What if it occurs to someone to suggest that perhaps war isn’t justifiable at all?
From South Pacific (1958)
Thank you David Swanson. I’ve been second guessing some of the things I’ve said here in the last couple of days as maybe unfair to the poor schmucks that get drawn into the meat grinder of conflict. Your piece says all the things I haven’t been able to put into words myself. Thank you.
I joined the military myself (regular Army 72-75, PMOS 11-B, Airborne.) I was a totally screwed up young man that didn’t know shit from shinola, but fortunately I didn’t have to go to war, to fight, to try kill other human beings for some amorphous reason concocted in the halls of US government. I’ve never been ashamed that I didn’t become a combat veteran, and forever thankful that I escaped the greatest mistake of my life in one piece, physically and mentally.
How can anyone justify the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children in order to spread Democracy?
How can a nation convince it’s military men and women that theirs is an honorable profession, when in reality, our nation isn’t under attack, and their actions are those of the aggressors?
Evil begets more Evil.
A job in the military brings great pay and great benefits.
You only have to sell your soul to the Oligarchs for financial security.
“what if it occurs to someone to suggest that perhaps war isn’t justifiable at all?”
*That is what an awful lot of us, both veterans and non-veterans, have been trying to bring to the fore.
*I was thinking last night about that film starring a young Matthew Broderick, called War Games. The premise was that a scientist had produced an AI computer (called the Whopper) that was subsequently wired into our missile defense system.
*They had recently used the AI’s intelligence to have it make the computer unreachable, to prevent sabotage.
Broderick is a high school student who is a whiz at computer gaming and hacking. Nothing malicious, just having fun. He accidentally reaches the “back door” number for the Whopper and War Games comes up. War Games sounds like fun, so he selects that. He picks Global Thermonuclear War as the game. NORAD suddenly comes up with their screens showing a massive nuclear missile attack from the Soviet Union. NORAD starts a response, but before they can launch, the screens return to normal. The boy contacts that link again and asks the computer if this is a game or for real? “What is the difference?” the computer answers. The story is a pretty good cliff hanger, but I was thinking of the ending. The computer has continued, getting the launch codes for a response, and they can’t reach it, or shut it down. Finally, the original designer is contacted. He can’t get the computer to stop, then the boy asks him to ask the computer to play tic-tac-toe. It does, playing it at thousands of games a second. Of course there is no winner in tic-tac-toe. At the same time, the computer gets the last launch code. Then it starts playing all of the programmed war games in its memory. each one expands until the world is destroyed. Suddenly it stops and the screens clear. The computer says, “A very strange game, where the only way to win is not to play. Would you like to play a nice game of chess?”
*I wish more people would have gotten the message then.
It used to be that war was declared by one nation against another.
The Constitution requires that war be declared by Congress. That used to be so as well.
Then we started declaring war on everything: drugs, poverty, and inevitably terrorism.
These declarations have come from the White House.
Why does the White House get to commit military resources to a war without the consent of Congress?
And how do you declare war on a concept instead of a nation?
The Congress has abdicated its responsibility for committing the nation to war, and the result is a perpetual military debacle against an amorphous enemy. We commit the lives of American citizens and the resources of the treasury to an endeavor that is ill-defined and has no discernible way concluding.
That, it seems to me, is a symptom absolute national madness.
An absolute national madness that is supported by 95% of the voting electorate.
That, is pure Madness.
A nation of Enablers of pure Madness.
There’s only one political party out there that absolutely refuses to endorse this Madness, and only 1% of voters saw that in 2016.
In the 2016 Greens polled 5-to-7% and Libertarians close to 9%. Then in the rigged 2016 General Election results, neither “third” party showed even 1%. The required mass for progressive political change is 3.5%. Getting the Green Party to 3.5% ignites Americans’ spirit of egalitarianism, democracy and liberty from oppressors. The strength of the stench of hate and war-mongering becomes perceptible to all the rest of the 95.5%. (The 1% sacrificed their sense of smell and other sensory perceptions generations ago.) This is why the corporate-state oligarchy has rigged the machinery of US government since its inception, hides the money trails and allows for massive money havens, and maintains the torture/killing force of the MIC/NSA/CIA/FBI/Police State to 50-70% of the GDP, which includes very little life-sustaining functions of individuals, families and communities, such as preserving clean air and water, producing food, cooking, cleaning, gathering resources.
“It turns out the wars are for weapons profits and resource control and political domination and sadism,” writes David Swanson.
Wars are started and propagated by conservatives because they live in fear:
You of course are somehow tuned in to the “truth.” If so, rather than simply going around beating a drum that “it’s all lies,” how about sharing your truth so we too have access the FACTS that you seem to know?
Thank you, David Swanson, for this excellent piece.
Years ago a friend recommended Michael Nagler’s The Search for a Nonviolent Future, “A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World,” That book is a fine primer for a more peaceful world.
At times I refer to Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” address from April 4, 1967, a masterpiece in clarity and meaning. It’s easily found online.
“War is not the answer,” Dr. King.
The Oligarchs simply love it when the majority of Americans buy in to the Duopolys Vortex of Violence and their US against Them mindless mentality.
It keeps us totally divided, and that is right where they want us.
Is it too much for the masses to seek Peace in their political parties?
Military involvement in 134 countries is total madness.
We are being robbed of our rights to Peace.
Russian capitalist gangsters, who love Trump, are not our friends.
No war but the class war!
Thank-you, David Swanson for a concise summary of what we fought for between 1999 and 2006 but since gave up in despair.
No war but the class war!
Thank you Mr. Swanson. I agree with you 100%. Our thinking in the U.S. ,(and hopefully other countries), about what war is and what it actually does and for whom must change. Especially this notion that war is somehow useful in cases except for extreme cases of self-defense has got to change. Thanks for saying it so well. Maybe now with lightening-speed communication spreading the realization that lightening-speed destruction can happen if we don’t change, something will.
Thank you Jayne. Finally, someone who gets it. Liberal Dem dupes who are being used by the Neocons to further their Imperialistic Agenda.
Well, it’s exactly BECAUSE I use search engines, read widely, have access to JSTOR, Google Scholar, EBSCO etc and make use of them, that I question people who casually dismiss without providing anything that supports their assertions. If it’s fake, or to be dismissed, show us why and how, don’t revert to “do your own research” BS.
Have people who assume there is truth in the Russian hacking story or have even our govt leaders seen ANY evidence, or are they relying on assertions of intelligence agencies … those that slam dunked us into invading Iraq … ?
I’m not saying that everything intelligence agencies come up with is accurate, or truthful. I’m not saying that everything we are told that intelligence agencies come up with is accurate, or truthful. I’m saying it’s damn hard to know what is, and what isn’t, and without evidence, I discount the "it’s all fake’ just as much as I do the “it’s all true” talk. Because how the hell are we to know. The truth comes out slowly over time, a dribble at a time, and you have to be patient and attentive, because you can piece things together pretty well over time. If someone knows for a fact that something is fake news, then they should prove it, so we all know. Otherwise, it’s just opinion.