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.”
Historical fiction is a special and important genre. It can bring history to life, but more importantly it can allow us to put ourselves in the lives of those of another time, another context. There is a strong tendency in the United States toward historical amnesia. This is perhaps one of the biggest character flaws of the country. Floating in a constant now there is a complex, but highly malleable, context that disappears in the moment. This can drain the richness from our lives, set us on paths both personally and societally destructive, and perhaps most importantly, totally erode the concept of free will replacing it with faux will.
Every government on earth, beginning with the United States, should shut down and be done with secret agencies, spy agencies, agencies used for murder, torture, bribery, election-manipulation, and coups.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of World BEYOND War and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. The U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation awarded him their 2018 Peace Prize, and he has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I have wondered if the German Field-Marshal Friedrich Paulus after his defeat and capture by Russians at Stalingrad in February 1943 really changed when as a prisoner of war in Soviet Russia he joined the National Committee For A Free Germany and the anti-Fascist Union of German Officers. Were his words sincere when he broadcast anti-fascist messages to Germany over Radio Moskau? Did he betray his entire background, his military career and the homeland he had fought for in order to save his life? Was he a traitor to Germany, to his beloved wife and to himself?
“No policies in human history have more deserved to be recognized as immoral or insane. The story of how this calamitous predicament came about and how and why it has persisted over a half a century is a chronicle of human madness. Whether Americans, Russians, and other humans can rise to the challenge of reversing these policies and eliminating the danger of near-term extinction caused by their own inventions and proclivities remains to be seen. I choose to join with others in acting as if that is still possible.””
“Your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings… are… a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.” – Frederick Douglass, July 4th, 1852
The unproven allegation that the Russian government helped us find out how the DNC was screwing Bernie Sanders with his pants on is not actually a moral, legal, or practical reason to launch a spree of mass-killing of innocents, which is what every war since WWII has been.
“In Fascism, the proletariat is confronted by an extraordinarily dangerous enemy. Fascism is the concentrated expression of the general offensive undertaken by the world bourgeoisie against the proletariat. Its overthrow is therefore an absolute necessity, nay, it is even a question of the every-day existence and of the bread and butter of every ordinary worker. On these grounds the whole of the proletariat must concentrate on the fight against Fascism. It will be much easier for us to defeat Fascism if we clearly and distinctly study its nature.” — Clara Zetkin, Labour Monthly, August 1923
My generation has seen that history does repeat itself. We know world wars I and II and we have seen “regime change” in action from country to country, from Libya to Iraq. Those who think that history does not repeat itself might read some of these lines about what once happened and what is happening today.