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David Swanson

 
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Mark Udall and the Unspeakable

By: Sunday November 23, 2014 6:40 am

President Obama, who is just now un-ending again the ending of the endless war on Afghanistan, has never made a secret of taking direction from the military, CIA, and NSA. He’s escalated wars that generals had publicly insisted he escalate. He’s committed to not prosecuting torturers after seven former heads of the CIA publicly told him not to. He’s gone after whistleblowers with a vengeance and is struggling to keep this Bush-era torture report, or parts of it, secret in a manner that should confuse his partisan supporters.

But the depth of elected officials’ obedience to a permanent war machine is usually a topic avoided in polite company — usually, not always. Back in 2011, the dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, a member of Obama’s transition team in 2009, said publicly that Obama had decided in 2009 to block prosecutions of Bush-era criminals in part because the CIA, NSA, and military would revolt. Ray McGovern says he has a trustworthy witness to Obama saying he would leave the crimes unpunished because, in Obama’s words, “Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King?” Neither of those incidents has interested major media outlets in the slightest.

Watch Schooling the World, Stop Schooling the World

By: Wednesday November 19, 2014 6:58 pm

It’s becoming slightly more common in the Western industrialized world to propose radical cultural change away from consumerism and environmental destruction. It’s not hard to find people making the case that in fact nothing else can save us.

But we should have one eye on what our governments and billionaires are doing to educate the rest of the world with the way of thinking that we are beginning to question.

What if the United States were to radically reform and abandon its role as leading destroyer of the environment and leading maker of war in the world?

Who Says Ferguson Can’t End Well?

By: Tuesday November 18, 2014 5:45 pm

Just as a police officer in a heightened state of panic surrounded by the comfort of impunity will shoot an innocent person, the Governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency preemptively, thus justifying violence in response to something that hasn’t happened. Bombing Iraq in response to nonexistent weapons and Libya in response to nonexistent threats worked out so well, we may as well try it domestically, the Governor is perhaps thinking. “There Is No Way That This Ends Well” is a headline I actually just read about Ferguson.

Well, why not? Who says it can’t end well?

Okinawa Elects All Anti-U.S.-Bases Candidates

By: Monday November 17, 2014 6:30 pm

Some news of more resistance in Okinawa from Hiroshi Taka:

Watchers of the Sky Falls in a Pit

By: Sunday November 16, 2014 8:40 am

Watchers of the Sky is beloved by the U.S. corporate media because it opposes genocide, not war. I’m not aware of any opponents of war who don’t also oppose genocide. In fact, many oppose the two as a single evil without the stark distinction between them. But the anti-genocide academic nonprofit industrial complex has become dominated by leading advocates for war.

The World Gets the Wars Americans Deserve

By: Friday November 14, 2014 5:42 pm

A few young people believe we simply must have wars, and every last one of them has the identical reason: ISIS. Because ISIS is something evil, there must be war. “Should we attack ISIS or do nothing?” they all ask.

How Is a Prison Like a War?

By: Thursday November 13, 2014 7:00 pm

The similarities between mass incarceration and mass murder have been haunting me for a while, and I now find myself inspired by Maya Schenwar’s excellent new book Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. This is one of three books everyone should read right away. The others are The New Jim Crow and Burning Down the House, the former with a focus on racism in incarceration, the latter with a focus on the incarceration of youth. Schenwar’s is an overview of incarceration in all its absurd and unfathomable evil — as well as being a spotlight leading away from this brutal institution.

Locked Down, Locked Out is both an incomparably put together report incorporating statistics and studies with individual quotations and anecdotes, and a personal story of how incarceration has impacted the author’s own family and how the author has thought through the complex issues.

We Must Always Have War Because Magic

By: Saturday November 8, 2014 9:30 am

This advertisement for permanent war appeared in my local newspaper today.

By pointing out this fact I am neither opposing working with religious groups that favor peace nor asserting that Martin Luther King Jr. was a warmonger.

But religious peace activists could, as far as anyone can tell, be peace activists without the religion.

U.S. Sends Planes Armed With Depleted Uranium to Middle East

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 1:00 pm

The U.S. Air Force says it is not halting its use of Depleted Uranium weapons, has recently sent them to the Middle East, and is prepared to use them.

Israeli Chooses “Honorable Life” Over Joining Military

By: Monday October 27, 2014 7:15 pm

Danielle Yaor is 19, Israeli, and refusing to take part in the Israeli military. She is one of 150 who have committed themselves, thus far, to this position:

“We, citizens of the state of Israel, are designated for army service. We appeal to the readers of this letter to set aside what has always been taken for granted and to reconsider the implications of military service…”

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