Peace


The War to End War 100 Years On: An Evaluation and Reorientation of our Resistance to War

So advanced is our war against life that human extinction is now imminent..

By Robert J. Burrowes November 14, 2018 "Information Clearing House" -

British author and social commentator H.G. Wells may have coined the expression that originally popularized World War I as The War that Will End War, as his book, based on articles written during that vast military conflict, was titled. In any case, in one version or another, the expression was one of the most common catchphrases of the Great War of 1914-1918 and has survived as an expression, often used with a grimace of sarcasm, ever since.

As we commemorate the passing of the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending ‘the war to end war’, one can only marvel at how wrong humans can be sometimes. Not content with the violence inflicted during World War I, humans used the twentieth century to systematically decimate human and other life as violence and war raged across the planet with an increasingly massive and sophisticated armory. In fact, by mid-century, in a tribute to their technological ingenuity and psychological dysfunctionality, humans had invented a weapon that could destroy life on Earth.

And by the beginning of the 21st century, humans were living in the era of perpetual war against life – see

‘Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds’ and ‘Living Planet Report 2018: Aiming Higher’ – with war also the largest contributor to the climate catastrophe: ‘Not only is the Pentagon the single largest industrial consumer of fossil fuels, but fighter jets, destroyers, tanks and other weapons systems emit highly toxic, carbon-intensive emissions, not to mention the greenhouse gases that are released from the detonation of bombs. How quickly the world forgot the toxic legacy of Saddam Hussein’s oil fires!’ See ‘War and Climate Change: Time to Connect the Dots’.

So advanced is our war against life that human extinction is now imminent. See ‘Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival’.

Resisting war historically

Of course, the failure to end war has not been the outcome of lack of effort. And while there have been many efforts focused on ending a particular war, efforts directed at ending a particular aspect of war (such as the use of a type of weapon), and efforts aimed at preventing a type of war (such as ‘aggressive war’ or nuclear war), there have also been ongoing efforts to achieve ‘the holy grail’: to end war itself.

These attempts have included ongoing grassroots mobilization by anti-war organizations spawned by World War I (such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom founded in 1915 and War Resisters’ International founded in 1921) and many equivalents since that time, official attempts to outlaw war such as the Kellogg-Briand Pact that outlawed war in 1928 but has been ignored ever since – see League of Nations ‘Treaty Series’ vol. XCIV, 1929, p. 63 – and institutional efforts to prevent it, particularly by establishment of the League of Nations in 1920 and its successor the United Nations in 1945, both also readily ignored or manipulated.

Separately from the above, however, there has been a long history of nonviolent activism to end wars and this has been conducted by individuals and groups all over the world. Undoubtedly the most effective anti-war movement in history was that undertaken in response to the US war against Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Inspired and supported by the nonviolent resistance of the civilian population, and building on the long history of resistance to war within the military – see, for example, The Soldiers’ Strikes of 1919 – there was widespread nonviolent resistance undertaken by US troops and conscripts to end the US war against Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos from 1968 until it ended in 1975.

If you like, you can read detailed descriptions of the systematic and ongoing resistance (nonviolent and otherwise) within the US military, in many forms, which progressively incapacitated the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force during the last years of the war, forcing the US out of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. See Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War and Self-Destruction: The Disintegration and Decay of the United States Army during the Vietnam Era with a summary of the first book in ‘Antiwar Resistance Within the Military During the Vietnam War’ and a review of it in ‘The soldiers’ revolt in Vietnam: Rebellion in the ranks’.

For a documentary account of the conscientious objection by more than half a million US conscripts to military service in South East Asia during this period, which overwhelmed the legal system making prosecutions beyond a token few impossible and, combined with soldier resistance and civilian efforts, forced Presidents Johnson and Nixon to curtail plans to escalate the war and make plans to end it, see the forthcoming film The Boys Who Said NO!

Reanalysing the Cause of War to Reorient our Resistance

So, if we are to use this 100th anniversary to renew our struggle to end war and to work effectively to achieve that purpose, then clearly we need to reassess our analysis of the cause(s) of war so that we understand the problem more precisely, and then use this revised analysis to guide the development and implementation of a strategy that addresses the cause(s). Of course, I am not suggesting that ending war will be easy, even with a sound analysis and a comprehensive strategy. But at least it will be feasible.

Before proceeding, I would like to record my own passion for this subject. I lost two great uncles to World War I: Tom Farrell was killed in action at Gallipoli and Les Burrowes was a victim of ‘shell shock’ – later labeled post-traumatic stress disorder – after being wounded in action three times at Gallipoli and then dying prematurely some years after the war.

My father served in World War II as a coastwatcher and both of his brothers, including his twin, were killed. I am named after my father’s older brother. Bob died when the Japanese POW ship Montevideo Maru was torpedoed by the USS Sturgeon on 1 July 1942. 1,053 Australian POWs died that night. And my father’s twin, Tom, died when his Beaufort Bomber was shot down on 14 December 1943 killing the entire crew.

So my childhood is dotted with memories of occasional commemorations of war which, for me, always ended with the same question: Why? But not just ‘why war?’ Given other manifestations of violence I observed around the world during my childhood, including exploitation of peoples in Africa, Asia and Central/South America as well as destruction of the environment, the deeper question was always my focus: ‘Why violence?’

Well, despite considerable research over three decades, I was never content with any version of the answer to this question that I found. Consequently, 14 years in seclusion with Anita McKone ‘taking our own minds apart’ finally gave me the answer I wanted. In ugly detail. If you would like to read this answer, which explains the unrelenting ‘visible’, ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence that adults inflict on children and the enormous lifetime damage (including the legacy of unconscious fear, self hatred and powerlessness) that this causes, you can do so in ‘Why Violence?’ with our process described in ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’.

Needless to say, understanding a problem makes developing a strategy to address it far easier (which does not mean that the problem is easy to resolve). However, it is also the case that violence has many manifestations – notably including war, violence against huge sectors of the human population in various contexts (ranging from violence against women and indigenous peoples to military occupations and dictatorships), economic exploitation and destruction of the biosphere – and tackling each of these effectively requires its own sophisticated nonviolent strategy.

This is partly because certain manifestations of violence are structural – see ‘Violence, Peace, and Peace Research’ – or cultural – see ‘Cultural Violence’ – as Professor Johan Galtung describes these terms, and they originated long ago and have been recreated and ‘built-in’ over successive centuries.

However, it is important to understand that the nature of any given structure or cultural symbol/process reflects the psychology of those who create and/or maintain it. That is, it is dysfunctionalized human beings who create and maintain dysfunctional (that is, violent and/or exploitative) structures and cultures.

So, for example, while the origin of capitalism can be explained in terms of the development of economic structures and processes that took place over preceding centuries (in a particular socio-political-legal setting), fundamentally the exploitative nature of capitalism is a direct outcome of the badly damaged psychology of those men who progressively created it and now those men (and some women) who maintain it, expand it and primarily benefit from the manner in which it exploits most others.

And if those men and women were not psychologically damaged by the violence they suffered during childhood, then they would devote their efforts to creating egalitarian economic structures and processes that benefited everyone equally and nurtured the biosphere. In short, a human being who is psychologically whole regards the idea of killing or exploiting a fellow human being as deplorable. This is not a moral stance. It is a psychological outcome for the child who is parented lovingly: such parenting produces compassionate identification with others (and, in fact, everything that lives and the biosphere as a whole).

The same reasoning applies to the institution of war particularly as it has evolved and is now conducted by western nations, led by the US, and their allies such as Israel. War is a method of conducting conflict. It has a great many components including elites who promote war-for-profit by using various channels such as ‘think tanks’, the corporate media, government propaganda and education systems to call for and ‘justify’ it, political processes to order it, legal processes to defend it (including against those who take nonviolent action against it), military command, control and communication structures to plan and implement it, corporations employing a labor force to manufacture weapons and other hardware to be used in it, military personnel to deploy and fire the weapons, and citizens willing to pay taxes (or too scared to resist doing so) to finance it.

But at every level of the institution of war, and despite vast advances in peace, conflict and nonviolence theory and practice during the past 60 years, it requires individuals who were terrorized during their childhood into believing that killing fellow human beings is an appropriate way to deal with conflict (or, a variation, that killing human beings is a reasonable way to earn a wage or make a profit).

And because they are so psychologically damaged and now deeply embedded within the institution of war, consideration of alternatives to violence is only tokenistically contemplated, if at all (with occasional exceptions by those whose conscience survived the childhood violence they suffered). If you like, you can read a little more about how childhood violence creates insane individuals who perpetuate violence and war in articles such as ‘The Global Elite is Insane Revisited’ but there is plenty more on that website.

In essence, if most human beings were not so psychologically damaged by the violence inflicted on them during childhood (leaving them unconsciously terrified, self-hating and powerless), there would be a mass uprising against the barbarity of war: the large-scale industrial slaughter of people like you.

So what are we to do?

Well, if we consider war as an outcome not of political and economic differences manifesting as military violence but, fundamentally, as an outcome of psychological dysfunctionality preventing intelligent resolution of conflict, then our strategy for ending war can acquire a sophistication it must otherwise lack. Put simply, by understanding the psychological roots of violence we can develop and implement a strategy that intelligently addresses these, both in the short and medium terms.

So how do we tackle, strategically, the interrelated set of problems that constitute the institution of war?

If your primary interest is focusing on war itself, check out the Nonviolent Strategy Wheel [https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/] which simply illustrates the 12-point strategic framework necessary to conduct an effective nonviolent campaign and then consider the basic list of 35 strategic goals necessary to end war https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/strategic-aims/]. Choose one or a few goals appropriate to your circumstances and conduct a strategically-oriented nonviolent campaign, as explained on the same website, to achieve those goals.

If you are concerned that you need some form of military defense against those who might attack your country, it is actually strategically superior to use a strategy of nonviolent defense, which is explained in detail in The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach and presented more simply in Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy [https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/]. In fact, this strategic framework can be used to plan and implement a nonviolent strategy to defend against a foreign invading power or a political/military coup, to liberate your country from a dictatorship or a foreign occupation, or to defeat a genocidal assault.

As an aside, if your preferred focus is the climate catastrophe, some other assault on the biosphere or a social justice campaign of any kind, the Nonviolent Strategy website will assist you to develop a comprehensive and focused strategy.

When conducting any campaign, keep in mind a clear understanding of ‘Nonviolent Action: Why and How it Works’ and remember the distinction between ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’. By keeping these points in mind, your campaign (including each of your tactics) will be focused for strategic impact.

If your interest in ending war is more focused on undermining it at its source, consider making ‘My Promise to Children’ and nisteling, whenever appropriate, to children too. See ‘Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening’.

This will mean that any children in your life are supported, at least by you, to become self-loving and powerful individuals who are immune to the seductions and indoctrination of those who advocate and make war while developing the capacity to pursue life-enhancing behavioral options when dealing with conflict.

If parenting children in this manner feels beyond you, consider allowing yourself the time to heal from the violence that you have suffered throughout your life. See ‘Putting Feelings First’.

And don’t forget: while depending on our psychological dysfunctionality to accept, finance and conduct war as a means of dealing with conflict, at its most mundane level, war is a conflict over resources, particularly fossil fuels, strategic minerals and fresh water, and it is our consumption of these, in all of those products (such as meat and cars) and services (like airline flights) that we buy, that fuels the wars conducted in our name while also destroying the biosphere in various other ways. (If you want to understand the psychological origin of this obsession with material goods, see ‘Love Denied: The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War’.) In short, there is no point deluding ourselves that we can subvert this violent world order without substantially reducing our consumption on all fronts.

So another way you can have strategic impact in undermining the institution of war (and capitalism), while slowing destruction of the biosphere, is to join those participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’. The Flame Tree Project outlines a simple plan for people to progressively reduce their consumption, by at least 80%, involving both energy and resources of every kind – water, household energy, transport fuels, metals, meat, paper and plastic – while dramatically expanding their individual and community self-reliance in 16 areas.

You might also be interested in signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ where the names of many people who are working to end war (and other violence) are already listed.

Ending war is not impossible. Far from it, in fact. But it is going to take a phenomenal amount of intelligent strategic effort, courage and commitment.

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here. [https://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com/]

“A Global Security System: An Alternative to War” – Now available in multiple formats

"We do not want a PAX Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women -- not merely peace in our time but peace for all time." - John F. Kennedy (1963)

The 10 most peaceful countries in the world Melissa Breyer (@MelissaBreyer) Living / Health September 21, 2017

here are the countries that ranked as most peaceful.

1. Iceland
2. New Zealand
3. Portugal
4. Austria
5. Denmark
6. Czech Republic
7. Slovenia
8. Canada
9. Switzerland
10. Ireland (tie)
10. Japan (tie)

If you're wondering how the United States fared specifically, it went from 103 in 2016 to 114 this year, dropping 11 spots.

Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world, while the largest regional drops in score happened in North America

How Sports, Military, Police and the Security Industry, Mixed with Trauma, Creates Modern Dangerous Macho Men American society doubles down on early socialization to create hyper masculinity.

Chris Hedges: Thou Shalt Not Kill The military in the United States portrays itself as endowed with the highest virtues—honor, duty, self-sacrifice, courage and patriotism. Politicians, entertainers, sports stars, the media, clerics and academics slavishly bow before the military machine, ignoring its colossal pillaging of state resources, the egregious war crimes it has normalized across the globe, its abject service not to democracy or freedom but corporate profit, and the blind, mind-numbing obedience it inculcates among its members. A lone soldier or Marine who rises up inside the system to denounce the hypermasculinity that glorifies violence and war, who exposes the false morality of the military, who refuses to kill in the service of imperial power, unmasks the military for what it is. And he or she, as Chelsea Manning has learned, swiftly pays a very, very heavy price.

Chris Hedges: “We Are In a Revolutionary Moment”: Chris Hedges Explains Why An Uprising Is Coming — And Soon The status quo is doomed but whether the future will be progressive or reactionary is uncertain, Hedges tells Salon

Hedges: Karl Marx Was Right Socialism, in other words, would not be possible until capitalism had exhausted its potential for further development. That the end is coming is hard now to dispute, although one would be foolish to predict when.

“The top five banks—JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—account,” the report went on, “for $64 billion of the total subsidy, an amount roughly equal to their typical annual profits. In other words, the banks occupying the commanding heights of the U.S. financial industry—with almost $9 trillion in assets, more than half the size of the U.S. economy—would just about break even in the absence of corporate welfare. In large part, the profits they report are essentially transfers from taxpayers to their shareholders.”

Government expenditure accounts for 41 percent of GDP. Corporate capitalists intend to seize this money, hence the privatization of whole parts of the military, the push to privatize Social Security, the contracting of corporations to collect 70 percent of intelligence for our 16 intelligence agencies, as well as the privatization of prisons, schools and our disastrous for-profit health care service. None of these seizures of basic services make them more efficient or reduce costs. That is not the point. It is about feeding off the carcass of the state. And it ensures the disintegration of the structures that sustain capitalism itself.

The capitalists respond to the collapse of their domestic economies, which they engineered, by becoming global loan sharks and speculators. They lend money at exorbitant interest rates to the working class and the poor, even if they know the money could never be repaid, and then sell these bundled debts, credit default swaps, bonds and stocks to pension funds, cities, investment firms and institutions. This late form of capitalism is built on what Marx called “fictitious capital.” And it leads, as Marx knew, to the vaporization of money.

What we saw in 2008 was the enactment of a welfare state for the rich, a kind of state socialism for the financial elites that Marx predicted. But with this comes an increased and volatile cycle of boom and bust, bringing the system closer to disintegration and collapse. We have undergone two major stock market crashes and the implosion of real estate prices in just the first decade of the 21st century.

The Cost of Choosing Not to Fight

6 Habits of Highly Empathic People

Modern Pestilence: Leaf Blowers Generate Infuriating Noise, Toxic Gases and Hazardous Dust Blasting out air at hurricane-force speeds, leaf blowers spread allergens, toxins, pollutants and pathogens into the air we breathe.?

Tikkun Daily in Hebrew "tikkun olam" means to heal the world.

Iraq Veterans Against the War We advocate for the self-determination of all people, in this case the people of Iraq. Any solution to this crisis must come from them... When the United States invaded and occupied Iraq, the formerly secular country was destabilized. The United States and the Department of Defense intentionally created and agitated sectarian divisions that would not have otherwise existed.

A New Nuclear Arms Race: Why Peace Activists Must Wage an Open Battle Against the Democratic Party By Scott Tucker. The New York Times published a front-page story on Sept. 22 titled “U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal In Nuclear Arms”... KANSAS CITY, Mo.—A sprawling new plant here in a former soybean field makes the mechanical guts of America’s atomic warheads. Bigger than the Pentagon, full of futuristic gear and thousands of workers, the plant, dedicated last month, modernizes the weapons that the United States can fire from missiles, bombers and submarines... It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers... This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for ‘a nuclear-free world’ and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy.... Obama does not just adapt to circumstances, but he is a commander in chief who is an agent of war and empire... This huckster of hope and change keeps his cool and serves the corporate state with conviction. "

A Quaker Perspective

"It's not just that a militarized approach to preventing extremism isn't working. It's that it can't work.

"But this militarized approach to problem-solving is evident even when US troops are not deployed. Since 9/11, the US has dramatically expanded its so-called security assistance programs, which provide training, support and weapons to armies and police forces around the world. Our country now provides military and police aid to more than 130 nations in an effort to combat violent extremism.

"This approach is not working. In 2013, "terrorist" attacks increased by 43 percent around the world over the previous year...

"...all too often the US is training the very forces that are fueling violent extremism.

"...it can't work. The fundamental problem of US security assistance -- as with other military tactics for carrying out foreign policy -- is that violence is not a solution to violence.

"This is as much of a practical position as it is a moral one. Violence does not address the reasons why people turn to violence in the first place, reasons such as economic injustice, scarcity of resources, political disenfranchisement, corruption and unemployment. Responding to violence with force may feel effective, but it does not create the conditions under which peace -- and true security -- can flourish" (FCNL [Friends' Council on National Legislation] Newsletter. June, 2015).

An American Awakening to the Addiction of War The list of U.S. government abuses and failures to protect stretches far and wide, an alphabet soup of depravity: PRISM, NDAA, CISPA, SOPA, Patriot Act, the Monsanto Protection Act, drones, secret kill lists, Guantanamo Bay, DNA tests, Abu Ghraib, Afghan Massacre, Keystone, Tar Sands, Hanford. I’m certain you’ll think of more.”

This is your government on war. An unnatural, synthesized invention, war courses through Congress, city halls and the Oval Office. Paranoia, fear, consumption, degradation, enslavement, betrayal and suffering – these are the family values of a nation on war.

Our government’s addiction consumes the domestic budget, leaving little for health, education or infrastructure. It invades privacy and creates enemies through paranoia and fear, painting its opposition as savage, barbaric, shady, and justifying oppression, enslavement, torture and murder. It desecrates the natural world, poisoning the veins of the Earth and its abundance, waging chemical warfare and extracting the resources to do so.

We need an intervention, an American Awakening, to end the inevitable suffering of the American people – indeed, the global village – at the whims of mega users. Want to protect the Fourth Amendment? Want to protect them all? Call for a 28th Amendment – an amendment to abolish the slavery of addiction, an amendment to abolish war.

Section 1. The American people, in accordance with the promotion of international justice, peace, human rights and dignity, hereby renounce the use of organized, armed force to resolve intra- and inter-state conflict; neither war nor war-making processes shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall neither make nor approve war, nor approve of the use of military force, as a means for resolving intra- and inter-state conflict.

Section 3. The United States shall neither make nor keep locations of detention for prisoners of war, and all prisoners, upon recognition, shall be released to their respective home nations or non-military, judicial courts.

101 Tools for Tolerance "simple ideas for promoting equity and diversity" - see Hate in the News and Tolerance in the News
ACTIVISM page of links
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An Alternative to War "people in positions of great wealth and power tend not to be good people. Rather they tend to be greedy, ruthless, power hungry, dishonest, cruel—-in short, evil people"
American Friends Service Committee
AmidEast nonprofit organization seeking to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between Americans and the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa
Amnesty International
AntiWar.com
Arm Sales Monitor works for restraint in the global production and trade of weapons
Baring Witness "When 45 Marin County, California women were photographed on November 12, 2002, forming the word PEACE with their naked bodies, it struck a deep chord around the world. Our exposure of the vulnerable human flesh we all share has created a powerful statement against the naked aggression of our country’s policies"
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Centre for Research on Globalisation from Michel Chossudovsky, author of The Globalisation of Poverty
Council for a Livable World "The Council for a Livable World is among the nation's preeminent arms control organizations and focuses on halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction, opposing a national missile defense system, cutting Pentagon waste and reducing excessive arms exports. The Council is also a political lobby which endorses political candidates"
Crisis Group working to prevent conflict worldwide
Cross-Cultural Understanding, A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to grade 6-12 lesson plans and activities that build cross-cultural awareness, respect, and communication
E-Conflict World Encyclopedia eradicate conflict by learning about other countries and cultures
Fascism Anyone? defines the fourteen key characteristics of fascism
A Force More Powerful the history of a century of nonviolent protest
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Green Net "supporting and promoting groups and individuals working for peace, human rights and the environment"
Gush Shalom Targeted: The War Crimes Scandal report from The Other Israel
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International Campaign to Ban Landmines
International Peace Bureau (IPB)
IRAQ page of links
Kill 'Em With Kindness alternative thinking about our response to the crisis
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Love and Dissent "We cannot find money to educate our children, we cannot find money for health care for our elders, we cannot find the 1.9 billion dollars that the veterans administration needs to care for the veterans of past wars. No, there is no money for that. But we can find 80 billion dollars to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq. This is wrong"
Mideast Web for Coexistence network of Arabs, Jews and others who want to see peace in the Middle East
Mothers Against Violence in America (MAVIA)
MoveOn major peace activist site
Moving On: A New Kind of Peace Activism
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No War Collective
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Nonviolent Peace Force
The Other Israel gives the other side not usually reported
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Peace Action
Peace Buttons read about them; purchase them
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Peace Work monthly journal from AFSC
PEACENET --alerts on current issues and dissents
The Press and the Myths of War "If we saw how war turns young people into intoxicated killers, how it gives soldiers a license to destroy not only things but other human beings, and if we saw the perverse thrill such destruction brings, we would be horrified and frightened... If we saw the deep psychological scars of slaughter, the way it maims and stunts those who participate in war for the rest of their lives, we would keep our children away. Indeed, it would be hard to wage war"
Reporting Limits During War
Saying No To War "Last week the International Criminal Court was initiated with the formal election of judges. Next month the court will be official. Its purpose is exactly to deal with offenses like those of which Saddam stands accused... The court intends on the world scene what has already happened within nations -- the replacement of violent force with the force of law. A true alternative to war... But the 139 nations that signed the agreement no longer include the United States, since George W. Bush ''unsigned'' that treaty early in his term... lays bare the world's gravest problem -- an American contempt for the creation of alternatives to war"
Sept. 11 Talking Points
STOP THE WAR
Stop the War on Iraq United for Peace website lists anti-war events
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Ten Reasons Why Many Gulf War Veterans Oppose Re-Invading Iraq
Tolerance.org latest news, plus sections for parents, kids, teachers
Truth Out
United for Peace & Justice news source about peace efforts
Veterans Against the Iraq War "While other Americans pontificate and theorize about war, we know about its cruel reality. The present Administration is led by men and women who chose not to serve in the military and today have little understanding of war and no comprehension of its consequences"
Veterans for Peace "We know the consequences of American foreign policy because once, at a time in our lives, so many of us carried it out. We find it sad that war seems so delightful, so often, to those that have no knowledge of it"
Veterans for Common Sense "In an age when the majority of public servants [read "politicians"] have never served in uniform" veterans wish to be heard on questions of national security
Voices in the Wilderness camaign to end the economic sanctions against the people of Iraq
War is a Racket words of a highly-decorated marine
The War Prayer, by Mark Twain what remains unsaid in a prayer for God's support of a war
War Tax Resistance "What would you do if someone came to your door with a cup in hand asking for a contribution to help buy guns to kill a group of people they didn't like?"
War Times being produced to help broaden and deepen the fight against the Bush program by compiling information and analysis, and putting them into the hands of large numbers of readers
The Warmongers Are Liars Global Eye article by Chris Floyd.
Wellstone Action trains people in progressive politics; focuses on universal healthcare, economic justice issues, and ending domestic violence
What's the Alternative to Military Action Against Iraq? article
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Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures highlights ways that people are working for a just, sustainable, and compassionate future


Peaceful Tomorrows September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was born out of a shared belief that America’s military response to the 9/11 attacks which took our loved ones’ lives would result in the deaths of countless innocent civilians and increase recruitment for terrorist causes, making the United States, and the world, less safe and less free for generations to come
Code Pink anti-war group


"...the Pentagon has requested a total of $1.3 billion for a new type of land mine...

"Since the early 1990s, when the movement to ban land mines became widespread, forty mine-producing countries stopped producing, and millions of land mines have been destroyed, the result being that the casualty rate dropped from 26,000 people a year to between 15,000 and 20,000. But fifteen countries still insist on producing land mines [including the US]...

"...in the Second World War more than half of those who died were civilians...

"Strada rejects the idea of "humanitarian wars," as I do. I can accept that there may be rare situations where a small act of force might be used to halt a genocidal situation (Rwanda is an example). But war, defined as the massive and indiscriminate use of force (and technology dictates that any large-scale use of force cannot be focused on a particular evil-doer) cannot be accepted, once you understand its human consequences...

"Albert Enstein, horrified by the First World War, said: "War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished"" (Howard Zinn. "A Surgeon's Touch." The Progressive, Sep. 2005: 14-15).


"It is organized violence on the top which creates individual violence at the bottom" --Emma Goldman

"... the 19th century's anarchist Emma Goldman's warning about the consequences of the use of unlawful physical force to resolve conflict...

"... nary a word has been mentioned about the influence of violence upon a society that has become not only fascinated by, but has come to deify, it.

"Particularly when it comes to youth we see this idolatry manifest itself today, fueled by graphic international conflicts, movies, television, computer games and, to some degree, music...

"Kids' TV often has a particularly bad kind of violence--the humorous kind...

"Added to this mix is the ever-present influence of a corporatist culture willing to use exploited violence and unfettered competitiveness as a means to satisfy its own insatiable greed while a supportive government cheers it on under the guise of a free-market economy...

"...we have not made peace and non-violence attractive. Perhaps, this is because we ourselves have never really understood what they mean. Our concept of peace has always been framed in terms of the final and stabilized goals of a given conflict.

"True peace, as the famed child educator Dr. Maria Montessori reminds us, "suggests the triumph of justice and love among men; it reveals the existence of a better world wherein harmony reigns"... [from her pamphlet Peace and Education]...

[More from the pamphlet] ""The obedience which is expected of the child both in home and in the school--an obedience admitting neither of reason nor of justice--prepares [them] to be docile to blind forces.

""The punishment, so frequent in schools, which consists in subjecting the culprit to public reprimand and is almost tantamount to the torture of the pillory, fills the soul with a crazy, unreasoning fear of public opinion, manifestly unjust and false," the noted educator adds.

"The perfect and infallible discipline therefore becomes synonymous with slavery for the child...

"[From Montessori again] "The virtue worthy above all others of public encouragement and of reward has always been triumphing over one's school fellows in competitions, and the gaining in examinations of the decisive victory allowing one to pass from one year to another of a monotonous existence of perpetual servitude.

""[Children] brought up in this way have been prepared neither to fight and be victorious, not to conquer truth and possess it, nor to love others and join with them in striving for a better life.

""Their education has prepared them rather for an incident, a mere episode of real community life: war. For in reality, the cause of war does not lie in armaments, but in the [individuals] who make use of them"" (A.V. Krebs. "Sacrificing Childhood to Idolatry of Violence." Progressive Populist, May 1, 2005: 7).


"To their credit, would-be presidential candidate Senator Russell Feingold and former Senator Gary Hart have recently made strong antiwar statements. More recently two other presidential contenders, Senator John Kerry and former Senator John Edwards, have begun to call for a shift in policy, though still in vague and reticent terms. More typical, however, are the other presidential hopefuls, Senators Hillary Clinton, Joseph Biden and Evan Bayh, who continue to huddle for cover in "the center." They offer little alternative to Bush's refrain "We must stay the course!"" ("Democrats and the War." The Nation, Nov. 28, 2005: 3).,p.


"A group of internationally known figures, celebrated both for their talent and their dedication to human rights (Gino Strada, Paul Farmer, Kurt Vonnegut, Nadien Gordimer, Eduardo Galeano, and others), will soon launch a worldwide campaign to enlist tens of millions of people in a movement for the renunciation of war, hoping to reach the point where governments, facing popular resistence, will find it difficult or impossible to wage war.

"There is a persistent argument against such a possibility, which I have heard from people on all parts of the political spectrum: we will never do away with war because it comes out of human nature. The most compelling counter to that claim is in history: We ''t find people spontaneously rushing to make war on others. What we find, rather, is that governments must make the most strenuous efforts to mobilize populations for war. They must entice soldiers with promises of money, education, must hold out to young people whose chances in life look very poor that here is an opportunity to attain respect and status. And if those enticements ''t work, governments must use coercion: They must conscript young people, force them into military service, threaten them with prison if they do not comply" (Howard Zinn. "After the War." The Progressive, Jan. 2006: 16-18).


"It is orgnaized violence on the top which creates individual violence at the bottom" -Emma Goldman

"...the 19th century's anarchist Emma Goldman's warning about the consequences of the use of unlawful physical force to resolve conflict...

"[We are] a society that has become not only fascinated by, but has come to deify [violence]

"Particularly when it comes to youth we see this idolatry manifest itself today, fueled by graphic international conflicts, movies, television, computer games and, to some degree, music...

"Kids' TV often has a particularly bad kind of violence--the humorous kind...

"Added to this mix is the ever-present influence of a corporatist culture willing to use exploited violence and unfettered competitiveness as a means to satisfy its own insatiable greed while a supportive government cheers it on under the guise of a free-market economy...

"We can argue that we have not made peace and non-violence attractive. Perhaps, this is because we ourselves have never really understood what they mean. Our concept of peace has always been framed in terms of the final and stabilized goals of a given conflict.

"True peace, as the famed child educator Dr. Maria Montessori reminds us, "suggests the triumph of justice and love among men; it reveals the existence of a better world werein harmony reigns"... [her] pamphlet Peace and Education...

""The obedience which is expected of the child both in home and in the school--an obedience admitting neither of reason nore of justice--prepares [them] to be docile to blind forces.

""The punishment, so frequent in schools, which consists in subjecting the culprit to public reprimand and is almost tantamount to the torture of the pillory, fills the soul with a crazy, unreasoning fear of public opinion, manifestly unjust and false" the noted educator adds.

"The perfect and infallible discipline therefore becomes synonymous with slavery for the child...

""The virue worthy above all others of public encouragement and of reward has always been triumphing over one's school fellows in competitions, and the gaining in examinations of the decisive victory allowing one to pass from one year to another of a monotonous existence of perpetual servitude.

""[Children] brought up in this way have been prepared neither to fight and be victorious, not to conquer truth and possess it, nor to love others and join with them in striving for a better life.

""Their education has prepared them rather for an incident, a mere episode of real community life: war. For in reality, the cause of war does not lie in armaments, but in the [individuals] who make use of them"" (A.V. Krebs. "Sacrificing Childhood to Idolatry of Violence." Populist Progressive, May 1, 2005: 7).


"If we ''t know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives. I am not speaking of the history we learned in school, a history subservient to our political leaders, from the much-admired Founding Fathers to the Presidents of recent years. I mean a history which i honest about the past. If we ''t know that history, then any President can stand up to the battery of microphones, declare that we must go to war, and we will have no basis for challenging him. He will say that the nation is in danger, that democracy and liberty are at stake, and that we must therefore send ships and planes to destroy our new enemy, and we will have no reason to disbelieve him...

"But if we know some history, if we know how many times Presidents have made similar declarations to the country, and how they turned out to be lies, we will not be fooled. Although some of us may pride ourselves that we were never fooled, we still might accept as our civic duty the responsibility to buttress our fellow citizens against the mendacity of our high officials.

"We would remind whoever we can that President Polk Lied to the nation about the reason for going to war with Mexico in 1846. It wasn't that Mexico "shed American blood upon the American soil," but that Polk, and the slave-owning aristocracy, coveted half of Mexico.

"We would point out that President McKinley lied in 1898 about the reason for invading Cuba, saying we wanted to liberate the Cubans from Spanish control, but the truth is that we really wanted Spain out of Cuba so that the island could be open to United Fruit and other American corporations. He also lied about the reasons for our war in the Philippines, claiming we only wanted to "civilize" the Filipinos, while the real reason was to own a valuable piece of real estate in the far Pacific, even if we had to kill hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to accomplish that.

"President Woodrow Wilson--so often characterized in our history books as an "idealist"--lied about the reasons for entering the First World War, saying it was a war to "make the world safe for democracy," when it was really a war to make the world safe for the Western imperial powers.

"Harry Truman lied when he said the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima because it was "a military target."

"Everyone lied about Vietnam--Kennedy about the extent of our involvement, Johnson about the Gulf of Tonkin, Nixon about the secret bombing of Cambodia, all of them claiming it was to keep South Vietnam free of communism, but really wanting to keep South Vietnam as an American outpost at the edge of the Asian continent.

"Reagan lied about the invasion of Grenada, claiming falsely that it was a threat to the United States.

"The elder Bush lied about the invasion of Panama, leading to the death of thousands of ordinary citizens in that country.

"And he lied again about the reason for attacking Iraq in 1991--hardly to defend the integrity of Kuwait (can one imagine Bush heartstricken over Iraq's taking of Kuwait?), rather to assert US power in the oil-rich Middle East.

"Given the overwhelming record of lies told to justify wars, how could anyone listening to the younger Bush believe him as he laid out the reasons for invading Iraq? Would we not instinctively rebel against the sacrifice of lives for oil?...

"A careful reading of history might give us another safeguard against being deceived. It would make clear that there has always been, and is today, a profound conflict of interest between the government and the people of the United States. This thought startles most people, because it goes against everything we have been taught.

"We have been led to believe that, from the beginning, as our Founding Fathers put it in the Preamble to the Constitution, it was "we the people" who established the new government after the Revolution. When the eminent historian Charles Beard suggested, a hundred years ago, that the Constitution represented not the working people, not the slaves, but the slave-holders, he became the object of an indignant editorial in The New York Times...

"Our present leaders are not so candid. They bombard us with phrases like "national interest," "national security," and "national defense" as if all of these concepts applied equally to all of us, colored or white, rich or poor, as if General Motors and Halliburton have the same interests as the rest of us, as if George Bush has the same interest as the young man or woman he sends to war.

"Surely, in the history of lies told to the population, this is the biggest lie. In the history of secrets, withheld from the American people, this is thebiggest secret: that there are classes with different interests in this country. To ignore that--not to know that the history of our country is a history of slaveowner against slave, landlord against tenant, corporation against worker, rich against poor--is to render us helpless before all the lesser lies told to us by people in power...

"We must face our long history of ethnic cleansing, in which millions of Indians were driven off their land by means of massacres and forced evacuations. And our long history, still not behind us, of slavery, segregation, and racism. We must face our record of imperial conquest, in the Caribbean and in the Pacific, our shameful wars against small countries a tenth of our size: Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq. And the lingering memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is not a history of which we can be proud.

"Our leaders have taken it for granted, and planted that belief in the minds of many people, that we are entitled, because of our moral superiority, to dominate the world...

"A more honest estimate of ourselves as a nation would prepare us all for the next barrage of lies that will accompany the next proposal to inflict our power on some other part of the world. It might also inspire us to creat a different history for ourselves, by taking our country away from the liars and killers who govern it, and by rejecting nationalist arrogance, so that we can join the rest of the human race in the common cause of peace and justice" (Howard Zinn. "America's Blinders." The Progressive, April 2006: 22-24).


Mothersday

"...Mother's Day was not meant to be a crassly commercialized, rose-scented tribute to sweet, docile mom. Rather, it began as a bold cry by mothers for all mothers to rise up against war. In the 1860s, thousands of mothers were devastated by the brutal slaughter of the Civil War, and many dared to stand up (at a time when women coulc not even vote) to decry war in the name of motherhood--and to urge that all mothers become a force for peace...

"Over the long haul, CodePink is working for a world without war. To join the effort, go to www.code-pink4peace.org" (Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer. "The Real Mother's Day." The Hightower Lowdown, June 2006: 1).


Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS, Professor Emeritus