PressTV: Can’t we move to a world beyond war?

US troops in AfghanistanUS troops in Afghanistan

Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:28PM GMT

David Swanson

There exists, I suppose, some slight chance of this one making it into the State of the Union address, no doubt in a distorted, bellicose, and xenophobic disguise.

Typically, there’s no chance of any announcement at all.

We’re stopping another war.

There are a million qualifications that need to be put on that statement. None of them render it false. A bill looked likely to move through Congress that would have imposed new sanctions on Iran, shredded the negotiated agreement with Iran, and committed the United States to join in any Israeli war on Iran. This would be a step toward war and has become understood as such by large numbers of people. Efforts to sell sanctions as an alternative to war failed. Tons of pushback has come, and is still coming, from the public, including from numerous organizations not always known for their opposition to war. And the bill, for the moment, seems much less likely to pass.

This is no time to let up, but to recognize our power and press harder for peace.

Pushback against the sanctions bill has come from the White House, from within the military, and from elsewhere within the government. But this bill was something the warmongers wanted, AIPAC wanted, a majority of U.S. senators wanted, and corporate media outlets were happy to support. The underlying pretense that Iran has a nuclear weapons program that endangers the world had the support of the White House and most other opponents of the March-to-War bill. That pretense has been successfully sold to much of the public. The additional supporting pretense that sanctions have helped, rather than hindered, diplomacy has similar widespread backing. But when it comes to a measure understood as a step into war, the public is saying no, and that public response is a factor in the likely outcome.

In this instance, President Obama has been on the right side of the debate. I’ve never known that to actually be true before. But there’s been a whole infrastructure of activism set up and fine-tuned for five years now, all based around the pretense that Obama was right on various points and Congress wrong. So, when that actually happened to be true, numerous organizations knew exactly what to do with it. War opposition and Obama-following merged. But let’s remember back to August and September. That was a different situation in which…

We stopped another war.

Raytheon’s stock was soaring. The corporate media wanted those missiles to hit Syria. Obama and the leadership of both parties wanted those missiles to hit Syria. The missiles didn’t fly.

Public pressure led the British Parliament to refuse a prime minister’s demand for war for the first time since the surrender at Yorktown, and the U.S. Congress followed suit by making clear to the U.S. president that his proposed authorization for war on Syria would not pass through either the Senate or the House. Numerous Congress members, from both houses and both parties, said they heard more from the public against this war than ever before on any issue. It helped that Congress was on break and holding town hall meetings. It helped that it was holidays and AIPAC wasn’t around.

And there were other factors. After the public pushed Congress to demand a say, Obama agreed to that. Perhaps he wanted something so controversial — something being talked about as “the next Iraq” — to go to Congress.  Perhaps he expected Congress would probably say No. In such a scenario, the decisive factor would remain the past decade of growing public sentiment against wars.  But I don’t think that’s what happened. Obama and Kerry were pushing hard and publicly for those missiles to fly. When they couldn’t get the “intelligence” agencies to back their fraudulent case, they announced it anyway.  Those lies are just being exposed now, in a very different context from that in which the Iraq war lies or the Afghanistan or Libya war lies have been exposed.  Obama told us to watch videos of children suffering and dying in Syria and to choose between war and inaction.  We rejected that choice, opposed war, and supported humanitarian aid (which hasn’t happened on remotely the necessary scale).

In the space of a day, discussions in Washington, D.C., shifted from the supposed necessity of war to the clear desirability of avoiding war. The Russians’ proposal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons had already been known to the White House but was being rejected. When Kerry publicly suggested that Syria could avoid a war by handing over its chemical weapons, everyone knew he didn’t mean it. In fact, when Russia called his bluff and Syria immediately agreed, Kerry’s staff put out this statement: “Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used. His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That’s why the world faces this moment.” In other words: stop getting in the way of our war! By the next day, however, with Congress rejecting war, Kerry was claiming to have meant his remark quite seriously and to believe the process had a good chance of succeeding, as of course it did.

Diplomatic solutions are always available. What compelled Obama to accept diplomacy as the last resort was the public’s and Congress’s refusal to allow war.

These victories are limited and tentative. The machinery that pushes for war hasn’t gone away. The arms are still flowing into Syria. Efforts to negotiate peace there seem less than wholehearted. The U.S. puppeteer has stuck its arm up the rear end of the United Nations and uninvited Iran from the talks. The people of Syria and Iran are no better off.

But they’re also no worse off. No U.S. bombs are falling from their skies.

There could be other proposals for wars that we’ll find much harder to prevent. That’s precisely why we must recognize the possibility of stopping those proposals too, a possibility established by the examples above, from which we should stop fleeing in panic as if the possibility that everything we do might have some point to it horrifies us.

Any war can be stopped. Any pretended necessity to hurry up and kill large numbers of people can be transformed into a negotiation at a table using words rather than missiles. And if we come to understand that, we’ll be able to start dismantling the weaponry, which in turn will make the tendency to think of war as the first option less likely. By steps we can move to a world in which our government doesn’t propose bombing someone new every few months but instead proposes helping someone new.

If we can stop one war, if we can stop two wars, why can’t we stop them all and put our resources into protection rather than destruction? Why can’t we move to a world beyond war?

David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author. He served for a year as media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association. In May 2005, Swanson helped make the Downing Street memo known in the United States and discussed in Congress. He co-founded After Downing Streetand led an ongoing campaign to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Swanson continues to work closely with the peace movement and often leads campaigns to end the Iraq War and punish those involved in launching that war. His Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization He hosts Talk Nation Radio. More articles by David Swanson

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14 Responses to PressTV: Can’t we move to a world beyond war?

  1. nan says:

    money is the route of all evil!!!!” we don’t need it we need each other” to thrive, and kick these cockroaches to the kerb. Love to all

    • Jean says:

      No, Nan, I do not think you understand money at all. It is not the root of all evil! It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. It is the fact that we fell asleep and did assume responsibility to keep it honest. Money is simply a symbol used as a medium of exchange. . . Please check this out 🙂 Hugs, ~Jean

      • kibitzer3 says:

        A little further thinking here would not go amiss. You’re both right, and both wrong. If money were “simply a symbol used as a medium of exchange,” that would be one thing, and you would be right, Jean. But when the practice of usury entered the picture – and I mean by it, the ‘principle’ of adding interest to the medium of exchange (not just ‘excess’ interest, as many people have been led to believe the word means; the very principle itself) – then the concept of making a ‘profit’ entered into the picture, and out went the pure purpose of simply “a medium of exchange,” when money was simply a tool of creating community.

        Ultimately, we will do away with ‘money’ entirely, because the new paradigm is characterized by 1) Love (doing things for each other for the sake of it, not for the profit to be made from it), and 2) Abundance, as we learn how to manifest all our needs from ‘the Field,’ the sea of energy that we live our 3D lives in In the meantime, yes, we will need a medium of exchange; but simply to keep a record of debts and credits (goods & services given to & received from each other). Like a local LETS system writ global. But that is money without interest; and without a fractional-reserve banking system attached to it, whereby ‘money’ is simply created out of thin air. (Which should have given us a clue as to a next step in our spiritual progress.) Those two features need to be left behind, as we Ascend to a new, higher level of consciousness. Just awaiting us, as we speak.

        So, in answer to the question posed as the title of this piece – i.e., ‘Can’t we move to a world beyond war?’ the answer is Yes – because we are ‘spiritual beings having a human experience’ – but not as long as we continue to think in the lower-energy way of attaching interest to our medium of exchange, i.e., looking for a profit on our exchanges, rather than engaging in them simply to create community between ourselves, as incarnate souls, on our common, spiritual path.

        This is not ‘communism’. Communism requires the stick of a Big State, because it treats people like slaves TO the state, as being no more than chattel. I’m talking about our inheriting our true identities.

        Just awaiting us. As we speak.

  2. Some are inherently evil, and work to conceal their depraved souls and agendas.

    Don’t expect these devils to be persuaded to transform their way of being. They consider such optimism and reliance upon examples of good to be a weakness that assists in their exploitation.

    Read Protocols of Zion. Start with chapters 12, 20, and 21.

  3. John Stevens says:

    Amen to that! TY Jean Hugs

  4. War is a racket. Racketeering risks prosecution and seizure of assets that are acquired through the racket. Swords into plowshares is what we have when the racketeers like Raytheon, Halliburton, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, Nat Geo and others are brought to account for their complicity in the big lies.

    Seize their assets.

  5. Ronnie says:

    “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on
    a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of
    it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people
    don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in
    Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the
    country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to
    drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist
    dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no
    voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
    That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked,
    and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the
    country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    Hermann Goering, Nurenberg Dairy, 1946

    This is how our “leaders” got us into this never-ending war on terror, how we lost our rights, etc. The people are fed up and speaking out. Enough is enough!

    • Jean says:

      Yes, Ronnie, I’ve published this several times recently. Thanks for posting it yet again – it’s something we all need to read over and over again. . . Hugs, ~Jean

  6. cjbowman2002 says:

    We must move on! War even though these money makers believe bring income IT DOES NOT They will find that in Peace they will make 10X more its written & True! Then the whole world as we know it will prosper & all will have enough, also written, so why don’t we believe! GREED &, SELFISHNESS instead of LOVE & SHARING. I believe knowledge & Science will be the light for all which in fact is a balanced mixture of Good & Bad (But the bad changing to Good – Gods will)
    Knowledge is POWER & LOVING Not POWER & GREED (self centered)

    • Jean says:

      Money is only a by-product for them. They are looking to enslave us with their technology by chipping us, and so on. They are already beginning to eliminate us through the use of vaccines. . . If you watch the first video that Robert suggested about the CIA, you will see that by 1988, covert wars created by the CIA had already murdered 6 million people. They pay for their dark operations by selling drugs . . . They are bright enough – but without heart, and there is no doubt in my mind that they could make huge sums of money right now and quite honestly – if they chose to. Look at the Pope, who is lying all over the place, but the Church is not opening its coffers to the poor. . . let’s be honest about what is going on, as painful as it is.

      These people have absolutely no interest in making money honestly.


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