Why I’m Against All War

  1. War dehumanizes all participants. 
  2. War profits the few but hurts and kills many.
  3. War creates homelessness. 
  4. War creates refugees. 
  5. War kills innocent civilians. 
  6. Contrary what we are told, war creates terrorism
  7. War (and the preparation for war) robs us from dealing with human needs…education, poverty, homelessness, healthcare, social justice, clean water, healthy food, sustainable economy, etc. 
  8. Undermining education undermines democracy. Democracy requires an educated populace. 
  9. The violence of war causes more violence (in heads, in homes, in neighborhoods, in schools, in cities, in our society)
  10. War causes veteran violence and suicides. 
  11. War contributes to climate change and causes environmental damage.
  12. War distracts and prevents us from dealing with real existential threats….climate crises, pandemics, and nuclear war. 
  13. War is created by lies.
  14. War dehumanizes the enemy through propaganda. 
  15. War prevents cooperation and collaboration…things we need for coexistence. 
  16. Many are convinced that war is necessary. Some are convinced that war is a necessary evil. I’m convinced that war is just evil.    
  17. War creates unhealthy levels of nationalism. Nationalism that values a life that resides on one side of a border as fundamentally more valuable than a life on the other side of a border. It is a lie.   
  18. The people who profit from war never suffer the horror of war.
  19. War erodes democracy.
  20. War erodes liberty.
  21. People have been lied into war since there has been war.
  22. Some people promote war because it is profitable. 
  23. War taps into the lower nature of human beings…us vs them, otherness, bigotry, xenophobia, fear, hatred. 
  24. War culture glorifies violence.
  25. Leaders teach citizens how to behave through their words and actions. Leaders who resort to the violence of war teach their citizenry that violence is the best way to resolve differences. 
  26. The world is smaller than ever. We can no longer afford to live this way.
  27. We have lived with the threat of mutual annihilation for the last 70 years. We should be much more concerned about this. I believe we know at some unconscious level that this Sword of Damocles is dangling over our heads. It contributes to the stress, fear, and anxiety in our society.
  28. I’ve met people from many countries. I can state unequivocally that people are people. The vast majority want to make a living, pursue their passions, and raise their families in peace. 
  29. When we project our evil onto another person or society, we ignore those demonized qualities within ourselves or our society and therefore do not grow while potentially causing great harm. 
  30. We are taught (and we know intuitively) that killing is wrong. War overrides our intuition. 
  31. War has not been fought for freedom and democracy for a long time, if ever.
  32. War has resulted in no good and a lot of harm for a very long time.
  33. War damages the souls/psyches of the participants. 
  34. War leads to death by disease. 
  35. War leads to starvation and malnutrition. 
  36. War and militarization (and the demonization that results from it) causes fear and hatred. It diminishes us.
  37. War is easy to start and very difficult to end.
  38. War robs us of blood and treasure.
  39. War focuses our imagination, creativity, and energy on destruction rather than creation. 
  40. War and militarization prevents us from flourishing.

This is why I oppose war and militarism. I believe that we need to move beyond the old paradigm of competition and conflict and toward a new paradigm of international cooperation and coexistence. The horrific health and economic crises we are currently facing clearly demonstrate that it is time to shift our priorities from the destructive forces of militarism in order to address the needs of people and the planet. 

As I indicated, the pandemic is just one of the three great threats facing humankind. The others are climate change and war, either deliberately or inadvertently escalating into nuclear war. No other threat is close to these three, yet some nations are still focusing on cold war era doctrine that prevent us from dealing with the real existential threats. Our leaders are stuck in an old and antiquated paradigm. We are essentially moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. Meanwhile, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (https://thebulletin.org/) has moved the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds till midnight as a result of the real threats, the closest since its creation in 1954 (including the Cuban Missile Crisis). While these threats loom over us all, Congress just passed a $740 billion annual discretionary budget for the Pentagon which doesn’t address the real threats and, in fact, moves us in the wrong direction. Our attention, our creativity, our innovation, and our precious resources are needed to deal with the real threats to our survival and prosperity. For this to happen, we must fervently pursue peace.  

My goal is to resurrect the peace movement in order to influence politicians to change course before it is too late. In order to accomplish this, we need more people to be focused beyond the day to day issues and understand the intersectionality of war and violence, poverty, education, liberty & democracy, climate catastrophe, and pandemic response. If we want better pandemic response, the answer is ending war. If we want to avert climate catastrophe, the answer is ending war. If we want to avert nuclear Armageddon, the answer is ending war. If we want better education, better infrastructure, clean drinking water, a more just society, the answer is ending war.

The answer to the question, as Edwin Starr indicated in 1970, is that war is good for absolutely nothing.