Tag Archives: Iraq

Historians Against the War: Links to Recent Articles of Interest

Historians Against the War: Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“Is a Nuclear War with China Possible?”
By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted November 28
The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany

“The Militarization of American Police Has Long Historical Roots”
By Jeremy Kuzmarov, History News Network, posted November 28
The author teaches history at the University of Tulsa

“Wes Clark and the Neocon Dream”
By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, posted November 26

“NYPD Raid on Occupy’s Zuccotti Park Destroyed Thousands of Books”
By Gianna Palmer, McClatchy Newspapers, posted November 23

“Violence Goes to College”
By Vijay Prashad, CounterPunch.org, posted November 22
The author teaches history at Trinity College

“Seymour Hersh: Propaganda Used Ahead of the Iraq War Is Now Being Reused over Iran’s Nuke Program”
Interview with Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now, posted on Alternet.org November 22

“Occupy Wall Street”
By Jeffrey Kerr-Ritchie, Strategic Culture Foundation, posted November 17
The author teaches history at Howard University

“Who Said Gaddafi Had to Go?”
By Hugh Roberts, London Review of Books, November 17 issue

“Big Change Whether We Like It or Not: Only Washington Is Clueless”
By Andrew Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted November 13
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“Protest Planet: How a Neoliberal Shell Game Created an Age of Activism”
By Juan Cole, TomDispatch.com, posted November 10
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan

“Why the US Recognized Israel” (full version of article previously cited)
By Irene Gendzier, Israeli Occupation Archive, posted November 9
The author teaches history at Boston University

“China and the US: The Roadmaps”
By Pepe Escobar, Aljazeera, posted October 31

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

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

“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.”

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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.

r

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
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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.

Wikileaks Iraq War Diaries

From Wikileaks:

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.

The Guardian Wikileaks page (visit this page for various analyses of data from documents released today by Wikileaks, as well as related news stories).

Democracy Now!: Pentagon Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on Iraq War Wikileaks Docs

The whistleblowing group WikiLeaks is preparing to release up to 400,000 U.S. intelligence reports on the Iraq War. The disclosure would comprise the biggest leak in U.S. history, far more than the 91,000 Afghanistan war logs WikiLeaks released this summer. We speak to the nation’s most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971. For a complete transcript or the podcast, visit www.DemocracyNow.org
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Recent articles recommended by Historians Against the War

“Diary”
By Jonathan Steele, London Review of Books, September 9 issue
On the past and present of the Taliban, by a veteran journalist

“Will Our Generals Ever Shut Up? The Military’s Media Megaphone and the U.S. Global Military Presence”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted September 7
On the erosion of civilian control of foreign policy

“Turning Iraq into a ‘Good War’: How the Obama Administration Adopted the Bush/Petraeus Story Line”
By Gareth Porter, CounterPunch.org, posted September 7

“Our ‘Dumb Wars’ Will Go On”
By Stanley Kutler, TruthDig.com, posted September 6
The author is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin

“History Repeats Itself in Anti-Islamic Mood”
By Jonathan Zimmerman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, posted September 2
Makes historical parallel with anti-Catholicism

“The Speech President Obama Should Give about the Iraq War (But Won’t)
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment, posted August 31
The author teaches Middle East history at the University of Michigan

“The Unmaking of a Company Man: An Education Begun in the Shadow of the Brandenburg Gate”
By Andrew Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted August 26
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion”
By Michael H. Hunt, History News Network, posted August 23
The author is a professor of history emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Spinning the U.S. Failure in Iraq”
By Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com, posted August 20

“Presidents Flying Blind”
By Andrew J. Bacevich, History News Network, posted August 20 (from Los Angeles Times, August 19)

Latest from Historians Against the War

To members and friends of Historians Against the War,

Here are some notes, followed by our latest more-or-less biweekly listing of recent articles of interest.

1. Two authors who have frequently been featured in our listings of “articles of interest” have come out with new books this summer. Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich’s latest book is Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (Metropolitan Books), and Tom Engelhardt’s new book, based on his “TomDispatch” e-mailings (see two articles cited below) is The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s (Haymarket Books).

2. Tom Hayden has initiated an online petition supporting WikiLeaks at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/38165.html. The preamble says, “We believe that WikiLeaks and those whistleblowers who declassify documents in a time of secret war should be welcomed as defenders of democracy, not demonized as criminals. We support their First Amendment rights and welcome their continued disobedience in response to a long train of official deception.”

Recent Articles of Interest

“The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century”
By Chalmers Johnson, TomDispatch.com, posted August 17

“WikiLeaks and War Crimes”
By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, posted August 12

“‘Blood on Our Hands’”
By Dahr Jamail, Truth-Out.org, posted August 11
On the US invasion of Iraq

“Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Political Legacy to the United States”
By Herbert P. Bix, Z-Net, posted August 6
The author won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan

“Confronting a Mindset”
By Susan Galleymore, CounterPunch.org, posted August 5
On the Hiroshima bombing and the continued testing of nuclear weapons

“65 Years after Hiroshima: Truman’s Choices”
By Stanley Kutler, Truthdig.com, posted August 6
The author is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin

“Whose Blood, Whose Hands: Killing Civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted August 5
On the Wikileaks revelations

“What’s the War About?”
By William Blum, CounterPunch.org, posted August 5
On September 11 and Afghanistan

“Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah ‘Worse than Hiroshima’”
By Patrick Cockburn, Z-Net, posted August 5 (from The Independent)

“Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn”
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig.com, posted August 1
On Zinn’s FBI file

More articles from HAW

Recommended reading from Historians Against the War

“Afghanistan’s Armies, Past and Present”
By Stephanie Cronin, History & Policy, posted July 8
The author teaches Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford

“Non-Believer”
By Andrew Bacevich, The New Republic, posted July 7
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“Mark Twain’s Early Protest Against the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”
By Cynthia Wachtell, Tikkun Daily, posted July 7
Based on the author’s just-published book War No More: The Antiwar Impulse in American Literature, 1961-1914 (LSU Press)

“What Eisenhower Could Teach Obama”
By Melvin A. Goodman, ConsortiumNews.com, posted July 5

“Why McChrystal Did It”
By Immanuel Wallerstein, Z-Net, posted July 4

“What Drives Israel?”
By Ilan Pappe, posted June 30 (originally in the Scotland Herald)
The author teaches history at the University of Exeter, UK

“How Afghanistan Became the Ignored War”
By Julian Zelizer, CNN.com, posted June 28
The author teaches history at Princeton University

“The Land Where Theories of Warfare Go to Die: Obama, Petraeus, and the Cult of COIN in Afghanistan”
By Robert Dreyfuss, TomDispatch.com, posted June 27

“Why the Taliban Is Winning in Afghanistan”
By William Dalrymple, New Statesman, posted June 22
Compares the current war to the disastrous First Anglo-Afghan War of 1839-42

Lastest articles from Historians Against the War

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“Death Squads in Afghanistan”
By Francis Shor, CounterPunch.com, posted April 27

Winning All the Battles but Losing the War, Just Like Hannibal”
By Robert O’Connell, History News Network, posted April 26
The author is a history PhD who has had a 30-year career in Army Intelligence

“The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Past & Present”
By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted April 26
The author teaches history at SUNY Albany

“Can You Pass the Iran Quiz?”
By Jeffrey Rudolph, Countercurrents.org, posted April 24A
26-question quiz on Iranian history and society, recommended by Juan Cole in his Informed Comment blog

“The Urge to Stay”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted April 24
On US decision-making on Iraq and Afghanistan, with historical parallels

“Rummaging in ‘The Hurt Locker’ for the Moral Equivalent of War”

http://www.hnn.us/articles/125503.html

By James Livingston, History News Network, posted April 19
The author teaches history at Rutgers University

“America and Dictators: Diem to Karzai”
By Alfred W. McCoy, ReaderSupportedNews.org, posted April 18 (from Asia Times)
The author teaches history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“On Karzai and Unreliable Partners”
By Andrew Bacevich, Politico.com, posted April 15
Draws sardonic lessons for President Karzai from the contrasting fates of former US clients Ngo Dinh Diem and Chiang Kai-Shek. The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“The Pentagon Papers are Public This Time”
By David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org, posted April 15
On Daniel Ellsberg and comparisons with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars