Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Recommended recent articles from Historians Against the War

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“Report on Iran’s Nuclear Fatwa Distorts Its History”
By Gareth Porter, AntiWar.com, posted April 18

“A Black Indian March for Peace, 1861-1862”
By William Loren Katz, Portside.org, posted April 16

“Why Washington’s Iran Policy Could Lead to Global Disaster: What History Should Teach Us about Blockading Iran”
By Juan Cole, TomDispatch.com, posted April 12
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan.

“The Afghan Syndrome: Vietnam Has Left Town, Say Hello to the New Syndrome on the Block”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted April 10

“U.S. Military Atrocities Abroad”
By Ambeth R. Ocampo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, posted April 10
Relates the U.S.-Philippine War to Vietnam and Afghanistan

“Heard the One about the Peace Activist on the Titanic?”
By David Swanson, War Is a Crime.org, posted April 9

“Left Behind: What We Lost in Iraq and Washington, 2009-2012”
By Peter Van Buren, TomDispatch.com, posted April 8

“Waist Deep in Big Muddy, Again?”
By Mark Solomon, Portside.org, posted April 7

“Thinking the Unthinkable on Iran”
By Jonathan Schell, The Nation, posted April 6

“Our Men in Iran?”
By Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker blog, posted April 6

Articles of interest from Historians Against the War

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“US Outrage at Syria Veto at UN Rife with Hypocrisy”
By Stephen Zunes, TruthOut.org, posted February 8

“Anniversaries from ‘Unhistory'”
By Noam Chomsky, NationofChange.org, posted February 7

“The Betrayal of the Nobel Peace Prize”
By David Swanson, WarIs a Crime.org, posted February 5

“Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How Military Leaders Have Let Us Down”
By Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, Armed Forces Journal, February issue

“History Lesson for Newt Gingrich: Andrew Jackson Was a Savage Indian Killer”
By William Loren Katz, History News Network, posted January 30

“The Pentagon Pitches its New Strategic Narrative”
By Allen Ruff and Steve Horn, AntiWar.com, posted January 30
Allen Ruff has a history PhD from the University of Wisconsin

“The People and the Patriots: Who Led Whom in the American Revolution”
By Alfred Young, Boston Review, Nov.-Dec. 2011 issue, posted January 25
The author is a professor of history emeritus at Northern Illinois University

“The U.S., Indonesia & the New York Times”
By Conn Hallinan, CounterPunch, posted January 24

“A WPA for History: Occupy the American Historical Association”
By Jesse Lemisch, TruthOut.org, posted January 24
The author is a professor of history emeritus at John Jay College, CUNY

“Henoko and the U.S. Military: A History of Dependence and Resistance”
By Steve Rabson, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 10 Issue 4 No. 2, January 23
On U.S. bases in Okinawa; the author is a professor of Asian Studies emeritus at Brown University

Libya, Afghanizstan, Tet, “national security” and Jane Fonda: Latest articles recommended by HAW

“Ten Myths About Libya?”
By Conn Hallinan, Portside.org, posted August 24
This critique of Juan Cole’s article, listed below, requires scrolling partway down the Portside page.

“Top Ten Myths About the Libya War”
By Juan Cole, Portside.org, posted August 23 (from the author’s Informed Comment blog, August 22)
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan

“As Fighting Continues in Libya, a Look at Role of the U.S., NATO and Oil Firms in Libya Uprising”
Interview with Phyllis Bennis by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, posted August 23

“The Tet Offensive’s Parallels to Afghanistan”
By Richard Falk, Aljazeera.net, posted August 23

“An Initial Libyan Scorecard”
By Mark LeVine, Aljazeera.net, posted August 22
The author teaches history at the University of California, Irvine

“The ‘Most Notorious Liar in the Country’ Gets a Memorial on the Mall”
By Jo Freeman, Senior Women Web, posted appr. August 22

“How Safe Are You? What Almost $8 Trillion in National Security Spending Bought You”
By Chris Hellman, TomDispatch.com, posted August 18

“Shaping a New World Order”
By Andrew J. Bacevich, Los Angeles Times, posted August 17
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“Jane Fonda and the ‘Home of the Brave'”
Bu Nancy Miller Saunders, The Rag Blog, posted August 11

“The Crisis of Humanitarian Intervention”
By Walden Bello, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted August 9

Recent Articles of Interest from Historians Against the War

Recent Articles of Interest from HAW

“How to Save a Quarter of a Trillion Dollars”
By Lawrence S. Wittner, Huffington Post, posted August 8
The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany

“On the Sixty-Sixth Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima”
By Gar Alperovitz, CommonDreams.org, posted August 6

“Peddling Foolishness in Afghanistan”
By Conn Hallinan, CounterPunch.org, posted August 5
On geography, history, and the Pakistan-Afghanistan border

“Say It Ain’t So, O!”
By Stanley Kutler, TruthDig.com, posted August 4
The author is a professor of history emeritus at the University of Wisconsin

“War, Guilt and ‘Thank You for Your Service'”
By Elizabeth Samet, Bloomberg News, posted August 2

“Ballpark Liturgy: America’s New Civic Religion”
By Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted July 28
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“Anders Breivik, Steig Larsson, and the Men with the Nazi Tattoos”
By James Ridgeway, Mother Jones, posted July 26

“NATO in Libya Has Failed to Learn Costly Lessons of Afghanistan”
By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, posted July 23

“Puppets in Revolt: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and the United States”
By James Petras, Information Clearing House, posted July 23

“Checkmate in the Great Game”
By Nicholas J. S. Davies, Z Magazine, July-August issue

HAW recommends these articles

“Ex-Spy Alleges Bush White House Sought to Discredit Critic”
By James Risen, New York Times, posted June 16
The critic in question was University of Michigan historian Juan Cole. He has posted his take on the Times article here.

“Andropov Was Right”
By Tariq Ali, London Review of Books, June 16 issue
Review of two books on the Soviet experience in Afghanistan

“Congress Members Sue Obama to End Libya War”
By David Swanson, War Is a Crime.org, posted June 15
Includes historical background

“Western Media Fraud in the Middle East”
By Nir Rosen, Aljazeera English, posted June 15

“Siamese Twins Sharing the Same Brain: How the Military and the Civilian Are Blurring in Washington”
By William J. Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted June 14

“The Whistle-Blowers of 1777”
By Stephen M. Kohn, New York Times op-ed, posted June 12

“Slain Writer’s Book Says US-NATO War Served Al-Qaeda Strategy”
By Gareth Porter, Institute for Policy Studies, posted June 10

“Three Deadly War Myths”
By Robert Parry, ConsortiumNews.com, posted June 9
On myths related to the Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libyan wars

“Afghanistan: Obama’s Moment of Decision”
By Andrew J. Bacevich, History News Network, from The Daily Beast, posted June 8
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“Daniel Ellsberg: All the Crimes Richard Nixon Committed Against Me Are Now Legal”
Interview on the CNN blog, posted June 7

Recent articles recommended by Historians Against the War

“War? Bloodlust? What’s a Scholar to Do?”
By William Loren Katz, CommonDreams.org, posted June 8

“With Ollanta Humala’s Win, Peru Joins Latin America’s Left Turn”
By Greg Grandin, The Nation blog, posted June 7
The author teaches Latin American history at New York University

“Netanyahu’s Speech and Congressional Democrats’ Embrace of Extremism”
By Stephen Zunes, Truthout.com, posted June 3

“Our New Iraq-Afghanistan War National Holiday”
By David Swanson, War Is a Crime.org, posted May 29

“How America Screws Its Soldiers”
By Andrew J. Bacevich, The Daily Beast, posted May 28
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University.

“Netanyahu’s Border War”
By Shlomo Ben Ami, Truthout.org, posted May 28
The author is a history PhD and a former Israeli foreign minister.

“Parallel States: A New Vision for Peace”
By Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg, Aljazeera, posted May 28
Mark LeVine teaches history at the University of California, Irvine.

“Washington’s Weapon of Choice”
By Sherry Wolff, SocialistWorker.org, posted May 24

“Deception and Diplomacy: The US, Japan, and Okinawa”
By Gavan McCormack, Asia-Pacific Journal, posted May 23
Makes extensive use of documents released by Wikileaks

Historians Against the War recommended reading

“Headlines from the Dustbin of History (Afghan Dept.)”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted May 19

“The Secret Sharer: Is Thomas Drake an Enemy of the State?”
By Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, posted May 15
On the Obama administration’s attack on whistleblowers

“The Bin Laden Killing and American Exceptionalism”
By Michael H. Hunt, History News Network, posted May 13
The author is a professor of history emeritus at the University of North Carolina

“The Crash and Burn of Old Regimes: Washington Court Culture and Its Endless Wars”
By William J. Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted May 12
The author, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, teaches history at the Pennsylvania College of Technology

“Torture Is Never Legal and Didn’t Lead Us to Bin Laden”
By Marjorie Cohn, Portside.org, posted May 11

“Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death”
By Noam Chomsky, CommonDreams.org, posted May 11 (from Guernica magazine)

“The Double Game: The Unintended Consequences of American Funding in Pakistan”
By Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, posted May 7

“Why I Don’t Feel Much about Osama’s Death”
By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted May 5
The author teaches history at Tufts University

“Where Have All the Graveyards Gone? The War That Didn’t End War and Its Unending Successors”
By Adam Hochschild, TomDispatch.com, posted May 3

“The Libyan War, American Power and the Decline of the Petrodollar System”
By Peter Dale Scott, Asia-Pacific Journal, posted May 2

HAW Notes, including links to recent articles of interest on US foreign policy, wikileaks, Egypt, Tunsia, Afghanistan

To members and friends of Historians Against the War,

1. The HAW Steering Committee’s statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union message, which was sent to this list last Friday, has since been picked up by the History News Network (at http://www.hnn.us/articles/135968.html) and by Portside.org (at http://lists.portside.org/cgi-bin/listserv/wa?A2=PORTSIDE;ca16889.1101d). The statement was drafted by Marty Halpern, Staughton Lynd, and Edrene McKay and endorsed by the Steering Committee after discussion.

2. Carl Mirra of the HAW Steering Committee has passed along a request from Cover Me, a resource center for veterans and soldiers outside Fort Stewart in Georgia. The request is that HAW members and supporters who have written books consider donating a copy that would be put in a library at the center. The address is Monica Benderman/Cover Me, 733 Strickland Road, Hinesville, GA 31313.

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“Why Washington Clings to a Failed Middle East Strategy”
By Gareth Porter, CommonDreams.org, posted January 31

“President Obama, Say the ‘D-Word’”
By Mark A. LeVine, CommonDreams.org, posted January 29 (from Al Jazeera)
The author teaches history at UC Irvine

“Roots of the Egyptian Revolutionary Moment”
Interview with Mohammed Ezzeldin on the Real News Network, posted January 29
Mohammed Ezzeldin is a graduate of Cairo University and a history graduate student at Georgetown University

“Egyptian and Tunisian People vs. US Dominance”
Interview with Phyllis Bennis on the Real News Network, posted January 29

“The U.S. Is Moving On from Afghanistan, but Its Troops Are Still Dying There”
By Gary Younge, The Guardian, posted January 30
Includes comparisons with the Iraq War and Vietnam

“In America Today, Dwight D. Eisenhower Would Be Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Senate”
By Rachel Maddow, AlterNet.org, posted January 28

“The United States and the Prospects for Democracy in Arab Nations”
By Stephen Zunes, Huffington Post, posted January 27

“The Corruption Game: What the Tunisian Revolution and WikiLeaks Tell Us about American Support for Corrupt Dictatorships in the Muslim World”
By Juan Cole, TomDispatch.com, posted January 25

“Glaspie Memo Refutes Claims Leaked Docs Were Classified for ‘Security’”
By Jason Ditz, AntiWar.com, posted January 20

“Empire rots the brains of imperialists, is driven by hubris, racism and arrogance”—R.I.P. Chalmers Johnson

“Imperialism is a form of tyranny, it never rules through consent of the governed. …We talk about the spread of democracy, but we talk about the spread of democracy at the point of an assault rifle.”—Chalmers Johnson

Via Rich Gibson:

So Long Chalmers Johnson (Died November 20, Saturday, San Diego):

“Empire rots the brains of imperialists, is driven by hubris, racism and arrogance.”

YouTube Preview Image

Johnson was always an anti-communist, which he equated with Soviet and Chinese communism (he quickly identified the latter as little more than peasant nationalism, rightly so). Probably recruited by Hannah Arendt as a CIA asset, Johnson targeted the east, Japan (“US puppets”) and China. With the implosion of Soviet social fascism, Johnson expected a peace dividend which never materialized. Turning his eyes on the US empire of bases (800 plus), he foretold 9/11/2001 in “Blowback,” then built a trilogy with the later “Sorrows of Empire,” and “Nemesis.” In print and in person, he repeatedly said the US is now a fascist state, one of the few truly reputable scholars with the courage to do so. In “Nemesis,” he said bankruptcy would be the key to the end of the US empire–but warned it would not die with a whimper. He had two suggestions for citizens. The first, take your cat and go to Vancouver. Later, he suggested the US just dissolve its own might, as he said the Brits did. The US, however, does not have the US to hide behind. Johnson’s almost reflexive rejection of a Marxist analysis of imperialism (born almost simultaneously with capitalism, a relentless quest for cheap labor, raw materials, markets, regional control–empire) led him to view imperialism as hubris plus militarism–meaning a change of mind could upend the vampire’s desires. It cannot. Nevertheless, Johnson’s incredible prescience creates a field of land-mines for any of his critics. His research methods should be studied by everyone serious about social change. His book on Revolution, opposing it, inspires those who are for it. Finally, his insider knowledge coupled with a razor wit made encounters with Chalmers Johnson a challenge. He never backed down. So long, and “adios” (his habitual farewell) Chalmers. What you did counted.

Good luck to us, every one.


Democracy Now!: Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010, on the Last Days of the American Republic

Audio interview March 2010 on Media Matters with Bob McChesney

John Nichols The Nation Blog: Chalmers Johnson and the Patriotic Struggle Against Empire

Rouge Forum Update: Uprising in France and Victory in Chicago!

The full Rouge Forum Update is here.

Perpetual War

Michel Foucault ( from punishment to surveillance ) + Sarkozy
YouTube Preview Image

AlJazeera On the WikiLeaks Release: Working with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London for the past 10 weeks, Al Jazeera has analysed tens of thousands of documents, finding facts the US has kept hidden from public scrutiny.

What has been uncovered often contradicts the official narrative of the conflict. For example, the leaked data shows that the US has been keeping records of Iraqi deaths and injuries throughout the war, despite public statements to the contrary.

The latest cache of files pertains to a period of six years – from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2009 – and shows that 109,000 people died during this time. Of those, a staggering 66,081 – two-thirds of the total – were civilians.

The figures are much higher than previously estimated and they will inevitably lead to an upward revision of the overall death toll of the conflict.

As a result of the information contained in the war logs, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) – an organisation that kept records of the number of people killed – is about to raise its death toll estimates by 15,000: to 122,000 from 107,000.

The new material throws light on the day-to-day horrors of the war. The military calls them SIGACTs – significant action reports – ground-level summaries of the events that punctuated the conflict: raids, searches, roadside bombings, arrests, and more. All of them are classified “secret”.

The reports reveal how torture was rampant and how ordinary civilians bore the brunt of the conflict.

The files record horrifying tales: of pregnant women being shot dead at checkpoints, of priests kidnapped and murdered, of Iraqi prison guards using electric drills to force their prisoners to confess.

Equally disturbing is the response of the military to the civilian deaths caused by its troops. Excessive use of force was routinely not investigated and the guilty were rarely brought to book.

The WikiLeaks Release that the US Did Not Want Seen: At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports (‘The Iraq War Logs’), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a ‘SIGACT’ or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 ‘civilians’; 23,984 ‘enemy’ (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 ‘host nation’ (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 ‘friendly’ (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the ‘Afghan War Diaries’, previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivallent population size.

Linked below a CBS Video on the Pathetic San Diego Homeless Vets’ Stand-down: The VA tells “60 Minutes” that, already, there are more than 9,000 Iraq and Afghanistan vets who’ve been homeless.

Two million troops have already served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The VA believes there could be thousands more homeless in part because of the combat stress and brain injuries that roadside bombs inflict. Already, a quarter of a million troops have asked for mental health treatment.

“The troops that are gonna come back from Afghanistan and from Iraq, is this country prepared for that?” Pelley asked.

“I don’t think so,” Nachison said.

Secret Wars Hidden From Even Corrupt In-bed-with Journalists: A major military operation involving hundreds of American troops, U.S. Special Forces and heavy bombers dropping 2,000-pound bombs on Taliban command and control centers wrapped up last week, concluding a critical phase in the campaign to oust the Taliban from Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province.

But no journalists were there to witness the operation.

U.S. military officials told journalists who had arrived to Kandahar Airfield for embeds in the Arghandab district between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15 that logistical problems had caused their embeds to be canceled.

US Construction Way Down—US Construction for Afghan Permanent Bases Way Up: analysis of little-noticed U.S. government records and publications, including U.S. Army and Army Corps of Engineers contracting documents and construction-bid solicitations issued over the last five months, fills in the picture. The documents reveal plans for large-scale, expensive Afghan base expansions of every sort and a military that is expecting to pursue its building boom without letup well into the future. These facts-on-the-ground indicate that, whatever timelines for phased withdrawal may be issued in Washington, the U.S. military is focused on building up, not drawing down, in Afghanistan….

Despite a pledge from the Obama administration to begin its troop drawdowns next July, this ongoing base-construction splurge, when put together with recent signals from the White House, civilians at the Pentagon, and top military commanders, including Afghan war chief General David Petraeus, suggests that the process may be drawn out over many years. During a recent interview with ABC News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, for instance, Petraeus affirmed the president’s July 2011 timeline, but added a crucial caveat. “It will be a pace that is determined by conditions,” he said.

Who Lost the Sunnis? Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.
Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency.

War Criminal Rice Lauds Obamagogue’s BiPartisan Wars: Rice said she and Obama “covered the waterfront.” “Despite the fact there are changes and tussles, there is still a foreign policy community that believes that foreign policy ought to be bipartisan,” she said. “It was really great that he reached out in that way.”

The Hitler Exhibit is ONLY ABOUT GERMANS: the show focuses on the society that nurtured and empowered him. It is not the first time historians have argued that Hitler did not corral the Germans as much as the Germans elevated Hitler. But one curator said the message was arguably more vital for Germany now than at any time in the past six decades, as rising nationalism, more open hostility to immigrants and a generational disconnect from the events of the Nazi era have older Germans concerned about repeating the past….

…over and over, the point was spelled out clearly in the exhibit’s plaques like one, near letters written by children who were sent off to concentration camps, that said: “Hitler was able to implement his military and extermination objectives because the military and economic elites were willing to carry out his war.”

The exhibit, with all its photographs of young and old adoring Hitler, also sought to dispel the notion that the Nazi spirit was simply impossible to resist. It held up Johann Georg Elser as proof that “it was possible for an individual to develop into a resistance fighter.”

Mr. Elser was a carpenter who tried to kill Hitler at the outset of the war and was hanged for his actions.

His story, however, left some viewers to wonder why their parents and grandparents had not rejected Hitler. Why everyone went mad.

Tom Brokaw—to the Left of Most Education Reformers: Notice anything missing on the campaign landscape? How about war? The United States is now in its ninth year of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest wars in American history. Almost 5,000 men and women have been killed. More than 30,000 have been wounded, some so gravely they’re returning home to become, effectively, wards of their families and communities.