Archive for June, 2016

Obama’s Ironic Visit to Hiroshima

June 30, 2016
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Abe and Obama
Abe and Obama
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Sixty years ago a “Class A” war criminal gave an address to congress in a bid to ensure that his peace-minded countrymen would not force the U.S. military from his homeland. 1,2 Nobusuke Kishi, a member of Hideki Tojo’s cabinet and a signatory to Japan’s declaration of war on America, was the top Japanese official in Japan’s annexed territory of Manchuria during a time of unspeakable crimes against humanity including mass rape, enslavement, murder of children and infants, biological experiments on civilians, including vivisection, and a beheading contest celebrated by his home country’s press.3.4,5,6,7 Arrested by the American occupation in 1945, he was freed three years later to be put back in power by the CIA so the U.S. could have a puppet government in Asia to check the growing fear of communism. Eight years after escaping the hangman’s noose that claimed some of his Class A colleagues, secret U.S. funds helped install him as Prime Minister.8 That was 1957, the same year he addressed U.S. lawmakers in Washington. When Kishi’s U.S.-sanctioned security treaty came to a vote in Japan three years later, he had the opposition forcibly removed from the voting chamber so it would pass. 9 Though the security agreement, which guaranteed large tracks of land for U.S. military bases, become law, it was so unpopular with the Japanese masses that Kishi was run out of office.

Last year, Shinzo Abe, the current prime minister of Japan, who happens to be Kishi’s grandson, made his own speech to congress in a bid to shore-up support for amending Japan’s U.S. written constitution that “forever renounce[s] war as a sovereign right of” the Japanese people.10, 11, 12 Although the move to allow the Japanese military to once again wage war is opposed by the majority of the Japanese population, the Obama administration has given Abe its full support. 13,14,15,16

Here lies the tragic irony of Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. Upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the President lamented, “The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible,” and again in Hiroshima he opined, “Science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos, but those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.” 17,18 Such statements made by a president who believes that “Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice (peace prize speech),” may lead one to ask, “How was justice served by placing a Class A war criminal head of state? 19 Where can one find justice in supporting his grandson’s renunciation of Japan’s “peace constitution?” Where is the justice in the recent authorization of U.S. weapon’s sales to Vietnam? 20 Where lurks justice in a massive assassination campaign, replete with abundant “collateral damage,” via drones? 21 Where can one read justice in the recently released UN report that 65.3 million people were displaced from their homes in 2015 by conflict or persecution, an all-time high?” 22 And most frightening and contradictory of all, “What direction is justice heading in the redesigning our own nuclear stockpile into ‘more efficient killing machines?'” Meet bomb B16 Model 12, the first precision guided nuclear weapon with a “dial a yield” setting which allows for the adjustment of its “explosive power.” 23General James E. Cartright, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command and a retired vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Defense Secretary William Perry have respectively stated that such weapons make their use “more thinkable” and raise “the possibilities of a ‘limited nuclear war.'” 24

Standing with Shinzo Abe at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Obama proclaimed:

[I]n the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction. How the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our toolmaking, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will — those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction. How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth? How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause. 25

He would know.


1. America’s Favorite War Criminal: Kishi Nobusuke and the Transformation of U.S.-Japan Relations:

2. Japanese protest security treaty with U.S. and unseat Prime Minister, 1959-1960: click here


4. America’s Favorite War Criminal: Kishi Nobusuke and the Transformation of U.S.-Japan Relations:

5. Reporting from Shanghai since the 1930s:

6. Unmasking Horror — A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity:
7. The beheading competition:

8. America’s Favorite War Criminal: Kishi Nobusuke and the Transformation of U.S.-Japan Relations:

9. Japanese protest security treaty with U.S. and unseat Prime Minister, 1959-1960: Shinzo Abe Bets on America’s Fading Memories:

11. Japan’s Leader Has Little Use for Hiroshima’s Lessons of Pacifism: click here 12. Japan: Article 9 of the Constitution: 13. Japanese PM’s plan to allow troops to fight overseas angers voters: click here 14. America’s Military Pivot to Asia: Obama Wants Japan to be “Able to Wage War” against China: Hagel Welcomes Japan’s New Collective Self-defense Policy: Shinzo Abe Eyes End to Pacifist Japan’s Ban on Overseas Combat: Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize: click here 18. Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan: click here 19. Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize: click here 20. U.S. Lifts Arms Embargo on Vietnam: click here 21. Obama-led drone strikes kill innocents 90% of the time: report: Global forced displacement hits record high: ‘Modernizing’ the Opportunities for Nuclear War: 24. Ibid 25. Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan: click here

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Party’s Over, Quarter Billion Dollars on Bernie, Now What?  

June 27, 2016


Party’s Over, Quarter Billion Dollars on Bernie, Now What?
By David Swanson

Well meaning people just spent a quarter billion dollars on the Bernie Sanders campaign which continues operations while its candidate says he will vote for Hillary Clinton for president.

Let’s put that in a little perspective. Iraqis fleeing Fallujah yet again, as wars that Hillary Clintonpushed for roll on, are in need, according to the United Nations, of $17.5 million for survival.

I work for an organization opposing war, called World Beyond War, which runs on less than $50,000 a year. Many good organizations pursuing just what this world needs run on less than that, but you could fund 5,000 organizations at the level of World Beyond War’s current funding for what’s been spent on Bernie.

Has Sanders for President been a wise investment or not?

Certainly Bernie’s campaign inspired people. But I see no reason not to expect most of them to become despondent and despairing now that it’s over. If past experience with failed and successful campaigns alike is any guide, that’s where we’re headed.

Certainly Bernie’s campaign educated people. But it’s reasonable to assume that establishing or expanding major new media outlets to the tune of $250,000,000 would have educated people too, and that they might have gone on providing the same funding next year and the year after, if their interest were in education rather than election. (First Look Media, publisher of The Intercept, was created with just that amount, but not to all be spent in one year.)

Certainly Bernie should go on trying to somehow make the Democrats’ Platform (which, if the past is any guide, they will ignore anyway) slightly less rightwing and disastrous.

It’s unclear that investing in Bernie was a reasonable gamble toward winning something more. The rigged nature of the election was clear from the start. Bernie’s commitment to promote Hillary Clinton in the end was clear from the start. And her commitment to warmongering, environment destroying, oligarchy enhancing policies was clear from the start.

What else could have been done or could be done now or could be done next time? No, of course you should not vote for the fascist golfer clown. Yes, of course you should vote for Jill Stein. But the system is as rigged against her as it was against Sanders.

Let me ask the question a different way. Why is it that corporations will now take a public stand for LGBTQ rights? Why will even a conscience-free corporate hack like Hillary Clinton defend LGBTQ rights she used to oppose? The primary answer is that activists changed the culture. The role of voting in their work was minimal. As Emma Goldman said, if voting ever changed anything they’d ban it. As Howard Zinn said, it matters less who’s sitting in the White House than who’s doing the sit ins.

Why so down on elections? I’m in favor of them! I think we should have one some day! That will require some of these changes that cannot be voted in under the broken system that lacks them: public funding of elections, no bribery, free air time for candidates, automatic voter registration, open debates and ballots, no gerrymandering, hand-counted paper ballots, international monitors, no electoral college, no delegates, no superdelegates, and a three-month election season with a bit of actual governing before the next one.

If I were drafting a party platform, it would add to those the following: take military spending back to 2001 levels, tax corporations and billionaires at 1960 levels, restore the minimum wage to its 1968 level, and guarantee everyone top-quality free education preschool through college, healthcare, job training as needed, vacation, family leave, retirement, transportation, childcare, clean energy, public parks, sustainable agriculture, and significant aid to the rest of the world. Yes, that’s Bernie’s platform, or could have been if he’d been willing to mention cutting military spending or investing in foreign aid. It’s also Scandinavia’s reality. But a party platform is not the most important place for these commitments.

The place for our passion and even our “unity” is not in a political party that destroys everything we hold dear and calls our continued subservience “unity.” We have 60% of the U.S. public that simply cannot stand Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. That may increase as we’re forced to endure more and more of the pair of them. If all of those people, or even half of them, backed Jill Stein she might win. But that requires imagining a fair system of elections and of communications that does not exist.

And what if she were elected president? Or what if Bernie Sanders were elected president? We’d still be up against a corrupt communications system, an ill-informed public, a reactionary Congress, a medieval Supreme Court, and the absence of a major independent movement for change. It’s good to see Congress Members staging a sit-in to demand that other Congress Members back some ridiculously weak if not counterproductive gun control measures, but what we need is a massive movement of independent people sitting in and surrounding the Capitol until both parties act on the basic lessons learned around the world: ban the guns and stop bombing people.

Does that sound dreamy and utopian? The point is not to expect it to succeed entirely and immediately. The point is that the most strategic way to achieve a partial, compromised solution is to build momentum for a real fix. When your best Congress Members are openly bragging that their opening negotiating demand is for the very least that could possibly be done, the predictable result is less than that. When people fall in behind those so-called public servants, failure is guaranteed.

So what should we do? Even if you believe in dumping most of your energy and money into a broken election system, please consider saving a little for independent activism. We should organize, educate, march, rally, protest, sit-in, disrupt, create alternatives, create media, and find local, state, regional, and international solutions.

Here’s one example of what I’m working on. World Beyond War is planning an event called No War 2016 that will happen in Washington, D.C., in September and involve panels, workshops, and nonviolent civil resistance. Speakers will include Dennis Kucinich, Kathy Kelly, Miriam Pemberton, David Vine, Kozue Akibayashi, Harvey Wasserman, Jeff Bachman, Peter Kuznick,Medea Benjamin, Maurice Carney, David Swanson, Leah Bolger, David Hartsough, Pat Elder,John Dear, Mel Duncan, Kimberley Phillips, Ira Helfand, Darakshan Raja, Bill Fletcher Jr.,Lindsey German, Maria Santelli, Mark Engler, Maja Groff, Robert Fantina, Barbara Wien, Jodie Evans, Odile Hugonot Haber, Gar Alperovitz, Sam Husseini, Christopher Simpson, Brenna Gautam, Kent Shifferd, Patrick Hiller, Mubarak Awad, Michelle Kwak, John Washburn, Bruce Gagnon, David Cortright, Michael McPhearson, and Sharon Tennison (none of whom necessarily agrees with me on anything in this essay, and some of whom certainly disagree passionately).

We can help you plan a conference or a nonviolent action or both in your part of the world, and you can find lots of events here. I particularly recommend sit-ins in Congressional offices now, pointing to Congress’s willingness to use the same tactic itself, and pointing the media to your own live video feed of your own teach-in on the floor of the plush office of your senator or misrepresentative.

The truth is that we have far more power than we’re told, we just don’t have it where we’re told to look for it.

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AP: Officials “admit deadly Fukushima meltdown coverup”

June 23, 2016


AP: Officials “admit deadly Fukushima meltdown coverup” — TEPCO President: We lied about meltdowns, “It was a cover-up… This is a grave issue” — “It’s an unprecedented nuclear disaster… about as bad as it gets” — Revealed “unpardonable breach of trust” (VIDEO)

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 09:55 PM PDT

Closure of Diablo Nuclear Plant Signals Dawn of Renewable Energy Era

June 22, 2016

Published on
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
byCommon Dreams

In landmark agreement, California’s last remaining nuclear plant will be replaced by greenhouse-gas-free energy sources
byLauren McCauley, staff writer
The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is located in Avila Beach along California’s central coast. (Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission/cc/flickr)
The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is located in Avila Beach along California’s central coast. (Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission/cc/flickr)
A plan to shutter the last remaining nuclear power plant in California and replace it with renewable energy is being heralded widely as “a clear blueprint for fighting climate change,” which environmentalists hope will serve as “a model” for the nation.

“The end of an atomic era,” is how the San Francisco Chronicle described the announcement, made Tuesday by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which operates the aging Diablo Canyon power plant situated on California’s central coast.

The joint proposal (pdf), drafted by the utility company along with a number of labor and environmental groups, states: “PG&E in consultation with the Parties has concluded that the most effective and efficient path forward for achieving California’s SB350 policy goal for deep reductions of [greenhouse gas (GHG)] emissions is to retire Diablo Canyon at the close of its current operating license period and replace it with a portfolio of GHG free resources.”

The licenses are currently set to expire in 2024 and 2025 and under the deal the utility will replace that power source with renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage. The agreement also contains provisions to protect the plant’s workforce, as well as the economy of the local San Luis Obispo community. PG&E further commits to derive 55 percent of the electricity produced across its entire fleet from clean, renewable sources by 2031.

“For years, some have claimed that we can’t fight climate change without nuclear power, because shutting down nuclear plants would mean burning more fossil fuels to generate replacement electricity. That’s wrong, of course, and now we have the proof.”
—Rhea Suh, NRDC

“This is an historic agreement,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, which helped draft the plan, along with Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Coalition of California Utility Employees, and Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.

Pica continues, “It sets a date for the certain end of nuclear power in California and assures replacement with clean, safe, cost-competitive, renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage. It lays out an effective roadmap for a nuclear phase-out in the world’s sixth largest economy, while assuring a green energy replacement plan to make California a global leader in fighting climate change.”

Rhea Suh, president of NRDC, said the joint agreement is “a tribute to what can be accomplished when we rally together around a common goal.”

“What’s more,” Suh added, “this plan is a model that can be replicated around the country, where nearly 100 nuclear reactors will retire in the coming decades, and around the world.”

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“For years,” she continued, “some have claimed that we can’t fight climate change without nuclear power, because shutting down nuclear plants would mean burning more fossil fuels to generate replacement electricity. That’s wrong, of course, and now we have the proof.”

“Today’s agreement is a good example of how we can replace dirty energy with clean when we set our minds to it,” agreed Rob Sargent, Energy Program director at Environment America. “It’s this kind of commitment that will put us on a path to 100 percent renewable energy.”

Tuesday’s announcement follows years of public opposition to the plant, which sits in an earthquake red zone near four prominent fault lines—one of which runs just 2,000 feet from the two reactors. As anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman recently noted, “[m]ore protestors have been arrested at Diablo than any other American nuke.”

In addition to the risks posed by potential earthquake damage, Wasserman wrote, “Diablo dumps daily some 2.5 billion gallons of super-heated water into the ocean, killing vast quantities of marine life and worsening the global climate crisis. The project’s chemical runoff infamously killed millions of abalone years before it operated.”

The detailed phase out proposal will now go to the California Public Utility Commission and on to federal regulators for approval.

According to the Chronicle, the decommissioning process is estimated to cost $3.8 billion, $2.6 million of which PG&E has already collected in an earmarked fund. The utility is reportedly seeking to raise electricity rates by roughly 51 cents per month to make up the shortfall.

Voicing his support for the plan, California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom, said: “The idea that the economics— from PG&E’s perspective—work for renewables is a pretty profound moment in energy policy. We’ve been asserting it for decades. And here you have a major utility acknowledging a low-carbon, green future.”

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Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, Disqualified?

June 19, 2016
Dear Friends,
I am sending you my message addressed to Chief Cabinet Minister Suga.
The IOC could not long ignore the criticism that it is taking advantage of
the false assertionTHAT FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI IS “under control”.
However,it could not comply with the increasing request from all quarters
to reassure the safety of Tokyo,for its result in the negative is obvious.
Under such circumstances,the IOC could start pressuring Japan to retreat
from the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020,insinuating the possibility of
disqualifying Japan for amply sufficient reasons (failure to implement
all official commitments).
If Japan makes this retreat declaring its determination to make maximum
efforts for Fukushima and Kumamoto, it will be a step in the right direction
and could hopefully be considered as an honorable retreat.
The weekly magazine”Shukan Bunshun”(June 23) has published the partially
shocking article on the bribery scandal issue related to the Tokyo Olympic
Games 2020.
It may influence the results of the French investigation now under way on
the same issue.
With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata

A Nuclear Weapon That America Doesn’t Need

June 18, 2016

PRESIDENT OBAMA spoke last month in Hiroshima about charting a course to a future free of nuclear weapons. He discussed the “persistent effort” necessary to eliminate the threat of nuclear war.

To advance that goal, the president should reconsider the Defense Department’s effort to develop a new nuclear weapon called the Long-Range Standoff Weapon.

The Air Force is set next year to accelerate the development of this new nuclear cruise missile. It would carry an upgraded W-80 nuclear warhead and be able to penetrate the world’s most advanced air-defense systems.

We agree that a safe, reliable nuclear stockpile is needed. Our backgrounds, voting records and entire careers show that we understand and value the deterrent effect of our nuclear stockpile. However, building new nuclear weapons like this one could be unnecessary, costly and dangerous.

Like our current nuclear cruise missile, the Long-Range Standoff Weapon could strike an adversary’s territory from great distances. But there are compelling reasons not to introduce a cruise missile that could increase the risk of nuclear war.

As former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Andy Weber, a former assistant defense secretary, wrote last year, “Cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon” because “they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional variants.” We can reduce the risk of setting off accidental nuclear war by retiring nuclear cruise missiles and instead rely on conventional weapons.

Unfortunately, Congress has shirked its duty to carefully evaluate the need for new nuclear weapons capable of immense destruction. The decision to build the Long-Range Standoff Weapon should be thoroughly and publicly debated.

There are three key questions that remain unanswered.

First, does the military need a new nuclear cruise missile? In other words, are there any enemy targets we can no longer “hold at risk” using existing nuclear and conventional weapons and the platforms used to deliver them? We are aware of no such military necessity.


A Tomahawk cruise missile launched at an Islamic State target in Syria in 2014.CreditEric Garst/U.S. Navy, via Associated Press

Next, what role does the military intend this weapon to serve? The Pentagon says it would “provide the president with uniquely flexible options in an extreme crisis.” This suggests a lowering of the threshold for nuclear war, a perilous approach that would endanger not only America but allies that we are pledged to protect, like Japan and South Korea.

Finally, what is the weapon’s cost? The Defense Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration have yet to provide concrete estimates for the program, but the Federation of American Scientists has reported that it could cost as much as $30 billion.

At a time when the Defense Department is set to modernize every leg of the nuclear triad, investing $30 billion in an unnecessary and dangerous new nuclear weapon is irresponsible.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter needs to address these issues. He should provide Congress with an analysis of alternatives to this missile. In particular, we want to know if the Defense Department has studied whether existing nuclear and conventional weapons are sufficient to strike enemy targets.

He should also certify that the sole objective of the weapon is nuclear deterrence. We want to eliminate any ambiguity that this new missile would be an offensive weapon.

And he should provide a public cost estimate. If taxpayers are expected to foot the bill, the price should not be shrouded in secrecy.

Instead of devoting our limited resources to a new nuclear weapon, President Obama would be wise to follow one of the main conclusions of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and reduce the role of our nuclear arsenal by developing advanced conventional weapons capacities.

The Air Force’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile both provide conventional alternatives to nuclear cruise missiles. Each can attack enemy targets from tremendous distances without the risk of nuclear escalation.

The United States must lead the way to a nuclear-free world. We may not realize this goal in our lifetime, but we embrace the president’s call for “persistent effort” in that endeavor.

Unreported Mass Killing Leaves Thousands Dead  

June 17, 2016

I’m trying to add some missing points to our public conversation. It doesn’t pay well 🙂 Please help out at and if you make a recurring donation request a signed book!

Please read and share:

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Talking About Forgiveness

“Modern Warfare Destroys Your Brain” in More Ways Than One

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Hurry — Only 24 hrs left to join Action Corps!

June 17, 2016

Dear Friend,

You only have 24 hours left to submit your application to Action Corps — Global Zero’s year-long leadership development program!

I wanted to write to you because I know how much you care about this fight.

We’re looking for young leaders across the United States who are interested in gaining real campaign and organizing experience while making a significant impact in the fight to eliminate nuclear weapons.

During your year with Action Corps, we’ll work closely with you to train and develop you into a prominent leader in this movement. You’ll meet high-level experts in this field, you’ll gain local and national media experience, and you’ll learn first-hand what it means to organize your peers around one of the most urgent issues of our generation.

Oh, and you’ll get to work really closely with me!

It’s a pretty sweet deal.

But here’s the thing: You have to submit your cover letter and resume in the next 24 hours! (But don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes to apply).

Fired up? Ready to go?? Excited to make an even BIGGER impact eliminating nuclear weapons???

Then click here to learn more about Action Corps — there’s only 24 hours left — and send your application today.

Excitedly awaiting your application,

John Qua
U.S. Field Organizer
Global Zero

Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Support the movement with a contribution here. Receiving emails is one of the best ways to stay up to date on our campaigns and actions. You can also like Global Zero on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter here. To stop receiving fundraising emails but stay on the Global Zero list, click here. If you really need to cut back, you can unsubscribe here. We’re sad to see you go!

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Global Anti-nuclear Network

June 14, 2016

別添のChico Whitaker 氏からのメッセージにある通り、去る3月、東京で開催された国際会議で
From: mitsu
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2016 8:43 PM
Dear Friends,
Chico Whitaker, member of the Brazilian Commission for Justice and Peace and
of the Coalition for Brazil Free of Nuclear power plants has sent me the attached message.
It concerns a new movement in favor of the nuclear free world,based on the solidariry to the people of Japan.
The First World Thematic Social Forum against Civil and military Nuclear took place in Tokyo last March,
with participants from more than 12 countries and launched an appeal for the construction of a Global Anti-nuclear Network.
I hope this movement for true denuclearization,both civilian and military,will rapidly grow to make the awaited contribution.
You hardly need more documents than the ones indicated below to be convinced of the urgent necessity of true denuclearization.
With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
P.S. I am sending you some noteworthy articles.
(articles by Robert Herziker,American journalist)
(article by Robert Jacobs, historian of nuclear technologies)
(article by Toru Bove)
Attachments area

“Modern Warfare Destroys Your Brain” in More Ways Than One

June 11, 2016
OpEdNews Op Eds 6/11/2016 at 05:40:43

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The most likely way to die in a U.S. war, by far, is to live in the country that the United States is attacking. But the most likely way in which a U.S. participant in a war will die is by suicide.

There are a couple of widely observed top causes of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returning from recent wars deeply disturbed in their minds. One is having been near an explosion. Another, which has been around longer than explosions have, is having killed, having nearly died, having seen blood and gore and suffering, having imposed death and suffering on innocents, having seen comrades die in agony, exacerbated in many cases by having lost faith in the sales pitch that launched the war — in other words, the horror of war making.

The first of those two causes might be called traumatic brain injury, the other mental anguish or moral injury. But, in fact, both are physical events in a brain. And, in fact, both impact thoughts and emotions. That scientists have a hard time observing moral injury in brains is a shortcoming of scientists that ought not to start us imagining that mental activity isn’t physical or that physical brain activity isn’t mental (and therefore that one is serious, while the other is sort of silly).

Here’s a New York Times headline from Friday: “What if PTSD Is More Physical Than Psychological?” The article that follows the headline seems to mean by this question two things:

1) What if by focusing on troops having been near explosions we are able to distract attention away from the suffering induced by conditioning thinking human beings to mindlessly commit horrific acts?

2) What if having been near explosions impacts brains in a way that scientists happen to have figured out how to observe in a brain?

The answer to number 1 should be: We are not going to limit our brains to the New York Times as a source of information. Based on recent experience, including acts the Times has apologized for or retracted, that would be a sure way to create more modern warfare, thereby destroying more brains, risking a vicious cycle of war and destruction.

The answer to number 2 should be: Did you think the damage wasn’t real because scientists hadn’t found it in their microscopes yet? Did you think it was literally in soldiers’ hearts? Did you think it was floating in the non-physical ether somewhere? Here’s the New York Times:

“Perl’s findings, published in the scientific journal The Lancet Neurology, may represent the key to a medical mystery first glimpsed a century ago in the trenches of World War I. It was first known as shell shock, then combat fatigue and finally PTSD, and in each case, it was almost universally understood as a psychic rather than a physical affliction. Only in the past decade or so did an elite group of neurologists, physicists and senior officers begin pushing back at a military leadership that had long told recruits with these wounds to ‘deal with it,’ fed them pills and sent them back into battle.”

So, if the combination of afflictions that soldiers suffered from could not be observed by a neurologist, then they were all faking? They were suffering depression and panic attacks and nightmares in order to trick us? Or the wounds were real but necessarily minor, something to be “dealt with”? And — importantly, there is a second implication here — if the injury arose not from an explosion but from having stabbed to death a poor kid drafted into a different army, then it was not worthy of any concern important enough to outweigh the desirability of ignoring such matters.

Here’s the New York Times in its own words: “Much of what has passed for emotional trauma may be reinterpreted, and many veterans may step forward to demand recognition of an injury that cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death. There will be calls for more research, for drug trials, for better helmets and for expanded veteran care. But these palliatives are unlikely to erase the crude message that lurks, unavoidable, behind Perl’s discovery: Modern warfare destroys your brain.”

Apparently the collective brain power of those of us who haven’t joined the military suffers as well. Here we are faced with the understanding — slanted and constrained though it may be — that warfare destroys your brain; and yet we are meant to suppose that the only possible consequences of that realization are outcries for better medical care, better helmets, etc.

Allow me to suggest one other proposal: ending all warfare.


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David 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 (more…)

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Wars are the worst discrimination of the people (powerless of warring countries) to commit sins (killing, stealing, lying, raping, etc.), thus commit suicide, sacrifice, and sanitize everyone and everything (environment, ecology, etc.)

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