Welcome David Swanson, DavidSwanson.org, and Host Russ Baker, RussBaker.com

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

War Is A Lie

Russ Baker, Host:

I’ve known David Swanson, chiefly via reading his work and occasionally e-mailing, for a number of years, and admire his single-minded advocacy for peace. In addition, he has been helpful in spreading the word about my research on the Bush family in Family of Secrets, for which I am grateful.

Firedoglake asked me last week if I could host this discussion. In the short intervening period, I was only able to read parts of the manuscript. As the book jacket sums up, “War Is A Lie is a thorough refutation of every major argument used to justify wars, drawing on evidence from numerous past wars, with a focus on those wars that have been most widely defended as just and good…” Clearly, War Is A Lie is an ambitious effort, organized around ideas rather than chronology, taking in, albeit briefly, most of the wars we talk about, from Iraq and Afghanistan to the two World Wars, back to the Civil War and even to antiquity. It is full of eye-opening facts that cast doubt on the school textbook version of events, and “wow” moments where we are made to question our deepest assumptions. David Swanson whets my appetite for a much more discerning look at particular wars I thought I knew much about, and more importantly, about war itself. He is particularly effective in demonstrating the cynicism and duplicity of leaders who tell us that war is for one purpose, while knowing full well that it is for another.

A caveat: In my reading, I discovered some significant errors of fact. For example, the author states that Allen Dulles ran the OSS during World War II (Dulles headed the Bern, Switzerland branch) and that Dulles was the first Director of Central Intelligence (he was the fourth.) Sometimes I found him to oversimplify complex situations, and some of the footnoted sources seem far less than authoritative. It also sometimes reads as if War Is a Lie were penned in haste.

Nevertheless, Swanson’s passion for the topic, his compassion for all peoples, his fresh thinking and his commitment to questioning conventional attitudes toward war and exposing popular myths and fallacies are what stand out. He presents many significant pieces of history that are not widely known and effectively assumes the mantle of moral guide. Swanson makes a compelling case for our re-examining our own knowledge about why we make war, and underlines the deception and folly that is almost always at the core of such violent adventures. Compared to traditional histories and analyses, and even with its drawbacks, I consider War Is A Lie an important work and one worthy of our attention. I’m glad to moderate this conversation.

To start things off, I’m going to include here some brief excerpts as a basis for conversation:

-Wars are given so many glorious and righteous justifications, including the spreading of civilization and democracy around the world, that you wouldn’t think it would be necessary to also claim that each war was unavoidable….And yet there has probably never been a war that hasn’t been explained as an absolutely necessary, inevitable, and unavoidable last resort….

-If World War II was a good war, why did the United States have to wait until its imperial outpost in the middle of the Pacific was attacked? ….Innocent people were under attack in Europe. If the war had something to do with that, why did the United States’ open participation have to wait until Japan attacked and Germany declared war?

-A few other things Americans are loathe to recall are the inspiration our own country offered to Hitler, the financial support our corporations offered him, and the fascist coup plotted by our own respected business leaders. If World War II was an unavoidable clash between good and evil, what are we to think of American contributions to and sympathies with the evil side?

-Adolf Hitler grew up playing “cowboys and Indians.” He grew up to praise the U.S. slaughter of native peoples, and the forced marches to reservations….

-In the United States the Department of War was renamed the Department of Defense in 1948, appropriately enough the same year in which George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four. Since then, Americans have dutifully referred to anything their military or most other militaries do as “defense.”… But if what the Pentagon does is primarily defensive, Americans require a sort of defending unlike any previously seen or currently sought by any other people. Nobody else has divided the globe, plus outer space and cyberspace, into zones and created a military command to control each one. Nobody else has several hundred, perhaps over a thousand, military bases spread around the earth in other people’s countries. Almost nobody else has any bases in other people’s countries….

-Would a Korean War have been needed if we hadn’t sliced the country in half? Was the Vietnam War needed to prevent the domino-falling that did not actually happen when the United States was defeated there?

-War may dominate human history, and certainly our history books pretend there’s been nothing but war, but warfare has not been constant. It’s ebbed and flowed. Germany and Japan, such eager war makers 75 years ago, are now far more interested in peace than is the United States.

-Iran, that terrible demonic threat in U.S. “news” media, has not attacked another country in centuries.

-In the United States we invented the idea of permanent war, gave near-total war making powers to presidents, created secret agencies with the power to engage in warfare with no oversight, and built a war economy that would require wars from which to profit.

-The training that our children are receiving as they zap the enemy dead time after time in video games may be better war training than what Uncle Sam provided the “greatest generation.” Children playing video games that simulate murder may, in fact, be being trained to become our future homeless veterans reliving their glory days on park benches.

-In May 2003, two scholars at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released a study of past U.S. attempts at nation building… Never, the authors found, has a surrogate regime supported by the United States, such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq, made the transition to democracy.

-Women gained rights in Afghanistan in the 1970s, before the United States intentionally provoked the Soviet Union to invade and armed the likes of Osama bin Laden to fight back. There has been little good news for women since.

-…while publicly threatening war on Iraq over its fictional “weapons of mass destruction,” the United States ignored an interesting development: the actual acquisition of nuclear weapons by North Korea. Wars don’t go where the offenses are; the offenses are found or concocted to fit the desired wars.

-In January, 2003, President George W. Bush proposed to British Prime Minister Tony Blair that painting U-2 aircraft with United Nations colors, flying them low over Iraq, and getting them shot at, could provide an excuse for war.

“And the second way to defeat the terrorists is to spread freedom. You see, the best way to defeat a society that is — doesn’t have hope, a society where people become so angry they’re willing to become suiciders, is to spread freedom, is to spread democracy.” — President George W. Bush, June 8, 2005.

This isn’t a stupid idea because Bush speaks hesitantly and invents the word “suiciders.” It’s a stupid idea because freedom and democracy cannot be imposed at gunpoint by a foreign force that thinks so little of the newly free people that it is willing to recklessly murder them.

-Most of the violence in Basra ended when the British troops there ceased patrolling to control the violence.

-…Obama…won the Democratic primary largely because he was lucky enough not to have been in Congress in time to vote for the initial authorization of the Iraq war. That he voted over and over again to fund it was never mentioned in the media, as senators are simply expected to fund wars whether they approve of them or not.

-By 2007, we could document a shocking sevenfold increase in fatal jihadist attacks around the world, meaning hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of additional dead civilians in predictable if criminal response to the latest “defensive” wars by the United States, wars that had produced nothing of value to weigh against that harm.

-With 86 percent of Americans in a February 2010 CNN poll saying our own government is broken, do we have the know-how, never mind the authority, to impose a model of government on someone else? And if we did, would the military be the tool with which to do it?

-War would be the greatest evil on earth even if it cost no money, used up no resources, left no environmental damage, expanded rather than curtailed the rights of citizens back home, and even if it accomplished something worthwhile. Of course, none of those conditions are possible.

-If we can avoid wars sometimes, and if some of us can avoid wars all the time, why can’t we collectively do better?

PLEASE DISCUSS

259 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Swanson, War Is A Lie”

BevW November 28th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

David, Welcome back to the Lake.

Russ, Thank you for returning and Hosting today’s Book Salon.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Welcome David, and everyone. I’ll start the discussion going with a multi-part question:
David, your book represents a kind of analytical system for considering wars. When and how did it first become clear to you that wars are wrong, not just in an abstract moral sense, but even from a pragmatic standpoint? Did some specific personal experience lead to your current understanding, or was this a gradual process throughout your life?

egregious November 28th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Welcome back to Firedoglake – glad you could join us today!

dakine01 November 28th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Good afternoon David and Russ and welcome to FDL

David, I have not had an opportunity to read your book but would have some mixed emotions on it I think, at least based on Russ’s intro here.

While granting that there were folks who supported Hitler and the isolationists who kept us out of WWII for years, I think the fighting against wars of aggression (yes, even against the US itself when it is the aggressor) has value.

Even though we judge the actions of the folks before and during WWII from the hindsight of the Holocaust, isn’t the lack of action before Pearl Harbor more an indictment of those in power than it was of the value of the war itself?

(and I don’t have a link but seem to recall seeing something a few years ago where a study was done and over however many centuries the study was looking, there were only about ten to twenty years total where there was not a war going on somewhere within the world)

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

i am on time…woo hoo,hey,War is a Racket!

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Russ, thanks for Dulles thing. If you can find anything else please please please send it to me. I’m working on UK-ish edition for a UK publisher.

All, there’s no history of OSS and CIA in the book – it’s just IDing of Dulles we’re dealing with here. Sorry for screw up. He may be 5th or as Russ says 4th CIA head. He’s often called the first civilian head and the father, which is probably what caused my mistake.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

David, great thing how you are so transparent and not defensive. We all make mistakes, and they don’t necessarily speak to the value of the larger work.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I don’t think I ever fully wore the blinders, though they may have been partially there – the blinders that come from glorifying war. So I have always been as upset as everyone else at, for example, the killing of 6 million people in camps. But then when I learn that the war took 70 million lives in all, and it was glorious and good, I guess I wonder more than some people how that can be.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

You seem to argue that all wars can and should be avoided. People may agree with you in principle, while finding that impractical, unrealistic, and not even a desirable position in some instances. What would you say to them?

dakine01 November 28th, 2010 at 2:10 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 8

As a technical note, there is a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment box. Clicking the “reply” pre-fills the comment number and commenter name and makes it easier for folks to follow the conversation.

Note” some browsers do not like the Reply button if it is pressed before the page completes loading after a page refresh.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:11 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 4

I can’t make my book’s argument here any better than Russ did pulling random quotes from a 350-page text. I certainly agree with you that an action could be defensible even if earlier actions could have allowed better choices, and even if done imperfectly. I just don’t think that situation fits WWII at all. Certainly it could have been avoided by different conduct in the preceding decades. It could also have been avoided at the last minute.

But rather than have a two-hour WWII discussion, or exclusively that, let’s consider the very odd situation in which people defend a practice by reference to its use 70 years ago in a very different world. That is to say, given the US military dominance of the globe, what relevance does defending WWII have to defending any possible wars in the near future? Can we set it aside and slash the military budget that is destroying us? Or must we come to understand the lies it rests on first?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:11 pm
In response to BevW @ 1

thanks
water’s fine

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

David,

Read your post on Juan Cole, which was thoroughly interesting, though not your book yet, which I intend to do.

Preaching to the converted here. I believe the cliche is “the first victim of war is the truth.”

WRT to the Baker’s bullet points, one of the possible short versions is: Whatever the most powerful power decides, that is the ’cause’ for war. Would appreciate your critique of that sound bite.

WRT Iraq, many of the great unwashed, like myself, knew to almost a certainty that Iraq didn’t have WMD before the U.S. invasion. Was that one of the more real-time lies into war of history?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:15 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 9

not desirable to avoid all wars? who says that? even the Pentagon doesn’t say that.

war should be a thing of the past. it’s desirable to avoid all slavery, right? all rape? all torture (or it was until the past decade), right?

if war is a crime and morally inexcusable, why is it more fair and balanced to approve of some wars than to condemn them all?

we cannot survive the war machine we have become, not economically, not environmentally, not with a representative govt or civil rights intact, not in terms of nuclear proliferation, not in terms of blowback

i’m not talking about making the world a better place, but about keeping it around at all

dakine01 November 28th, 2010 at 2:16 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 11

No arguments there. Most of the US military and diplomatic actions since WWII have either created or exacerbated problems that could have left far fewer wars in the intervening years.

(Note: I make this statement as an USAF veteran who did serve during the “Cold War” from 12/76 – 9/82)

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 11

Europe, which was pretty much destroyed in WW2 ,seems less likely to do the lets blow everything,and everybody up routine,except like small lapses like Croatia.In war ,sometimes the dead are luckiest.The maimed,the hungry ,the homeless,the mentally broken…not so much

CTuttle November 28th, 2010 at 2:18 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 9

Mahalo, Russ and Dave…!

War is a ‘necessary’ evil, in that it keeps the population down…!

Knut November 28th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

-A few other things Americans are loathe to recall are the inspiration our own country offered to Hitler,

There is an interesting Hitler monologue dating to the summer of 1942 in Kershaw’s biography in which Hitler went on about how the conquered Russians would be herded onto reserves, just like the Americans did to the native Americans. That model of conquest and displacement of indigenous peoples had been uppermost in his mind for a long time, probably going back to before the First World War. It was a model for a certain kind of imperial venture.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Speaking of warz, David, what do you think is the end-game of the U.S.-S.K. provocation of DPRK now underway?

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

To what extent do you consider war as a business? At least since the Civil War, when Union manufacturers stood to make a tidy profit from a prolonged conflict, there consistently has been a sector who stood to gain from every war.

Using WWII as an example, contracts with Nazi Germany enabled IBM to emerge as a behemoth from that conflict.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:19 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 13

the interesting thing in researching the book was looking at war reasnons discussed in private vs those propounded in public

there’s overlap. serious reasons are public, but not trumpeted on an endless loop

phony reasons like “support the troops” don’t show up in private at all

but what’s stunning is that war planners sometimes decide to start or escalate war and then try to decide why — why for their own purposes — and then deciding why in terms of propaganda is a second step

the book looks at rational and irrational motivations for wars

Iraq is typical of all other wars in terms of lies

Propagandee November 28th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Me pop was a 2 time bronze star awardee for his service as an LST commander in the Pacific during WW II. That was his peak experience, the event that defined his life. Everything after that was downhill. C Hedges wrote a book titled “War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning.”

Curious what your insights into the psychology of war might be.

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

All wars are imperialist wars, today’s even more so. We have the “war on terror,” which in truth is a militaristic reaction to blowback from past actions of the world’s largest imperial power.

Welcome, David

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:20 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 15

Thanks, I agree. But I don’t call most of what our military does “service”.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

David, from my own research on the Bush family and their backers, I saw the impact of generations involved in profiting from war—-even both of George W’s great-grandfathers were in munitions. From your big-picture vantage, how much of a factor would you say the personal profit motive is in war overall?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:20 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 17

In a number of senses. It stifles agitation for a fairer society by directing energy against a foreign enemy.

CTuttle November 28th, 2010 at 2:21 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 14

we cannot survive the war machine we have become, not economically, not environmentally, not with a representative govt or civil rights intact, not in terms of nuclear proliferation, not in terms of blowback…

How very true considering the lethality(and toxicity) of our weapons… DU, WP, Nukes, etal…! 8-(

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:22 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 25

whoops, looks like someone beat me to the punch on this question…

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:22 pm
In response to Knut @ 18

There was mutual admiration between Nazis and a lot of Americans as well as American practices seen as good only if American but evil if German.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:22 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 16

Yes, Americans do not have realistic images of war. Hence the power to misdescribe it in language of “surgical strikes” etc

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
In response to Propagandee @ 22

my dad as a doc/medic in WW2 was decorated and honored…it broke him mentally(the war)

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 14

Heh. So war should be a thing of the past. Are you living in a post-evolutionary world? Perhaps you should consider Ludwig’s King of the Mountain, which puts human political ‘leadership’ in its evolutionary context. Not too flattering, and definitely suggests warz will not end any time soon.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:24 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 19

I think the US has wanted bases on the border of China and Russia for many years, just as it has wanted bases and weapons, including nukes, in Afghanistan. Such temptations are hard for warmongers to resist even when they know their efforts are hopeless or counterproductive.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:25 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 30

funny how the profiteers DONT SERVE!

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 32

way too much $$$,in it for a few families

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 20

Chapter 6 looks at the “Well then why DO we fight wars?” question. Economic answers are a large part of it. There’s not one siple real and secret reason for any war. There’s a constellation of real reasons, most of them not very secret. Bush the First talked openly of a Gulf War for oil until people protested. Then he focused on saving the poor Kuwaiti people.

CTuttle November 28th, 2010 at 2:27 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 30

…“surgical strikes” …

A hole in the ground is a hole in the ground…! ;-)

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 2:27 pm
In response to Knut @ 18

The U.S. foray into imperialism during the Spanish-American War was also a model for a certain kind of imperial venture by Germany in 1914.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:28 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 21

Still think Iraq is unusual in the sense that Pentagon propaganda was so obvious in real time.

WRT to ‘private’ vs. public war rationale, the book that opened my eyes was a Dallek dash-off when some Nixon-Kissinger tapes were released. Those two talked about VN in a way, all domestic politics, that hadn’t occurred to me before.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:30 pm
In response to Propagandee @ 22

War is an intense experience that draws on all of the best in people for the worst ends yet devised by human beings. War has bravery and solidarity and sacrifice, all for the sake of mass murder and profiteering. Telling people who get high on war that it is counterproductive and makes us less safe and more impoverished doesn’t necessarily change their minds, even if they themselves will not profit from war. It “gives them meaning.” But they can lose the need for that kind of “meaning” and/or find it elsewhere. There are a million good nonviolent causes, including preserving the future viability of the planet, around which we can all unite and engage in brave and self-sacrificing acts.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

David, some may wonder what, if you were president, you would do vis a vis Afghanistan and Iraq? Assuming, based on your book, that you would withdraw from both places as quickly as possible, what would you have the US do (or not do) after the withdrawal, and how would you expect things to play out?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:31 pm
In response to SouthernDragon @ 23

I think it’s also a stand-in for the dear departed evil Soviet empire. And it can never collapse or be proven not to exist. A secret terrorist network is an eternal enemy and excuse for war.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:32 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 40

Hedges’s book, War is a Force that Gives Life Meaning, was another eye-opener for me.

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 2:35 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 36

Economic reasons, particularly those that benefit at very select few (weapons manufacturers, logistics contractors, energy suppliers), overwhelm all other less mundane reasons.

Are you still working with Dennis Kucinich? Are you assisting him preparing his resolution in Congress to end the Afghan confilct?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:35 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 25

I don’t know how to quantify it, but the impact of particular individuals and families is incredible, people who have had a hand in dozens of wars. Profit from any exercise has become a greater driver of Washington’s agenda as bribery has been legalized through campaign and election spending. War has become a bigger money maker as the amount of money has increased and the military has been privatized, as the global array of bases has expanded, and as the “nation building” / “reconstruction” operations have been embraced. People have always profited from war, but since WWII we have had a permanent war economy, permanent war propaganda, and an ever growing war machine that must be fed.

person1597 November 28th, 2010 at 2:35 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 40

Seems like the public face of war is to defeat the “boogeyman”.

Superior to that fear lies “cultural conflict” — the competition for continuity. This is why lies are so effective — they sustain the culture’s world view even against the ground truth of the situation.

In other words, war couldn’t exist without the mental commitment to an incomplete world view. Rationality deadens fervor and is an obstacle to passionate arousal.

I’m not saying war is sexy but it does play to the urge to maintain the continuity of ones’ identity.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:36 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 27

Yes, war is the single most damaging thing we do to the environment. Environmentalist groups nonetheless seem to think they are stronger if they stay away from war opposition, like good Germa– I mean good Americans.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

being in a Cat 5 tornado,or hurricane,is about as close as most Americans have come to that kind of destruction,being days without food and water is just a wee peak into what a horror war is

CTuttle November 28th, 2010 at 2:39 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 45

…but since WWII we have had a permanent war economy, permanent war propaganda, and an ever growing war machine that must be fed.

Exactly what Ike warned us about…! 8-(

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:39 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 47

war machine= single biggest consumer of oil

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:39 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 31

Some human societies have gone to great lengths and used complex rituals to untrain soldiers, just as they do to train them. In war people are asked to do the very worst thing they could do outside of it. We tend to just bring people back and expect them to be OK or at least shut up about their concerns the way most Americans so helpfully do. The reason only 20% of troops in the “greatest generation” and before fired their guns at the enemy is because they had not been turned into sociopaths through proper drilling. The reason over 90% of US troops now do their “duty” is because they have been properly conditioned. But they can’t live with what they’ve done any better than anyone else could.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:40 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 37

And a blown up family is a gruesome pile of bleeding limbs and organs and brains.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:40 pm
In response to person1597 @ 46

war is extremely arousing to sociopaths

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Here’s an intriguing passage, from P. 129 of David’s book, in case anyone wishes to weigh in on it…..

One might argue that war is unavoidable because it is not subject to rational discussion. War has always been around and always will be. Like your appendix, your earlobes, or nipples on men, it may not serve any purpose, but it is a part of us that can’t be wished away. But the age of something doesn’t make it permanent; it just makes it old.
“War is inevitable” is not an argument for war so much as a sigh of despair. If you were here and heaved such a sigh, I’d shake you by the shoulders, throw cold water on your face, and shout “What’s the point of living if you aren’t going to try to make life better?” Since you’re not here, there’s little I can say.
Except this: Even if you believe that war, in a general sense, simply must go on, you still have no basis not to join in the opposition to any particular war. Even if you believe some past war was justified, you still have no basis not to oppose the war being planned right here today. And one day, after we oppose every particular potential war, warfare will be over. Whether or not that was possible.

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 2:42 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 47

As a founding member of St Pete for Peace (2002) we’ve never had any of the environmental groups participate in any of our activities. They consider us leftists and anarchists, which may threaten their credibility with the veal pen.

Cellar47 November 28th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Two questions:

1) What do you think of the recent Wikileaks drop?

2) Are you familiar with Jean Baudrillard’s The Gulf War Did Not Take Place ?

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:42 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 51

there is REAL trickle down there…..the family will suffer the soldiers pain and suffering

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:43 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 47

Environmental groups have, by-in-large, been placed in the veal pen (i.e., been co-opted) either by the O prez, or by donations from right-wing nut cases. Was revealing that neither Green Party nor Sierra Club (to name but 2) had any front page stories about Gulf BP oil disaster for a long time after it happened.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:43 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 32

I’m not a Martian. I’m one of the people who make up humanity. Whether or not wars end is up to us. War is the exception in human existence. Most of our evolving ancestors did not have wars. Wars are not older than 12,500 years. The walls of Jericho were built for floods, not wars. The war wounds on Australopithecines are toothmarks of leopards. Australia had no war until the Europeans came. The same goes for a variety of regions of earth. And most modern nations avoid wars, and resist even the opportunity to be bribed into our “coalition” wars as junior partners. WAR IS OVER if we want it

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:44 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 54

Think I asked a more general Q above about war being an evolutionary phenomenon in post-evolutionary times. Didn’t see an A.

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 2:46 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 45

There was no “swords-to-ploughshares” moment after WWII. Following previous conflicts, weaponry lost its utility and civilian concerns took precedence. With the “bomb,” a perpetual state of war became a profitable enterprise.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:46 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 38

Yes it was a model for much else besides. The lies about the Maine and about the Philippines were ground breaking. McKinley was not W’s model for no reason. He laid out the frame for aggressive wars depicted as defensive and humanitarian. He set the pattern. Look at the current lies re Iran or N Korea. We must fight because a nation’s ruler is cruel to his people, even though that’s no threat to us. Then we must fight defensively or we will all perish. We must fight forces of evil, but for their own good, to liberate and elevate them. Harry Truman really refined this manure for the Cold War, but he’d have been nothing without McKinley.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:47 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 59

we want it,the profiteers wont give up the goose that lays the platinum eggs

CTuttle November 28th, 2010 at 2:48 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 52

No doubt…! I see pics of the carnage almost daily at Uruknet…

Btw, they feature your writing all the time…! ;-)

judybrowni November 28th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

My father went into WWII at 17 from the week after Pearl Harbor, became a gunner for the Navy from Anzio to the South Pacific and then outside Japan.

He emerged from that hell with shell shock, which poisoned our family in the 1950s.

Life-defining, certainly, but not in a good way.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:49 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 39

The point of my book is not to argue that all war lies have been as obvious as immediately as the Iraq ones, but that by now they SHOULD be. The next pile of lies should be rejected before we get the secret memos on what they said in private. In fact, Americans have been thus rejecting Iraqn war lies for years now. Whether there were weapons in Iraq or not was not the question. We can’t legally or morally launch wars because nations have weapons. Once that question was framed, the game was up. But, yes you’re right that Dubya was particularly blatant, in fact not just stupid but also arrogant enough not to really care if any but the most devoted war supporters fell for the lies.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:49 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 51

The point David just made (and makes in War is a Lie) about the dramatically increased rate at which soldiers fired their weapons from WWII to today is really stunning. The notion back then that the guy on the other side was just a guy caught in an unfortunate situation seems to have been erased by programming.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:50 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 62

Eastasia has ALWAYS been at war with Eurasia

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 2:51 pm
In response to judybrowni @ 65

mine too….sheesh,we are all survivors

Barry Eisler November 28th, 2010 at 2:51 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 67

In which regard, I highly recommend David Grossman’s “On Killing: The Psychological Costs of Learning to Kill in War and Society.”

Russ, thanks for moderating, and David, thanks for being here. Got my copy of “War is a Lie” this week and I’m looking forward to it.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:51 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 41

As president I would restore powers to Congress and the people. I would expect treaties to be ratified or rejected by the Senate. I would give my support to defunding the military, closing foreign bases, and investing in diplomacy and aid. Not “military aid” but actual aid. As the “war on terror” has increased terrorism, I would take the approach of prosecuting crimes as crimes, those of foreign terrorists, and those of my oval office predecessors.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:52 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 59

Wars are not older than 12,500 years.

That seems evolutionary to me, in the sense that it is late enough for humans to live close enough together to make the alpha male assent of the mountain into a much more general conflict. Of course, most nations avoid wars, because they know before they enter armed conflict that it can’t be won. What about nations or entities (like ethnic insurgencies) that think they are powerful enough to win (WWI, both sides, for example) or embedded enough not to lose, as in insurgencies?

WRT the history of war, you assert war can be over if we want it, but wasn’t the last century the worst war-torn one of all of history, and doesn’t that imply that wars are getting more frequent & worse, rather than the reverse?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:52 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 43

see his newer one too on death of liberal class

Propagandee November 28th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 51

Some human societies have gone to great lengths and used complex rituals to untrain soldiers, just as they do to train them

Arafat and the PLO had that problem with the special ops Black September unit they had created but needed to de-mobilize because they had accomplished their goal. (In the Rambo movie, Rambo articulated the dilemma by telling Col Trotman that after all that training, you just can’t shut IT off.) The PLO solved that particular problem by inviting the most pretty and eligible young Palestinian women they could find to a dance they threw for BS unit who, if they agreed to marry, they’d get a job, a generous stipend, plus a $5k bonus for each of the first two hildren they spawned…Seems to have worked.

The reason only 20% of troops in the “greatest generation” and before fired their guns at the enemy is because they had not been turned into sociopaths through proper drilling. The reason over 90% of US troops now do their “duty” is because they have been properly conditioned. But they can’t live with what they’ve done any better than anyone else could.

For which, see “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 71

You’re setting up your exploratory committee when?

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 2:54 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 70

Speaking of Barry Eisler, everyone should check out his books–a bracing wakeup call on the ugliness of covert operations, “enhanced interrogation” and much more

lsls November 28th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

“Kaku defines a Type 1 civilization as one that is truly a planetary society, who has mastered all forms of terrestrial energy. Their energy output is much greater than ours. It would take at least 3,200 years to reach Type 2.

A Type 2 civilization is a civilization who have an energy output of a small star. They would be so advanced that they could build a sphere around their planet to maximize their energy output.

A Type 3 civilization is so advanced that they have begun colonizing other star systems. Their energy output is massive compared to ours. A civilization this advanced would be able to bend space and time at will. They would probably be capable of interdimensional travel and even time travel.

So where are we here on planet Earth? Well, we are Type 0. We still get our energy from dead plants. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me. I could only imagine what an advanced alien civilizations thinks of us. With our racism, wars, and class struggles we will be luck if we ever get to a Type 1. At the current rate, in my opinion the human race is headed toward extinction.” Dr. Michio Kaku

I think it is our nature as animals to fight over something. If two dogs get in an intense enough fight they would probably lob a nuke if they could…

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 2:55 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 62

Thanks for reinforcing my belief. I’m sure you’re familiar with Walter Karp’s The Politics of War.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:55 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 73

The difference between liberals & conservatives, wrt war, is that libruls think you should bomb them for humanitarian reasons too.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:55 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 44

i like dennis
i’m not working for him
i support what he’s planning for january
i don’t think economics or anything else overwhelms all other reasons
i do think economics, grab for resources, grab for markets, control of currency, and stifling of domestic pressure for economic justice are all big parts in war, as well as all variety of war profiteering
war propaganda even sells wars as profitable to wall street, whether or not they are likely to be, but that propaganda is much quieter than the sort screaming for the blood of infidels or even the sort aimed at humanitarian supporters of wars against abusers of human rights
these contradictory pitches for war all go on simultaneously and all have little to do with the real motivations at work

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:56 pm
In response to person1597 @ 46

yes i agree

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:57 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 48

but storms are not traumatizing
even bombs falling on your city are not traumatizing in the way participating in a war is (the horror is having to kill and to face those who want personally to kill you)
but having your city bombed provides a very different perspective (though not necessarily a beneficial one; cf. 9-11)

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 2:58 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 62

One of the early battles of the Colonial’s revolutionary war was their invasion of Canada. The U.S. has always been a rapacious territory-grabbing war-prone country, even before it was a country. Any excuse is good enough for the U.S. to start or accelerate a war.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 2:58 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 49

50 years ago this Jan 17 — MLK Day

Barry Eisler November 28th, 2010 at 2:58 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 76

Thanks for that.

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 2:59 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 67

We’re creating a subculture of Myrmidons in our own society.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
In response to SouthernDragon @ 55

exactly the problem we need to work through

and there may be a financial angle to help, in that environmentalists, and everyone else, wants money for good causes, and the wars have all the money for a bad cause

even the catfood commission chairmen want to take $100 b out of the military, not even counting ending current wars

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Well, folks, we are at the halfway point. Lots of good thoughts. As host, I’d like to encourage those who are reading but not speaking to get in your questions and comments. Nobody has a monopoly on ideas.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:01 pm
In response to Cellar47 @ 56

I’ve just started looking at the latest Wikileaks
Initially, I’m glad someone is pushing back and exposing the machinations of the single greatest purveyor of violence on earth

I recall that from years ago and may want to go reread it – thanks

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:02 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 58

Indeed

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:02 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 17

Two words: Baby boom.

Hello!

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:03 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 80

humanitarian supporters of wars

Will never be able to wrap my brain around that one.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:03 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 82

they are very traumatizing,but pale when compared to war….war is the ultimate horror……

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:05 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 60

I always try to answer every question, and people always don’t see an answer :-)
Maybe my answer happened but wasn’t to the point you wanted, maybe because I’m not sure what an evolutionary phenomenon in post evolutionary times is.
I think I took your question to be one suggesting that ending war would be hard or impossible. It must indeed be hard as hell. But it would be pure silliness to suggest it was impossible even if all humans everywhere had always loved wars. In reality, for what it matters, they have not. Most humans and pre-humans have never known war. Many societies have banned new weapons. Many have known war and later banned it. Does that help at all?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 61

yes and similarly when the cold war ended there was a moment of talk about a peace dividend

then the neocons of the PNAC variety got moving fast

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 63

Nobody gives anything up without a struggle :-)

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 64

good to hear
thanks

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
In response to Knut @ 18

Nazi salute came from US salute to the flag in original Pledge of Allegiance: link

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
In response to judybrowni @ 65

I’m very sorry.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

ON THE BEACH,was the book/movie that portrayed man finally disposing of mankind.it still could happen….

bluewombat November 28th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I just showed up and am jumping right in, so feel free to tell me you’ve already answered this one if you have:

What can people who care do about bringing justice to Bush Regime officials who institutionalized torture and Obama Administration officials who have refused to prosecute it? It seems increasingly unlikely that the United States will ever clean its own house.

Can we somehow work with Baltazar Garzon in Spain or groups or officials in England or Germany? What do you suggest?

tjbs November 28th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I went to over two/three hundred protests with my 3′ X 7′sign”This war is a damn lie”.

The Quakers took offense with the word”damn” instead of “war”and asked me not to return, the night I showed up with an Orange jump suit w/a bloody hood and my sign.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:10 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 95

hahaha, i remember that…to quote Cheney…It is our due

PeasantParty November 28th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

David, do you think Kissinger is still pulling strings behind the scenes?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:11 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 67

Yes, that has been erased, and soldiers have been conditioned to kill without thinking, without necessarily even hating. They just do it, on queue, having been trained to obey. Think of the obedience training you go through when trying to get to an airplane or when watching Fox News and imagine it magnified a million fold. Conditioning to obey prepares one even less well for civilian life in a democratic republic than does conditioning to kill.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 70

Thanks Barry
I do recommend “On Killing” in the book

joybar November 28th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 17

So does birth control.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
In response to tjbs @ 102

thank you for trying,i went to DC,to protest the war,had my purse stolen,camera jewery $$,credit cards,house key…..what a pain in the ass,so many of us with good intentions

CTuttle November 28th, 2010 at 3:14 pm
In response to joybar @ 107

And ‘One Child’ policies too, eh…? ;-)

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

War for many not directly affected by it is a somewhat remote concept. Being for or against war is not intensely personal. However, the partner joined-at-the-hip of war is violence. No one on his own will come out in favor of violence.

For those promoting an end to armed conflicts, why can’t war be framed in termed of the violence that necessarily accompanies it?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 72

Not sure what the alpha male assent of the mountain is, but it may or may not fit the pre-history of war I provide in the book, on which I also highly recommend Barbara Ehrenreich’s book on Blood Rites.

You write “Of course, most nations avoid wars, because they know before they enter armed conflict that it can’t be won.”

This seems to assume that all nations want wars, either because their people do or because their misrepresentatives in govt do. But this does not fit the facts. Many nations avoid many wars they could win. And many nations, when offered a free ride in US “coalition” wars take a pass.

Wars have become far more damaging things for technological reasons. It almost makes no sense to speak of wars before the last century as wars at all. They’re closer to wrestling matches than to the horrors we’ve come to know. But these wars are not the work of most nations or most people. And the idea of Europe breaking apart in war now is as unlikely as the United States breaking apart in war.

john in sacramento November 28th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 36

Wars are all about economics (raw materials, trade routes … etc)

People think The Revolutionary War was a great victory by plucky American Minutemen (kind of). It was more about England having to fight not only the The Americans, but also the The French and Spanish through the Bourbon Family Compact; the Dutch in the 4th Anglo-Dutch War; and most importantly (to them) keeping control of India (the jewel in the crown) with the First Anglo-Maratha, and the 3rd and 4th Anglo-Mysore Wars.

India was the key to their most important multinational corp. of their day (British East India Co)

The colonies were nothing but nuisance to them

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:18 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 110

CARNAGE….blood bath…violence is like not visual enuf

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

From Russ Baker’s intro:

And yet there has probably never been a war that hasn’t been explained as an absolutely necessary, inevitable, and unavoidable last resort…

I was just watching a Neil Young youtube (The Restless Consumer — “Don’t need no more lies!”) that’s got a stream of rapid-fire screenshots, including one at 1:28 of Bush on TV, February 18, 2003, with caption: WAR IS MY LAST CHOICE. Kinda smacks you.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:18 pm
In response to SouthernDragon @ 75

I’m exploring the possibility of making a living writing books, here: http://warisalie.org

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:19 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 76

absolutely

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 3:20 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 110

David makes this point well in his book–that war is all dressed up as anything but the savagery that it actually is

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:20 pm
In response to tjbs @ 102

I believe I met you at an anti-Afghan war rally in the park across from the WH a little over a year ago, when David and Dennis both spoke. I’m the guy with the two border collies who also sported orange. If that was you, I have a photo of you.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

they loved the Caribbean too…think cane and RUM

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:21 pm
In response to lsls @ 77

I’ll read up on it. For now I define a Type S for sustainable planet as one that is not depleted each year. We’ve had such a thing before in human history. We’re nowhere near it now. Whether science fiction is the gateway to finding it, I don’t know.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 3:21 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 94

You were typing the A to my Q while I was repeating it. Happens in blogging format. I thank you for both As.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:22 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 78

no

good?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 83

yes but US warplanners have planned many wars that never happened or have not yet happened

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 117

In Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation he writes early on: war is not about glory, war is about killing.

November 28th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Hi David – late to the party here and scanning the comments quickly I haven’t noticed this topic yet:

Since War Is A Lie, one of the greatest antidotes would be Truth. What’s your take on the Wikileaks dump so far?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:25 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 92

I have a chapter on it despite some people telling me it was crazy — wars kill humans, how can wars be humanitarian? But look at Clinton’s case for bombing Yugoslavia, or Bush Sr’s for attacking Iraq, or W’s for “not abandoning the Iraqi people” year after year in which of course the Iraqi people were rather blatantly demanding to be abandoned

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

thats prolly why he is on a NO FLY list here….facepalm

Barry Eisler November 28th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

David, you touch on this in your exchange with Dakine at #4 and #11, and I’m sure you deal with it in detail in the book, too, but I wonder, where do you draw the line between legitimate self defense and illegitimate war? I ask because I’m not a pacifist and believe there are situations where violence is justified in self defense (I’ve even been in a few such myself). If an aggressive war is wrong, what does one do if one’s society is on the receiving end of that aggression?

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:27 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 126

war on cancer …only good war…aids etc

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:28 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 117

Precisely. The nightly gruesome footage of the Vietnam War did a lot to turn the populace against that conflict. The gruesomeness of the current conflicts is well concealed, so potential opposition is cut off.

Any anti-war movement, to be successful, needs to strip the cosmetits from the false image so the public can see how revolting it actually is.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:28 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 101

see http://prosecutebushcheney.org
pursue the election or conversion to decency of local and state prosecutors who will go after warrentless spying, torture, war
yes, support foreign and intl efforts
support the center for constitutional rights
demand not the Oversight Chairman to Be D Issa back off but that he investigate real crimes
We can’t keep flipping between rubberstamping abuses and investigating BS based on political parties
explain to Democrats why they just had a new 1994 instead of a new 1974 at the polls

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

May I just take the host’s prerogative here to remind everyone to take a minute, either now, or when this is over, and grab a copy of David’s book? War is a Lie is something you’ll want to have on your coffee table. It’s a great tool in discussion and debate with friends and family.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:29 pm
In response to tjbs @ 102

We need a big tent for war opposition
Invite libertarians, communists, quakers, atheists, and never stop

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:31 pm
In response to PeasantParty @ 104

As much as he can, of course
They turned to him for 9-11 commission, remember
Obama had him over for a Nobel Peace Prize WTF Laureates gathering recently

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:31 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 122

Harper’s Magazine promoted the book for about a year. Well worth the read.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:32 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 108

That can really and truly suck, but isn’t exactly a problem with war opposition

If we had fewer wars we’d have fewer people stealing purses as well

Please don’t let a bad experience keep you out of a moral effort to end the greatest evil still tolerated in our society

PeasantParty November 28th, 2010 at 3:33 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 134

I have a particular burning hatred for Kissinger. My father, GOD PLEASE rest his soul, was in the Korean War. I watched him as a grown man wake at night and cry like a baby.

geoshmoe November 28th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Good subject for your book.

Could there be any validity to the idea that wars, in particular the Vietnam, Korea, and Afghanistan adventures, or police actions limited in scope, might in fact be largely for the dicipline that it forces on the “home country.”

As it enables the emergency state and further enhances the “Unitary executive” powers, to near dictatorial magnitude, which in these times, coupled with the complete lack of any real leadership is slightly suspect, as why would “they” want to do that, when even such power that is available is shirked in the face of Americas rapid decline.

Or to the point, that a final extraction of the American “middle class” along the lines of Russia’s liquidation of Kulacks, if less brutal initially of course, but will require the concentration of power as soon as there is a figure of stature to use it… ?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:35 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 110

Yes, war is violence. So is the death penalty. So is torture. So is kidnapping and imprisonment without due process. So is rape. As they figured out at Nuremberg, war differs from other crimes in that as the supreme international crime it encompasses the evil of the whole. We have to end the whole idea of justifiable violence.

With regard to which I am absolutely flabbergasted that you all completely dropped WWII at my suggestion. You CAN ask about the Holy War if you want to!

Barry Eisler November 28th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 14

Along these lines, I’m not persuaded by your analogy: “War should be a thing of the past. It’s desirable to avoid all slavery, right? All rape? All torture (or it was until the past decade), right?” There’s no such thing as justifiable rape, but there is such a thing as justifiable violence (a woman fighting off her would-be rapist, for example).

I agree with your overall premise, and am looking forward to seeing how you refine and defend it in the book. But for now, again because I believe violence is justified in some situations, I’m not persuaded that the people of a country that’s being invaded, should they take up arms against their invader, are part of a lie. Apologies if I’m in any way putting words in your mouth; as I said, I haven’t read the book yet and so am only responding to what’s been said and discussed here so far, as I’ve understood it. It may be that you have a way of defining war and self defense differently. But for me, the existence of the first doesn’t negate the second, and may sometimes even require it.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 111

You [I] write “Of course, most nations avoid wars, because they know before they enter armed conflict that it can’t be won.”

A main point of Blainey’s Causes of War.

There are 2 As that cover most human Qs.
1. Because they can.
2. Because they have to.

#1 is the reason why most wars are started, so it would seem, and so Blainey advances. IOW, a nation starts a war only if it thinks it can win. AND if the advantages of winning for the aggressor seem valuable. Of course, not all predictions about winning turn out to be accurate, but that’s another matter.

Does your book contain many examples of countries that could have won wars, where territory, or other advantages of conquest, were valuable, but wars were avoided nonetheless? I’ll look for those examples when I read your book.

WRT alpha male, the Ludwig book’s very robust statistical study demonstrates beyond the shadow of a doubt the role that aggression plays in human behavior, the need for both the alpha male and the human society as a whole to have a powerful leader, in the kind of behavior that leads to war. Alpha males in Ludwig’s study (all leaders of all countries in the 20th century) run the gamut from benevolent dictators, to rapacious ones, to nonentities of sorts, but the underlying thrust of humans to have powerful leaders of any sort is so fundamental, that the results have often been horrifyingly hysterical.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 136

im old….but i guess ill keep truckin….G

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 30

“surgical strikes”

A ways back when Bush was prez, Huffington Post had this idea — must have been during 2008 campaign — to collect all those lousy phrases like “surgical strikes” and all the rest and put them in a list, big block letters, justified in a column, and make a giant graphic poster or billboard to put on the side of a building. People could submit the slogans in comments to the article. There were so many, the list got so long… you could just see it get taller and taller… it became apparent to me that the only buildings big enough in the world to post them on would have been the World Trade Center. They were that shape, and that solid. Cart-horse, horse-cart, funny how it works out. Hit me.

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 126

The conflict in Yugoslavia was horrific on so many different levels. The footage of Serbs sniping on their Sarajevo neighbors out to do shop for necessities was beyond belief.

It is hard to imagine how the conflict could have ended on its own without outside intervention. Genocide was the plan for the Serbs.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Your “in sacramento” reminds me to say I’ll be in Berkeley on Dec 17, Santa Cruz Dec 18, Los Angeles Dec 19, NYCity Jan 4. See http://warisalie.org

Economics is important but not everything. If you think it’s everything after reading my book please let me know.

Everyone who reads the book, please send your thoughts to me through http://warisalie.org

bluewombat November 28th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 131

Ah, thanks for the response.

I’ve bookmarked http://prosecutebushcheney.org

Am already a fan of and contributor to Center for Constitutional Rights — gave them my entire $600 Bush tax rebate, for example.

Your other suggestions are good as well. Keep up the good work.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 139

we are obedient Ger…Americans

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Sure does. But the lies don’t stop when the war gets underway. The lies are still flowing, and a majority of Americans OK’d the wars in A and I when they started. Now a majority says end them, and they are not being ended. Instead the lies have come to include the lie that the wars are ending, as well as the traditional lie that we’re about to “win”.

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 123

Heaven forbid!!! That more or less proves my point. The U.S. is always ready for war, no matter what. The fact that U.S. doesn’t engage in every war it plans for is not an argument against countries engaging in war if they think they can win & think they have an advantage in being the aggressor. Even the U.S. military knows it can’t win every war it plans for.

mzchief November 28th, 2010 at 3:40 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 139

{ Thank you David, Russ and all for being here. }

“We have to end the whole idea of justifiable violence.” I concur. I thought this might play a part in sidelining that particular vehicle: “U.S. apologizes for Guatemala STD experiments,” Oct. 1, 2010 (link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39456324/ns/health-sexual_health )

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:40 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 118

Yeah – great rally. Others mentioned here like Chris Hedges were there. Also Cynthia McKinney whom I heard from today.

BevW November 28th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Russ, will you be out at any book stores in the near future?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I look at accounts of war from its actual participants as compared to its distant cheerleaders in the book

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:42 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 139

Well said. Why are there never any candidates running on strong anti-violence platforms?

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:43 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 47

good Germa– I mean good Americans.

You must love Eric Holder :-)

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Just begun looking. Helpful for world to know US diplomats are working as spies. Helpful for world to know nations are privately urging aggressive wars on other nations. Etc. Exposign criminal conspiracies is considered a service to society when it’s on a smaller scale.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 3:44 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 140

Barry, I’m with you on that. I haven’t read all of War Is A Lie yet, but from what I read, David was not advocating passivity in the face of danger. Rather he was arguing that very few wars did turn out to be entirely unavoidable by other means. I suspect he would support a purely defensive position when one country couldnt prevent another from invading–but maybe I’m wrong. Curious to hear what he has to say.

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:45 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 132

Second that, Russ.

joybar November 28th, 2010 at 3:45 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 109

It’s not necessary to go that far, IMO……although some families think they have to personally populate the world, ie: those that have 10 -20 children and still counting. (See reality shows on TV)

No, I’m thinking of 3rd world nations who have so many children who go without food and water and basic necessities, and suffer horribly. If they were taught simple birth control methods, it would alleviate a lot of unnecessary misery.

Birth control is inexpensive and easy and doesn’t kill anyone, like hunger and other privations, and war of course.

Most women hate war more than anything. I know I do. And when all is said and done, only a certain strata of people are benefited. Most are left homeless, crippled, or lost their lives in the conflagration.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:47 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 128

I have to agree with Ambassador Kellogg who told the French ambassador in negotiating the Kellogg Briand Pact, which made war illegal in 1928, that no exceptions should be allowed. Nations will resist, violently or otherwise, actual attacks. Putting that into law, and yes it has traditionally been there, creates a loophole that can be stretched. Allowign the UNSC to approve certain wars has the same effect. Nations pretend to be fighting in defense halway around the globe. Nations pretend to have UN approval even when the UN itself denies it. These exceptions blur to the point of meaninglessness the legal and moral outrage of war and the fundamental need to ban it entirely.

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 3:47 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 153

Want some stories about River Rats in Nam 67-70? *g*

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 129

war on obesity
war on poverty
these are attempts to generate the enthusiasm that comes from blood struggles with evil forces
rather than trying to steal the enthusiasm, we should steal the financial resources

eCAHNomics November 28th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 145

I’ll try to show up at your NYC event. Would love to meet you & have you sign my book. And by then, I should have read it.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 144

I lived in the former Yugoslavia from 2002-2004, so after the conflict was over, but i spent a lot of time traveling the region and interviewing people. I agree that something had to be done, and am not sure that there was another way to halt the slaughter. I spent time with a woman who had assembled a book with pictures of her scores of relatives and friends who were killed. Neighbors and former co-workers of another ethnic group came and just dragged everybody away. I saw the same thing when i covered Hutu-Tutsi massacres in Burundi in 88, way before Rwanda. Just seems like some kind of military intervention is sometimes necessary.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:50 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 132

get em half price with free shipping when you buy 10 at http://warisalie.org

also find there the links to amazon, etc, and Ebooks, and audio books

and there are counter-recruitment groups that want copies of War Is A Lie for their tables — can you contribute to this effort?

Thanks Russ and everyone!

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:50 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 135

ok thanks

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 160

im buying the book tonite,you re wonderful,thanks for the articulation

Barry Eisler November 28th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 160

I agree this is the rub. Just as for personal self defense, there are so many motivations, so many rationalizations, that an exception can easily swallow the rule.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 162

amen to that

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
In response to PeasantParty @ 137

I’m very sorry.
Please try — without joining the apathetic — to not hold a burning hatred for anyone. It burns you, not them.

ottogrendel November 28th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 54

David,

Does your work investigate the possibility that violence against members of its own species may be biologically hard wired for homo sapiens? I’m thinking of a comparison with our two closest relatives, chimps and bonobos. Bonobos are relatively non-violent and solve may problems through sex. Chimps, on the other hand are quite violent.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 3:52 pm
In response to BevW @ 152

Well, this is David’s moment, not mine. But…yes, see http://www.familyofsecrets.com for this week’s Bay Area appearances. David, what about you? Where can we get info on any appearances you may be making?

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 3:52 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 170

Truth.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:53 pm
In response to geoshmoe @ 138

yes i discuss the motivation of stifling domestic agitation for social justice both in this chat and in the book at greater length, but as with all the other forces that produce wars, this is obviously not the One True Explanation. It’s part of a larger package.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:53 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 134

Nobel Peace Prize WTF

See I was thinking the guys who really deserved the Nobel Peace Prize were the Nobel committee itself for trying to shame Obama into choosing peace… didn’t work, but it was noble. But Kissinger too? Damn.

BevW November 28th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

As we come to the end of this great Book Salon,

David, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and war.

Russ, Thank you very much for Hosting today’s great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

David’s website – Let’s Try Democracy,
book – War Is A Lie
Book Tour

Russ’s website,
book – Family of Secrets
WhoWhatWhy.com – Forensic Journalism

Thanks all,
Have a great week!

greenwarrior November 28th, 2010 at 3:54 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 76

I literally have two of them checked out of the library right now!

PeasantParty November 28th, 2010 at 3:54 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 170

I do try not to think about it. I know the Cambodians have done very well at moving beyond it.

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

religion cause of too many wars,there i said it

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:55 pm
In response to Barry Eisler @ 140

I said we did not need defensive wars written into law because people would resist regardless, and because th eloophole is then used for so-called “preemptive wars” etc. This does not conflict with your concern over defensive wars. In fact, Iraqis and Afghans and Pakistanis etc etc have the legal right to fight back. Whether violence is the most effective tool to use in each case is another conversation, also found in the book.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

David, what do you think about the Civil War?

Barry Eisler November 28th, 2010 at 3:56 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 180

Thanks again — very much looking forward to it.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:56 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 142

lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

got link to that list?
if you find please send to david at davidswanson dot org

Everyone please do the same with any questions I fail to answer or ongoing topics of discussion

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 3:58 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 164

I visited Yugoslavia when Tito was President. I visted towns in Croatia which were later in the news, sites of incredible bloodshed. When I visited, the tension between the Orthodox and the Muslims was palpable. Tito kept the lid on the pressure cooker, but he did nothing to relieve the pressure. On his departure, all hell broke loose.

In Yugoslavia as in Rwanda and Burundi, there was an opportunity to relieve the ethnic tensions before they broke loose. Why were those opportunties never explored?

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 3:59 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 180

Iraqis and Afghans and Pakistanis etc etc have the legal right to fight back.

uh, Omar Khadr? Our dream courts just ruled him a war criminal for fighting back.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 3:59 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 144

As discussed in the book, the bombing seems to have increased the killing on the ground, not halted it; nor does halting it seem to have been the goal given NATO’s failure to yet leave

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

This was great. Thanks, David, for doing this. Thanks, Bev and Firedoglake, for asking me to host. And thanks to all of you who commented, and all of you who followed along.

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

The book must be selling well, it’s temporarily out of stock at Amazon.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:00 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 184

I’ll look.

Russ Baker November 28th, 2010 at 4:02 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 187

perhaps. though i do think there is such a thing as an extended peace-keeping mission. nato in fmr yugo is a far cry from us in iraq. situation on the ground remains tense, and i dont see the nato troops, who are very low key, exacerbating. its still hair trigger between the sides.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:02 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 149

Yes of course countries tend not to launch wars they know they will lose, a lesson that should perhaps be stressed with those who pretend Iran or N Korea is about to go to war against the United States. On the other hand, some of the people who got the wars in Vietnam and Iraq going seem to have known they could nto “win”.

My point was that wars can be stopped by means other than persuasion of ultimate defeat.

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

They might as well award one to Pol Pot, posthomously.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:03 pm
In response to mzchief @ 150

lots of that sort of “evil of the whole” in the book too

PeasantParty November 28th, 2010 at 4:05 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 193

Ha! Yep. If Kissinger is good for one, so is he!

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Holder obeys Obama, not the law. He should be impeached.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:06 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 184

Ha! Easy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/huffposts-the-bush-years-_b_75722.html

Three posters — events, slogans, people — WTC 7 grew?

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

yes

david at davidswanson dot org

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 4:06 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 197

both,mebbe

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:07 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 163

that’d be great
i’ll be there on the 4th
maybe hangout after
david @ davidswanson dot org

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

must go eat,best book salon ever

mzchief November 28th, 2010 at 4:07 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 194

Thank you for your response.

I was recently reading about Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution. Intriguing idea that.

Jane Hamsher November 28th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hi David and hi Russ, thanks so much to both of you for being here today.

Apologies for just popping in, am struggling with the flu but just wanted to say thanks for all you do, David.

You totally walk the talk, and everyone who is a committed progressive should buy the book as a way to say “thanks.”

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 4:09 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 195

Thanks for the links.

We just need a candidate at the national level who is deeply passionate about reducing the too-pervasive level of violence.

ottogrendel November 28th, 2010 at 4:09 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 59

If wars are not older than 12,500 years, do you think there is a connection between war and the subsequent boom in human population that resulted from the domestication of plants and animals about this same time? If war is not a function of civilization, what sense do you make of human violence toward one another in hunter-gatherer societies? What do you make of Keeley’s “War Before Civilization”?

Thanks, by the way! :)

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 4:09 pm
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 204

feel better Jane…Lemon is your friend

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:10 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 164

military interventions use the arguments you’re buying into when it suits them, as in yugoslavia, and not when it doesn’t, as in Rwanda

and that will probably always be the case with military interventions aka wars as long as they are around

but the idea of wars preventing something worse than wars, even if launched out of actual humanitarian motivations, is very dubious

and the risk involved in allowing certain wars to be legal is far too dangerous

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:10 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 167

thanks
let me know what you think after you read it

sadlyyes November 28th, 2010 at 4:12 pm
In response to ottogrendel @ 206

pepps here are so sharp,thanks for the other book

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:12 pm
In response to ottogrendel @ 171

chimps and bonobos come up in the books
so do ants
but the evidence as discussed there seems overwhelming that war is not “hardwired” into us, so i conclude that that is not a possibility

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:12 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 172

See http://warisalie.org for events

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

yes but they had no notion whatsoever of how obama works or how US politics works

why didn’t they ask anyone?

peace begins with communication.

now if they’d give W one and arrest him at the airport they’d be redeemed

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:14 pm
In response to BevW @ 176

THANKS BEV!

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:15 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 179

it’s in chapter 1

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

it’s in the book
it certainly was not launched to end slavery and certainly was not needed to end slavery

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 4:15 pm
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 204

Well said, Jane. David is one of the valued few who does walk the talk.

mzchief November 28th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Thank you for the salon David, Russ and all.

All those who are feeling under the weather, may you have a speedy recovery and thoroughly restorative sleep. :)

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:17 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 185

yes, this is key
all defenders of wars, humanitarian or otherwise, always ask “Well what would you have done in that moment?” But most of what we do is avoiding or producing such moments. I favor working to avoid them by proactively building peace and social justice.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Victors’ justice is to justice as military intelligence is to intelligence

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:19 pm
In response to Russ Baker @ 188

Thanks Russ

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

The book is NOT out of stock and was never in stock
It’s print on demand and you will get it right away wherever you buy it, regardless of what Amazon says

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

thanks

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:22 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 202

thanks for helping make it

Ymhotep November 28th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

“War….makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful.” Nietzsche. Which, one supposes, is why it is never ending. Peace

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:23 pm
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 204

THANKS Jane! Get better fast, we need ya!

If people buy the book I’ll make a living and write another and better one.

If people know who can fund providing the book to counter-resistance groups, let me know.

ottogrendel November 28th, 2010 at 4:23 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 210

For our current situation, you may like to check out Andrew Bacevich’s work, if you haven’t already.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:25 pm
In response to ottogrendel @ 206

See my book
See Barbara Ehrenreich’s book
War comes with SOME complex sedentary societies after great beasts that hunted humans mostly slaughtered (and new [human] enemies needed for the hunters), but not in OTHER societies of the same description

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:26 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 197

I would just like to quote that in bold:

Holder obeys Obama, not the law. He should be impeached.

Maybe three times:

Holder obeys Obama, not the law. He should be impeached.
Holder obeys Obama, not the law. He should be impeached.
Holder obeys Obama, not the law. He should be impeached.

Did you know about Jesse Trentadue and what he says about Eric Holder? link It’s pretty involved, but Trentadue wrote a letter with FOIA attachments to Pat Leahy, wanting to testify at Holder’s hearing: PDF:

No one could be less suitable to uphold the principles of justice in America than Eric Holder. And I would like the opportunity to appear before the Judiciary Committee to testify to that fact.

Jesse C. Trentadue to Patrick Leahy, December 19, 2008

Jesse’s FOIAs are from the 1990s when Holder was an assistant or deputy AG. Also part of “The Trentadue Mission” to squelch Oklahoma City bombing hearings and cover up Kenney Trentadue’s murder were DOJ names that are probably familiar to you: David Margolis and Robert Litt.

Antiwar Radio podcast

Horton: What do you know about current Attorney General Eric Holder and his involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing and/or the cover-up thereof?

Trentadue: Well I know Holder was the one in charge of covering up my brother’s murder. He put together what they call a roll-out plan called the Trentadue mission, and it was to prevent any kind of inquiry into my brother’s murder, no hearings in Congress. I mean, he strong-armed Senator Hatch, Senator Dorgan, every other senator he could get a hold of to stop any kind of investigation into my brother’s murder. He did that personally.

Horton: And how do you know that?

Trentadue: Because I have a whole bunch of e-mails back and forth involving Holder and implementing “the Trentadue mission” he called it, documenting what he did and what his role was as Deputy Attorney General. And I suspect he played the same role in keeping a lid on the bombing.

Horton: So all those years that I was scratching my head trying to figure out how it could possibly be that Congress never convened a single hearing on any subcommittee in either house when it was run by either party on this case, it was because Eric Holder was doing the shuttle diplomacy there between branches of government preventing Dan Burton, Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter, Patrick Leahy, people like that, from investigating this case.

Trentadue: Both my brother’s murder and the bombing. It’s my understanding there’s never been a hearing on the bombing.

David Swanson November 28th, 2010 at 4:28 pm
In response to Ymhotep @ 225

until we end it

join DC protest on Dec. 16

watch http://warisacrime.org

Glaubt es mir – das Geheimnis, um die größte Fruchtbarkeit und den größten Genuß vom Dasein einzuernten, heisst: gefährlich leben.

ottogrendel November 28th, 2010 at 4:28 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 228

Have read Ehrenreich and will read yours soon. Thanks again.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:29 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 213

now if they’d give W one and arrest him at the airport they’d be redeemed

HA! From your keyboard to their ears :-)

john in sacramento November 28th, 2010 at 4:29 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 145

Don’t know if I can make it to Berkeley, but we’re behind you

mzchief November 28th, 2010 at 4:31 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 226

I’m sure the Multnomah County Library would be happy to have few copies of your book (I would expect they’d purchase them):

“This is the eighth year in a row the county has led the pack among similar-sized peers.”

- excerpt from “Multnomah County Library circulation rates highest in the nation,” Aug. 12, 2010.

For future reference, Powells Bookstore (Hawthorne location, general ink: http://www.powells.com ) and First Congregational United Church of Christ of Portland (SW PDX, events list: http://www.uccportland.org/Events/tabid/62281/Default.aspx ) are often venues for book authors/speakers/signings.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:33 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 220

Right, that’s the problem. We have a Department of Injustice and no Central Wisdom Agency. Cannot believe how STUPID we are! Simplest, first rule: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. What goes round comes round. Yet we’re always so surprised.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Crap! broken link to Jesse’s PDF asking to testify at Eric Holder’s confirmation hearing

Ymhotep November 28th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

That kind of talk could get you labeled as a religious fanatic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Peace

gigi3 November 28th, 2010 at 4:39 pm
In response to PeasantParty @ 104
PeasantParty November 28th, 2010 at 4:41 pm
In response to gigi3 @ 238

thanks! Men like him are mentally unstable and need immediate attention.

greenwarrior November 28th, 2010 at 4:41 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 230

Great book salon. You are awesome.

Please give us a great translation…..

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 4:44 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 222

Ah, so desu-ka.

greenwarrior November 28th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

SD, will you share some of your River Rats stories with us here at the Lake?

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

And Jeff Kaye had an interesting comment recently about Holder and Margolis covering up Waco, which of course inspired the Oklahoma City bombing.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 4:48 pm
In response to Ymhotep @ 237

Reason. Empathy. Peace.

Rock. Scissors. Paper.

It’s not rocket science.

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 4:56 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 242

Outside of operational stuff it’s pretty boring. The mods would never allow me to write about operational stuff and I’ve never been inclined to do so anyhow. My comment was half in jest but I’ll see what David would like to know about those years.

mzchief November 28th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

“I remember a public TV evening news broadcast wherein Reno stated she didn’t know what was going on “below deck” regarding the events at Waco. That didn’t even pass the “smell test” to me.

openhope November 28th, 2010 at 5:08 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 226

I’ve spent the Book Salon lurking. Thank you, Bev, for arranging this incredible discussion. Russ Baker, you’re style of hosting allowed the discussion to be real and transparent. Thank you.
Thank you, David, for all the writing you do. A huge part of my free Poli-Sci edukation. I’m buying your book to pay your rent, because I owe you. In the days before my International Sales Director husband got laid off [ yeah, 60 something], I would’ve bought 2.
Since that’s not possible I’ll request it at the library. :] Life is in the details. Thank you so much for all you do.

SouthernDragon November 28th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Went back to Amazon and ordered the book. Thanks for the publishing info, David.

ghostof911 November 28th, 2010 at 5:13 pm
In response to mzchief @ 246

As though they couldn’t wait that one out a few more days. The slaughter of the children was unforgiveable.

papau November 28th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

The above discussion is quite complete – but as to the “error” in calling Dulles the “first director of the CIA”, it is minor and easily corrected by saying “first civilian director of the CIA” (In 1953, Dulles became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence, which had been formed as part of the National Security Act of 1947 – the earlier directors had been military officers). Of course his firing by JFK in 61 and the GOP and oil company response to that firing and the subsequent assassination are another topic – as is his, and his brother’s, and Prscott Bush’s connection to Union Bank and the Nazi corporate world.

CTuttle November 28th, 2010 at 5:31 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 230

Aloha Oe and Mahalo Nui Loa, David…! *g*

Btw, If you’d like I could do research for your next project…! ;-)

papau November 28th, 2010 at 5:33 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 66

Just curious – I agree as to the lies always being the mix that takes us to war – but as to war itself, it seems some humans that become leaders of their countries are bullies and make their countries behave like bullies – and like all bullies, are only stopped by force.

Do you argue that use of force – war – is never justified?

openhope November 28th, 2010 at 5:45 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 249

The slaughter. was. unforgivable.
Just saying….

mzchief November 28th, 2010 at 6:55 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 249

The Waco Electronic Holocaust Museum totally blew the cover-up out of the water.

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 7:11 pm
In response to ghostof911 @ 249

I haven’t read it but I have heard The Secret Life of Bill Clinton by British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard highly recommended on the subject of Oklahoma.

He is the author of The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories (1997) which was published by conservative publishing firm Regnery Publishing.[2] In this book, he elaborates on assertions that the Oklahoma City bombing was an FBI sting operation that went horribly wrong, that warnings by an ATF undercover agent were ignored, and that the Justice Department subsequently engaged in a cover-up.

That must be Eric. I wonder if the book goes back to Waco?

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 7:13 pm
In response to mzchief @ 254

I was going to search Eric Holder there but the query doesn’t work.

http://www.public-action.com/AT-pub129c0query.html

thatvisionthing November 28th, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I just went over to Antiwar Radio and I see David Swanson’s just been interviewed there for War Is A Lie:

http://antiwar.com/radio/2010/11/27/david-swanson-2/ (20-minute podcast :-)

Scott Horton Interviews David Swanson
November 27, 2010

David Swanson, author of War is a Lie, discusses the lies routinely made before, during and after a war; how FDR provoked and allowed the Pearl Harbor attack out of desperation to get the US into WWII; the contradictory narratives required to convince both the Left and the Right a particular war is worth fighting; how continued popular reverence for military service keeps the war machine going; why courage and valor are not commendable attributes when used for evil purposes; how private government and military deliberations on war never consider troop support but public appeals always do; and how Americans routinely underestimate the depravity of their imperial government.

mzchief November 29th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

In general, if I there’s broken links on a web site, I just try to give the web master a nudge. Usually there’s some way to contact the web maintainer on a site.

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post