Tag Archives: war

Historians Against the War: Links to Recent Articles of Interest

Historians Against the War: Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“No Exit: America Has an Impressive Record of Starting Wars but a Dismal One of Ending Them Well”
By Andrew Bacevich, American Conservative, February 1 issue
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University.

“Haiti’s Troubled History with the U.S. and France”
By Marc Becker, History News Network, posted January 19
The author teaches Latin American history at Truman State University. This article was sent in e-mail form to the HAW-Info list on January 17.

“U.S. Military Escalation in Afghanistan: A Response to President Obama”
By Richard Drake, History News Network, posted January 18
The author teaches history at the University of Montana

[review essay on The Guantanamo Lawyers and Guantanamo USA]
By Jeremy Kuzmarov, History News Network, posted January 17
The author teaches history at the University of Tulsa

“Iran, 1979 and 2010”
By Dilip Hiro and Tom Englehardt, TomDispatch.com, posted January 12

“Nuclear Terrorism: How It Can Be Prevented”
By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted January 11
The author teaches history at Vassar College

“Yemen: The Latest U.S. Battleground”
By Stephen Zunes, Huffington Post, posted January 8

“Obama’s Alternate Universe”
By Scott Ritter, Truthdig.com, posted January 8

Historians Against the War: Links to Recent Articles of Interest

Historians Against the War: Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“Serial Catastrophes in Afghanistan Threaten Obama Policy”
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment web site, posted January 4

The $30bn Pair of Underpants
By Mark LeVine, Aljazeera.net, posted January 4

“Obama’s Post-Modern War of Attrition”
By Andrew Bacevich, CounterPunch, January 1-3 edition, originally published in New York Daily News

“Catcher’s Mitt: Obama, Pakistan and the Afghan Wars to Come”
By Graham Usher, Middle East Report Online, posted December 31

“The Moment That Changed Afghanistan”
By Stephen Kinzer, The Guardian, posted December 28

“The Revolution Will Be Mercantilized”
By Ali Ansari, The National Interest online, Posted December 21
on the Revolutionary Guard in Iran; the author teaches history at St. Andrews University

“The Best Argument for the Afghan War – and What’s Wrong with It”
By Jon Wiener, The Nation blog, posted December 17

“Obama’s Indecent Interval: Despite the U.S. President’s Pleas to the Contrary, the War in Afghanistan Looks More Like Vietnam than Ever”
By Thomas H. Johnson and M. Chris Mason, Foreign Policy, December 10

“Was Kosovo the Good War?”
By David Gibbs, Tikkun, July-August 2009
The author teaches history and government at the University of Arizona

HAW recommended articles: Afghanistan looks like another Vietnam

“New War Order: How Panama Set the Course for Post-Cold War Foreign Policy”
By Ted Galen Carpenter, American Conservative, February 1, 2010 issue

“In War, Winners Can Be Losers”
By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted December 21

“Grinding Down the U.S. Army”
By William Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted December 15
The author is a retired Air Force colonel who now teaches history at the Pennsylvania College of Technology

“With Obama’s Strategy, Afghanistan Looks Like Another Vietnam”
By George McGovern, Washington Post, posted December 13

“Beware Presidents’ Use of History”
By John Prados, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, posted December 8

“Afghanistan: Mirage of the Good War”
By Tariq Ali, New Left Review, March-April 2008
This breaks our rules of only recent articles, but one of us ran across this article recently and found that it provides valuable background to today’s events.

Historians Against the War statements on Military Resistance and Escalation in Afghanistan

The HAW Steering Committee has voted to adopt the following two statements related to the war in Afghanistan.

Statement on military resistance:

This statement was submitted by Staughton Lynd and approved by the HAW Steering Committee. Correspondence on it should be sent to another member of the Steering Committee.

Historians Against the War supports soldiers in the United States military who refuse to fight in Afghanistan, either as conscientious objectors or on the grounds that the United States is committing war crimes forbidden by Nuremburg and the Army Field Manual, such as the use of drone aircraft in Pakistan.

Statement on Escalation in Afghanistan:

This statement originated in a draft suggested by Herbert Shapiro, emeritus history professor at the University of Cincinnati. It was amended somewhat in discussions within the Steering Committee and adopted.

Historians Against War (HAW) expresses its opposition to the escalation of the Afghanistan War announced by President Obama in his December 1 speech at West Point. Once again we are told the United States must increase its commitment of human and material resources in support of a government, steeped in corruption, that fails to demonstrate support of a majority of its country’s population.

In his speech, President Obama took issue with any claim that Afghanistan is another Vietnam. The two conflicts are not carbon copies of each other but there are distinct similarities. And if we go on with the Afghan War it may be that we have not fully learned the lessons of Vietnam.

The Vietnamese would not yield to a counter-insurgency that believed sending increasing numbers of troops, dropping more and more napalm upon them, and flying more bombing runs was a formula for victory. They would not yield to a strategy that could not distinguish between soldiers and civilians and pretended that a discredited Saigon regime had the support of the people over whom it ruled.

In Afghanistan we once more follow the path of escalation, inflicting “collateral” damage on a civilian population and propping up a corrupt government. In the present war we once more adopt a “guns not butter” policy, making war while undermining our ability to devote the resources needed to make the economic reforms so urgently needed at home.

Afghanistan’s own recent history provides further reason for opposing the Obama administration’s current course of action. The Soviet experience of the late 1970s and early 1980s dramatically reinforced Afghanistan’s role as the “graveyard of empires.” At the same time, U.S. intervention in the form of aid to the most reactionary anti-Soviet forces helped lay the groundwork for the emergence of al-Qaeda.

HAW urges a change in direction. We need an Afghanistan policy that includes a full, early, and orderly withdrawal of U.S. military forces, economic assistance to Afghani civil society, and a relinquishment of any project for permanent U.S. bases.

Why liberals kill and other links to articles recommended by Historians Against the War

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“Obama’s Folly”
By Andrew Bacevich, War in Context website, from the Los Angeles Times, December 3

“The President Has Drawn the Wrong Lessons From His Understanding of the History of War”
Interview with Andrew Bacevich on Democracy Now, posted December 2

“Obama’s Surge: Has the President Been Misled by the Iraq Analogy?
By Juan Cole, Salon.com. posted December 1
A detailed analysis of circumstances that gave the Iraq “surge” the appearance of success, and of how circumstances in Afghanistan are different.

“Afghanistan: The Roach Motel of Empires”
By Zoltan Grossman, AfterDowningStreet.com, posted December 2

“Afghanistan Fact Sheet: The Numbers Behind the Troop Increase”
By the National Priorities Project, posted December 1

“A Better Way to Kill? Human Terrain Systems, Anthropologists and the War in Afghanistan”
By David Price, CounterPunch.org, posted December 1

“It’s Obama’s War Now”
By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted November 30
The author teaches history at Tufts University; despite its title, the article is mainly historical.

“The Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan Through CIA Eyes: Lessons for the United States Today”
By Bennett Ramberg, Huffington Post, posted November 24

Bill Moyers’ Journal, November 20 – on escalation in Vietnam
Public Broadcasting System, November 20
On Lyndon Johnson’s decision making on Vietnam in the mid-1960s, using excerpts from President Johnson’s taped phone conversations with top advisors. The video of this program can be accessed here.

“Why Liberals Kill”
By Thad Russell, The Daily Beast, posted October 17
a broad-brush analysis of the liberal foreign policy tradition from a libertarian conservative perspective

Suggestions for inclusion in these lists are welcome: they can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com. Members of the working group for this project are Matt Bokovoy, Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, Jim O’Brien, Maia Ramnath, and Sarah Shields

Rouge Forum Update: Sky Falling Fast; Resistance Rising Too!


Full update here: Rouge Forum Update: Sky Falling Fast; Resistance Rising Too!

Dear Friends,

There have been at least 16 occupations seeking to rescue education from the ruling classes in California this month, and more to come. UC Irvine next. Germany, Austria, and France also witnessed fight-backs coming from united students and workers.

To date, the only organized school voice in the US that recognizes the current crises as class war is the Rouge Forum–which may speak well for us, or not so well for others who, so far, hold onto wisps of unfounded hope made up of the shreds of democracy and citizenship in the USA.

The direct action occupations and the defenders outside the buildings up the ante for thought and action in schools and in the streets, demonstrating the violence behind capitalist democracy; overcoming the alienated notion that people other than us will save us.

See the Rouge Forum blog linked above for a more complete update.

Good luck to us, every one,

Lastest article links from Historians Against the War

Links to Recent Articles of Interest from HAW.

“History Promises Disaster in Afghanistan for Blind America”
By John R. MacArthur, Providence Journal, posted November 18
(by the publisher of Harper’s Magazine)

“Washington’s Welcome Indecision”
By Mahir Ali, Znet, posted November 18

“Who’s Afraid of World Government?”
By Lawrence Wittner, History News Network, posted November 16
(The author teaches history at SUNY Albany,)

“Haunted by Gorbachev’s Ghost”
By James Fergusson, truthdig.org, posted November 15 (from The Independent)
(on parallels with the Soviet experience in Afghanistan)

“Obama, Learn the Lessons of Vietnam – from JFK, not LBJ”
By Larry Berman and Edward Miller, New York Daily News, posted November 13
(Miller teaches history at Dartmouth College)

“Why the Afghan Surge Will Fail”
By Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted November 12

“The Fifty-Year War”
By Jonathan Schell, The Nation (November 30 issue), posted November 11
(on domestic politics as the link between US decision-making in Vietnam and Afghanistan)

“Cold War Without End: America Never Had a Post-Communist Revolution”
By David Brown, Antiwar.com, posted November 10

“Drone Race to a Known Future: Why Military Dreams Fail – and Why It Doesn’t Matter”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted November 10

“Sen. George McGovern on the Presidency from Lincoln to Obama”
Interviewed by Robert Scheer, Truthdig.com, posted November 6

Suggestions for inclusion in these lists are welcome: they can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com. Members of the working group for this project are Matt Bokovoy, Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, Jim O’Brien, Maia Ramnath, Sarah Shields

Bill Moyers on “Washington’s War”

Picture 1

Moyer’s links the war, economy, and the disintegration of the social fabric of the US and suggests:

So here’s a suggestion. In a week or so, when the president announces he is escalating the war, let’s not hide the reality behind eloquence or animation. No more soaring rhetoric, please. No more video games. If our governing class wants more war, let’s not allow them to fight it with young men and women who sign up because they don’t have jobs here at home, or can’t afford college or health care for their families.

Let’s share the sacrifice. Spread the suffering. Let’s bring back the draft.

Yes, bring back the draft — for as long as it takes our politicians and pundits to “fix” Afghanistan to their satisfaction.

Bring back the draft, and then watch them dive for cover on Capitol Hill, in the watering holes and think tanks of the Beltway, and in the quiet little offices where editorial writers spin clever phrases justifying other people’s sacrifice. Let’s insist our governing class show the courage to make this long and dirty war our war, or the guts to end it.


Links to recent articles of interest from Historians Against the War

This is the fourth biweekly mailing of links to articles that provide historical background on HAW-relevant topics. Suggestions for inclusion are welcome: they can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com. Members of the working group for this project are listed below.

Matt Bokovoy,
Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg
Jim O’Brien
Maia Ramnath
Sarah Shields

“What the U.S. Military Can’t Do”
By Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com, posted October 22
(historically based article on Afghanistan focusing on US military’s inability to “seal the deal” in previous wars)

“Lessons from the Long War and a Blowback World”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted October 18

“Fighting the Taliban: What, Exactly, is Being Fought in Afghanistan?”
By M. Reza Pirbhal, CounterPunch.org, posted October 14
(long article on US involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan by a Louisiana State U. historian)

“Left and Right Against War”
By Murray Polner, History News Network 9hnn.com), posted October 12

“Afghanistan – The Proxy War”
By Andrew Bacevich, Boston Globe, posted October 11

“Apocalypse Then, Afghanistan Now”
By William Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted October 11

“Obama’s Prize, Wilson’s Legacy”
By John Milton Cooper, History News Network (hnn.com), Posted October 11

“War and Peace Prizes”
By Howard Zinn, The Guardian, posted October 9

“Unintended Consequences in Nuclear Pakistan”
By Fred Branfman, TruthDig.com, posted October 9

“Honduran Coup Regime in Crisis”
By Greg Grandin, CommonDreams.com, posted October 9

Rouge Forum Update: Educate, Agitate, Occupy, Escalate!

Read the full version of the latest Rouge Forum update here.

The Education Agenda is a War Agenda and the War Agenda is an Education Agenda

Sit-in Against Cuts at Fresno State: “Failure to comply with these demands will be met by increased levels of activism by students.”

Camp-In at CSU Fullerton

Solidarity Alliance at Berkeley Calls for Three Day Action: “To this end we call upon the allied students, workers, and faculty to unite in a system-wide Three Day Solidarity Strike from November 18th to November 20th. We invite all members of the UC community in Northern California to converge on the Berkeley campus to Strike beginning with a mass rally on November 18th and a mass action on November 20th to call for escalation and continued struggle.”

Southwestern College (South San Diego County) Profs Suspended for Protest vs Cuts

Regimented Standards Set Stage for National Tests: “As 48 states charge ahead with plans to adopt common academic standards, the U.S. Department of Education will enlist experts and the public to help design a $350 million competition for the next step: the development of common tests.”

An “Atta Boy, Obama” from Jeb Bush on the Education/War Agenda

Sweetwater Teachers Resist CTA Sellout in CA

Chickens Come Home to Roost with the Chickens in Teacher Ed: Arne Duncan Speech on Teacher Education Programs: “they say two things about their training in ed school. First, most of them say they did not get the hands-on practical teacher training about managing the classroom that they needed, especially for high-needs students. And second, they say there were not taught how to use data to differentiate and improve instruction and boost student learning. On Tuesday night, at a national town hall meeting with teachers, I asked the studio audience of about 100 teachers how they felt about their schools of ed. An uneasy laughter filled the room­not the kind of response that engenders confidence.”

Ban Maya Angelou! But we know why the caged bird builds its own cage.

Surprise. Weekly Reader Lies About Socialist Helen Keller