How can anyone sleep at night? My first nightmare about environmental crisis occurred in 1990. I was eight years old. In it, acid rain poured from the sky, scalding the skin of humans and stripping holes in the leaves of trees. On either side of a long, ashen-gray street, billowing plumes of smog chugged out of smokestacks. I was running, searching for sanctuary from the toxic waste. Nowhere was safe.
The last thing any of us need is a war with Russia over the Ukraine. You don’t need to know much about foreign policy to know that. Let the pundits and talking heads argue about the nuances of NATO and war maneuvers at the border of Russia. For most Americans, there are at least four sensible reasons (beyond the basic horror that is war) to oppose escalating this conflict with Russia.
Have yall learned absolutely nothing?
The U.S. government’s internal memos said that the only way to get Iraq to use its weapons if it even had any would be to attack it. The U.S. government’s public statements were that Iraq certainly had weapons and therefore must be attacked. The U.S. government itself had every single one of the weapons in question, and knew Iraq used to have some of them because the U.S. had provided them.
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.
Something feels bizarre about living in the current era, the era in which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just concluded that we’re metaphorically 100 seconds away from the extinction of humanity. This strange feeling has been present for a while now, going back to when the Bulletin’s “Doomsday Clock” reached 2 minutes to midnight in January of 2018 for the first time since 1953.
David Swanson was to speak at a conference in Florence, Italy, on April 25, 2020. The conference became a video instead. Below is the video and text of Swanson’s portion. As soon as we receive the video or text of the whole, in Italian or English, we will post it at worldbeyondwar.org. The video aired on April 25 on PandoraTV and on ByoBlu. Details on the full conference are here.
Ed Mays on Aug 12, 2019
David Swanson gave this keynote address to a gathering of peace activists at the annual Ground Zero Hiroshima/Nagasaki Weekend marking the 74th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombing. The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo WA was established in 1977, just as the Bangor Trident Submarine Base was being built, and sits on land directly adjacent to the base. The actual keynote title was: “The Myths, the Silence, and the Propaganda That Keep Nuclear Weapons in Existence.”
Last updated: March 7, 2015
with Noam Chomsky
strugglevideomedia on Mar 2, 2015
Speaking at the “Nuclear Free World” conference 3/1/15 in New York City Noam Chomsky speaks about the long history of U.S. policymakers risking everything in order to increase the power of the U.S. government over some part of the world. Again and again the actual safety of American people was risked.
“I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita … “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” (J. Robert Oppenheimer, 22nd April 1904 – 18th February 1967, Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project, on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.)
Chilling ironies surely do not come much greater than the Nobel Peace Prize winning President of the United States, in an election year, having contributed to global instability and the possibility of nuclear conflict, to such an extent that the “Doomsday Clock”, maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, has this week been moved to five minutes to midnight.