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Health Professionals Tackle War


September 20, 2018
David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War

Commentary: When I discovered that militarism is one of the top destroyers of the natural environment, that war wastes more money than anything else, is a major promoter of racism, is the primary threat to civil liberties and the push for militarized police, and is the top barrier to the rule of law and global cooperation, I added that to my case against war. But when I read that militarism is a top public health threat that medical professionals have a responsibility to prevent, I'm struck with conflicting responses.

http://davidswanson.org/health-professionals-tackle-war/

Health Professionals Tackle War
David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War



(September 17, 2018) -- When I discovered that militarism is one of the top destroyers of the natural environment, I piled that onto my case against war. I did the same when I found out war wasted more money than anything else, was a major promoter of bigotry and racism, was the primary justification for government secrecy and the erosion of civil liberties, was the top barrier to the rule of law and global cooperation, militarized local police, etc., etc.

When I came to see how counterproductive war was, increasing the dangers of war for those whose governments wage or prepare to wage wars, I added that to the overwhelming case.

In contrast, when I read about militarism as a top public health threat, a top cause of death and disease, a "completely preventable" epidemic, which medical professionals therefore have a responsibility to try to prevent, I'm struck with conflicting responses.

First, this is actually why I opposed war in the first place. Second, it's a bit shocking and wonderful to read doctors, writing like doctors, treating war as a health crisis, almost as if we lived in a sane society in which problems were prioritized for rational reasons.

After all, our culture actively promotes war to little children, just as it does junk food and consumerism.

Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals is a valuable new book edited by William Wiist and Shelley White. The book is a collection of writings by health professionals and peace professionals. It begins with a section of chapters covering the damage that war does to civilians, to participants, to the natural environment.

Part II looks into causes of war, including war culture, war profiteering, and war academia. Parts III and IV address means of preventing war and promoting peace, and of doing so in the health professions.

Not all the contributors to the book would agree with each other on all details. For example, I would reject parts of the chapter on war and the law, because it celebrates the UN Charter's opening up of loopholes for legal wars as a supposed improvement on the Kellogg-Briand Pact's ban on war.

Any book analyzing the accomplished normalization of a mode of thought is inevitably going to find itself still tied up with the most deeply rooted vestiges of that thought. But that can make it an even more useful book for many others to read.

I've added this book to the following list of recommendations.

THE WAR ABOLITION COLLECTION:
Murder Incorporated: Book Two: America's Favorite Pastime by Mumia Abu Jamal and Stephen Vittoria, 2018.

Waymakers for Peace: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Survivors Speak by Melinda Clarke, 2018.

Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals edited by William Wiist and Shelley White, 2017.

The Business Plan For Peace: Building a World Without War by Scilla Elworthy, 2017.

War Is Never Just by David Swanson, 2016.

A Global Security System: An Alternative to War by World Beyond War, 2015, 2016, 2017.

A Mighty Case Against War: What America Missed in U.S. History Class and What We (All) Can Do Now by Kathy Beckwith, 2015.

War: A Crime Against Humanity by Roberto Vivo, 2014.

Catholic Realism and the Abolition of War by David Carroll Cochran, 2014.

War and Delusion: A Critical Examination by Laurie Calhoun, 2013.

Shift: The Beginning of War, the Ending of War by Judith Hand, 2013.

War No More: The Case for Abolition by David Swanson, 2013.

The End of War by John Horgan, 2012.

Transition to Peace by Russell Faure-Brac, 2012.

From War to Peace: A Guide To the Next Hundred Year s by Kent Shifferd, 2011.

War Is A Lie by David Swanson, 2010, 2016.

Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Douglas Fry, 2009.

Living Beyond War by Winslow Myers, 2009.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook, and sign up for: Activist alerts, Articles, David Swanson news, World Beyond War news, Charlottesville news.



Preventing War and Promoting Peace
Cambridge University Press (December 14, 2017)

Book Description
Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals is an interdisciplinary study of how pervasive militarism creates a propensity for war through the influence of academia, economic policy, the defense industry, and the news media.

Comprising contributions by academics and practitioners from the fields of public health, medicine, nursing, law, sociology, psychology, political science, and peace and conflict studies, as well as representatives from organizations active in war prevention, the book emphasizes the underlying preventable causes of war, particularly militarism, and focuses on the methods health professionals can use to prevent war.

Preventing War and Promoting Peace provides hard-hitting facts about the devastating health effects of war and a broad perspective on war and health, presenting a new paradigm for the proactive engagement of health professions in the prevention of war and the promotion of peace.

Reviews
'The consequences of war are horrific and extend to civilian and military populations. There is little question that politics, power, and money are all important determinants of war and its consequences. This book peels a complex onion clearly and instructively. In so doing it presents an agenda for public health scholarship and intervention and makes a compelling case for the ineluctable role of public health in the prevention of war and the promotion of peace.'
-- Sandro Galea, Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean, Boston University School of Public Health.

'This is a book that needs to be read, particularly, now that the sounds of war are appearing again in the chambers of power. It's important to inform the public about the dangers of war and health professionals have a major responsibility in this task.'
-- Vicente Navarro, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Chief Editor of the International Journal of Health Services.

'This path-breaking book provides an enlightening and inspiring analysis of the connections among war, empire, and health. Especially during this historical period of what has been called 'permanent war', as resistance to war as a tool of the failing capitalist economic system is growing around the world, the contributions in this book become essential reading in understanding our current situation and struggling to change it.'
-- Howard Waitzkin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico, and Director, Civilian Medical Resources Network

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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