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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org
Ethics of Not Ruining Everything
Today I listened to the audio book of Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationship With Animals by Lori Gruen while reading the hardcopy of From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel Dennett.
De-Authorize the Use of Military Force
Last Thursday the U.S. House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed an amendment that would -- if passed by the full Congress -- repeal, after an 8-month delay, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress just after September 11, 2001, and used as a justification for wars ever since.
Friday, July 7, 2017(1 comments)
Silicon Oligarchs Should Save Themselves, Not Us
To get a sense of what computer geek robber barons would make of the world and are making of the world, pick up a copy of The Know It Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball by Noam Cohen.
Friday, July 7, 2017(3 comments)
122 Nations Create Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
On Friday the United Nations concluded the creation of the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in over 20 years, and the first treaty ever to ban all nuclear weapons. While 122 nations voted yes, the Netherlands voted no, Singapore abstained, and numerous nations didn't show up at all.
Crackpot Criminality From Abu Through Zubaydah
John Kiriakou led the CIA operation that arrested, or rather, kidnapped without charge, Abu Zubaydah. Joseph Hickman helped imprison Abu Zubaydah as a guard at Guantanamo and was later the lead researcher for Zubaydah's habeas defense team.
Here are some highlights of a tale of crackpot criminality recounted by Hickman and Kiriakou in their jointly authored new book, The Convenient Terrorist:
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Against Ignoring the KKK
When a small number of heavily armed Ku Klux Klanners from North Carolina are given vast amounts of media attention for holding a rally here in Charlottesville, Va., on July 8th, I believe people opposed to violence and racism should go nowhere near them but in no way ignore them.
U.S. Conference of Mayors Opposes Military-Heavy Trump Budget
The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday unanimously passed three resolutions opposing the military-heavy Trump budget proposal, urging Congress to move funding out of the military and into human and environmental needs rather than the reverse.
Sunday, June 25, 2017(1 comments)
Sanctions Are Crimes, Not Law Enforcement
The U.S. Senate has increased sanctions on the people of Iran and Russia, if the House and President go along. The Senate vote was 98-2, with Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting no, the latter despite his support for the Russian half of the bill.
Friday, June 23, 2017(4 comments)
You'll Never Guess What Losing Democrats All Have in Common
It was curious to observe how much of Jeremy Corbyn's successful campaign to rebuild the Labour Party was about foreign policy. Wars, he said, make us less safe, not more. Agreeing with him were: the obvious facts of the matter, voters in opinion polls, and apparently voters in their votes.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017(2 comments)
Talk Nation Radio: Ray McGovern on Russia and Syria
Ray McGovern has been studying/analyzing Russia for more than five decades, both in academe and government. A senior analyst at the CIA during the 80s, he also conducted early morning briefings, one-on-one, of the President's Daily Brief for President Reagan's most senior foreign policy advisers.
Brad Pitt Does Stanley McChrystal: When Netflix' War Movie Stops Being Funny
The new movie, War Machine, on Netflix starring Brad Pitt begins as a hilarious and satisfying mockery of General Stanley McChrystal, circa 2009, as well as of militarism in general. Hilarious because of the deadpan sincere idiocy. Satisfying at least to those of us who have been screaming "What are you idiots doing?" for the past fifteen-and-a-half years.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Corbynize This Trumped Up World
Making Jeremy Corbyn the Prime Minister of the U.K. would do more for the world and everyone in it than either of the two available outcomes of any recent U.S. election could have done. Here in the U.S. I always protest that I am not against elections, I think we should have one some day. Well, now we have one -- only it's across the pond.
Friday, June 2, 2017(3 comments)
A Portrait of the CIA in Prison
John Kiriakou's Doing Time Like a Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison paints a disturbing portrait of a U.S. prison in which Kiriakou spent time as retribution for having admitted that the CIA used torture. His ongoing whistleblowing on the state of U.S. prisons, as well as on the ways in which the U.S. government has gone after him, is as valuable as his opposition to CIA torture.
We're Dealing With a New Type of War Lie
The claims about Russia are unique in their wide proliferation, broad acceptance, and status as something to be constantly referred to as though already established, constantly augmented by other Russia-related stories that add nothing to the central claim.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017(3 comments)
Talk Nation Radio: Francis Boyle on How to Impeach Trump
Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Professor Boyle has served as counsel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the Provisional Government of the Palestinian Authority. He has represented the Blackfoot Nation, the Nation of Hawaii, and the Lakota Nation. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention.
What I Saw When I Visited a Russian School
As I was heading off to visit Russia, a friend told me of a friend who knew a Russian school teacher. I asked if I could visit the school, and I brought along a couple of American friends. Here's a video of what we saw there.
Monday, May 15, 2017(2 comments)
American/Russian Vladimir Posner on the State of Journalism
Vladimir Posner, who spent his youth in the United States, France, and the Soviet Union, and who cohosted a show with Phil Donahue on U.S. television for years, met with a group of visitors to Moscow from the U.S. on Monday, offering his well-informed views on a range of media-related topics.
Sunday, May 14, 2017(2 comments)
A Russian Journalist's Perspective
Dmitri Babich has worked as a journalist in Russia since 1989, for newspapers, news agencies, radio, and television. He says that he used to always interview people, while lately people interview him.
Sunday, May 14, 2017(1 comments)
Racists Love Russia?
While I've been in Russia trying to make friends, back home in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, a group of torch-bearing supporters of Robert E. Lee has held a rally generally understood as a proclamation of white supremacy. I've previously written at some length about this white identity group, their humanity, their legitimate grievances, and their support for Donald Trump.
Saturday, May 13, 2017(6 comments)
Things Russians Can Teach Americans
I suppose the list is lengthy and includes dancing, comedy, karaoke singing, vodka drinking, monument building, diplomacy, novel writing, and thousands of other fields of human endeavor, in some of which Americans can teach Russians as well. But what I'm struck by at the moment in Russia is the skill of honest political self-reflection, as found in Germany, Japan, and many other nations to a great degree as well.
Saturday, May 13, 2017(1 comments)
A Russian Entrepreneur's Perspective
I've been in Moscow some days now and have yet to meet an oligarch (although perhaps they don't identify themselves). I have met an entrepreneur named Andrei Davidovich. He's started several companies since his first in 1998, including a software company, a marketing agency, a publishing company, etc. He says it takes 5 days to create a new company in Russia.
Friday, May 12, 2017(1 comments)
Love from Russians
On Wednesday, I flew out of a New York airport around which armed soldiers in camouflaged uniforms wandered -- a New York area that had long ago hidden in the hardest to reach corner of New Jersey the monument that Russia gave the United States in sympathy with the horror of September 11, 2001.
Friday, May 12, 2017(7 comments)
The U.S. Behavior That Concerns Russia
I attended a meeting in Moscow on Friday with Vladimir Kozin, longtime member of Russia's foreign service, advisor to the government, author, and advocate for arms reduction. He handed out the list of 16 unresolved problems above. While he noted that the United States funds NGOs in Russia, as well as Ukraine, to influence elections, and described that as a reality in contrast to U.S. stories about Russia.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017(16 comments)
Impeach Trump for Right Reasons
The Constitution suddenly seems to have bestirred itself and declared itself, through its many Washington spokespeople, to be in crisis.
I'm sorry, interjects the world, but what the hell took you so long?
Tuesday, May 9, 2017(1 comments)
Talk Nation Radio: Hyun Lee on Prospects for Peace in Korea
Hyun Lee is a New York City-based writer and activist. She is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea. She is also a Korea Policy Institute fellow and a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development. Find her work also at ZoomInKorea.org.
Talk Nation Radio: Deirdre Enright on Freeing Innocent People from Prison
Deirdre Enright is director of investigation for the University of Virginia Law School's Innocence Project Clinic. Enright previously worked at the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center, where she represented clients and consulted on cases in all stages of capital litigation, with primary focus on federal and state post-conviction proceedings and Supreme Court certiorari review. After graduating from the University o
How U.S. Race Laws Inspired Nazis
James Q. Whitman's new book is called Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. It is understated and overdocumented, difficult to argue with. No doubt some will try.
Thursday, April 13, 2017(18 comments)
Never-Ending War in the Time of Trump and How to Stop It
The Mother of All Lies is this: you can fix things by blowing them up. Alcoholics should not drink, and people who cannot watch TV and distinguish it from reality should not watch TV. Donald Trump watches a lot of TV and may very well believe what it teaches, namely that blowing things up solves problems. He certainly has figured out, as I knew he would, that the way to get love from the U.S. corporate media is: blow stuff up.
Talk Nation Radio: Dennis Kucinich on Opposing War on Syria
Dennis Kucinich is an internationally renowned champion of diplomacy and peace. His distinguished career in public service dates back to 1969 and spans councilman, clerk of courts, Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio State Senator, 8 term Member of US Congress and 2-time Democratic candidate for President of the United States. We discuss U.S. warmaking in Syria.
Monday, April 10, 2017(3 comments)
Don't Be a United Airlines Passenger
Do not sit still like a United Airlines passenger in a video when an injustice is happening. If the other passengers had simply blocked the aisles, corporate thugs could not have dragged their fellow passenger away. If everyone on board had demanded that the airline offer higher compensation until someone volunteered to take a later flight, rather than being violently "reaccommodated," then it would have done so.
Remembering Past Wars . . . and Preventing the Next!
Joanne Sheehan, Coordinator of War Resisters League New England, former Chair of War Resisters' International, and co-editor of Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns. Maria Santelli, executive director of Center on Conscience and War, founding director of the New Mexico GI Rights Hotline. Glen Ford, activist, journalist, radio host, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report. Alice Slater, New York Director of the Nuclear Age Pea
Monday, April 3, 2017(4 comments)
U.S. Out of Korea
My biggest concern is not the embarrassment of a U.S. public afraid of the tiny impoverished nation of North Korea. If that embarrassed me, how would I survive what U.S. culture makes of ISIS, or -- for that matter -- the election of Donald Trump? My biggest concern is that U.S. war profiteers may end up using Korea to get us all killed.
Liberalism's Communications Problem
Liberals in the United States are relatively educated, yet extremely inarticulate when it comes to Trump, his budget proposal, or the U.S. military.
Thursday, March 23, 2017(5 comments)
The Middle East for Dummies
The first point I'd like to touch on is the idea that the Middle East is a culturally violent place that can be made less violent by bombing it. The first problem with this is that bombing places makes them more violent, not less. Nobody is shocked or awed into nonviolence, not 14 years ago and not for the past century. The second problem is ...t