Welcome David Swanson (DavidSwanson.org) and Host Eric Stoner (WagingNonViolence.org)

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

The Military Industrial Complex at 50

In 1961, President Eisenhower delivered his now famous farewell address, in which he warned the American people of the dangerous rise of a powerful “military industrial complex” in this country.

Last year, for the 50th anniversary of this prophetic speech, many of the leading thinkers and activists on U.S. militarism and war-making came together for a conference to take stock of how this complex has evolved and what can be done to reign it in. For those who weren’t able to attend, author and activist David Swanson has just published The Military Industrial Complex at 50, an edited collection of the insightful and inspiring remarks that were delivered at this timely event, in addition to several other complimentary essays.

As the wide-ranging articles in the book reveal, with the Pentagon’s budget now larger than at any point since World War II, militarism pervades and threatens our society today in ways that Eisenhower could not imagine when he introduced this scary new phrase into our vocabulary.

For example, Clare Hanrahan and Coleman Smith lay out in devastating detail the often overlooked environmental impact of the U.S. military’s enormous and deadly footprint around the globe. Jeff Fogel gives a thorough overview of how one of the first casualties of war — after the truth — is without fail our civil liberties, dating all the way back to the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act in 1798.

By following the money, Steve Horn and Allen Ruff look at one of the many ways that the tentacles of the military industrial complex reach into and corrupt our system of higher education, and Mia Austin Scoggins offers extensive evidence — including shocking statistics on PTSD, suicides and rape — to demonstrate that the official numbers of wounded and killed in U.S. wars are, in reality, only the tip of the iceberg.

The Military Industrial Complex at 50 then explores what it will take to turn this enormous ship around. With the top concern of most Americans these days revolving around reviving our economy and employment, several of the presentations argue that we must tackle these worries head on, citing a compelling study by Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, which found that spending money on the military creates far fewer jobs than spending the same amount on clean energy, health care, education, or even tax cuts. Mary Beth Sullivan addresses another crucial and rarely talked about piece of this puzzle in economic conversion, which involves planning how we will change “from military to civilian work in industrial facilities, in laboratories, and at U.S. military bases.”

In addition to offering these types of no-nonsense arguments and policy prescriptions for reversing the growth of our runaway military apparatus, many contributors to the book — including Code Pink’s Lisa Savage, retired U.S. Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, and former CIA officer Ray McGovern — deliver moving calls to action. With the next election approaching, David Swanson warns that:

voting alone will get us nowhere good. … [O]ur government will stop dumping our hard-earned pay into wars we don’t want and cannot survive only when we have made that path (that running of the gauntlet of K Street’s opposition) easier for every type of misrepresentative than continuing on the current trajectory.

Amen. With those words of advice and challenge to us all, I’d like to kick off what I’m sure will be an eye-opening conversation. Thanks so much for being with us David!

193 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Swanson, The Military Industrial Complex at 50”

BevW May 27th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

David, Welcome back to the Lake.

Eric, Welcome to the Lake and for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

Mia Austin-Scoggins, one of the authors in the book will be joining us today in the discussion.

Happy Memorial Day all.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Great to be here. Some of the other authors may show up as well. A list of all of them is at http://MIC50.org

dakine01 May 27th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Good afternoon David and welcome back to FDL this afternoon. Eric welcome this afternoon.

David, I have not read the book so forgive me if this is addressed but isn’t a companion to the lost civil liberties from the MIC also the culture of secrecy – especially when it entails keeping the secrets from the US public far more than our supposed ‘enemies”? I’m thinking of the “secret” bombings of Cambodia in the early ’70s as well as the “secret” drone attacks and actions ongoing today – secret only to the general US population as the folks experiencing these attacks know all about them

Mia Austin-Scoggins May 27th, 2012 at 2:01 pm
In response to BevW @ 1

It’s a pleasure to join the discussion. Special thanx to Bev!

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Hi David and Bev. Nice to be here as well.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I hope we can talk a little about how we can take on the MIC and dismantle it. The books, audio book, ebook, etc., is at http://MIC50.org

dakine01 May 27th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

and good afternoon t oyou as well Mia and welcome

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

The government does a lot to conceal the true size of our country’s military apparatus by hiding military spending throughout the federal budget. To start off with the basics, can you give us your best guess as to the true size of problem we face with the military industrial complex?

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:03 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 3

Militarism does more than anything else to expand government secrecy, it’s the most common justification for it, and one that many people make proactively for the government, arguing that the government knows best and we should leave matters of war and peace to the military — these are often the same people who denounce government power grabs and abuses whenever they are not connected to militarism

Elliott May 27th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hi David, what a great idea for a book, thank you.

It’s been 50 years and I see no relief in sight. Any chance ever that the American public will come to their senses? *sigh*

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

didnt Ike call it the Military Industrial Congressional Complex,would we not have to add Media to its name now

Mia Austin-Scoggins May 27th, 2012 at 2:08 pm
In response to Elliott @ 10

As Dr. Ronald Glasser, a surgeon in VietNam, said in 2005: “The sight of legless and addled beggars…holding signs saying…Vets….

Unfortunately, too many issues re: vets and MIC are under the radar of the general public.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:08 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 8

It’s over half of federal discretionary spending. It’s over half of global military spending. It’s many times the next nation of any sort. It’s several times all conceivable “enemy” nations combined. NATO is 3/4 of global military spending. It’s not only not reduced since the end of the cold war — it’s much higher than at any time during the cold war, and as high or higher than during World War II. Most of it is preparation and empire, as opposed to specific wars. Shifting to robotic warfare doesn’t look likely to do much to lower financial costs — or human costs, if we count non-USians as humans and if we consider consequences and blowback. You’ll hear that it’s low as a share of GDP but that suggests that we muct spend more on war preparation just because we can. It’s not low, but high, as a real dollar amount, a share of federal spending, and a share of global military spending. And it’s not that the US has stepped into this role, taking over for a previous empire. No nation has ever done anything like this before.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:09 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 8

We’re also often misled that it’s being cut. Military spending has thus far increased each year that Bush or Obama was president. It’s also becoming more privatized, more secretive, less accountable.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:09 pm
In response to Elliott @ 10

I think there is hope Elliott. But we have a long way to go to wake folks up to the true cost of our military apparatus. I was once conservative myself, and had my eyes opened by an amazing teacher. So I know it’s possible. Then the next challenge is to find ways to put sufficient pressure on our reps to change course.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

David i will email you later,my questions never reach the page,for a reason ,never explained to me

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Why are most people oblivious to the size of this monster and its effects on us all?

Mia Austin-Scoggins May 27th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’m a member of NC Peace Action. We have initiated a number of Town Hall Meetings ( Durham, Raleigh) to engage our legislators and local officials to sign on to “Bring Our War Dollars Home” resolutions. What other grassroots efforts might y’all know about?

RevBev May 27th, 2012 at 2:14 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 13

Isn’t a big part of the “reason” behind all this is getting big money to certain friends and corps? (In addition to whatever the exaggerated defense claims are.)

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:14 pm
In response to Elliott @ 10

That’s a complicated question because the majority of us in the US want the military cut significantly, and the more we’re informed of the facts the more we want that. See Steven Kull’s polling. See the http://MIC50.org book. But not enough of us are active about it. This is the real purpose behind the book: to get active. The MIC is the root cause of all the civil liberties abuses that the ACLU and the various human rights groups go after, but they won’t go after the MIC. It’s the root cause of much environmental destruction, fighting wars for oil, consuming much of the oil in fighting the wars for it, pock-marking our nation with superfund sites from testing weapons, etc, but the big environmental groups won’t take it on. The MIC is the drainer of funds away from the interests of labor, anti-poverty, pro-EVERYTHING groups of all sorts, and if we could all get together and take on our common problem we’d win. Public opinion is actually on our side. The MIC is not a jobs program but a drain on the economy. Economists are on our side too. It’s corporate welfare for the 1% of the 1% — so in theory OCCUPY is with us as well. But how to get active is the question — how to get labor unions and well-funded Dem-partisan groups to move.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:15 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 11

There are many things we should add to the complex. The media is most definitely one. Ike had originally included Congress, but stripped it out after pressure. That should most definitely be thrown back in as well. A great book by Nick Turse called The Complex spelled out many other things that should be included as well, so that you could guess, like academia, and others that were more surprising. He had a chapter for example on the military-doughnut complex.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:16 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 11

He did. You can now add many many words. Nick Turse has a book called The …. Complex with a crazy-long title that still leaves much out. But Ike knew the influence would be total and said so, in fact said it already was 51 years ago. Sadly he said it on the way out the door and couched it in lies about having been compelled down this course by the evil Russians. When you do that you undermine your warning.

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Hi David, your book is definitely on my June reading list. I am currently giving presentations in high schools regarding military recruiting and militarism, two next week in fact. It seems that people are gaining more and more an interest in militarism and how it manifests in contemporary America. I am most concerned with the normalization of militarism. Am I wrong in saying that, historically, we as a culture are being presented with a larger amount of pro-militarist propaganda than in previous times? Given the penetration of militarism into everything from Hollywood to universities, from gaming to K-6 grade public ed (e.g. Starbase), to contract and other forms of employment in every congressional district in the nation, and much more. I wonder if we have ever experienced a more robust and stronger ploy to elevate the Pentagon in the public arena and rule? Any insight into this historical pattern, or aberration?

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Mia, thanks for joining us. Mia gave a great presentation at the conference that produced this book and has a great chapter in it on some of the casualties of war that we don’t usually know about.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

By the way, we’re looking for a city to volunteer to host and organize an MIC at 51 Conference this year — bigger and better. There have been two thus far, in Greensboro, and the one in Charlottesville that produced this book.

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Good afternoon, David.

I’m struck that although the term “military industrial complex” goes back to 1961, the reality goes back to the failure to demobilize after the victory in World War II. And the extent to which the notion of “the enemy within” suppressed any criticism of the growing power of institutions that were undermining Constitutional rights. For example, a formal doctrine of “state secrets” did not get enunciated by the Supreme Court until the middle of the McCarthy period (United States v. Reynolds),

Given that these institutions were put in place up to 65 years ago and are now seem as the norm, how exactly can we undo this structure?

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 15

Indeed. Many of the best peace activists, in Veterans For Peace and otherwise, have come around as a result of numerous influences over the years. Your activism and persuasion can appear to hit a brick wall and then sink in decades later in combination with some other experience that opens someone’s eyes.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 16

OK

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:21 pm
In response to RevBev @ 19

I think you nailed it. The main reason for all war, I believe, comes down to money. But the politicians obviously can’t say that, so they dress it up in pretty language and talk about going to war for democracy, human rights and freedom.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Polls have pretty consistently shown that people are in favor of cutting the military budget, especially if they have a choice between scaling back the Pentagon and slashing domestic programs. What kinds of tricks does the military industry play to ensure the money keeps flowing in its direction?

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:25 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 22

bless you David for your courage and truth telling,I used to send Candy-grams to the brave truth-tellers,because i was so awed by their courage,mebbe ill send ya some apples instead…ha

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:26 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 17

I guess the obvious answer is that we have a debate in our public communications system between the Good Liberals who want to tax billionaires and corporations a little bit more if it’s not too much trouble, in order to PAY FOR STUFF — and paying for stuff is GOOD, and then on the other hand the Bad Rightwingers who want to cut taxes for the wealthy in order to cut spending, and cutting spending is BAD. And neither side has any interest in mentioning that over half the discretionary spending is going to war. They both favor it. So, they talk about the other 45% of spending a lot. One side is for it, the other against it. And the corporate media has a direct interest in continuing this charade. It has corporate ties to the MIC, it’s part of the MIC, NBC’s GE is more MIC than media, its guests are MIC, its experts are MIC and it wants access, not to mention its commercials. If you propose to liberal conferences like Netroots Nation or Take Back Our Future Yet Again including the MIC as a topic, you’re accused of a very narrow focus, but again the other 45% of the budget gets a lot of attention. The Back to Future conference did have a panel on war that I was on last year, and has a token panel this year. But NRN has pro-war panels on how to make the Democratic Party the party of militarism. This is in contrast to UNAC and Left Forum and lots of other conferences that have included panels coming out of this MIC at 50 conference.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 29

Smedley Butler,let the cat out of the proverbial bag,back in the 3os…Wall Street saw a winner

actionsouth May 27th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Hey folks, It’s clare hanrahan and coleman smith in asheville. Took awhile to login for some reason. Enjoyed your presentation in Chicago David.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Also coming out of the MIC @ 50 conference in Charlottesville we got the City of Cville this past January to pass a resolution against excessive military spending AND AGAINST ANY ATTACK ON IRAN. See http://charlottesvillepeace.org and go forth and do likewise. Now we need to work for the creation of a commission on conversion. We are not trying to eliminate jobs but to shift spending to areas that produce more jobs while also havign much better side effects.

actionsouth May 27th, 2012 at 2:30 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 29

money may not be as important as power and dominance as in hegemony

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 2:30 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 33

And now all the Generals are looking at retirement parachutes from Northrop Grumman, or the drone makers.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I liked the other efforts mentioned in the book, such as the campaign by Civilian-Soldier Alliance and the campaign to challenge the ASVAB test. How are your efforts going? How receptive have the reps been to the Bring Our War Dollars Home resolutions?

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

i read Google News from British site,far more truthful,and graphic,than the Beyoncified American edition….its ghastly however ,with the daily murder of children and families…

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:32 pm
In response to RevBev @ 19

The presidents and congress members answer to their funders and many of their biggest funders are weapons companies and other military contractors. But they also hook them through the jobs racket whereby our elected officials now openly treat the killing business as a jobs program, in a way that some of them do not yet talk openly about the prison business. It’s fraud of course. Military spending is worse than nothing for producing jobs, but you can’t just eliminate the jobs. We need to invest massively and urgently in green energy jobs to 1)save our atmosphere, 2)save out economy, 3)get off the military cycle of madness. Then there are other reasons, rational and otherwise, that lead to wars — and the wars drive the monster that in turn builds momentum for them.

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 2:33 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 21

A bit late to the party, David, problems with “connection”.

Yes “Congressional” needs to be reapplied to MIC …

Had it been part of the “understanding” these last many years, then the public could more easily and clearly understood the role of Congress through its “oversight” responsibilities and sole power, Constitutionally to declare war … in the many wars this nation has engaged in since WWII, several of which were begun, by the executive, on the basis of outright lies.

DW

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
In response to applepie @ 23

That’s terrific that you’re doing that. I very much want to do the same. I think we need to reach high school students more than any other group. Yes, the propaganda budget is ever-soaring, as well as the cultural acceptance of permanent militarization. Our culture is turning against violence and against big wars, but has become ever more accepting of the ubiquitous presence of military operations and the global spread of the machinery of the world’s policemen. The government is paying for more movies, shows, ads, games, than ever, and getting more of the same for free than ever.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

it used to be a disgrace to be a war profiteer,wasn’t Howard Hughes brought before Congress? yet IBM,Ford,and many other American Co.s gained enormous profits…Im sure that is why Obama and Mr.Feinberg were so kind to BP,who in essence makes our military roll

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hi Clare and Coleman! I really enjoyed your chapters in the book. I’m continually surprised by how many articles I see that actually talk about the military “going green.” I haven’t read it yet, but there looks to be a positive article on this even in the current issue of Yes! Magazine. Your thoughts when you here this stuff?

Mia Austin-Scoggins May 27th, 2012 at 2:37 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 35

I have great faith in grassroots energy and efforts. The success of the Durham and Raleigh “Town Hall Meetings” is gratifying. However, I agree with Quaker House’s (Fayetteville) Chuck Fager, who opines that unless one has family / friends in military, the wars are merely the background Muzak for the quotidian.

actionsouth May 27th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Bare with me please. First time at this. Another issue is how to get people to understand how to resist the MIC. I get alot of “that’s important but it’s to large…I don’t see how we can take it on…I’ll just fight coal, or power plants, or work for same sex marriage…ect.” I try to break it down into elements for folks to engage it where they are. Anyone else having these issues? coleman

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 2:38 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 40

Just imagine if the brain power and engineering know-how used to build robotic flying wasps or stealth technology was used to deal with ocean acidification and climate change, or if DARPA was reformed to explore and promote solar technologies…

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 40

Superbly well-said, David, and too damned true for a democracy to survive in the face of such collusion and “deference” to mere money …

As you imply, wars are stupid and wasteful, not to say unforgivable in light of the environmental truth …

However, I see nothing, short of a complete reworking of our civil society, that will nudge the elites off their chosen course, unless it is complete environmental collapse … and frankly, the elites seem to imagine that they can personally “buy” their way out of that.

We are dealing with nothing less than collective insanity, wrapped in the guise of patriotic and capitalistic fervor.

DW

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 26

We start by reaching the understanding you have. WWII is the catastrophe that keeps on giving: NATO, the CIA, the Geneva Conventions, the NSAdvisor, the Air Force, the MIC. We were not supposed to have standing armies. Now we have armies standing on the entire globe. We’ve normalized what used to be a trauma. There’s no Peace Time anymore. We have to come to grips with the fact that a crime that was banned in 1928 — namely warmaking — is now the primary business of our government. Then we can look at the damage that crime does to our own personal interest area, be it civil liberties, poverty, healthcare, you name it, and approach it with a willingness to take it on that people find hard to generate against something that is either patriotic and heroic or inevitable and permanent.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Jumping off of Clare and Coleman’s issue with getting folks to understand how to resist the MIC, I wanted to ask you David one of the questions that was used in the book for the group discussions at the conference. Where is the military industrial complex vulnerable? What is the most compelling place to start?

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:42 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 30

It’s an extremely anti-democratic process that avoids public opinion, generates giant bills through a very few congress members, and insists that the rest of the congress members vote for the whole package or be unpatriotic. And not just unpatriotic but disloyal to their Party (either of the Two) and disloyal to their funders, and a mockery on cable “news” etc.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 31

Apples is good although I live near apple orchards

Mia Austin-Scoggins May 27th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Rep. Price and Congressman Miller are on board with rep. Walter Jones, regarding the “Bring the War Dollars Home” campaign, and signed on to the Resolution.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 49

reason was turned on its head,sigh

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:45 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 52

lucky you…and you are a brave-heart,not like Mel(fake)

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:45 pm
In response to applepie @ 47

Well said applepie. I think that opportunity cost you mention is absolutely enormous. The good that could be done were we to redirect not only the financial resources we’re dumping into the military, but the human capital, is really difficult to imagine. The world could be unrecognizably different and better place.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:46 pm

That’s fantastic.

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Bacevich writes that we live in a militarist democracy. I wonder if we live amidst a silent militarist coup, that is unfolding with greater speed each recession/depression.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 33

It’s funny that into the 30s the farmers still had more pull in Washington than the weapons makers. The farmers wanted Europeans to buy grain, not guns. That helped give us the Kellogg Briand Pact: http://davidswanson.org/Outlawry But the warmaking in the poor nations was a means of enforcing economic exploitation for other industries than warmaking itself. We did away with wars among the wealthy nations, with the exception of WWII and now the recent war-talk from Russia unheard in decades and resulting from our missile “defense” bases going up on Russia’s borders. But we make war on poor countries non-stop, and the warmaking itself is the biggest business of all. Beyond the US military, the US is far and away the top armer of other nations. Most US wars go up against US-made weapons. It’s the one thing we still do best, make stuff that kills people.

hpschd May 27th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I recall that Senator Wm. William Proxmire was well known for searching out excesses in Pentagon spending. I don’t see anyone taking up that cause. (e.g. the Osprey and now the F35.)

Would we do well to pursue his tactic or was it not actually effective even then.

Wonderfull book btw, and “War is a Lie” and “When the World Outlawed War” are as well

actionsouth May 27th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 44

It’s always amusing to think that the military is a promoter of “greening”.
They see the writing on the wall.It’s good marketing and recruiting to show that you”understand the need”. The oil is running out and it’s harder to get to. $$400/gal of fuel into Afghan! They are also cleaning up the battlefield with less polluting projectiles and calling it green too. In the burst they are polluting the theater for generations with DU dust. Those green bullets are suppose to be more accurate as well. coleman

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David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:48 pm
In response to actionsouth @ 34

Welcome to two authors of chapters in the book. Direct questions on the military’s damage to our natural environment to Clare and Coleman!

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:48 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 50

the corruption is the place to start…the billions upon billions disappeared on pallets dropped all over the planet,that made their way to Swiss Bank accts etc …imo

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 49

And the politics of it is this. One party philosophically believes that the military and police are the only functions of government. The other has no discernible philosophy. And both are on the take.

Can exerting influence through electoral politics (Reps. Miller, Price, and Jones notwithstanding) affect this in any way?

I keep having the feeling that we are nibbling this issue at the edges.

hackworth1 May 27th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

This is a favorite topic of mine, in part b/c it is so pervasive. I mention the MIC and Eisenhower’s remarks regularly.

So that I may blunt any stupid feelings of Republican patriotism (they love their old Presidents) I always say,

“Eisenhower warned about the (Congressional) MIC on his way out the door, but he didn’t DO anything about it”.

Nevertheless, for a Republican to have been the one to point to it, is remarkable and it works better in our favor.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

At the beginning of the book, you talk about the importance of shifting our demand from “Jobs Not Cuts” to “Jobs Not Wars.” Can you elaborate on what you mean by this?

actionsouth May 27th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Eric, I seem to miss the string of comments until I submit. Sorry for lagging in comment. What’s the trick to follow real time commenting. Thanks. I’m a virgin at this… coleman

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 49

You are knocking them out of the park, today, David. Grand slams, all.

What do you imagine it will take to allow such notions to begin to be seriously discussed among hoi paloi?

It is NOT the elites, financial or political, who will begin this conversation, ever … it is NOT the current political parties.

How may alternative views, notions, ideas, or even alternative political candidates who suggest and champion sanity and reason, come to be heard?

DW

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 43

We’ve gone from war profiteering being disgraceful and illegal to it being praiseworthy work by jobcreators. We have to get back to a world in which we don’t get outraged at peeing on corpses but at the creation of the corpses. We have to get back to an understanding that profiting from death is unacceptable. We have to see war as shameful, and the hardest part of course will be ceasing to praise the rank-and-file warriors while praising only the resisters.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 59

vomit inducing,bet all the profiteers,and truth tellers like Andrea Mitchell,attend religious services weekly

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:53 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 66

I think you’re right. Eisenhower was a very complicated character. I wonder if he was still alive what he would think of his speech today and how the MIC has evolved since then.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I didn’t have family or friends in the military when i dedicated myself to the peace movement. I’m not so terribly different from other people. The peace movement can and must be larger than military families.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 2:56 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 70

Standing on my chair clapping,can you do a Youtube of that,and we make it go viral
30 children’s HEADS were blown OFF this weekend!

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 2:57 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 73

Ray McGovern talks about several of the prophets that inspire him to keep going. Who or what impacted you on your path as an activist and led you to dedicate yourself to the peace movement?

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 2:57 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 70

We also need to deconstruct the idea of the ‘warrior’ as an emblematic face for Americas youth and the courageous. The bravest people I know are the ones in the classrooms teaching social justice, and the ones taking on huge corporations while sacrificing their own monetary income, or the ones who stay in their tough neighborhoods and work to make them healthier and safer.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:58 pm
In response to actionsouth @ 46

Yes, it’s not just that people don’t want to go after the patriotic flagwaving agency. It’s also easier to take on one thing at a time. One civil liberties abuse. One polluting factory. And people are tempted to go state and local because national stuff is so hard.

One answer is to work on military conversion locally and at the state level. Pass resolutions, set up commissions, create plans for converting local military industries to civilian purposes. Build pressure and understanding up from the ground.

The other trick is to build a large enough organization to go after the larger problem nationally, even if bit by bit. The cuts mandated by the Super Congress’s failure will be undone unless we push hard to keep them in and to make them the first of a series of larger and larger cuts. That’s a manageable goal. It’s already law, and recent law, and super-publicized and justified law — we just have to keep it in.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 2:59 pm
In response to applepie @ 47

And along the same lines, imagine if we were paying people to model possible peace scenarios instead of just every possible war scenario. This is what the MIC does: it builds bureaucratic momentum for war combined with blinders that shut out anything else.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

dont know if you all saw this,but it is staggering

AP IMPACT: Almost half of new vets seek disability

1 hr ago – By MARILYNN MARCHIONE America’s newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen. A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 … (AP-Excite)

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:01 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 48

Change has always looked impossible until it happened and has always happened piece by piece. We often think the present is different in this regard from all recorded history, but as far as I can tell we just think that without basis. We can change things if enough of us work hard enough.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:02 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 70

Well said David. It really is shocking to think about how normalized we have become to killing and death. It’s going to be a struggle to resensitize people, with so many forces in pop culture working in the opposite direction.

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 80

I agree completely, David.

In fact, I would say that most of us have been preparing all of our lives … for just this challenge, rebuilding our world and collective sanity.

DW

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 81

yea ,all is just peachy ,till it happens to their kid,their wife,their friend,violence aint so sexy then

hackworth1 May 27th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 78

The so-called Liberal Media (it’s really a Republican, Fat-Cat-Owned Corporate Media) made a complete and total mockery of Dennis Kucinich and his Department of Peace.

Department of Peace!, they guffawed. What a stupid fucking idea!, they concurred.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:05 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 50

The global empire is a point of vulnerability. Most people in the US can’t justify spending tens of billions of dollars every year to keep US troops in 150 other countries making us all less safe. A movement is building against those bases, and it needs to have a large component here in Der Homeland. This is not just a point of vulnerability but of value if successful — the bases are what help get the wars going.

Drones is another. People are upset about the privacy issues of drones in US skies, who can make a connection to drones spying and killing around the world, at the secret order of a spy agency or a recess-appointed career-criminal.

And of course the financial trade-offs in general.

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:05 pm
In response to applepie @ 76

Touche applepie. I think about that all the time. We have so many unsung heroes in this country. We just have to do a better job of telling those stories and making the case that that kind of sacrifice is more praise-worthy.

hackworth1 May 27th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 79

Well, they tried to send them into battle without flak jackets. See what happens when they get flak jackets?

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 78

Scenarios that gain traction are “worst case scenarios”. The peace movement in the 1960s was galvanized by the Cuban Missile Crisis and the worst case scenario that got spun out of that. The peace movement in the 1980s was energized by the scenario of a nuclear winter.

Envisioning limited war without end does not have that impact–especially when the warmonger’s worst case is a suitcase nuke. Never mind evaluating the feasibility of that scenario.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:07 pm
In response to hpschd @ 60

thanks

we have to i think go after the excesses and the malfunctioning weapons without joinign a push for more cost-effective machinery that kills more reliably

we should go after the corruption and waste while making clear that even worse than Pentagon waste is smart Pentagon spending

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:08 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 77

What kind of organizing is being done to ensure that Congress don’t shift all of the cuts mandated by the failure of the supercommittee to domestic programs? Are there any specific efforts that you know of that we can plug into? If not we should start something.

bluedot12 May 27th, 2012 at 3:08 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 8

Hellman and Kramer at tomdispatch.com say we spend a trillion dollars a year ondefense and there are a few things missing from that.

actionsouth May 27th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

So…this is really great and wish I was more proficient in real time. I’m going to leave it to you pros for right now but would like to suggest a couple of sites and reasons for our MIC@50 III. As stated we should work to tie the event to a local issue around which there is organizing happening or at least breaking out. Having the resources of a college is not mandatory but very helpful. Some of the spots Clare and I are working with are:
1) Erwin Tn. and the Nuclear Fuel Services, down the road from Jonesborough and the DU weapons plant (East Tn State U in Johnson City)
2)Oak Ridge Y-12/Knoxville/Maryville College
3) North Florida in Jacksonville (just 30 minutes from Kings Bay Trident Sub Base in St. Marys , Georgia.

Charlotte was suggested but I don’t know why other than its being the Wall Street of the South and the run up to the DNC.

The Triangle at Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill has always had a giant military research element and it’s near Johnson County Airport where we still fly out Torture Taxis.

That’s it for now and will look for any way to meet, greet, and work with ya’ll. You’re an amazingly brave crew of folks that Clare and I are proud to stand with. Thanks coleman

Mia Austin-Scoggins May 27th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I believe, that in the peace movement, we are all “family”, in the larger context. We’re all related, in some way. A troop / vet is someone’s mother/father/sister/brother/husband/wife/child/friend/caregiver.

Unfunded “Extra Casualties” of war is the MIC at its most venereal.

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 3:10 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 85

I’m advocating ending the occupation of Europe and Japan that is the legacy of World War II. Can Europe now keep the peace on the continent without US aid or can it not? If not, what is the EU for?

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 87

when my neighbor went to Korea,80% of his outfit froze to death,just kids

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 65

A focus on electoral work can be observed at work in the Obama Hopey-Changey crime wave, in Egypt, in Wisconsin. Elections are a necessary part of what we need, but a very small part. Our focus should be on education and activism. But a really good candidate with a chance of winning in this rotten system is worth backing — Norman Solomon is the best such candidate I know of right now. It would make a Dennis-Kucinich Barbara-Lee level difference to have him in Washington.

mzchief May 27th, 2012 at 3:11 pm

How do we shut this beast down? Shortest route I can figure is putting the bankstas out of business by walking away from everything Wall Street/Mayfair. Not easy as the bankstas have bought off every city council and insists on being inserted into all of our lives but it is doable. Phoenix has started this non-partisan petition. Seems to me this effort should be underway in every city. { TarheelDem! }

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 3:11 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 89

More cost-effective weaponry means weaponry that is easier for smaller states and for non-state actors to acquire. How does that increase security?

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 94

oy that question could take days to answer,how are you,another braveheart here

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Another fundamental part of militarism is in it’s self-perpetuating style: the more militarism we have the more wars we fight and the more wars we fight the more militarism we need. It is our wars that make us vulnerable, it is our own national security that makes us more insecure as more and more people around world have to deal with US bombs.

Our wars do not make us safer, they make us less safe. Our wars create a huge amount of people, growing with every drone strike, who hate us. The only real enemy is war itself. War is the enemy.

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:13 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 85

What you say is true, David, general antipathy toward war is greater than I have ever seen it and I’ve been “here” three score and five …

Clear majorities favor the end of the “endless war”, favor consequences for the financial fraudsters, and are convinced that neither legacy party candidate for President will do what is necessary to improve the economic well-being of that majority.

And yet, we are told, in many places, that there is no choice but between the two political parties who are essentially responsible for most of our collective woes.

Without doubt, people must dare to seek other alternatives and they will need the help and encouragement of sites such as FDL in so doing.

DW

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:13 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 67

Eric, I think this is key – I think I touched on it earlier. One party wants jobs not cuts. The other wants cuts not jobs. I want cuts in one place and spending on jobs in a different place. Spending isn’t good regardless of what it’s spending on. Cuts aren’t bad without knowing what’s being cut. We have to insert this understanding into the soundbytes of the well-funding nonprofit industrial media complex.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:16 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 69

Media reform is a big issue, part of this, and part of the book, and also of my book WAR IS A LIE. Again, I want to steer away from blaming the masses of people, because people do pretty well on this in polls. I would take a public policy set up by majority opinion even as ill-informed as it is now, over what we’ve got, in a heart beat. But education and organizing can crystalize understanding and apply pressure to those who don’t need rational persuasion so much as a metaphorical kick in their well-funded backsides.

actionsouth May 27th, 2012 at 3:17 pm

(*)

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:17 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 71

Religious bigotry contributes greatly to war making. http://warisalie.org

mzchief May 27th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to applepie @ 100

A negative feedback loop and the nuclear industry component of the MIC is the most insane of them all IMO.

hpschd May 27th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 89

Excellent strategy.

Recent problems with the F22 point out how incredibly fragile these weapons systems can be. Even the ground crews are affected! It is clear that the defense contractors are getting multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts and then making trash. Lifetime projected costs (over 50 years?) for the F35s are $735 million per plane.

Lockheed would not exist but for these outrageously expensive and ultimately useless weapons systems still based on cold war scenarios.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
In response to applepie @ 100

Amen,i remember Apocalypse Now…the horror,the horror

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 74

haven’t i done lots? i feel like i’m tired of hearing myself say this stuff. See http://davidswanson.org and click to my youtube page – THANKS

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 96

I would also recommend a campaign for Congress by my good friend Bill Shein, in Massachusetts, who would be an extremely important ally were he to get elected. Here is his site: http://www.billshein.com/

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 101

they dont show photos or video,like they did in Nam…remember the napalmed children running down the streets

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:23 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 75

The civil rights movement, the struggles against poverty, injustice in our judicial system, labor rights activism, etc., combined with the pre-WWII understanding of those who wanted to eliminate war, vestiges of whose work remains in the Carnegie Endowment for Peace (which ignores its mandate), the Nobel Prize (which violates Nobel’s will), the Kellogg-Briand Pact, etc. Most peace groups today, full of almost entirely elderly and white people, if asked to define peace will talk about “inner peace” and so on. I mean by peace movement the urgent struggle to eliminate war and abolish armies. Inspiring examples of that work are concentrated between 1880 and 1940.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
In response to applepie @ 76

Tahrir Square should be the image of self-sacrificing solidarity loyalty and courage that is actually heroic because it is for a good cause and engaged in smartly and strategically. War should be our image of stupid bravery. Or jumping out a window if you prefer.

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 3:25 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 111

Funny how war reporting used to be considered a heroic, even romantic, job. Now, with the ‘embedded’ reporter it has only become neutered. No more pictures, just ‘the fog of war.’

What a bunch of malarkey.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:25 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 82

right on
glad to hear it!

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:26 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 84

first they ignore you
then they laugh at you
then

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:26 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 111

Yes, sadlyyes, I well remember the picture of the little girl, which, along with the summary execution picture, are the iconographic images of that war, begun with the lie about an “incident” that never happened, in the Gulf of Tonkin.

DW

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:28 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 90

Yes, http://rootsaction.org where I work is working on all such matters. See also these groups http://warisacrime.org/whipwars — yes I’d be glad to work with you on any such effort

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:29 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 117

this ended a war

http://tinyurl.com/7wsunty

we were disgusted

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:29 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 88

The prime minister of Russia was talking all-out nuclear war last week

And about defending Iran

Pretty high stakes I’d say

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

you writers give me hope

bigbrother May 27th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

MIC has also intimidated “Peace Marches” with 19 Homeland security agencies and multiple legislation making us all criminals in a sense. Locking people up,searches without probable cause all create a climate of FEAR that encourages the public not to be involved as the price of the ante has been raised quite high. You are on a shit list for life. Indeterminent sentencing or no hearings are OK now. Orwell’s nightmare is reality.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:30 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 91

almost none of it is for defense

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:30 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 112

In the final article of the book, Bruce Levine explores why the antiwar movement has struggled to gain momentum as more of the country turns against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why have we faced this dilemma? Why is the movement so white and elderly? Why has mobilizing folks against these unpopular wars been so difficult?

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:30 pm
In response to actionsouth @ 92

THANKS!

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:30 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 120

i did not hear that…OMG!!!!!

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:31 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 94

YES excellent proposal, but let’s not frame it in terms of Europe being able to heavily militarize itself — rather in terms of the world having outgrown the need for NATO and US occupation

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 95

horrible

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 124

the media…period
remember Phil Donahue?

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:34 pm
In response to mzchief @ 97

i think we need to target the banksters AND the war profiteers, the campaign funders and the candidates, the puppet masters and the supposed puppets who are actually consciously choosing to corrupt themselves — of course there’s great overlap in these groups and a revolving door connecting them

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:34 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 98

good question
but it does increase profits
a big part of the MIC is selling weapons to other countries

RevBev May 27th, 2012 at 3:34 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 79

NPR, Sunday night, did a whole piece/interview on this; big numbers.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to applepie @ 100

well said

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 101

yes thank goodness for FDL

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to RevBev @ 132

wow Bev,think about it,they must be hurt pretty bad,to be injured through armour

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to mzchief @ 106

ooh that’s a tough competition

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 3:37 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 127

I would frame it as Europe having outgrown the national divisions that drove many wars through the success of the EU. I agree that the idea that OSCE or EU Defense should replace NATO is not the way to go, and its only logic is that it creates customers for the global arms industry.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:37 pm
In response to hpschd @ 107

Peace Action Montgomery County is a good ally in targeting Lockheed

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:37 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 110

thanks – didn’t know

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 3:37 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 131

Blowback

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:38 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 111

they do in other countries and you can find them online — which heightens the chasm in worldview between USians and the other 95%

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to applepie @ 114

there are still heroic independent war reporters

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

the wars for money and religion,have gone on for hundred s of years Crusades,financed by kings,Napoleon financed by the Rothschilds(early banksters) when will it change?

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 129

I think it’s a lot more complicated than that. We have to find a way to build our movement without the support of the mainstream media, which we will never have. How do we make this more compelling, more exciting, more sexy? I have a lot of thoughts about this, but would love to hear what you and others here think.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 141

oh i know ,was just in FRance,but Merkins dont see those photos

RevBev May 27th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 135

Yep, and terrible mental health results, including suicide, of course.

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 119

And, we were ashamed …

Some of us.

DW

bluedot12 May 27th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 123

That is 6.7% of GDP. Pretty big number for not being essential.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 124

I think Levine’s right to name lots of factors and I think his chapter is worth the price of the book. We are misinformed, over-drugged, over-incarcerated, over-worked, segregated, and propagandized primarily to believe in our minority status, our weakness, and our inability. Those are lies just as much as the WMDs or al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Iranian nukes or the Gulf of Tonkin or the Maine or the babies taken from the incubators.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 144

i think,War is Murder
throw it back to the conservative Life Promotin Merkins

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 147

more reality of war photos please

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
In response to RevBev @ 132

we should find that and spread it around

but be wary of National Pentagon Radio’s built in biases

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

This conference took place on the same weekend that Occupy Wall Street began. How receptive have you found the Occupy movement to issues of militarism and war? What kind of collaboration have you seen between the antiwar movement and Occupy and how would you like to see that evolve?

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 120

Very high stakes indeed, David … and Obama seems oblivious, Congress seems oblivious, and the legacy political parties sense victory and wealth … a cakewalk.

War, or “organized mayhem”, is a hell of a “business”.

What was it that Smedley Butler said?

DW

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:46 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 144

I think that’s right.
It means connecting to people’s intersts broadly understood, including interests in the natural environment of the planet, interests in morality.
It means fewer lectures, more debates.
Fewer endless rallies of speech after speech, more nonviolent direct action.
More internationalism.
More independent media production.
More long-term vision, education, and risk.

mzchief May 27th, 2012 at 3:46 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 130

I think the war profiteers, the 0.01%ers, are the bankstas. Here’s a list of the nuclear “investment” activities of the bankstas that we know about: http://nuclearbanks.org.

Another important point I think @DrHCaldicott makes is that after the invention of the nuclear industry and coincident sponsorship (by design) by multiple nation-states including France (can bring the citations to the fore if folks want them), that the term “war” quit long since applying. Instead, the Russian PM and anyone else that talks nukes should be publicly corrected and forced to use the proper terms– “extinction by genetic vivisection lasting for periods of geologic time.”

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:47 pm
In response to RevBev @ 146

sigh

TarheelDem May 27th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

We are misinformed, over-drugged, over-incarcerated, over-worked, segregated, and propagandized primarily to believe in our minority status, our weakness, and our inability. Those are lies

You cannot address undoing the MIC without also addressing these issues.

Damn, that’s a big bowl of porridge.

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 144

Eric, what do you make of the number of media outlets calling for more transparency in the Bradley Manning case?

My sense is that it is essentially self-serving, that the media can pretend to feel good about itself and claim the “moral high ground” … which it, most emphatically, does NOT intend to occupy.

DW

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to mzchief @ 156

she is another braveheart

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 151

i agree
there’s a tendency among some progressives to denounce “war porn”
but there is a greater danger in sanitizing war
show it, and teach people to hate it — for most people not much teaching will be required

bluedot12 May 27th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 149

Maybe I missed this. But would a president who try’s too hard to downsize risk his own life?

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 158

so true

Mia Austin-Scoggins May 27th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

RevBev, you are so right. The suicide stats are horrific.

According to the Center for a New American Security, the VA estimates that a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes, or approx. 18 per day. While 1 % of Americans have served in the military, former service members represent 20% of suicides in US.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:51 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 161

even the Germans cried at Buchenwald,when asked to bury the dead

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:51 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 153

It’s been a work in progress and still is and it is progressing

We’re up against — as I’ve touched on — the notion that the “puppets” don’t matter, the notion that all spending is good, the general ignorance and militarism and patriotism that are part of our society

But progress is being made — there is great antiwar activism in Occupy. NATO in Chicago helped. The abuses of Occupy activists themselves by Homeland Security et al increases understanding of the TOTAL INFLUENCE that Eisenhower mentioned.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:52 pm
In response to mzchief @ 156

that’s truth telling as revolutionary act!

RevBev May 27th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

God, I wonder how much of the % would be minorities since they are such a part of the number who go….The impt groups for Blacks, NAACP, etc. should come out against war in a big way…get their groups/churches engaged. The % = genocide, it appears.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:54 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 162

Possibly. But a president who sends hundreds of thousands of young men and women to worse-than-pointlessly risk their lives to murder others had damn well better be willing to risk his or her life or get another job.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

and homelessness too
a disgrace

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:55 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 159

That’s a good question DW. I honestly don’t know and haven’t been following very closely how the mainstream has been treating the Manning case. Like you, I am always suspicious of their motives. That said, we don’t want to write them off entirely, as I think they can be inspired once in a great while to do the right thing because they see how important it is.

BevW May 27th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

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

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

Eric, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

David’s website (DavidSwanson.org) and many books (The MIC at 50)

Eric’s website (WagingNonViolence.org)

A special thank you to Mia Austin-Scoggins, Clare Hanrahan, and Coleman Smith for participating today.

Thanks all, Have a great Holiday Weekend.

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Suicide in recent years is the #1 cause of death for US troops in “action.” We send more troops after them so that the earlier ones should not have been killing themselves in vain.

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:56 pm
In response to RevBev @ 168

It’s addressed in the book and in WAR IS A LIE.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:56 pm
In response to RevBev @ 168

great idea

rich mans War,poor mans Fight

bluedot12 May 27th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 169

Good point, but I have wondered from time to time what it really takes to stand up to the MIC. It just seems too easy to say NO and move on.

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 149

Yes, it is a whole universe of “things” … of lies, manipulations, and propaganda … it is myths of exceptionalism and bald-faced lies about history … about the truth of things.

And it is the willingness of the public to simply forget or accept the superficial lies … most Americans, while mostly believing the lies about Iran have not a clue as to who Mossadegh was and of our role in creating Savak … an “organization” many Americans have never heard of.

Education, on many levels, is critical to the changes necessary.

Most excellent Book Salon, David, Eric, Bev, and all.

My sincere thanks to each of you.

DW

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to BevW @ 172

Thanks Bev
Thanks Eric
I highly recommend WagingNonviolence.org !!

THANKS everyone!

RevBev May 27th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 174

Thanks…Do you see the groups being active? Vocal?

dakine01 May 27th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 171

FWIW. FDL’s Kevin Gosztola is one of the media members filing suit.

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 3:58 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 169

yes why is any congresscritter or executive more important than the front liners

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:58 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 176

“And these words shall then become,” wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley,

“Like Oppression’s thundered doom

“Ringing through each heart and brain,

“Heard again – again – again –

“Rise like Lions after slumber

“In unvanquishable number -

“Shake your chains to earth like dew

“Which in sleep had fallen on you -

“Ye are many – they are few.”

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 3:59 pm
In response to RevBev @ 179

Oh no, of course not, but I see a powerful moral and strategic case for why they should be

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 3:59 pm
In response to Eric Stoner @ 171

I hope, Eric, that what you say about the mainstream media may still be true.

DW

Eric Stoner May 27th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Thank you everyone for contributing to this great discussion! I really enjoyed it. And pick up David’s book to delve much deeper!

David Swanson May 27th, 2012 at 4:00 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 180

Good for Kevin!

RevBev May 27th, 2012 at 4:00 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 183

Thanks again…glad you got that in. B

sadlyyes May 27th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

thank you for so bravely challenging the powers that be,thats real heroism imo

DWBartoo May 27th, 2012 at 4:02 pm
In response to bluedot12 @ 176

Long before our “leaders” might stand against the war machine, many individuals will first have to dare to do so, bluedot12.

Such acts are contagious.

DW

bluedot12 May 27th, 2012 at 4:05 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 189

That I believe. But on the other side our leaders have to make to mkae moves. There are opportunities like the debt reduction agreement. They made the deal, now stick t it.

mzchief May 27th, 2012 at 4:07 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 167

Caldicott started The Physicians for Social Responsibility decades ago and then conveyed the medical reality to Reagan face-to-face the first time the US was involved in this lunacy. She’s now in her 70s and is back out there raising a ruckus because what she says is the truth behind this hideous euphemism, “war.” The more folks tune in now, educate themselves and pitch in, the sooner we all can make the politicians stand down. This would really be a good thing given what’s really going on in Japan with Fukushima and the geopolitical insanity in which US interests are using Japanese interests to sell the Chinese people down the nuclear “river.”

applepie May 27th, 2012 at 4:08 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 181

Thanks for the wonderful discussion! And ending it with Shelley! How great is that!

mzchief May 27th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Thank you everybody for bringing this salon together, coming and for the informative discussion!

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