Welcome David Swanson (DavidSwanson.org) (Twitter) and Host Medea Benjamin (CodePink, co-founder) (Twitter)

War No More: The Case for Abolition

David Swanson is driven—some might say obsessed. What an obsession to have—an obsession to end war! One has to wonder where he finds the time to be a good father and husband (a question you might ask him) given his non-stop writing, speaking, organizing, scheming, and mobilizing.

He is one of the most prolific writers I’ve ever met. He writes faster than most people can talk. He writes books, articles, letters, manifestos, draft legislation, action alerts. Ask David if he thinks it would be a good idea to write a sign-on letter about why the US should stay out of the Syrian war, and he sends you a well-reasoned, well-written, articulate document before you can finish spitting out the idea.

He also has a knack of writing as if he were speaking to you at the kitchen table. In No More War you can picture him trying to convince a skeptical neighbor that war can truly be ended. What initially sounds like a crazy idea becomes more and more rational as David whittles away at each argument his detractors make. War has always been with us—it’s human nature; you need war to take out the next Hitler;  even if you wanted to end war you can’t fight the massive military-industrial complex; as resources become scarcer, more wars are inevitable. He takes the arguments on one at a time—pulling apart each excuse for war with historical comparisons and rhetorical flourishes.

David goes through a litany of social ills related to violence that have been, for the most part, overcome: slavery, blood feuds, the death penalty, and torture. Yes, he knows that there are still instances of all of these around the world, but removing the legitimacy and state support for institutions such as slavery has made a huge difference and the same would go for war, David argues.

A “good war” must sound to all of us, says David, as no more possible than a benevolent rape or philanthropic slavery or virtuous child abuse.

On the positive side, David shows that by liberating the massive resources now spent on war or preparing for war, we could have a world with many things we want but are told we can’t afford: good education, a clean environment, affordable housing, universal healthcare, a dignified retirement.

I love David’s call for “de-glorifying” the military as part of dismantling the culture of war. “We must hold up resisters, conscientious objectors, peace advocates, diplomats, whistleblowers, journalists, and activists as our heroes,” he says. “We must thank them for their service. We must honor them. We must cease honoring those who participate in war or war industries.” Amen.

David thinks outside the box. He thinks big, he thinks bold. He is not just trying to convince readers, but to change history. He wants to build a mass movement to end war as an institution. He deserves a wide hearing, and a devoted following.


[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]

142 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Swanson, War No More: The Case for Abolition”

BevW October 5th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

David, Medea, Welcome back to the Lake.

Medea, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

For our new readers/commenters:
To follow along, you will have to refresh your browser:
PC = F5 key, MAC = Command+R keys

If you want to ask a question – just type it in the Leave Your Response box & Submit Comment.

If you are responding to a comment – use the Reply button under the number, then type your response in the box, Submit Comment. (Using Submit Comment will refresh your browser when you reply to a comment/ask a question.)

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Great to be here as always. Thanks Bev, and — wow — thank, Medea! I do think I sometimes write faster than I talk, not just faster than other people talk. And I do suppose asking for an end to war is asking big. But maybe part of our work will have to be persuading people that it’s not so big after all. Some fraction of a percent of the U.S. public was reported as the largest, most intense, and most one-sided lobbying ever of Congress when the missiles were not sent into Syria. If half the people who went to a football game today did one tiny thing we’d have a nonviolent revolution. And we’ve ended things more entrenched and less horrible than war before.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Hello. Welcome to the discussion with David Swanson.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

David, why do you think people took action (like calling their congressperson) on Syria but not on other similar issues, like a potential war with Iran?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

The idea that war CAN be ended is a minority view. The idea that war SHOULD be ended is a minority view. Plus there’s a growing minority that has been misled into supposing that war is going away on its own. I hope some of these views show up here today.

dakine01 October 5th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

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

David, I have not had an opportunity to read your book (although I do read most of your posts at MyFDL!) Forgive me if you do address my question in the book but as you look at history through our magical 20/20 hindsight, do you see any of the wars around the globe that may be construed as being an overall good? There do seem to be some issues and times where there really was no response possible other than war, as horrific as war is. Especially when one of the warring parties is/was basically intransigent and refuse(s/ed) to negotiate in anything resembling good faith

BevW October 5th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

As a technical note,
there is a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment. Pressing the “Reply” will pre-fill the commenter name and number you are replying to and helps for everyone in following the conversation.

(Note: If you’ve had to refresh your browser, Reply may not work correctly unless you wait for the page to complete loading)

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

In your book you said there is no correlation between scarce resources and war, but then we hear about wars of water access and other critical resources, no?

BevW October 5th, 2013 at 2:03 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 5

David, do you find generational differences in the attitude towards war? We have a generation now that has grown up knowing only a war state.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:05 pm
In response to medeabenjamin @ 4

It was on their televisions and in the newspapers as a big public decision being presented to Congress. Congress isn’t asked to approve missile strikes into Pakistan from drones. Congress isn’t asked yes-or-no in a big moment to decide whether stupid dishonest hostility and aggression toward Iran should continue. Much less is the public asked or polling done. Similarly polling on whether to arm the Syrian rebels has vanished now that it’s happening, but when that polling was done, the people of the US were as against that as they were against the missiles. It just wasn’t presented to them as a big question, as the opening up of a new war. This was widely seen as another Iraq vote. Of course the CIA may cause as much damage in the end through its current actions in Syria as the vote on the Iraq authorization did, but people don’t see it that way. Still, I don’t claim I have a complete explanation or can fit it here. Both parties’ leaders were against us. The media was aainst us. President-worshipping was agianst us. On the other hand, Kerry is the worst war-marketer I’ve seeen and I hope they use him for every future war.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:07 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 6

People excuse Thomas Jefferson’s slavery because that was what was done at the time — even though some refused to do it. Similarly you can excuse wars that were waged before the power of nonviolence became as widely understood or before wars became such killers of civilians rather than soldiers — even though there were always enlightened resisters. But any past war could have been avoided through wiser actions in the preceding moments or months or decades. And no past war was better than some other sort of catastrophe. You can no more win a war than you can win a hurricane, as I believe Jeanette Rankin said.

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 2:08 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 10

Please explain about Kerry. Could it be that he is so bad b/c he really doesn’t believe in war? He certainly has a mixed history.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

LOL re Kerry. He WAS terrible at selling the Syria war. What do you think of the role of Samantha Power and Susan Rice, and their ideas of humanitarian interventions? Wasn’t Samantha Power once a “lefty”?

dakine01 October 5th, 2013 at 2:08 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 11

I understand your point but what about wars such as the US Civil War of say a WWII (although I know the roots of that conflict go back to WWI and earlier)?

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Do you know the relationship between Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright? Why the war-mongering, ladies?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:11 pm
In response to medeabenjamin @ 8

I do. And we do. But there have been cultures that have chosen to wage wars over scarce resources and others that have not. There have been cultures that have waged war the most when resources were most plentiful and others than have not. There is no empirical evidence of a pattern and no law of physics necessitating that a scarcity of water create a war. Of course it could be used as a reason for a war, and it wouldn’t be exactly the same type of reason for a war as a fictional account of babies taken out of incubators. But it would still just be a reason, not a cause. Of course we shoudl work against water shortages anyway, just as we should work against wars. But we shouldn’t imagine that turning an anti-war campaign into a campaign for the availability of war would be likely to end war any more than ending war would necessarily make water better available — although it’s probably safe to say that neither cause would hurt the other.

Teddy Partridge October 5th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Isn’t it true, though, that there’s entirely too much money invested in future wars through munitions, materiel, and monster-weapons, all of which require utilization to justify their replacement? How can our culture possibly turn all these swords into plowshares?

I would love a world where war was viewed the way we think slavery is, but actually — isn’t there a lot of slavery around, still? And have the American people defined “war” as something our troops die in, while all this other stuff that rains death on others is not really war?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:15 pm
In response to BevW @ 9

I can’t say based on serious polling, even for the U.S., because I’m not aware of any, but it is certainly the case that those who believe in the possibility and the importance of abolishing war are disproportionately and disturbingly old (and white) in the experience of one who attends events on the subject. To what extent that’s a function of a segregated society and a segregated movement, and insufficient outreach, etc., I have no way of saying. There is a remarkable gap in young people, in many anecdotal cases, and in terms of publicly visible activism, between willingness to oppose environmental destruction and willingness to oppose militarism — despite the huge overlap between the two.

CTuttle October 5th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Aloha, Medea and David…! I’m a huge fan of both of your many endeavors…! Loved those bloody hands above Kerry’s head during recent congressional testimony…! ;-)

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Can you tell us how you manage your time? How are you so prolific? Do you get “writers’ block” as some of us do? How do you stop from spending too much time reading emails? Do you sleep :)

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:19 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 19

Yes, the bloody hands turned out well :)
I had been arrested in the Kerry hearing the day before at the Senate, and this day they told us “No Signs” and we didnt want to get arrested again. So the bloody hands was a “compromise”!

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:19 pm
In response to RevBev @ 12

Interesting question. I think part of it is his willingness to pretend to believe anything, including mutually contradictory propositions. So when he told someone the missiles would have no impact and someone else the missiles would install a secular democracy, neither listener believed him. But we’ve seen crowds of listeners believe contradictory things before, including that attacking Iraq would benefit Iraqis and attacking Iraq would rid the planet of lots of evil Iraqis, so that’s not all there was. I think first and foremost, they failed to use the “defense” pretense. They didn’t scare people. No Americans thought Assad was about to crawl through their window.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:21 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 22

But isn’t it a bit sad that many people who opposed US intervention in Syria did it for the “wrong” reasons:
–I oppose anything Obama wants to do
–let those Arabs kill each other. Who cares?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:23 pm
In response to medeabenjamin @ 13

I think they are a very serious and deadly threat. They are working — with some success — to convince people (with the help of partisanship) that war is good for its victims. Many Americans believe that the war on Iraq hurt the US but benefitted Iraq. Many think Iraqis are grateful. Others resent the lack of gratitude. Many of those people who stood with us against the missiles into Syria weren’t standing exactly with us. They didn’t want to go to the expense of helping the Syrians with missiles. Many peace activists too argued for greed: don’t spend so much money, don’t go to so much trouble, don’t risk US lives in battle. This allows the humintarian-warriors to argue that bigotry is wrong and that Syrians deserve to get bombed as much as anyone else. So we need war opposition that deals in facts and that opposes wars because of how they harm the aggressor but also of the thousand-times worse damage they do to the victim.

Tad Daley October 5th, 2013 at 2:23 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 18

Hi there David and Medea and Bev. Tad Daley here.

David and I served together as staffers on the 2004 presidential campaign of Congressman Dennis Kucinich — he as Press Secretary and me as Issues Director. I’m very much looking forward to reading this latest product of his fertile political imagination.

That’s a terrifically insightful comment, David — about the difference between young people’s engagement in environmental causes and their absence of engagement with the peace movement. It’s not just war, but the war SYSTEM, the state sovereignty system, the fact that the human community stands divided today into separate perpetual armed camps, striving to keep up with each other in the military technology du jour, on into the distant human future, that almost everyone today — young people and otherwise — seems to take completely for granted. As if it must be a permanent feature of human history.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 25

Hey Tad, Yes, for teenagers today it must feel like “low-grade” perpetual war is just a way things are. And of course, the costs are so hidden that it’s hard for them to see how it effects their lives, whereas the environmental costs are more visible

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 14

Not sure I can fit the Civil War or WWII into a comment here. First, the world is different. Hitler isn’t about to rise again and neither is the South. Imagining the Nazis as a threat to the US need not damage the case against war if one understands that the Nazis are gone for good along with any other empire of that sort. There is a new kind of empire — the US kind — and it is not going to be replaced by the old kind when it shuts down. I will say that I address both of those sacred wars and some others in the book at some length, because they absolutely are the major sticking point for many people. Here’s a taste:

In the United States some may have a tendency to doubt the abolition of slavery as a model for the abolition of war because war was used to end slavery. But did it have to be used? Would it have to be used today? Slavery was ended without war, through compensated emancipation, in the British colonies, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and most of South America and the Caribbean. That model worked also in Washington, D.C. Slave owning states in the United States rejected it, most of them choosing secession instead. That’s the way history went, and many people would have had to think very differently for it to have gone otherwise. But the cost of freeing the slaves by buying them would have been far less than the North spent on the war, not counting what the South spent, not counting the deaths and injuries, mutilations, trauma, destruction, and decades of bitterness to come, while slavery long remained nearly real in all but name. (See Costs of Major U.S. Wars, by the Congressional Research Service, June 29, 2010.)

On June 20, 2013, the Atlantic published an article called “No, Lincoln Could Not Have ‘Bought the Slaves’.” Why not? Well, the slave owners didn’t want to sell. That’s perfectly true. They didn’t, not at all. But the Atlantic focuses on another argument, namely that it would have just been too expensive, costing as much as $3 billion (in 1860s money). Yet, if you read closely—it’s easy to miss it—the author admits that the war cost over twice that much. The cost of freeing people was simply unaffordable. Yet the cost—over twice as much—of killing people, goes by almost unnoticed. As with well-fed people’s appetites for desserts, there seems to be a completely separate compartment for war spending, a compartment kept far away from criticism or even questioning.

The point is not so much that our ancestors could have made a different choice (they were nowhere near doing so), but that their choice looks foolish from our point of view. If tomorrow we were to wake up and discover everyone appropriately outraged over the horror of mass incarceration, would it help to find some large fields in which to kill each other off in large numbers? What would that have to do with abolishing prisons? And what did the Civil War have to do with abolishing slavery? If—radically contrary to actual history—U.S. slave owners had opted to end slavery without war, it’s hard to imagine that as a bad decision.

Let me try to really, really emphasize this point: what I am describing DID NOT happen and was not about to happen, was nowhere remotely close to happening; but its happening would have been a good thing. Had slave owners and politicians radically altered their thinking and chosen to end slavery without a war, they would have ended it with less suffering, and probably ended it more completely. In any case, to imagine slavery ending without war, we need only look at the actual history of various other countries. And to imagine big changes being made in our society today (whether it’s closing prisons, creating solar arrays, rewriting the Constitution, facilitating sustainable agriculture, publicly financing elections, developing democratic media outlets, or anything else—you may not like any of these ideas, but I’m sure you can think of a major change that you would like) we don’t tend to include as Step 1 “Find large fields in which to make our children kill each other in huge numbers.” Instead, we skip right by that to Step 2 “Do the thing that needs doing.” And so we should.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:29 pm
In response to medeabenjamin @ 15

Why the war mongering men? War has not involved physical hand-to-hand combat for a long time now. Since then it has been a human evil, an evil of the mind. Women are exactly as capable of it as men. And it’s exactly as evil and disastrous in their minds too. It’s an evil they push on others. Nobody suffers PTSD from war deprivation. War, for men or women, requires intense conditioning and still results in serious suffering. Unless you sit in an airconditioned office and tell yourself lies about doing the tough thing for the greater good. I think men do that as much as women, don’t they?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

In the book I define war before I talk about it, and I don’t define it that way. Quoting myself:

By “war” I mean roughly: the use of a nation’s military abroad. The use of a military at home to establish a police state or attack a sub-population is related to war and sometimes hard to distinguish from war, but usually distinct (the exceptions being called civil wars). The use of military-like tactics by a non-nation group or individual may sometimes be morally or visually indistinguishable from war, but it differs from war in terms of responsibility and appropriate response. The use of a nation’s military abroad for purely non-war purposes, such as humanitarian relief, is not what I mean by war, and also not easy to find actual examples of. By the term “military,” I mean to include uniformed and non-uniformed, official troops and contractors, acknowledged and clandestine—anyone (or any robot) engaged in military activity for a government.

mafr October 5th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I have great admiration for Medea Benjamin, and Dave Swanson.

Thanks to both of you.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

The military industrial complex is the pressure for war that Eisenhower warned it would be, but nobody — I mean nobody — argues that the military industrial complex is in our genes or our mystical destiny, or that it can spin out of human control like global warming. It’s a corrupt institution that we can choose to shut down. Lockheed just fired 3,000 people in Maryland. Find them decent jobs so they need not go back. Connecticut has set up a commission for economic conversion. This is hard. This is a big part of what needs to be done. But it’s just nonsensical to say it’s impossible.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:33 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 19

So did I!

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:33 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 28

Yes, but we women often expect more from other women and get more upset when they fail us–like Hillary supporting the invasion of Iraq or Nancy Pelosi saying she was against it but voting to fund it year after year. It’s like people expecting more from Obama because he’s african-american (AND a constitutional lawyer).

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:35 pm
In response to medeabenjamin @ 20

I work at home. No commute. I refuse to talk on the phone and do not do conference calls. I read only the emails I have to. I do not watch television or listen to the radio. I sleep plenty and spend plenty of time with family. I read books a lot. I’m not clear on what writer’s block is. If I have something to say, I write it. I don’t sit down and then try to think of something to say.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:35 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 31

Don’t you think that war is only beneficial to a certain sector of the economy (defense contractors, weapons manufacturers) but not to the business sector as a whole? If so, shouldn’t we be able to make alliances with some of these other business folks to push down pentagon spending (or speak out against interventions)?

mafr October 5th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Dave what do you think about the British research after WW2 in which infantrymen were surveyed, and found in many cases to have been unable or unwilling to pull the trigger of their rifle, to shoot a soldier on the other side?

“In a squad of 10 men, on average fewer than three ever fired their weapons in combat. Day in, day out — it did not matter how long they had been soldiers, how many months of combat they had seen, or even that the enemy was about to overrun their position. This was what the highly regarded Brigadier General Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall, better known as S.L.A. Marshall, or ‘Slam,’ concluded in a series of military journal articles and in his book, Men Against Fire”

do you think this is still the case? why not?

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

You never listen to the radio? No news on TV, not even Al Jazeera or RT? No Daily Show or Colbert?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:41 pm
In response to medeabenjamin @ 23

It’s sad and it suggests a weaker antiwar movement than it might appear. Because there could be a war in which the “right” kind of people need “rescuing” or the “wrong” kind of people need murdering. There could be a war with drones and a small price tag. And the president could be a different person or race or gender or party. And then where would the opposition be. But most of the opposition was either right where we want it or it was focused on costs to the U.S. that are entirtely real. They are relatively tiny compared to the likely cost to Syrians, but real nonetheless. And having blocked a war is a huge advantage in building a movement to block additional wars and raise the idea of blocking all of them. IT’s a wonderful point to make to defeatists. Of course, we still have to block the CIA. We still have to advance diplomacy and actual humanitarian aid (not “military aid”) and we lost interest — but we lose it from all parties, not just misguided weak opponents of war, even from some of the best. This is a work in progress, and I think we’re moving in the right direction at the moment in part because we had the Pope and Rush Limbaugh and everyone else with us. Even the Rush Limbaugh listeners will have to think twice about the next war proposal that can be made into a big public question because of this experience of having said no.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:43 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 25

Hi Tad. Yes, I think we need to move away from nationalism in 3 directions. We need to move toward an international community and rule of law. We need to bring much decision making closer to home in state and local governments. And we need to radically reform what a national government looks like and how it functions — and part of that has to mean taking away a minor function of most of them but the primary function of ours: war making.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:44 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 38

I tried to engage some folks on the right about pushing this coalition re Syria to the issue of drone wars. They said it would be a hard sell because drone wars are so cheap and don’t put our soldiers at risk

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:46 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 26

Everyone shouts: The Draft! The Draft! And yet you can explain to young people that without the military budget we could easily have free college, and they don’t deny the logic and the truth of that. They mostly, I think, believe that nothing can be done, all is pointless. Only they don’t quite think that, and some don’t think that even when it comes to climate change, where the case for hopelessness is actually much stronger. So there are other factors at work. The public priority tradeoff is not as direct as the draft. It goes against patriotic flag-waving hoohaw. Et alia. And of course there are a great many exceptions to this picture and wonderful young advocates for war abolition.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:47 pm
In response to mafr @ 30


DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 2:47 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 31

And yet, David, “capitalism” is justified as an economic system “because” it best expresses “human nature”, and it is claimed that any attempt to change it is doomed, fore-doomed to failure, as in time, we will be right back to savaging each other in the attempt to “maximize” our blood-lust and innate greed. Certainly, I do not agree with this warped vision, yet is not the same thing said of war? And note that rational arguments, reason, and truth are always the first victims of war, allowing Bush II to proclaim, “You are either with us or against us!”, which is the perfect expression of a form false argument, argument ad baculum, argument with a big stick, well known since Greek and Roman times, defined and understood as false … and yet no one rose up and siad, “George, that is false argument and is intended to end discussion and thoughtful consideration of what we are about to do.”

We seem to be in another of those periods, thanks to neo-liberalism, when “human nature” is described in such a way as to justify greed and organized mayhem, in fact to elevate those things to the level of being, “God’s work”.

I fully applaud, appreciate, and support your efforts to bring rational discussion of war home, to hearts and to minds, and note that the US empire, in its slow but accelerating demise, is flailing about quite violently, both abroad and at home, that it might intimidate any who question or resist its intentions and practices into compliance and silence. Therefore, your voice and message are all the more valuable and cherished.


billyc October 5th, 2013 at 2:49 pm

David is the American MIC, in light of our experiences in Iraq & Afghanistan, changing war as we once knew it to that of war from a distance – increasing use of drones, less boots on the ground, and the coming use of cyberwarfare? Gen. Keith Alexander is not only head of the NSA but also commands the US Cyber Command and has said within the past year that he has 14,000 cyber warriors ready and willing to initiate an offensive cyber war if necessary.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:50 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 33

We can expect more from women or men or Democrats or African Americans, but I think probably we are always going to be wrong. Expecting more from individuals we have reason to trust makes more sense to me. Hillary is going to be a disaster, less evil than virtually no other evil to be compared with her: See http://warisacrime.org/hillary

African-Americans in a poll favored war more than white Americans for the first time ever, with the missiles into Syria. Still a minority in both cases.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:52 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 35

Yes, I think so. Of course there are overlapping boards and every industry gets Pentagon contracts. But Connecticut has ownership and labor (and environmentalists and peace groups) working on conversion. And it ought to be possible to set up a direct benefit. If we could move an agenda to take funds away from war and war preparation (which, of course, have nothing to do with defense) and invest them in green energy, for example, it ought to be possible to get green energy companies strategically and temporarily on our side.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:53 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 45

Wow, interesting stat re African americans favoring war. I guess it’s because it’s Obama’s war.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:55 pm
In response to mafr @ 36

See On Killing by Grossman. See War Is A Lie by me. The conditioning has improved dramatically, as well as the distancing. The suffering is worse afterwards. The suicides, PTSD, moral regret. Medea’s invited a former drone pilot to the drone summit next month. These people are in living hell. But the pre-combat conditioning has been perfected, and most people trained to kill will now kill.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 46

yes, perhaps it would be good to write an article that compares the money that is given to military contractors for failed wars with the money given to Solyndra. The right made such a huge deal about the “solar company scandal” that I’m sure it thwarted other potential government support to green energy businesses.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 37

Online, yes, on youtube, etc. If there’s anything good someone will send it to you. You can read an Obama speech much faster and less painfully than watching it. I’ll watch movies on Netflix, but I can’t stand commercials — they don’t have commercials.

DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 2:58 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 45

The Black community, unfortunately and dangerously, identifies itself WITH Obama, seeing what they perceive as his “success” as their own, as Black Agenda Report has much lamented. We must now consider that “identity politics” may well allow population groups to support policy agendas that are destructive to those population groups because the myth is so much more comfortable than the truth.

Too many US citizens still believe the US to be exceptional, occupying the moral high-ground of “helping others too weak to help themselves, the “humanitarian” aspect of “modern” warfare, and that is precisely why Obama made mention of that “sensibility” at the UN, recently.


David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 2:59 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 40

Right. They haven’t grasped that we’re dealing with murder of human beings — which some people seem to grasp more readily with drones because of the smaller scale, whereas they see other types of war as something other than mass murder. They also must not understand that it makes the 4% of humanity they do care about less safe, not more safe, and that it strips their civil liberties, drains the budget to a degree that would have them spitting fire if it were to build a park, and increases the momentum toward the expensive wars they don’t want.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:00 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 51

I’m really worried about a Hillary presidency. Women will be really reluctant to criticize the first woman president. It will be like Obama, but worse, no?

Tad Daley October 5th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Well David, since you mentioned the “rule of law” on the global level, let me confess something I don’t believe I’ve shared with you or Medea before.
I don’t think you can have world law without mechanisms of world law enforcement. And that means world government.
I fear that to most members of our “peace movement,” the only possible road to the abolition of war rests, as Mairead Maguire put it in her blurb for David’s book, in the “hope that the culture and mindset of militarism, killing, and war can indeed be changed to a culture of peace and nonviolence.”
But for centuries there has long been another road envisioned to the abolition of war as well. It’s the idea that war — and indeed too even standing armies – and indeed as well the entire military/industrial/congressional/intelligence/contractor complex — can indeed be abolished if the system of war and militarism and state sovereignty is REPLACED, by a system of world law and world citizenship and world government.
It’s the idea that conflicts of interest could, some distant day, be tackled on the global level the same way they are tackled at every lower level of human political organization today – the municipal, the state or provincial, and the national. With parliaments or legislatures that make laws that apply universally to every member of the political community in question. With executive branches that carry out those laws. With judiciaries that interpret and apply those laws to particular cases. And most importantly with police – not to make war on other police forces the way armies make war on other armies – but to enforce the world rule of law.
It’s the idea – that dates back at least to Dante in 1306 — that someday, the human race might come together into a single politically unified human community, and establish something like a genuine world republic.


DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 3:02 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 53

We share the same concern regarding a Hillary presidency, Medea. I should not like to witness more women in the US becoming supportive of war, state violence, state secrecy, and state spying …


David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:02 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 43

Capitalism etymologically is the tallying of caputs of slaves — counting the heads of owned humans. Does it represent the “nature” of the owner humans or the owned humans? War predates capitalism by millennia but still is a newcomer and a sporadic one to this species. “Human nature” mumbojumbo needs to be addressed but not taken too seriously. Have you ever shared anything and emained human? Have you ever fought a war, and if not aren’t you still human? I think it’s time we made this argument a serious one about facts.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:03 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 43

Of course I DO address this at much more length in the book.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:06 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 54

What about a route of countries dismantling their militaries one-by-one, a la Costa Rica? Why haven’t more countries done that?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:07 pm
In response to billyc @ 44

The people of the United States have become intolerant of US deaths beyond a certain level. That doesn’t guarantee that huge US deaths won’t come. War is not controllable. And the easiest way to get people to support a large war is to start a small one. You then have to kill more people so that — by some obscene calculation — the previous people shall not have died in vain. But if we could get 1% of the US public to seriously oppose human deaths, not just US deaths, we could end US warmaking, which would be a huge step toward ending global warmaking. And of course we kill many times the number of human we kill in wars — at home and abroad — through failure to spend the same money on useful measures. We could invest in food, water, energy, and save many more lives than we were prevously killing — thus becoming incidentally the best loved people on earth instead of the people who imagine they have to “defend” themselves by putting troops in most nations on earth and regularly bombing houses in the name of “credibility.”

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 47

What would Hillary’s war bring do you think? Serious question. I don’t know the answer.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 55

yes, do you know that after 9/11, for the first time in recent history, women favored going to war in Afghanistan more than men did? Women were freaked by 9/11 and drank the koolaid. But that has changed. Re drones, for example, there is a significant difference between men and women, with the MAJORITY of women now opposed to using drones to kill “terrorist suspects.” Go women!

jamesd4 October 5th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Thank you David for “War is a Lie”. (and all you posts on FDL)I’m just finishing it up now. Very enlightening for me. I’ve always been “anti-war” but your book has greatly solidified my commitment and understanding. Can you expand on how “War No More” is different?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:09 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 49

Good idea. Will let you write it unless you don’t want to.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:10 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 60

i don’t understand the question

DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 3:10 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 56

Well said, David. Facts matter, the truth matters, and human beings matter. However, I increasingly wonder how many human beings understand that life is the ultimate experience, as life is, daily, made “cheaper”.

Were I to speculate wildly I would suggest that humanity has yet to realize that its long-term survival rest upon the potential of every human being, to understand and to discover each human being’s genius and true capacity.

Also, we might speak to the nature of “leadership”. It is NOT chest-beating proclamations of superiority, as we see so often today, rather it is, and should be, the thoughtful expression of better possibilities, of better, more equitable outcomes, of new and more just ways to move forward toward the realization of potential and common humanity.


Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:11 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 63

you’re the one who doesn’t get “writers block.” Go for it!

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:11 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 51

Right. Exceptionalism is the big force here for imperialists of the humanitarian or the racist variety. And when you combine it with acceptance of war it’s very dangerous. Remember Ron Paul at the SC primary cheered for saying end wars but booed for saying the Golden Rule should apply to foreign relations. Peace is unacceptable if it means that other nations have rights, even if the traitor you’re quoting is Jesus.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:14 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 54

I largely agree with you and Einstein and Emery Reves and everyone who’s ever said this, but it depends what’s meant by “government.” It also depends what’s meant by “enforcement.” The idea of using war as the tool with which to sanction the crime of war has proven self-defeating. I argue this in my new book theoretically under discussion here and also in my book When the World Outlawed War.

DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 3:15 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 61

Yes, actually, Medea, I was appalled to learn of the support women offered for war after 911, as they reacted to deliberately inculcated fear mongering. And, it is most pleasant to hear that women oppose drones … although I do wonder what the problem is with men in that regard?

I also wonder if the military’s interest in recruiting women might not be an attempt to “engineer” a more-favorable attitude toward war on the back of “opportunity”.

I note also, that in this job market, many young people, of both sexes, view military service far more favorably than did my generation back in the sixties.


Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:15 pm

David, I wonder how we can start approaching the issue of sanctions against Iran in a way that might get some traction, as the sanctions are really hurting ordinary Iranians. I was chatting with Alan Grayson yesterday and thanking him for his position on Syria. I asked about sanctions and he suddenly became a big hawk (with his pro-Israeli-government stance) saying how dangerous Iran is and how the sanctions are such an important tool to keep the pressure on

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:16 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 58

Great idea too. Of course there is fear. Iraq disarmed. Libya disarmed. Syria’s disarming scares me for the Syrians and I’m against weaponry. There needs to be some coordinated mutual effort, and/or leadership from the heretofor greatest purveyor of violence on earth.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:18 pm
In response to jamesd4 @ 62

War No More is not a catalogue of lies and myths used to market wars. It’s a shorter book. It’s a straightforward argument, as in a debate, making these points:
I. War Can Be Ended
II. War Should Be Ended
III. War Is Not Going to End on Its Own
IV. We Have to End War

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:18 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 69

Yes, very sad how “attractive” military service has become, in this tough job market with college so expensive.
By the way, I noticed that the car outside my house right now has one bumper sticker that says “Peaceful Coexistence” and other that says “Go Army.” Do you think the owner wants to peaceful coexist with the army???

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:19 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 64

You’ve already I see discussed this elsewhere. Would a war in the name of Hillary or another woman lead to women supporting a war they would otherwise have opposed?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:20 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 65

Perhaps on Friday the Nobel Peace Prize will go to a non-chest-thumper

DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 3:20 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 73

Bumpers offer space for a wide range of opinion, even conflicting opinions, or full-blown cognitive dissonance, Medea.


Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:20 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 71

yes, maybe start with “simpler” countries. Just like environmentalists buy up land overseas to keep it as a preserve, so perhaps we should pay small countries to give up their weapons.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:22 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 74

yes, definitely. It’s a great fear I already have. Groups like National Organization for Women, which have been great allies, will go silent when it’s a “Hillary war.”

DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 3:22 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 75

That is my fervent hope, David. It would be a most welcome change from recent recipients … as you have pointed out recently in one of your much appreciated posts, here at FDL.


billyc October 5th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thank you David for such a thoughtful response to my question. I must add that I want to commend both you and Medea for your tireless efforts to end warmaking – you inspire and I find that both of you are teachers through your actions and your words!

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:23 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 75

Wow, I didn’t realize the prize will be given on Friday. Let’s get ready to respond, and hope we can respond favorably!

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:24 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 70

The facts are on our side: ineffective, murderous. Somehow we have to build public awareness and create a moment for public pressure against something that is the opposite of humanitarian and the opposite of effective pressure. We have to push back as well, in that regard, against the notion that the missiles threat benefitted the diplomacy in Syria, as opposed to just preceding it — something I do in the book. It’s hard for people to see sanctions on Iran as another Iraq authorization vote, but maybe we can nudge things in that direction by focusing on the example of sanctions in Iraq as prelude to war.

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 3:25 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 65

I don’t know where this POV may fit with the book…but I think there is also a larger issue about the whole love affair with violence….how else do you explain the damage and lust of football or speed racing, boxing until the horror became too apparent? The 60s called for “make love, not war.” I think there is something in an outlandish drive for daring and excitement that ignites the lust for war…let alone the domination.

Tad Daley October 5th, 2013 at 3:26 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 58

“Why haven’t more countries done that,” Medea? (Gotten rid of their armies like Costa Rica.) Excellent question. But it’s a pretty important fact for us to recognize that more countries HAVEN’T done that, isn’t it?

I think I would argue that more – indeed, most — countries haven’t done that BECAUSE the states of the world still live in an anarchic Hobbesian state of nature, BECAUSE there is no common human civil society, BECAUSE there are no mechanisms of world law enforcement.

Why don’t I maintain my own private army to keep the guy down the street from coming in and killing my family and burning down my house? I WOULD do that if he and I lived in a Hobbesian state of nature. Indeed, if I suspected he was about to undertake such an action, I might PRE-EMPTIVELY attack him first.

But he and I don’t do any of those things.

Because it is illegal, for both him and me, to do those things in our domestic civil society. AND because there are mechanisms, in our domestic civil society, to enforce that law.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:26 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 77

but we who? we want a commitment from countries to not arm and also to not let the US or any other military into their land. we don’t want a pax americana — which will of course not be very paxful. How about we pay weapons makers not to make weapons, and convert them to useful industries?

CTuttle October 5th, 2013 at 3:27 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 67

It would be nice if everybody respected the principles laid out way back in 1648, with the Peace of Westphalia…!

Btw, the hardliners still rule the roost, with Albright and today, Obama says Iran a year away from nuclear bomb…! Déjà vu, all over again…! 8-(

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:27 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 78

You may recall the reports out of the NOW meeting at which they flipped to opposing impeachment of Bush at Hillary’s request.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:28 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 82

Yes, it’s amazing that you managed to get into the book a great refutation that Obama’s military threat re Syria was the key to negotiations. You’re quick! Re Iran, remember that campaign we started but never pulled off re “Winds of Change” investing in wind energy in Iran? Perhaps it should be re-energized.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:30 pm
In response to RevBev @ 83

Yes our culture’s glorification of and making-ordinary of violence is related. But war is a partiucular type of violence that can outlast the disappearance of others or vanish while others remain. So war abolition is a particular campaign. UNLESS we could get to a real understanding of the evil of all violence, including war. Then we’d have something.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:30 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 87

no, I didn’t know that. too bad.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:32 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 84

Tad, you seem to be in favor of UN peacekeeping forces. David, you are not? I know they have a very mixed reputation but shouldn’t we be trying to make them better?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:34 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 86

Yes there is no ground to let up pressure against war, just ground to encourage defeatists that successes are demonstrable. Related to both this and Bev’s question on violence, there is a push in academia that I address at length in section III of the book to persuade people that all violence is going away, including war. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case. I look at the statistics in the book. I would LOVE to be proven wrong. And I’m afraid that people who believe war is vanishing on its own won’t work to abolish it. To the extent that, on the contrary, band-wagon jumping people who falsely believe war is ending will commit for that reason to work to end it, I’m all for this false belief!

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:35 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 88

If the facts remain the same, I’ve always thought it would be a great campaign to push hard, and I’ve referred to it over the years.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:37 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 93

We lost touch with the company, because it seems they were afraid to be associated with Americans. So we’d have to try to rebuild that relationship. Perhaps with the new government it will be easier.

Tad Daley October 5th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Real glad to hear that you know Emery Reves, David. In his 1945 book THE ANATOMY OF PEACE, he said “Real patriotism, real love of one’s own country, has no relationship whatsoever to the fetishism of the sovereign nation-states. Real patriotism can have but one single purpose: to protect one’s own country, one’s own people, from the devastation of war. As war is the direct result of the nation-state structure, and as modern aerial and mechanized warfare indiscriminately destroys women, children, cities and farms, the nation-state is Enemy No. 1 of patriotism.” Ain’t that beautiful?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 91

“Forces” gets confusing. When a humanitarian warrior argues that Rwanda needed a police force and therefore Syria should be bombed, the answer is not a simple yes or no. Rwanda did need a police force, as well as better policies for months and years pre-crisis. Bombing Rwanda (or Syria) wouldn’t have helped. A credibly fair and non-national police force could be a useful thing, as can non-governmental peace forces and human shields. But a UN force aligned with a Western imperial effort can do more harm than good. It’s like asking whether we should strenthen the ICC while it only prosecutes Africans. Yes. And no.

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 92

Just to continue on the violence question/analogy: Domestic violence is still rampant, usually men agst. women. But even while it persists, there is much more information, sources for help, etc. Maybe we have to note small progress; but the context/picture is still awful.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:39 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 94

What I was thinking — it might be.

CTuttle October 5th, 2013 at 3:41 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 92

*heh* Why are there so many more ‘experts’ on war than there are experts on Peace…? ;-)

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:41 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 95

It’s a beautiful book. Also a dated book and one in which the inaccurate predictions may tell us almost as much as the accurate analysis. The fact is that nations can choose to avoid war. There has not been a WWIII. The wealthy nations have chosen not to fight each other. There have been wars of exploitation, proxies, and among the poorer countries. This is not what he predicted, although the thrust of his critique remains very useful — as a guide toward a wiser world morseo than as laws of physics.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:43 pm
In response to RevBev @ 97

HUGE progress on torture, domestic violence, public violence, violence toward children, violence toward animals, the death penalty: but on war not so much. Although 96% of humanity has governments that are much less militarized than ours, so there is a model to turn to.

Tad Daley October 5th, 2013 at 3:44 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 91

Tad seems to be in favor of UN peacekeeping forces. Excellent insight Medea. I am. But I think they are only A STEP in the direction of world law and world law enforcement.


Because under the present state sovereignty system, where there is no standing independent UN force but only voluntary contributions from national military forces, UN peacekeeping forces are only dispatched when national governments decide it will serve the individual national interests of the contributing national states!

I’m for someday inventing new global institutions, that will serve not individual national interests, but the common human interest, and the global public good.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 99

Money is one answer. But it might also be an answer to why we THINK there are more experts on war than on peace. There are many advocates against war and for nonviolent conflict resolution and for a different set of public priorities that makes war unlikely. I reference some of my favorites in the book.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
In response to Tad Daley @ 102

So Tad an I agree :-)

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 3:46 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 99

I was just thinking about the effectiveness of the voices for peace in the protests of the 60s. I wonder sometimes if one antidote to war would be to reinstate the draft; I think the escape the elites now have is another way to ignore the cost and horror of war…Just let others pay the price.

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

are there any regional bodies that are better? Like Org of American States or African states or Arab League? Or are they all plagued with the same problem of competing national interests?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I’ve published Kathy Kelly’s forward to the book here:

I’ll publish the introduction or part of it on FDL and elsewhere on Monday I think, or soon.

Here’s more on the Nobel Peace Prize this week:

Here’s the book:

Medea found the photo that’s on the cover.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:48 pm
In response to RevBev @ 105

I think it would be virtually as hard as abolishing war, which is the actual goal

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:48 pm
In response to RevBev @ 105

Ineffective voices for peace in 60? MLK? Tom Hayden? Bob Dylan? Joan Baez? John Kerry? SDS? It seems there were so many and so varied.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Even with that limitation, they could do more good. They could be democratized and reformed. The UN could be made to oppose all war, rather than all wars that aren’t marketed as defensive or UN authorized, which is most of them.

bigbrother October 5th, 2013 at 3:51 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 74

Love to read your writing David. I have been a peace activist since getting out of the USMC in the 60′s. The way to peace is in part our approach to personal conflict, then local government. The Vietnam peace movement had a lot of great leaders and the MSM showed the horrors. MSM now controls that much more closely so there is no informed public.
Sustainable communities can decentralised political power. When you have enough it is hard to want war. Violence from Hollywood and sport worship is a major cultural obstacle. Rewarding people for being more competitive is an obstacle. Versus a more cooperative culture where we come to together to help not oppose or obstruct. Their is plenty of grunt work to move societies in that direction. The present Democrat Party is headed in the other direction…I attend to local Dem groups they are avoidung these conversations. Aside from that I was happy your group in Pakistan fared better than Greenpeace in the Arctic Media. And David you have many years left to wage peace!

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

And certainly got attention…why are we so silent?

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I open the book with this:

We do not care-
That much is clear.
Not enough
Of us care
We are not wise-
For that reason,
Mankind dies.
To think
Is much against
The will.
And easier-
To kill.
—Langston Hughes

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I close the book with this:

“I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information [I released] this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan. I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.”
—Chelsea Manning

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

We are not silent, but we don’t get the media attention that folks got back in the 60s.

wendydavis October 5th, 2013 at 3:52 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 110

The UN would need to relocate off US soil to even begin to be democratized, imo.

And thank you both, Medea and David, for everything you do in the name of Peace, not just the absence of War.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:53 pm
In response to RevBev @ 112

Part of the answer is the corporate media and our focus on it. Peace isn’t silent on FDL.

BevW October 5th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

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

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

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

Everyone, if you would like more information:

David’s website and books (DavidSwanson.org) and Twitter

Medea’s website and Twitter

Thanks all, Have a great weekned.
Tomorrow – Josh Blackman / Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare; Hosted by Ilya Shapiro.

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

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:54 pm
In response to bigbrother @ 111

Dr King listed militarism with racism and extreme materialism as overlapping interlocking evils to be abolished. Of course we have to do more than not long for them. We have to long for and work for their eradication.

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 117

I certainly appreciate your work and your threads; thank you very much.
(And can I say you have such a great picture?;)

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 116

An excellent idea.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
In response to BevW @ 118

THANKS Bev and Medea and everyone and FDL!

bigbrother October 5th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 78

Corporate Clintons love Netanyahus of the world and love Wall Street. They are a disaster in progress. Look at the Pacific Trade Pact, look at Bill Clinton enabling of the surveilance state, the Gramm-Billey act to replace Glass Steagall. All the broke the global economy they created, bankrupted the middle class and formented morewars.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:56 pm
In response to RevBev @ 120

on the book? medea found it

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 3:56 pm

thank you David, for the wonderful book and the work you do. Thank you Bev and FireDogLake. It’s been enlightening.

David Swanson October 5th, 2013 at 3:57 pm
In response to bigbrother @ 123

and stopping them will be such a pleasure

Tad Daley October 5th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Hey …. I thought we had until the end of the hour!

I am such a zealot about the world republic vision because I want my fellow members of the peace movement to know that in the 1940s and 1950s – in the wake of two world wars in a single generation and the invention of the atomic bomb — there was a meaningful civil society movement that advocated abolishing war through world government.

One reason I know something about this is that some years back I served as a policy advisor and speechwriter for US Senator Alan Cranston, (D-Cal, 1969-1993) – who served as a young man in the late 1940s and early 1950s as president of an outfit known as the “United World Federalists.” Which at that time had more than 50,000 members and more than 700 thriving chapters just in the United States.

He was my leading mentor. He and I worked together closely on abolishing nuclear weapons. But he always confided in me that he thought the most important work of his life was his work with UWF, and the dream of abolishing war.

Which is why he would dig you David Swanson!


wendydavis October 5th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

The wars are hidden from plain sight, for one thing. The protests aren’t as large because there isn’t a draft, so students aren’t taking over campus buildings or trying to shut down campuses.

I would add, even though others have disagreed with me over this here, but there isn’t the same amount of protest music, art, or plays that there were in the day.

Not many Lawrence Ferlinghettis, either. ;~)

CTuttle October 5th, 2013 at 3:58 pm
In response to RevBev @ 105

I think a National Draft would do wonders for our failed FP…! However, I would like to see it expanded to allow for ‘Community Service’, be it Health Care, a CCC corps, Peace Corps, etc. type service…! With a fully-paid College scholarship after completion of their National Service…! ;-)

Medea Benjamin October 5th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I think there are great artists, but they don’t get the attention. Emma’s Revolution, for example, are fabulous, but get no national attention. And on and on…

wendydavis October 5th, 2013 at 4:02 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 129

Gosh, Tuttle. The MICC knew exactly what a brilliant idea an ‘all-volunteer military’ was. It diminishes objections to war, and acts as a de facto jobs program for the poor and lower middle classes. The sign-up bonuses are bloody enormous!

SanderO October 5th, 2013 at 4:02 pm
In response to Medea Benjamin @ 53

Worse for mamy reasons but that hard to fathom …a worse presidency that O’s

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 4:02 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 129

We should just do this more often and have ongoing consciousness-raising. Thanks.

SanderO October 5th, 2013 at 4:03 pm
In response to David Swanson @ 114

The American public has no effective means to have their voices heard.

CTuttle October 5th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Mahalo Nui Loa, David, Medea, and Bev…! All of your tireless efforts have been a shining beacon of light in the vast Wilderness…! *g*

wendydavis October 5th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Yes, you’re right. Anthony Freda in NYC allows me to use his art with my diaries, and he is as in your face as any I know.

RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 4:07 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 136

PS & OT. This afternoon NPR had quite a nice piece on Mr. Wallace.

wendydavis October 5th, 2013 at 4:15 pm
In response to RevBev @ 137

Thankis, RevBev. Especially awesome for NPR, eh?

bearman October 5th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

looks like I missed this but if you guys are still reading comments…both of you great work and keep it up!

DWBartoo October 5th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Got called away, but would like to say how very much I enjoyed this most excellent book salon.

Thank you, David, Medea, and Bev.

As well, always my appreciation to the courage, conviction, respect, and friendship so evident among so many of those who comment here.


RevBev October 5th, 2013 at 6:19 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 140

And back to you as well, DW; you add so much. Thanks.

sadlyyes October 5th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

i just wanted to add one thing,(what a fabulous book/thread)
When we speak about American Exceptional-ism,it is precisely the idea Hitler and Goebbels used to talk the German peoples into war.They used the the term Aryan supremacy.Later 60 million dead,Europe destroyed because Whitey felt supreme.Cheerleaders for Murder

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post