“There’s a need to completely readjust our foreign policy so that we are making friends with the world rather than antagonizing it. For tens of billions of dollars, we could end starvation, we could give clean drinking water to the world, we could coat the world in schools and hospitals. We spend over a trillion dollars a year on this supposed necessity of defending ourselves from a hostile world. We could be the most beloved people on Earth for 10 percent the cost.”- David Swanson on the United State’s militarism
On Thursday August 8th, host Allen Ruff spoke with David Swanson about United State’s militarism and the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. David Swanson is the author of: “War is a Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union”. He is also a blogger for War is a Crime.org and a Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, creator of ConvictBushCheney.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, and Voters for Peace, a member of the legislative working group of United for Peace and Justice, chair of the UFPJ working group on Accountability and Prosecution, and a member of the Robert Jackson Steering Committee.
The anniversary of the United States dropping the atomic bombs on Japan. Swanson talked about how these bombs were not necessary to win the war. It in fact added to the death toll and the Truman administration wanted to end the war without the help of the Soviet Union and to show the Soviet Union the power of the United States and these atomic bombs. Was it worth it? Swanson believes that we should analyze what the Truman administration’s choices in order to prevent future tragedies. The United States, to date, is the only nation in the world to use atomic bombs and continues to defend its actions against Japan. The claims and the half truths that have hooked people do not need to be found in World War II rhetoric, but rather today’s wars. Swanson claims that wars like the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan and even the drone wars that we are using war as an easier option than taking people to trial and trying them as criminals. In terms of national security and surveillance, Swanson told listeners that we are making a problem worse by spying on our own people to the point where activists have the potential to be seen as terrorists. Swanson also spoke about the United States and that people think that the United States is the police force of the world and that we are helping these other countries, even though that isn’t always the case. Swanson added that Americans in general are not in favor of slaughtering other people. At some point, the United States need to stop, and reevaluate this war machine that we have developed. Swanson and Ruff continued to discuss this “permanent war state” that we are in and that most American’s don’t think we will be able to ever get rid of war. Swanson and Ruff talked about the United State’s and their need for excitement and that frankly, war is exciting. Despite the mass murders and killings, war is exciting; however, Swanson also spoke about peaceful activism and how people like the solidarity singers at the Capital here in Madison are excited too, but that is the kind of participation we should be looking to get involved in. Not war.
If you would like to go see and listen to David Swanson here in Madison he will be at the National Veterans for Peace Conference and the Democracy Convention. If you would like to see his speaking times and locations you can go to the National Veterans for Peace Conference website and or the Democracy Convention websites.