David Swanson: US Wars Are Not Waged Out of Generosity or for Democracy

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally in New York, April 18, 2016. Corporate media have drawn very little attention to US wars and military intervention abroad during the 2016 presidential primary campaign. (Photo: Sam Hodgson / The New York Times)

In this interview, David Swanson, author of War Is a Lie, counters the theory that war is an inevitable part of human nature, says the antiwar movement is larger than the dominant media suggest and shares the view that wars are fought primarily for money and markets.

Mark Karlin: How do you respond to people who say that war is due to human hard-wiring that goes back to battling clans of cave people over territory and resources?

David Swanson: Thanks for the terrific questions. At least 90 percent of humanity is represented by governments that wage war much less than the US government. Over 99 percent of people in the United States are not in the military. There is not a single case of PTSD from war deprivation. The largest cause of death in members of the US military is suicide. So you can try to claim that hunter-gatherers waged wars despite the lack of evidence, or that chimpanzees wage wars despite the lack of either evidence or relevance. But the very claim that humans all wage war is ridiculous on its face. The notion that it comes naturally to them is a horrible joke, given the damage it inflicts even on drastically better-armed aggressors who kill even from the safety of a drone base thousands of miles from their victims. If someone thinks war comes naturally, I would suggest,…

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