The Incomprehensible Idea: What Opposing All Wars Means by David Swanson



Nobel Foundation Sued Over Peace Prize

A Press Release from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch

RE: Nobel Foundation – lawsuit against misappropriation of funds – violating inten
ded antimilitarist purpose of the Nobel peace prize

The controversy over peace prizes disconnected from the specific peace vision of Alfred Nobel is now coming to a head in a lawsuit initiated by Mairead Maguire, a Nobel laureate; David Swanson, USA; Jan Oberg, Sweden; and the Nobel Peace Prize Watch. None of the members of the Board of the Nobel Foundation had responded when the time limit set in a notice of litigation expired on Tuesday. The plaintiffs have retained attorney Kenneth Lewis, Stockholm, to have the Stockholm City Court declare the prize to the EU an illegal use of the Foundation´s funds. In December 2012 the members of the Board of the Nobel Foundation did not heed protests from four Nobel laureates, Mairead Maguire, Perez Esquivel, Desmond Tutu, and the International Peace Bureau, who in a letter had warned that “The EU is clearly not ‘the champion of peace’ that Alfred Nobel had in mind when he wrote his will.”


The world’s two big nuclear militaries are in the same war now in Syria and, if not on opposite sides exactly, certainly not on the same side. A primary, if not the primary, goal of the United States in Syria is overthrowing the Syrian government. A primary, if not the primary, goal of Russia is maintaining the Syrian government. Hostilities are building in each nation toward the other. Republican candidates for president are trying to outdo a certain Democratic candidate for president in bellicosity toward Russia. Forces armed by the U.S. in Syria are eager to shoot down Russian planes. Russia and the U.S. and its allies are clearly unhappy about each other’s flights. Hillary Clinton wants a no-fly zone. Israeli and Russian planes have already come close to fighting. Israel has attacked the base Russia is using, or at least Russia says it has.

To my mind this is more dangerous that the Cuban missile crisis. This is the Cuban missile crisis with way more nukes, way crazier elected officials, numerous state and non-state actors in the mix, an unpredictable civil war underway, a propaganda machine of higher sophistication and extreme corruption, and the public too confused and deluded to impose any sort of positive influence at all.

And when I mock the public I include myself in that. Let me give you an idea of how out of touch I am. I would have thought that every peace activist in the United States would oppose the new development of Russia bombing Syria. We’ve always said, and some of us have even believed, that war was immoral and illegal and unacceptable no matter who did it. We’ve opposed primarily U.S. wars because the U.S. is the primary wager of wars and because we live in the U.S. We’ve always said that if some other nation were to begin adventuring around the world bombing countries we would oppose that too. And some of us meant it. We’ve always argued that bombs kill civilians along with ordinary soldiers stuck on the wrong side. We’ve always pointed to all the evidence that bombs generate more hatred, more violence, more enemies. U.S. bombs, we’ve said, don’t plant flowers of democracy; they plant seeds of violent blowback. Are we now to suppose that Russian bombs are different? Because I couldn’t have been more wrong about how people were going to react.

Many, it turns out, see Russian bombs as imposing law and order, bombing the proper people which the U.S. was failing to do, and resisting the evil warmaking efforts of the United States.

Of course, Russia is supporting a legal government, not a bunch of rebel groups. Of course the United States and every other party involved was on a years-long course of disaster and horror before Russia reached this stage of involvement. But how does supporting a legal government give you a blank check for dropping bombs on people? If Russia had supported the legal government of Egypt by bombing Tahrir Square in 2011 would all the same observers have cheered? Russia has been arming and supporting a brutal murderous government in Syria for years, fueling a proxy war. The United States and its gulf allies have been arming and training and assisting various sides in the war for years now. The constant flow of weapons has been worsening the situation for years. The steady escalation of the violence has been worsening the situation for years. Why wouldn’t it? It always does.

Of course those many “peace” activists who have supported U.S. efforts to overthrow the Syrian government for years might be expected to possibly denounce Russian bombing. But what about those of us who’ve opposed U.S. imperialism and rejected with indignation all the accusations of being big fans of Bashar al Assad?

I’ve been on Russia TV dozens of times in recent years to denounce U.S. actions in Iraq and Syria. Often RT creates a Youtube video and a text story about the interview afterwards. Last week I was on and they apparently expected me to cheer for the Russian bombs, but I denounced them as well, and the Syrian government as well, along with the United States and its many allies. The interviewer seemed shocked, but it was live — what could they do? I haven’t seen any Youtube. I haven’t had another call from RT yet. (In fairness, I opposed U.S. warmaking on MSNBC over a year ago and have yet to hear from them.)

I was so out of touch on Friday that, even though I expected that line of questioning and that response to my answers from RT, I assumed peace activists all agreed with me. It turns out that many clearly do not, and many others assume the same thing about me that RT did, namely that I must be thrilled that Russia is dropping bombs on Syrians.

When you engage in online activism, and you send out emails to hundreds of thousands of people, you get back quite a variety of responses. One type of response that often gets on my nerves is the why-didn’t-you-mention-my-cause-in-your-email response. It’s just not fun to receive outraged messages that your petition against a corporate trade agreement failed to mention the Citizens United decision, or your campaign to end the war on Afghanistan failed to mention the war on Yemen. These complaints are usually accompanied by accusations of evil intent and corrupt complicity. This phenomenon has been increasing as the wars have been proliferating. And it’s merged with the ages-old tradition of assuming that opposition to one side in a war equals support for the other side. If you don’t want Israelis killing Palestinians then you must want Palestinians killing Israelis. This line of thinking is ubiquitous. So, now I receive angry emails attacking me for supporting Russian bombs in Syria or Syrian bombs in Syria when I send out an email opposing a fracked gas pipeline or denouncing the bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan.

Some wise souls began, immediately upon the commencement of the Russian bombing of Syria, to declare that we must oppose bombing by all sides. I stupidly assumed this went without saying. I ignored constructive criticism that I shouldn’t say anything about anything without opposing the Russian bombing or everyone would conclude I favored it. Huh? Why in the world would they think that? I’ve been working on a set of arguments for the complete abolition of war. Why would I favor war all of a sudden — and the most dangerous development in war in the history of the planet? That’s crazy, I thought. But I was way out of touch.

The idea of opposing all war, though many thousands sign their names onto it, is really not understood by very many, I’m afraid. I think it’s taken as meaningless rhetoric, harmless simplification. Of course they don’t mean all war, they just mean the bad wars, I’ll go ahead and sign that. Deep in the minds of even some of the most dedicated and courageous and principled peace activists lies faith in the power of brute force, reliance on the strategy of a balance of powers, hope that war waged properly by the right parties in the right places can end the improper wars and bring about war’s absence.

I believe I am going to make a list of all active wars, and all parties in them, with the words “I oppose these:” at the top. Of course I oppose secret actions by “special” forces too. I oppose drone murders I’m never told about. And of course I’m holding out hope that drone war opponents will be saddened rather than encouraged when nations other than the United States begin to get caught committing drone murders. Come to think of it, there is no way to create a comprehensive list. You’re just going to have to believe I oppose all war, and I’m just going to have to keep saying so over and over and over. After all, I may not have long left to say it if U.S.-Russian relations continue on the course they’ve charted.

David SwansonDavid Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at and and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org

A Primer for “Third Party” Election Results for President by Thomas Baldwin

The Electoral Process is only Another “Survivor” or Reality TV Show

Emma Goldman--If voting changed anythingAnother electoral season is well underway.  As is the case every two or FOUR years, the same old practices exist with maneuvers and manipulation starting early with the two party Duopoly working hand-in-hand with the corporate media.  The latter is already counting the billions of dollars in advertising that they expect to receive from making the whole thing look like a legitimate contest.  Daily “news’ shows begin to sound like an endless ball game reporting the latest “scores” (poll results) to show who’s up and who’s down.  Early eliminations or drop outs consume at least a day’s worth of “breaking news.”  And an exchange of barbed insults make it all good comedy.

Each electoral season many people begin to realize they are being conned again and swear that something needs to be done about it.  But they also realize it’s all about the money chasing those whom corporations and the wealthy elite believe will exert the most influence on their behalf.   A recent poll conducted by Gallup shows that 60% of the people believe there is a need for a “third party”, equal to the highest in at least a decade.

Third Party Need--graph--Sept, 2015

What candidates actually intend to do to better the lives of the common person simply becomes a challenge for the best marketeers to package them in a way to improve the polls.  Because in the end, the corporatists always win no matter which party in the Duopoly they elect and give power to make and execute laws.  Elections are nothing but a Survivor TV Show (assured by Donald Trump) while the oligarchs and/or plutocrats figure out how they can maximize their outcome through large enough “investments.”  Corporations learn from experience that the return on their investments is huge, many times what they spend.

Chris Hedges has written an excellent article describing, “America’s Electoral Farce.”  He states at the beginning of the article:

“I intend to devote no more time to the upcoming presidential elections than walking to my local polling station on Election Day, voting for a third-party candidate, most likely the Green Party candidate, and going home. Any further energy invested in these elections, including championing Bernie Sanders’ ill-advised decision to validate the Democratic Party by becoming one of its presidential candidates, is a waste of time.

Every action we take now must be directed at ripping down the structures of the corporate state. This means refusing to co-operate. It means joining or building radical mass movements. It means carrying out sustained acts of civil disobedience….”

But Chris is still offering to vote for a third party, instead of a protest boycott, and many still insist on supporting a third party as their “solution” to this electoral dilemma.  But few people have actually reported or examined what the record of third parties has been in the U.S.  In this article, I present a few tables of actual data–results from previous elections—in order that people can consider some alternatives.

I have written several articles in the last two years, indicating that the two party corporatist Duopoly controls every aspect of the electoral process and the people who are chosen to “represent” them. See, for example, “Why Americans Must Destroy the Two Party Fascist Duopoly Now!  One should keep in mind, that in national elections more than 90% of incumbents are re-elected and about 90% of those who are elected spend the most money.  It’s no wonder that more than 50% of our elected members of Congress are millionaires or multi-millionaires.  And all but  two of our 535 members of Congress are elected by the Duopoly–members of either the Republican or Democratic Party. And even in Vermont, Bernie Sanders who calls himself and “independent”  has had an agreement with the Democratic Party for years that they will not oppose him in elections if he continues to caucus with the Democrats. We have only an illusion (a big lie) that we are participating in a “democratic” process.

Below are tables of records of “Third Parties” in the U.S. from 1980 to 2012 and you can see, without a very strong mass “independent” movement, the odds of being elected from one of them is extremely small.  Americans must get serious in wanting significant change and it should be obvious that until massive “movements”, which ultimately translate their actions into a political force, nothing is likely to change.


Evil and Corrupt Duopoly



2012 Presidential General Election Results

Source: Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Election Results 

Vice Presidential
Popular Vote Electoral Vote
Barack H. Obama Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Democratic 65,918,507 51.01% 332 61.7%
Willard Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Republican 60,934,407 47.15% 206 38.3%
Gary Johnson James P. Gray Libertarian 1,275,923 0.99% 0 0.0%
Jill Stein Cheri Honkala Green 469,015 0.36% 0 0.0%
Y Other (+) 639,790 0.50% 0 0.0%
  Total 129,237,642   538  

Note:  The last column on the right is the Electoral Vote:  Obama–62%, Romney–38%, Other–0

-Source:  Little Support for Third Party Candidates–2012 Gallup Polls 

2012 Presidential General Election Results–Gallup Pre-election Polls

I'm going to read a list of five candidates for president who may appear on the ballot in a significant number of states this November. Supposing that all of these candidates were on the ballot in your state, which one would you be most likely to vote for -- [ROTATED: Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party candidate,] or will you be voting for someone else? (Asked of those who are undecided) As of today, which one of these candidates do you lean toward?

Gallup historical election polls

Gallup historical third party votes--1980-2004

Click on link above above to see link for Table 1980-2004



Thomas Baldwin holds a Ph.D in Physics and an MBA in Management. He was a Solid State researcher  at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory specializing in neutron radiation damage of metals.  In 1969 he received  the national Sidhu Award for being “an outstanding young scientist for contributions in the field of diffraction.”  He went on to Southern Illinois University to become a professor and Chair of the Department of Physics.  In 1980 he moved to Boulder, Co and became an independent  consultant in energy related issues at the Colorado Research Institute.  He formed the Boulder Consulting Group  to be consultants to corporations on Management and Leadership problems. In about 1998 he became a professor of Management at Colorado Technical University, where he developed and taught courses in Project Management and offering one of the first courses of its type for the IBM system.  He is now formally retired and focusing on writing blogs on the political sector at his blog site:  He now resides in Biloxi, Mississippi and his concentration remains one of describing major problems in the political sector and public institutions  including  problems with democracy, capitalism and socio-economic issues. He can be reached at

Gallup: 60% of Americans Want a New Political Party. But, Why? A Crisis of Legitimacy—By Eric Zuesse

Vote imageA Gallup poll issued on September 25th is headlined “Majority in U.S. Maintain Need for Third Major Party,” and it opens: “A majority of Americans, 60%, say a third major political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ of representing the American people.”

When Gallup started polling on this matter in 2003, only 40% wanted a different major party from the two existing major parties.

The only other time when as high as 60% wanted a new major party was in October 2013, when the government shut down — something that now threatens to repeat. No other period had a percentage this high.

78% of independents want there to be another “major” party; 47% of Democrats do; 45% of Republicans do.

The way the question has been phrased is: “In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed?”

Consequently, for example, these findings have nothing to do with a desire of Americans for another Ralph Nader or Ross Perot; this would instead need to be “a third major party.” It would, in other words, need to be a party not of mere protest, but instead, one that has a real chance to win the White House, and Congress: i.e., a real and serious political contender.

A substantial majority of Americans think that each of the two existing major parties does “a poor job,” “of representing the American people.”

Americans do not feel that “the American people” are represented by either of the existing parties.

Third Party Need--graph--Sept, 2015


Continued at link.

Who Wants a Third World War? by Pepe Escobar


US President Barack Obama (C) reviews an honour guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014

14:36 20.09.2015(updated 14:58 20.09.2015)


“What Washington really craves is some form of coercion that would lead Beijing to open its coveted financial market to the mega-speculative financial casino of the US Big Bank system. That is not happening – as the White House has absolutely no leverage on the matter.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping surfs the USA in his first state visit almost simultaneously as Pope Francis. It will be fascinating to observe how the hyperpower’s decision centers will react to this double exposure to dialectical materialism — with Chinese characteristics — and the in thesis “under reconstruction” Catholic Church.

In a historic speech in Havana, Pope Francis — who broke the get-together between US President Barack Obama and Raul Castro — insisted he wants to deepen the relationship between Washington and Havana. He asked for Obama and Raul to give it all they’ve got as an example to the world, “a world that needs reconciliation amidst this Third World War.”

“Third World War” was never part of the original redaction of the Pope’s speech. Francis added it on his flight from Rome to Havana.A pre-Socratic cynic would volunteer that Francis may now be in synch with “Apocalypse Now” Pentagon factions — for whom the Third World War is already on, and the crucial threats are Russia and China, with ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as a distant third.

It’s more like Francis may be aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who’s going no holds barred to frame a genuine peace process in Syria. The real prime “threat” to the Middle East, Europe and even Eurasia is a jihadi blowback originating in “Syraq”.

Not for the Pentagon, of course, whose analysts are now obsessed with contingency plans for a war against…Russia.

The latest leak on the obsession comes via a notorious neo-con operative, Michele Flournoy, former undersecretary of Defense for policy and co-founder of yet another proverbially hawkish think tank, the Center for a New American Security.

It’s all about a Russian “potential aggression” against NATO, or “hypothetic” Russian aggression against the Baltics. The plans include possible Pentagon/NATO moves as well as Pentagon-only moves. The assumption is always an inevitable “Russian aggression.”

Read more:


Join Pope Francis in Calling for Strong Climate Action

Join Pope Francis in Calling for ActionJoin Pope Francis in Calling for Action

Last spring, Pope Francis released his encyclical on the environment, which called on all people of faith and goodwill to act on climate disruption: “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels… needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”

This week the pope will be touring the United States and addressing Congress—and his visit is timely. In a matter of weeks, world leaders will attempt to reach a global agreement to address climate change at the UN Climate Conference in Paris. This is our best hope yet for international climate action—and Francis is calling on people of all faiths to join the cause.

Add your voice to those calling for strong climate action in Paris! Click on link below.


In December, world leaders will meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, tasked with reaching an international agreement to cut carbon…



Mississippi is one of only six states that has no net metering rules.

The Public Service Commission is on the cusp of adopting policies 

to bring rooftop solar to Mississippi.

Voice your support for solar and net metering at the PSC hearing!

Net metering incentivizes homeowners, businesses and equipment leasers

to install rooftop solar and send their excess solar-generated

electricity back to the electric grid.

The rule would create a level playing field for clean, renewable

Mississippi-produced solar energy,will bring lower electric bills,

and build our state’s economy.

WHEN:    Tuesday, October 6th, 2015, Jackson 

WHERE: 6:00 AM — Ocean Springs Car Park at Exit 50 Interstate-10

6:30 AM — Barnes and Noble parking lot at the Crossroads Mall.Hwy 49 North of I-10, Gulfport

LUNCH PROVIDED. Will return to B&N

around 5:00 PM. 

RSVP to Reserve Your Seat Today! Contact:

Steve Shepard: (228) 369-1146 or

Louie Miller: (601) 624-3503

A Program to End Your “Addiction” of Voting for Candidates in the Two Party Duopoly!

This program is designed to build  groups to critically discuss the advantages (and disadvantages) of an Election Boycott as a tactic to attack the two party Duopoly which totally controls our national elections.  It is primarily intended for federal elections including those for Congress and the Presidency. But it may also apply to many states as well.  We MUST break this incredibly destructive “habit” which many people feel they are “forced” to continue and, therefore, begin the process of destroying the Duopoly. (***Note:  Use of the term “addiction” is discussed briefly at the end.)




  1. Admit to yourself and others that the political system today is totally corrupted by Corporate Control which dominates the two political parties.
  2. Admit to yourself and others that those same corporations and the wealthy elite control the electoral process and the elected officials whom they elect. (Over 90% of incumbents are re-elected and the same percentage number win who have the most money.)
  3. Admit to yourself and others that it is INSANE to continue doing the same thing and expecting different results.
  4. Commit to disrupting the electoral process by refusing to continue to vote the way you have in the past.
  5. If you agree not to vote for federal officials—Congress and the President—then ACTIVELY PROTEST THE CORRUPT PROCESS.
  6. If you think you MUST vote, then abstain from voting for any candidates in the Duopoly.
  7. Before you vote for an alternate “third party” candidate  make sure  you choose one not receiving support from corporations or “billionaires.”
  8. Examine the record of third party candidates in the past; don’t vote for one who has little chance of  having a significant impact on the outcome.
  9. Never give money to anyone in the Duopoly; instead invest in organizations and active “movements” working for significant change.
  10. Resist the influence of corporate controlled media. Stay informed and get your news from alternate sources available on the internet.
  11. Spend your time supporting  “progressive” organizations m focusing on issues and working hard to change the system.
  12. Commit to investigating alternative political/economic systems with realistic platforms being used to correct the corrupt system we have—and learn about them

Note:  Many of these “steps” can be done simultaneously and need not be performed in any order.  Consider joining a support group to discuss this process in detail and how it might best work for you and others. 

—-Thomas Baldwin, Biloxi, MS

A creative adaptation of Einstein’s definition of insanity as applied to continuing to vote for the Duopoly candidates.




Evil and Corrupt Duopoly


***Some brief comments about the use of the term “addiction”.  By that we mean a “compulsive habit” that can be destructive when the outcome is very negative to the individual.  For example:  “Although the precise symptoms vary from one addiction to another, in clarifying what is an addiction, there are two aspects that all addictions have in common.Firstly, the addictive behavior is maladaptiveor counter-productive to the individual. So instead of helping the person adapt to situations or overcome problems, it tends to undermine these abilities.  For example, a gambler might wish he had more money –- yet gambling is more likely to drain his financial resources….Secondly, the behavior is persistent. When someone is addicted, they will continue to engage in the addictive behavior, despite it causing them trouble.” (Excerpted from What is addiction.)