David Swanson

Feb 042013
An Iraq war protest.

The last century was littered with wars that weren't meant to be won.

By David Swanson

In War Is A Lie I looked at pretended and real reasons for wars and found some of the real reasons to be quite irrational.  It should not shock us then to discover that the primary goal in fighting a war is not always to win it.  Some wars are fought without a desire to win, and others without winning being the top priority, either for the top war makers or for the ordinary soldiers.

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Dec 102012
Rights come in all colours

Peacenik offers Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities.

by David Swanson


Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not self-enforcing,

Whereas statement of the inherent dignity and of the equal and supposedly inalienable rights of all members of the human family achieves little without a struggle against greed, injustice, tyranny, and war,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights could not have resulted in the barbarous acts that have outraged the conscience of humankind without the cowardice, laziness, apathy, and blind obedience of well-meaning but unengaged spectators,

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Nov 112012

Created to celebrate peace, Veterans' Day now glorifies war.

by David Swanson

Remarks at the Mt Diablo Peace and Justice Center on November 10, 2012.

Ninety-four years ago tomorrow on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, fighting ceased in the "war to end all wars." Thirty million soldiers had been killed or wounded and another seven million had been taken captive during World War I.  Never before had people witnessed such industrialized slaughter, with tens of thousands falling in a day to machine guns and poison gas. 

After the war, more and more truth began to overtake the lies, but whether people still believed or now resented the pro-war propaganda, virtually every person in the United States wanted to see no more of war ever again.  Posters of Jesus shooting at Germans were left behind as the churches (along with everyone else) now said that war was wrong. 

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Oct 112012

Nonviolent protester of Drone Wars sentenced to federal prison.

by David Swanson

Catholic Worker Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa has been sentenced to serves 6 months in a federal prison for his witness against the use of drone warfare.

Below is a message from Brian and his statement before the court.

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Sep 042012

Veterans' stories expose how war self-perpetuates.

by David Swanson

About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War, is a book that should be stacked up on a table in every high school cafeteria, next to the vultures.  Sorry, I mean the war pushers. Sorry, I mean the good recruiters for the services of the profiteers of death. Sorry, you know the people I mean.  That is, unless useful books can make it into classrooms, which would be even better.

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Aug 082012

Let's start by defining all war as mass murder,

by David Swanson.

Last fall I helped organize a conference of experts on various areas of damage being done by the military industrial complex, resulting in the book, The Military Industrial Complex at 50. We concluded that this monster, guarded by patriotism, McCarthyism, and financial corruption, is the number one opponent of most campaigns for things decent and good, certainly of campaigns against poverty, for education, against homelessness, for civil rights, against environmental destruction, for peace and prosperity. It's not a coincidence that the United States spends several times the next approaching country on the military while trailing a great many countries in measures of education, health, security, and happiness.

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Jul 242012

The 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact renounced all war.

[Editor's note: below you will find an excerpt from David Swanson's remarks delivered at Peacestock 2012. Look for part two in the next issue of SGN]

I want to thank Bill Habedank for inviting me here and everyone who's been involved in setting up this wonderful event, which ought to be replicated all over this country. Almost our entire population claims to favor peace. At least three quarters of us favor getting the US military out of Afghanistan and ending that particular war, which by the way isn't ending. When carefully surveyed and shown what the federal budget is, a large majority of US residents favors cutting huge amounts of money out of the military and putting it to better use.

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May 222012

Time to end the glory mentality that gets nations into wars.

by David Swanson

MILITARIZED CHICAGO, MAY 20, 2012 — Next month in Baltimore they're going to celebrate the War of 1812. That's what we do with wars.

We say wars are the last resort. We say they're hell. We say they're for the purpose of eliminating themselves: we fight wars for peace. Although we never keep peace for wars. We claim to wage only wars we have been forced into despite all possible effort to find a better way. And then we celebrate the wars.

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Mar 192012
Holding the war masters at bay

Repeated wars leave speaker more shocked, less awed.

by David Swanson

[Editor's note: Author and activist David Swanson addressed the revived Left Forum a key annual gathering for US Democratic Socialism. This article is excerpted from the beginning of his speech.]

When I lived in New York twenty years ago, the United States was beginning a 20-year war on Iraq. We protested at the United Nations. The Miami Herald depicted Saddam Hussein as a giant fanged spider attacking the United States. Hussein was frequently compared to Adolf Hitler.

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