I don’t like logical contradictions. I chose nonviolence – An interview with David Swanson

by Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik e.V.  – A very important interview with David Swanson about the importance of deciding to become a pacifist, because war is a logical contradiction, and all kind of violence is a logical contradiction. This is a fundamental message in this time of war and brute violence all over the world. David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He was nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.
Milena Rampoldi: How did you become a pacifist? What
made you understand in life that violence is the wrong way?
David Swanson: Like most kids I was taught
violence is wrong. Like most US kids I grew up with the institution of the
military all around me. I don’t like logical contradictions. I chose

“… I became an activist in my late 20s on domestic issues of criminal
justice, social justice, and labor rights. I became a professional
activist at age 30 when I went to work for ACORN, the association of
community groups that scared so many powerful people that it was
slandered in the media, defunded, and destroyed several years later,
after I had moved on. I protested the first Gulf War and the build up to
a 2003 war on Iraq. But I became something of a spokesperson and writer
against war when I worked as press-secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s
presidential campaign in 2004. He made peace the number one issue in his
platform. We talked about peace, trade, and healthcare — and not much
on trade or healthcare.

In 2005 I found myself working on a campaign to impeach and prosecute
President George W. Bush for lying the nation into war. This meant
working closely with and becoming a part of the peace movement, even
while engaged in something less than peaceful: seeking to put someone on
trial and imprison him. I immersed myself in online and real-world
activism, organizing, educating, and protesting. I strategized, lobbied,
planned, wrote, protested, went to jail, did interviews, and pressed
for peace.”

MR: Which are the main objectives of world
beyond war?
DS: The complete elimination of the institution of war. With
some steps along the way:

MR: Can you explain to our readers what wants to
achieve as online mobilizing force?
DS: Many online groups in the United States make themselves
largely subservient to a political party, which compromises what they are able
to do. is rapidly growing (now almost 650,000) and doing so
independently. We hope to organize ever more powerful online actions for peace,
justice, and fairness, and to help facilitate offline actions for the same
ends. See

MR: What are the main messages of your
book “War is a lie”?
DS: We are lied into every war. Here’s something I just wrote:
This is how War Is A Lie
Not a single thing that
we commonly believe about wars that helps keep them around is true. Wars cannot be good or glorious. Nor can they be justified as a means of
achieving peace or anything else of value.
The reasons given for wars, before, during, and after them (often three
very different sets of reasons for the same war) are all false. It is common to imagine that, because
wed never go to war without a good
reason, having gone to war, we simply must have a good reason. This needs to be reversed. Because there can be no good reason for
war. Having gone to war, we are participating in a lie. 

A very intelligent
friend recently told me that prior to 2003 no American president had ever lied
about reasons for war. Another, only
slightly better informed, told me that the United States had not had any
problems with war lies or undesirable wars between 1975 and 2003. I hope that this book will help set the
record straight.A war based on lies is just a long-winded way of saying a war.The lies are part of the standard package.

MR: Which are the main subjects you talk
about in your blogs?
DS: I write about anything that interests me but have a
particular focus on abolishing war. See

MR: How important is networking and
speaking out in our job as activists for peace and human rights?
DS: Absolutely essential. We need to take on war, racism,
plutocracy, sexism, environmental destruction, etc., all together because they
are in reality closely related, but also because we need the collective
strength of all of us together in order to succeed.