War Is a Lie … A book report

“If decisions to go to war were really made on the basis of reason and facts, rather than greed and power, David Swanson’s brilliant new book (War Is a Lie) would put a stop to them. Those of us who know David understand that he writes quickly and eloquently, speaks honestly and powerfully, and follows a logical point all the way to its conclusion. He has a philosopher’s mind with a computer’s precision. And he always maintains a justifiable moral outrage at the lies of the war criminals … calling out their crimes, detailing their carnage, poking holes in their excuses. Reading ‘War Is a Lie’ is like reading Mark Twain’s ‘War Prayer’, only in book form. – Steve Cobble, “AfterDowningStreet.org” co-founder; Jackson & Kucinich campaign advisor.

“While Americans elect leaders whom they trust are honest, truthful and really care about the kids they send to kill for our country, ‘War Is a Lie’ reveals decade after decade the sordid side of our history – that our elected officials lie us into war with stunning and embarrassing regularity and are little concerned about the harm to innocent civilians, much less to members of our own military.” – Colonel Ann Wright, author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience”

“This book is every American’s best defense against the greatest danger we face as human beings: the threat of war. Swanson reveals how American leaders (from both major political parties) have confused the public to create the illusion of consent for endless destruction and slaughter, Behind the fear-mongering, flag-waving and lies of George W. Bush and the blandishments of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama lies the ugly reality that our leaders have been seduced by political ambition, delusions of military superiority, and the promise of secrecy and impunity to commit otherwise unthinkable crimes.” – Nicolas J. S. Davies, author of “Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq”

“‘War Is A Lie’ is an important and compelling book that arrives at a time when America is engaged in its longest running war to date. Swanson offers an incisive examination of the rationalization, justifications, and outright lies that have led the United States, and other nations, into battle. And he shows the personal cost to the current generation of combatants returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” – Cynthia Wachtell, author of “War No More. The Antiwar Impulse in American Literature 1861-1914”

“David Swanson is a fearless and tireless advocate of peace and works ceaselessly to unmask the mechanisms that keep us perennially at war.” – Russ Baker, author of ‘Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years”

“David Swanson writes in the tradition of Howard Zinn. He always goes for clarity, both in his relentless orchestration of the facts and his ethical vision. ‘War Is a Lie’ is as clear as the title. Wars are all based on lies, could not be fought without lies, and would not be fought at all if people held their governments to any reasonable standards of honesty. The book is easy to understand, easy to read, if you have the will to face a vast array of facts that hold the United States government to a reasonable standard of honesty.” – Charles M. Young

“It was a Republican U.S. senator, Hiram Johnson of California, who is credited with coining the phrase: ‘The first casualty when war comes is truth.’ … Were he serving in the Senate now, Hiram Johnson would go to the floor of the Senate, hold up a copy of David Swanson’s essential new book and demand that the chamber and the whole of the American peiople recognize the reality of its title: ‘War Is a Lie’. – John Nichols. The Nation

“‘Keep it simple stupid’ or KISS has been shouted at nearly every Private in every army for decades, hell even maybe centuries, and with ‘War Is a Lie’ David Swanson KISSes near perfection. Not since General Smedley Butler’s ‘War Is a Racket’ has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published. The simple truth is that war is a lie! From the lies that are told to get countries into war, to the lies told to young men (traditionally though this is changing) to fight them, to the lies we are told about how wars are fought, to the lies we are told as they end so that another generation can have its war in a few short years. Swanson captures these lies brilliantly from start to finish in his newest book.” – Geoffrey Millard, Iraq Veterans Against the War.

“David Swanson has taken the mantle of Al Muste, who had the guts and the audacity to declare World War II to have been unnecessary and wrong. Swanson takes Muste’s argument further to make the audacious claim that all wars are not just unnecessary, but a crime. He is correct, of course. Just as no good outcome (whether the ousting of a tyrant or the freeing of captive nations) can compensate for the death of millions of innocents, which of course is the argument made in defense of calling World War II a ‘good war’, no good (whether the ousting of a tyrant or the claimed improvement in the rights of oppressed women) can compensate for the death of hundreds of thousands of innocents in Iraq or of tens of thousands of innocents in Afghanistan. This is a book that every American should read, especially those who think the United States is the good guy.” – Dave Lindorff, journalist, and author of “The Case for Impeachment,” and founder of the online newspaper “ThisCantBeHappening!”

“Activist David Swanson is well-respected in the anti-war community as a man who walks his talk in a bold, committed, solid way, that he is a principled leader. Now we must add to that list of credentials authorship of an important, destined to be classic book. ‘War Is a Lie’ addresses the web of lies, the taboo subjects, the false claims, the mythic messages that are hollow and empty and it lays waste to them. Swanson’s book is a (I’ve never used the term to describe a book before) Tour de Force, an intellectual accomplishment that lays out the truths about war and the lies that support in a way that every peace activist, every anti-war organization and group must digest and frankly, use as the tools to take the arguments against war to a new more effective level. If there are awards for brilliant books that explore new ways to expose the evils of this world, then David should sweep the field this year. One more thing. It is an exceptional accomplishment to present a book with such important ideas. It is another thing to write so extraordinarily well, so, on page after page, the words are quotable, rising off the page with vivacity.” – Rob Kall, creator of http//opednews.com

“In ‘War Is a Lie’ David Swanson carves himself a monumental task to prove the truth of this in every historical instance for which background is available. He accomplished his task, with a weight of evidence which can only be described as devastating. Swanson sets forth a deceptively simple yet provocative thesis: War is never the only choice, and always the worst one.” – Ralph Lopez

“‘War Is a Lie’ is a must read for anyone who wants to break the centuries-long cycle of a perennially war-waging United States. In this carefully researched book, Mr. Swanson exposes the falsehoods that a willing government sells to a gullible public to gain support for one unnecessary war after another. The profit motives, power plays and perennial chest-thumping, that have all been given more importance than human lives, are exposed in all their ugliness.

“The lie of a Department of ‘Defense’ is laid bare: there has been little, if any, defensive maneuvering by the U.S. military since its own violent birth. The empire-building that the U.S. criticizes in the name of citizen democracy is exposed as a main motivation for the U.S.’s many wars.

“With facts, figures and a clear and engaging writing style, Mr. Swanson cuts through the fog of government rhetoric to expose the reality of why the U.S. is constantly at war. ‘War Is a Lie’ will enable peace activists to ask questions of the U.S.’s so-called representatives that they will simply be unable to answer. Additionally, this book should be required reading in every high school history class in the country.” – Robert Fantina, author of ‘Desertion and the American Soldier. 1776 – 2006’
“In ‘War Is a Lie’, David Swanson underscores a vital point that has been ignored by far too many people who hoped President Obama and the Democrats would bring about a break from the disastrous policies of the Bush years: ‘We can’t sit in elected officials’ offices demanding peace while promising to vote for them, no matter what they do – not if we expect to be heard.’ He shows how Democrats historically – and President Obama today – are part of the toxic bipartisan consensus that sustains repeated military intervention, at enormous and mounting cost to the world. And he importantly reminds us that it will take mobilized, active, engaged popular movements to change a status quo that will lead to only more wars.” – Anthony Arnove, author, ‘Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal’

“You don’t believe in war, but can you articulate your reasons? What if someone challenges your position? Can you defend it? Suppose someone told you that spending for the military is good for the economy? What if they agreed that war is generally bad – but there are exceptions, such as the ‘good war’ against Hitler and Japan, or even the ‘war on terror’? How about the notion that war makes us more secure? David Swanson’s new book, ‘War Is a Lie’ provides answers to these questions and more. In 336 pages, he debunks every argument you’ve heard used to justify, glorify, instigate, promote, prolong, and expand war.” — Kim Carlyle, ‘War Crimes Times’

“‘War Is a Lie’ is a book that belongs on the bookshelf or the bedside table of every American, with pages dog-eared for future reference, and choice passages marked or highlighted. You can reach for it as a shield against lies and hypocrisy during Presidential speeches or as you watch Congressional committee hearings on C-SPAN, or wherever mythological versions of history are trotted out to justify policies or actions that threaten human life. If enough Americans read this book, it will give us the collective power to stand up to our warmongering leaders by disarming the most powerful and destructive of all their weapons; their lies.” – Nicolas Davies

[If all our service personnel were working in U.S. shipyards instead of killing people, their salaries would be doubled, they’d be reunited with their families, and there would be peace in the world.]