Author Archives: DavidSwanson

The Sacrifice of an American Gladiator

Dan Ireland’s The Ultimate Arena: The Sacrifice of an American Gladiator is a fictionalized account, speculative in some of the details, but true in all the major facts, to the story of Pat Tillman. Any Good American who “supports the … Continue reading

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Gorbachev Disagrees With Obama on Nukes

Mikhail Gorbachev and Barack Obama have radically different views on what is involved in doing away with nuclear weapons. Reading Gorbachev’s new book, The New Russia, is a bit disappointing, but it contains some key insights. It may also be … Continue reading

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Unreported Mass Killing Leaves Thousands Dead

In what’s being called the worst mass killing by the United States in the past six months, numerous mentally disturbed individuals, with the extensive backing of a well-financed terrorist organization, and support from a growing circle of allied gang members, … Continue reading

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Brexit Violence Deeply Rooted, With Lessons for U.S.

On Thursday, in a political move more typical of the United States than Europe, a member of the British Parliament was murdered. She was an opponent of Brexit (Britain exiting the European Union), and her murderer reportedly shouted “Britain First!” … Continue reading

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Orlando Killer’s Secret Shared by Other Terrorists

As with becoming a whistleblower or an activist or an artist there must be numerous reasons why any individual becomes a terrorist — whether military, contract, or independent. Various irrational hatreds and fears (and promises of paradise after death) and … Continue reading

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We Should Be More Viking

A birth lottery winner, or a chooser behind a Rawlsian veil of ignorance, today would likely end up not as a U.S. billionaire’s child (much less a random U.S. child), but as a child in Scandinavia. That is, whether you’re … Continue reading

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ISIS and U.S. Weaponry: At Home and Abroad

When someone commits mass murder in the United States and is tied, however significantly, to a foreign terrorist group, there remains a section of the U.S. population willing to recognize and point out that no ideology, fit of hatred, or … Continue reading

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St. Paul, Minn. — War Is A Lie

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Talking About Forgiveness

An atheist’s sermon on Luke 7: 36-50 delivered at Saint Joan of Arc in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 12, 2016. Forgiveness is a universal need, among those of us who are not religious and among believers in every religion on … Continue reading

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“Modern Warfare Destroys Your Brain” in More Ways Than One

The most likely way to die in a U.S. war, by far, is to live in the country that the United States is attacking. But the most likely way in which a U.S. participant in a war will die is … Continue reading

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“Flag Day Has Been Canceled!”

If that headline sounds a bit like “God Is Dead” to you, you just might be from the United States. Only what the people who live in this one country of the American hemisphere call “an American” carries that variety … Continue reading

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Beauty Contestants Now for World War, not World Peace

Even within what Dr. King called the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, there used to be one constituency you could count on to speak up for world peace: beauty contestants. No more. And the switch has produced no … Continue reading

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Lessons for Peace from Back in the USSR

In the early 1980s almost nobody from the United States traveled to the Soviet Union or vice versa. The Soviets wouldn’t let anybody out, and good Americans were disinclined to visit the Evil Empire. But a woman in California named … Continue reading

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Coy Barefoot and David Swanson on Ending Endless War

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Thomas Friedman Says Hillary’s Lies No Big Deal

Most Hillary Clinton supporters, including Hillary, mostly spend their time talking about Trump, not Clinton, not Sanders, not what should be done in the U.S. government. But they don’t try to articulate a defense for this practice. A couple of … Continue reading

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David Swanson and Daniel Ellsberg on War and Peace

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Obama in Hiroshima Paints a Peace Sign on a Bomb

President Obama went to Hiroshima, did not apologize, did not state the facts of the matter (that there was no justification for the bombings there and in Nagasaki), and did not announce any steps to reverse his pro-nuke policies (building … Continue reading

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“Looking Forward” Comes to Hiroshima

Never mind an apology, Obama should admit the truth By David Swanson, TeleSUR Since before he entered the White House, Barack Obama has proposed handling past crimes by powerful people and entities through a policy called “looking forward” — in … Continue reading

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Will You Join Me in Voting for Neither Trump Nor Clinton?

I’m committing to not vote for Clinton or Trump, and you can do the same. The Democratic Party’s undemocratic primaries are not over, and nobody has won them. It is entirely possible that Hillary Clinton will not be nominated for … Continue reading

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Top 12 Reasons the Good War Was Bad: Hiroshima in Context

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune Consider this a friendly reminder to President Obama on his way to Hiroshima. No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to … Continue reading

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Obama is not first president at permanent war

The New York Times recently claimed, and peace advocates repeated, that President Barack Obama will be the first U.S. president to have been at war for two complete four-year terms. It’s also become common to refer to the current U.S. … Continue reading

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Hey Kids! Try Collateral Damage at Home

One day a couple of weeks ago I was reading Saint Augustine while driving to the local convenience store, and I accidentally drove right through the front glass wall of the store, smashing up some shelves of junk food. After … Continue reading

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How to Oppose the Draft for Women and Not Be Sexist

For the majority of people in the United States who have no idea, yes, draft registration still exists, but only for males. However, the U.S. House of Representatives is interested in adding young women to the rolls. In fact the … Continue reading

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Bush-Obama Powers Will Pass to Next President

Remember when coups and assassinations were secretive, when presidents were obliged to go to Congress and tell lies and ask permission for wars, when torture, spying, and lawless imprisonment were illicit, when re-writing laws with signing statements and shutting down … Continue reading

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Talk Nation Radio: Jean Trounstine and Karter Reed on Murder, Juvenile Injustice, and Redemption

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-jean-trounstine-and-karter-reed-on-murder-juvenile-injustice-and-redemption Jean Trounstine is the author of Boy With a Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner’s Fight for Justice. Karter Reed is the subject of and the author of the Epilogue to the book. He was … Continue reading

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Seymour Hersh Erases Public’s Role on Syria

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune We once again owe the great reporter Seymour Hersh a serious debt for his reporting, in this case for his London Review of Books articles on President Barack Obama’s war making, now published as … Continue reading

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Corruption in the Time of Cholera

In 2004, the United States, which had previously occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934, kidnapped the president of Haiti, overthrew his government, and sent in United Nations “peace keepers.” In 2010, an outbreak of cholera hit Haiti for the first … Continue reading

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Three Centuries of U.S. Writing Against War

Every student of peace, sanity, or survival, every person interested in the possibility of the United States making its current wars its last seven wars, every believer in the value of wisdom and the written word should pick up a … Continue reading

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The Trump Doctrine

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune Here’s a condensed version of Donald Trump’s recent speech that I’m considering offering on gold-ish plating for $19.98: Nationalism, World War II mythology, and militarism must go unquestioned. But when they’ve been used in … Continue reading

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Talk Nation Radio: Peter Enns on How Public Punitiveness Led to Mass Incarceration

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-peter-enns-on-how-public-punitiveness-led-to-mass-incarceration Peter Enns is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University. He is also team leader of the Institute for Social Science theme project on … Continue reading

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What Is a Global Citizen, and Can it Save Us?

Headlines this past week claimed that for the first time ever more than half of poll respondents around the world said they saw themselves more as a global citizen than as a citizen of a country. What did they mean … Continue reading

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Psst. Slip This Onto Obama’s Teleprompter in Hiroshima

Thank you. Thank you for welcoming me to this hallowed ground, given meaning like the fields of Gettysburg by those who died here, far more than any speech can pretend to add. Those deaths, here and in Nagasaki, those hundreds … Continue reading

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A Pro- and Anti-War Dialogue

Anti-War Advocate: Is there a case that can be made for war? Pro-War Advocate: Well, yes. In a word: Hitler! Anti-War Advocate: Is “Hitler!” a case for future wars? Let me suggest some reasons why I think it isn’t. First, … Continue reading

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War Lies Talk in Oneonta NY with Q&A

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Talk Nation Radio: John Dear on Catholic Church Rejecting “Just War” Theory

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-john-dear-on-catholic-church-rejecting-just-war-theory After 1700 years, the Catholic Church is turning against the idea that there can be a “just war.” We speak with John Dear. John Dear is an internationally recognized voice for peace and nonviolence. A priest, pastor, retreat … Continue reading

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Their Mouths Are Moving, or How Can You Tell a Politician Is Lying About War?

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune Someone asked me to find war lies during the past few years. Perhaps they had in mind the humanitarian pretenses around attacking Libya in 2011 and Iraq in 2014, or the false claims about … Continue reading

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Sue Saudi for 9/11 and U.S. for all its wars

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry say that allowing family members of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its complicity in that crime would set a terrible precedent that would … Continue reading

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Talk Nation Radio: John Hanrahan on Avaaz’s Warmongering

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-john-hanrahan-on-avaazs-warmongering John Hanrahan, currently on the editorial board of ExposeFacts, is a former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism and reporter for  The Washington Post, The Washington Star, UPI and other news organizations. He also has extensive experience … Continue reading

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Guinness Book of Warmongering

My son left a 2015 Guinness Book of World Records lying around. It’s largely a mix of athletic feats, extravagant spending, freakish body conditions and diseases, and people who do dumb stuff in order to get into the book. It … Continue reading

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War Is A Lie — Seattle, April 15, 2016

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What’s the Truth Hidden by the “Super Predators” Lie?

The desire to punish for the joy of punishing, for revenge, or for racist or sadistic domination has always had certain difficulties hiding behind the pretense of punishing for protection from danger. Creating fear of (young, black, male) “super predators” … Continue reading

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The Habit of Thought That Made U.S. #1 in Prisons and Wars

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune Remarks prepared for April 12 event in Baltimore. I’m going to start with a few brief opening remarks about what I think is the habit of thought that has made the United States #1 … Continue reading

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Ten Revealing War Lies

By David Swanson, TeleSUR Remarks prepared for event in Washington, D.C., on April 11, 2016. Let’s look at ten revealing moments in the history of lying about wars to see what they tell us, and then I’ll be glad to … Continue reading

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Why Do Ethics Classes Fantasize About Murder So Much?

At a post-screening discussion where I questioned the director of Eye in the Sky about the disconnect between his drone-kill movie and reality, he launched into a bunch of thought-experiment stuff of the sort I’ve tried to avoid since finishing … Continue reading

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Oh Frack, President Obama

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune A new film called Dear President Obama that is narrated by Mark Ruffalo begins very gently, sympathizing with President Obama’s supposed need to please his funders and corporate lobbyists. But the story it then … Continue reading

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Israeli War Lies Fall As Corporate Media Falls

A new film narrated by Roger Waters, The Occupation of the American Mind, traces the rise of Israeli war propaganda in the United States. This propaganda, which has skillfully swayed U.S. public opinion in support of Israeli wars and occupations, … Continue reading

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U.S. State Department: Don’t Hurt ISIS

So Many Enemies, So Little Logic By David Swanson, teleSUR The U.S. State Department does not want the government of Syria to defeat or weaken ISIS, at least not if doing so means any sort of gain for the Syrian … Continue reading

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Blowback Denial, Climate Denial, and Apocalypse

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune Last week Donald Trump suggested something Bernie Sanders would never dare: getting rid of NATO. I took some time to read people’s comments and tweets online about it, and a huge number seemed to … Continue reading

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Talk Nation Radio: Erin Aubry Kaplan on Loving Obama No Matter What

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-erin-aubry-kaplan-on-loving-obama-no-matter-what Erin Aubry Kaplan is a Los Angeles journalist and columnist. She discusses her book I Heart Obama. Total run time: 29:00 Host: David Swanson.Producer: David Swanson.Music by Duke Ellington. Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive. Pacifica stations can also … Continue reading

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War Is A Lie: David Swanson in Asheville

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