David Swanson and Charles Lenchner: Refusing Military “Service”

resist don't enlist

Image by Kate Tomlinson via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Jan. 4, 2022
January 5, 2022

This week on Talk World Radio we’re talking about refusing military “service.” Our guest Charles Lenchner is a veteran peace activist, organizer, and political campaigner. Born in the United States, he grew up in Israel where he became an anti-occupation activist at a young age. In 1987, he was drafted into the Israeli Army and subsequently refused orders and spent time in military prison. More recently he was a co-founder of People for Bernie Sanders and today is part of the RootsAction team that publishes ProgressiveHub. I also work for RootsAction.

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The U.S. Military Is Registering 15-Year-Olds for the Draft, by David Swanson

Repeal the U.S. Military Selective Service Act

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writers, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
December 19, 2021

Most U.S. states still have excuses when asked to make voter registration automatic, but in various states — including here in Virginia — draft registration is automatic even for 15-year-olds who want a learner’s permit to drive a car. (This is still only for males, as Congress did not, in the end, extend draft registration to females, at least until next year — once in a while Democrats’ obeisance to Republicans works out well.) The application for the learner’s permit in Virginia, for which you must be 15-and-a-half-years-old, says:
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Reflecting on the Dawn of Everything, by David Swanson

Dawn

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Nov. 30, 2021
December 1, 2021

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow is, I think, a terrific contribution to human knowledge and guide to pursuing more of the same — as well as a notable accomplishment for the Davids of the world, who have perhaps been falling a bit short lately. A few of the points it documents and persuades of are:

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David Swanson: Those 80 Dead Were All Human Beings

Syria protest nyc_july10_DSC_0006

Image by Michael Fleshman via Flickr

with David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Nov. 15, 2021
November 16, 2021

“Why in the heck should it be legal or moral to blow up 80 people if you label them non-civilians?” — David Swanson

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Tell the Truth: Veterans Day Is A National Day of Lying, by David Swanson

LIES

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Nov. 2, 2018
Originally published Nov. 12, 2018
November 11, 2021

Some are inclined to recognize that Trumpies are dwelling in an alternative universe in which neither climate collapse nor nuclear apocalypse is a concern but terrifying wild hoards of Muslim Hondurans are skipping and dancing into the Fatherland armed with gang symbols, deadly rocks, and socialistic tendencies.

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David Swanson and Daniel Ellsberg: The Most Dangerous Missiles

Nuclear Nightmare - Open Your Eyes And Awake !

Image by Daniel Arrhakis via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Oct. 24, 2021
October 26, 2021

Daniel Ellsberg is a former U.S. military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military’s account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times.

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David Swanson and Margaret Kimberley: Powell, Obama, Alex Saab and Assange

Close-up of a poster on a pole with a message "Free Julian Assange"

Image by Ivan Radic via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Oct. 18, 2021
October 20, 2021

Margaret Kimberley is a co-founder and Executive Editor and Senior Columnist for Black Agenda Report, a recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism, a board member of Consortium News, and a recipient of a 2021 Women and Media Award from the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press.

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Even in Death There is No Flag Large Enough to Cover the Shame of Killing Innocent People, by Kenn Orphan + Colin Powell’s Own Staff Had Warned Him Against His War Lies, by David Swanson

"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people" by Howard Zinn

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by Kenn Orphan
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Halifax, Nova Scotia
October 18, 2021

Colin Powell just died from Covid-19. So we should expect a tsunami of mourning from politicians, the mainstream media and even some liberals who seem to enjoy sanitizing the murderous lives of the ruling class. Those of us on the left who refuse to play the games of polite society when it comes to war crimes will be chastised. And he will take his place among the “great generals” of the American Empire. All warmongering societies do this, so it should come as no surprise. But no amount of eulogies can erase the truth.

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David Swanson: We Oppose All Sides of All Wars

No allegiance to war, torture and lies

Image by Matthew Bradley via Flickr

with David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Oct. 8, 2021
October 12, 2021

Yuri muckraker on Oct 8, 2021

On this special episode ONE HUNDRETH/100TH EPISODE OF 1+1 I was rejoined by the brilliant Peace activist, anti-imperialist thinker, journalist, radio show host, NGO critic and wonderful human being David Swanson of World Beyond War, Talk Nation Radio, and Roots Action on to discuss and have him do some much needed mythbusting on “good wars.”

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David Swanson and Carissa Byrne Hessick: Punishment Without Trial: Why Plea Bargaining Is a Bad Deal

Prisoner

Image by Truthout.org via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Oct. 5, 2021
October 6, 2021

This week on Talk World Radio: a new book called Punishment Without Trial: Why Plea Bargaining Is a Bad Deal.

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What Ending a War Could Look Like, by David Swanson + Abby Martin: Afghanistan War Pays Off BIG For Generals Who Lied

End-War

Image by Kevin Wong via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Sept. 4, 2021
September 7, 2021

When you imagine ending a war, do you imagine the U.S. President lamenting the human cost of the war’s financial expense while simultaneously demanding that Congress increase military spending — and while mentioning new wars that could potentially be launched?

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They’re About to Add Women to Military Draft in the Name of Feminism, by David Swanson

Repeal the U.S. Military Selective Service Act

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writers, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Aug. 30, 2021
September 2, 2021

In some future lovely little war, perhaps with China or some other demonized target, some percentage of the U.S. public may suddenly exclaim: “Hey, since when does a draft include young women as well as men?!” Old tunes will be revised and sung in protest with lyrics about being the first one on your block to have your daughter come home in a box. The tragedies will be played out in tears and screams and flag-covered propaganda-regurgitating rationalizations. Dead women and men will be thanked for the service of stirring up World War III before being dumped in the ground to rot, as some of the living begin to envy them and wonder about the merits of the service they’ve provided.

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War: Ever More Present and Absent, by David Swanson

No war

Image by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Aug. 24, 2021
August 25, 2021

In many ways, war is ever more and less visible. Of course in U.S. academia, the Pinkerist pretense that we are living through a period of great peace is accomplished by all sorts of statistical manipulation, but first and foremost by declaring civil wars to not be wars, and declaring U.S. wars to be civil wars — a tricky thing to do when the minute the U.S. leaves, Afghans, for example, decline to keep killing each other (damn them!).

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Lies, Damn Lies, and What We’ve Been Told About Afghanistan, by David Swanson

Lies

Image by tq2cute via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, Aug. 17, 2021
August 18, 2021

It’s far from the longest U.S. war. There was no peace before or after it. There is no after it until they end it — and bombing has always been most of what it is. It has had nothing to do with opposing terrorism. It has been a one-sided slaughter, a mass killing over two decades by a single invading army and air force dragging along token mascots from dozens of vassal states. After 20 years Afghanistan was one of the worst places to be on Earth, and the Earth as a whole was a worse place to be — the rule of law, the state of nature, the refugee crises, the spread of terrorism, the militarization of governments all worsened. Then the Taliban took over.

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Hiroshima Is A Lie, by David Swanson

"XX-34 BADGER" atmospheric nuclear test - April 1953

Image by The Official CTBTO Photostream via Flickr

with David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
August 5, 2021

In 2015, Alice Sabatini was an 18-year-old contestant in the Miss Italia contest in Italy. She was asked what epoch of the past she would have liked to live in. She replied: WWII. Her explanation was that her text books go on and on about it, so she’d like to actually see it, and she wouldn’t have to fight in it, because only men did that. This led to a great deal of mockery. Did she want to be bombed or starved or sent to a concentration camp? What was she, stupid? Somebody photoshopped her into a picture with Mussolini and Hitler. Somebody made an image of a sunbather viewing troops rushing onto a beach.[i]

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