Friday, December 3, 2010

War Is a Lie and Daybreak, books by David Swanson

War Is A Lie


By dswanson - Posted on 31 October 2010

**Counter-recruitment groups have asked for a supply of this book to use at tables countering the propaganda of military recruiters. We need funding for this effort. Contact, or Contribute at right.**

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Book Tour Dates Here.

WAR IS A LIE is a thorough refutation of every major argument used to justify wars, drawing on evidence from numerous past wars, with a focus on those wars that have been most widely defended as just and good. This is a handbook of sorts, a manual to be used in debunking future lies before future wars have a chance to begin.

"David Swanson’s War Is A Lie (Charlottesville, VA, 2010) may be the most comprehensive antiwar statement available in the English language." — Kevin Young, ZNet

“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” — Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR and author of Cable News Confidential.

Table of Contents
Introduction 7
1. Wars Are Not Fought Against Evil 15
2. Wars Are Not Launched in Defense 47
3. Wars Are Not Waged Out of Generosity 86
4. Wars Are Not Unavoidable 106
5. Warriors Are Not Heroes 131
6. War Makers Do Not Have Noble Motives 168
7. Wars Are Not Prolonged for the Good of Soldiers 196
8. Wars Are Not Fought on Battlefields 212
9. Wars Are Not Won, and Are Not Ended By Enlarging Them 235
10. War News Does Not Come From Disinterested Observers 250
11. War Does Not Bring Security and Is Not Sustainable 267
12. Wars Are Not Legal 291
13. Wars Cannot Be Both Planned and Avoided 312
14. War Is Over If You Want It 323
Notes 337
Index 352
Acknowledgments 369
About the Author 371

Advance Praise:

"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 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, IPS Associate Fellow, PDA co-founder, 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 (retired) 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.

“David Swanson is an antidote to the toxins of complacency and evasion. He insists on rousing the sleepwalkers, confronting the deadly prevaricators and shining a bright light on possibilities for a truly better world.” — Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

"This book is revolutionary, and certainly truth-telling in a remarkable and brave way. The writing is so clear and easy-to-read, too. A pleasure to read, except that the content is so devastating, because it all means that not only are we utterly deceived but our entire reality is based on that deception. Swanson has gotten to the core of something. The only thing is I'm not sure he realizes how hopeless it is to expect a change -- and yet that is part of the appeal of his writing: his hopefulness in the face of lies and repression and denial." — Jennifer Van Bergen, author of The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America.

“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 rationalizations, 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 has taken the mantle of AJ 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 ouster 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, author of The Case for Impeachment, and founder of the online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening!


About the Publication and Sale:

I'm making the book available at little more than cost (including shipping cost), so that peace and justice groups can buy it in bulk and sell it for their own profit or distribute it at events or outside recruiting stations. If you buy 10 or more through this website, the price is only $10 each (which covers shipping too), half the list price.

You can also keep one and give nine great holiday gifts to friends and elected representatives.

I've turned down three major publishers who wanted to publish this book in 2011 or 2012 in order to publish it myself in 2010. Self-publishing avoids huge delays and allows more of the profit to go to the author. Purchasing this book supports my work, not a corporation.


BOOK TOPIC: Daybreak is a prescription for political reform that literally ends with a to-do list for citizens, and draws inspiration from the misdeeds and missteps of the Bush and Obama presidencies. What powers were stripped from Congress and handed to the White House while George W. Bush lived there, and what would it take to permanently move them back? Which of these powers is Barack Obama making use of or even expanding upon? And in the future, how can we expand our rights, create democratic representation in Congress, and make presidents into executives rather than emperors? This is a citizens' guide to the long-term task of removing power from the hands of one person, placing it in a body of representatives, and (here's the hard part) making that body truly representative of the American people. Swanson's analysis makes clear that the imperial presidency, which advanced so dramatically during the Bush-Cheney era, will not be stopped merely by electing better presidents. Major structural changes are needed in our system of government to rein in both the imperial presidency and, at the same time, the presidential empire. Only through the active efforts of citizens, Swanson argues, can we restore and protect our rights, and expand our conception of political rights to meet new challenges.

AUTHOR BIO: David Swanson is the author of the new bestselling book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven Stories Press and of the introduction to "The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush" published by Feral House and available at Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson is Co-Founder of, creator of and Washington Director of, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, and Voters for Peace. Full bio here.

PRAISE: "David Swanson's Daybreak impressively exposes all the ways our government has changed for the worse under the Bush administration, and makes clear that we need to do far more than elect a new president to see our tattered Democracy restored." -- Vincent Bugliosi, author, former federal prosecutor

"Daybreak offers a powerful and compelling picture of what real change in America could look like. The world needs more true advocates of democracy like David Swanson!" -- Thom Hartmann, Author, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

"David Swanson's masterful exposure of the emergence of a monarch-like president coupled with an effete, irresponsible, and constitutionally ignorant Congress is well worth the price of admission. An aroused public with a litmus test of honoring the Constitution is urgently needed to prevent the Republic from capsizing." -- Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan

"Daybreak is an eyeopener about how our nation was hijacked by the Bush administration and how much repair work we, as citizens, must do. David Swanson, who has been a one-man wonder leading the charge for accountability, writes a compelling narrative that inspires not just outrage, but ACTION." --Medea Benjamin, CoFounder of Code Pink and Global Exchange

"David Swanson is the most thoughtful, determined, and energetic progressive activist in America, and one of the most important voices of his generation. He's also a unique bridge between traditional real-world organizing and the brand new world of online activism. His combination of cheerful organizing, passionate speaking, and brilliant blogging is an inspiration to everyone who craves a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world." -- Bob Fertik, President of

"In this important book, David Swanson carefully documents the myriad ways in which Bush-Cheney has amassed unprecedented imperial power, while Congress has abdicated its constitutional duty to check and balance the executive. A useful guide to restore the balance of powers and reclaim our constitutional system of government." -- Marjorie Cohn, President of National Lawyers Guild

"Our times cry out for a smart, witty and courageous Populist who hasn’t forgotten how to play offense. Luckily we have David Swanson." -- Mike Ferner, National President of Veterans For Peace, author of "Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq."

"Swanson has been an indefatigable commentator and activist tirelessly advocating for the dismantling of the imperial presidency and the restoration of the principles of our Constitution. His energy and passion are infectious, as is his cogent reasoning. 'Daybreak' urgently reminds us that good political intentions are not sufficient to ensure the continuation of our democracy; informed vigilance is vital to that task." -- Mark Karlin, Editor and Publisher,

"If Tom Jefferson were with us today, he would be saying that we still must burst the chains of monkish ignorance and superstition and break the bindings that strangle our liberty. But Jefferson - like Paine - is gone. So it falls to another from Virginia to sound the signal for a rising on behalf of the republic and our own freedom. That man is David Swanson, and this remarkable book is his - and America's - call to arms." -- John Nichols, from the Introduction

"David Swanson writes faster than anyone I know, and is always worth reading. He wields a wicked pen (well, technically a wicked keyboard), a la Swift or Twain. He thinks with precision and intelligence, with the powerful logic of an undefeated chess-playing computer program. He is fearless, speaking truth to both power all the time. He bears daily witness to the decomposition of our would-be democracy, and he carries that same crusading spirit into this book. Read it. Buy it for your friends, especially your younger ones. Get together and argue about it. Ask John Stewart and Stephen Colbert to have him on their shows. Because a better world is still possible, and to get there, a more democratic America is necessary." -- Steve Cobble

"There have now been many books written which chronicle the imperial, lawless presidency of the Bush era, but Swanson’s superb new book -- Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union -- is one of the very few to examine how we can recover from it and reverse its pernicious trends. Many Bush books, given the horrific subject matter, have been dark and gloomy, even somewhat depressing. To be sure, there are parts of Swanson's book that documents in gruesome detail all of the liberties abridged and damage done during the last eight years. This book also does not shy away from highlighting those areas in which the Obama presidency has, much to the dismay of many, come to replicate some (though by no means all) of the worst Bush abuses. But Daybreak is far more uplifting and inspiring than virtually any other book in its genre, as it devotes itself to laying out a detailed plan for how American citizens -- through the activism to which he has devoted himself -- can bring about a rejuvenation of our political values." -- Glenn Greenwald

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