particular spot in Hawaii. He visited it recently on his way to threaten war in Asia. It’s a big feature this week in lots of U.S. magazines and newspapers. It has a lovely name that sounds like murder and blood because Japanese airplanes engaged in large-scale murder there in 1941: Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Day today is like Columbus Day 50 years ago. That is to say: most people still believe the hype. The myths are still maintained in their blissful unquestioned read more

Charlottesville Beyond the Lee Statue

If you haven’t seen Charlottesville on the news lately, you should know that the Lee Statue and the Jackson Statue still stand, covered with enormous black garbage bags so that nobody can see them, but everybody can know there’s something ugly there. The state of Virginia forbids localities from removing any war memorials whatsoever, at least if you apply laws retroactively and have no courage. Nobody has made any move to repeal that state restriction, principally because nobody wants to make read more

When a Nuclear War Planner Confesses

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

How I Became a Peace Activist

When I was teaching myself how to write, when I was about 20 to 25, I churned out (and threw out) all kinds of autobiographies. I wrote glorified diaries. I fictionalized my friends and acquaintances. I still write columns all the time in the first person. I did write a children’s book in recent years that was fiction but included my oldest son and my niece and nephew as characters. But I haven’t touched autobiography in more years than I’d been alive when I used to engage in it.

I’ve been read more

What We’re Supposed to Think

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

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

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

Trump in Exile

SHIP’S LOG, February 15, 2018 — How the Earthlings have survived is a mystery. Ever since the United States impeached and removed Donald Trump for accidentally live-streaming himself sexually assaulting a tourist (or was it really for refusing to bomb Moscow? unclear) events have spiraled out of control.

Trump is now residing on a private island, making offers by tweet of trillions of dollars to various nations in exchange for their willingness to bomb the United States. No nation is known read more

FAILED: Foreign Policy as We Know It

The Stop the War Coalition has just published a short summary of what’s wrong with foreign policy, going through a partial list of current wars one by one. Of course this is a British organization with a British perspective, but it’s the closest thing to what a well-funded U.S. anti-war organization might produce, and it ought to be considered by people everywhere, as it impacts us all.

I confess that I have throughout the terror-producing “war on terror” envied and identified with the read more