Are you bummed that lead-footed, gorilla-suited Bristol Palin managed to remain a contender until the final round of "Dancing with the Stars"? Are you aghast that Amazon’s best-selling book is George W. Bush’s Decision Points? Are you incensed that Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government tops the New York Times’ nonfiction charts? Well, there something you can do right now to change that.
OK, it’s too late to counter the power of Palin’s Tea Party robo-voters but there is something you can do right now to knock Bush and Beck off their respective Number 1 pedestals.
David Swanson (author of The 35 Articles of Impeachment and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency) is out with a new book that puts the lie to war as a "noble cause." Swanson’s book, War Is A Lie, strips away the propaganda that has propagated needless, wasteful wars for hundreds of years.
War Is A Lie has been hailed as the most important anti-war exposé since Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler spilled the ballistic beans with his blistering speech, "War Is A Racket." (Butler’s characterization of war as a tool of the ruling and merchant classes was so explosive that its existence has become one of America’s State Secrets. Just try to find any mention of it in an average high school history book.)
So here’s the deal: If enough people buy this book, it will make it to the top of every Bestseller List in America. In only a few days after its release, War Is A Lie had rocketed onto the charts, becoming one of Amazon’s top 50 bestselling books! (A remarkable achievement for a self-published, print-on-demand book.) Maybe we can’t haul George W. before a War Crimes Tribunal (at least in the foreseeable future) but for the price of a movie and a bucket of popcorn ($20 retail; $18 via Amazon) we can consign his hardcover “torture confessional” to the dust-bin of criminal history.
"Not a single thing we commonly believe about wars… is true," Swanson observes in the books introduction: "Lies have preceded and accompanied wars for millennia." Nonetheless, the military has come to enjoy a near-sacred status in American society — an institution whose very existence cannot be questioned (at least without risk of being called a host of unsavory names). But Swanson’s book could prove to be the swansong for the militarist’s political honeymoon because, finally, someone has dared to point out that, when it comes to rational arguments for threatening or pursing war, "The Emperor has no armor!"
As Swanson explains, his book is "aimed at exposing the falsehood of all the more or less coherent rationales that have been offered for wars.… [T]he main category of war lies… taken from around the world, through the centuries."
The quickest way of elucidating the audacity of Swanson’s accomplishment is to list the 13 chapter titles — each one exposing one of the mighty myths of militarism:
Wars Are Not Fought Against Evil.
Wars Are Not Launched in Defense.
Wars Are Not Waged Out of Generosity.
Wars Are Not Unavoidable.
Warriors Are Not Heroes.
War Makers Do Not Have Noble Motives.
Wars Are Not Prolonged for the Good of Soldiers.
Wars Are Not Fought on Battlefields.
Wars Are Not Won, and Are Not Ended by Enlarging Them.
War News Does Not Come from Disinterested Observers.
War Does Not Bring Security and Is Not Sustainable.
Wars Are Not Legal.
Wars Cannot Be Both Planned and Avoided.
There is one last chapter and it boasts a title worth waiting for:
War Is Over If You Want It.
The initial reviews have been so glowing they are nearly incandescent. Rob Kall of OpEdNews calls War Is A Lie "an important [book], destined to be classic." Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy, calls Swanson’s book "an antidote to the toxins of complacency and evasion. [Swanson] insists on rousing the sleepwalkers, confronting the deadly prevaricators and shining a bright light on possibilities for a truly better world." And Geoff Millard of Iraq Veterans Against the War concludes: "Not since General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published."
Knocking Beck and Bush off the charts with a game-changing book that dares to debunk the "holy chaos of war" will send a clear political message. And sending the message is as easy as going online and ordering the book at Amazon— in paperback or ebook.
Word of the campaign to play "capture-the-flag" with Amazon has been spreading through the anti-war community. You can buy additional copies for your best friends, for your elected representatives, for your pro-war uncle, your Republican father-in-law, your local library. You can even buy copies for Bristol Palin and her mom.
And in the meantime, you can visit http://warisalie.org where you'll find an audio version of the book with a bonus package of animated graphics, videos and related articles. There’s also a video interview with Swanson just posted by TheRealNews.com. (Swanson can also be heard on the radio every Monday on KPFK, Radio or Not, and RT.)