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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 5/27/15: Links to recent articles of interest


Links to Recent Articles of Interest

By Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic, June 2015 issue

By David Swanson, Let's Try Democracy website, posted May 24
Review essay on James Bradley's book The China Mirage

By Stephen M. Walt, New York Times, posted May 18

By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted May 17
The author is a professor emeritus of history at SUNY Albany.

By Trevor Timm, Columbia Journalism Review, posted May 15
The author is director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and a columnist for The Guardian.

By William J. Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted May 14
The author is a former lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force and has taught history at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

By Andrew J. Bacevich, Los Angeles Times, posted May 13
The author is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University.

By Philip Jenkins, The American Conservative, posted May 13
The author teaches history at  Baylor University.

By James Loewen, History News Network, posted May 12
An account of the May 1-2 conference "Vietnam: The Power of Protest" in Washington, DC

By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted May 5
The author teaches history and religion at Tufts University.

Thanks as usual to Rosalyn Baxandall, Mim Jackson, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles for the list. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.

Friday, May 01, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 5/1/15: Links to recent articles of interest

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

By Andrew Cockburn, TomDispatch.com, posted April 28

By Tom Hayden, submitted to the conference on "The Vietnam War Then and Now," April 29 - May 1, 2015

By Christian Appy, TomDispatch.com, posted April 26
The author teaches history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has written three books on the Vietnam War.

By 18 specialists on Yemen at British and US universities, LobeLog, posted April 18

By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted April 14
The author teaches history and religion at Tufts University.

By Andrew J. Bacevich, Aljazeera, posted April 8
The author is an emeritus professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

By Scott McConnell, The American Conservative, posted April 8

By Anand Gopal, TomDispatch.com, posted April 5

By Gareth Porter, The Washington Spectator, posted April 1

The above list includes articles accumulated during seveal weeks when the server for the HAW email list wasn't working. Thanks to Mim Jackson, Rosalyn Baxandall, and an anonymous reader for suggesting some of the articles. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

[haw-info] Vietnam at 50 - A Historians Call To Action

Vietnam at 50 - A Historians Call To Action

 

            In 2008 Congress added a directive, and funding, to the 2008 National Defense Authorization bill commending the Department Of Defense to "authorize the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War…." (Emphasis added).  This action has allowed the Pentagon to utilize over $30 million to rewrite and sanitize the history of the Second Indochina War (the Vietnam War in the US, the American War in Vietnam).

            While the Department of Defense has already been rolling out their version of the Vietnam War for several years, there will be a major honor our veterans roll-out schedule for this Memorial Day, 25 May 2015. We are calling on all historians to actively participate in activities to supplement the Pentagon honor propaganda, and to make Americans aware of the true nature and consequences, in both the United States and in Vietnam, of the Vietnam War, and what the "official" history leaves out (i.e. mass killing and environmental destruction in Vietnam, the antiwar movement, GI resistance, etc.).

            The Department of Defense has established a website at http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/about/ which includes numerous videos, "fact sheets," timelines, and various other resources.  At this point the Department of Defense list 7919 partners engaging in commemorations as envisioned in the original Congressional mandate. The information provided on the government website is very one-sided and paints a distorted picture of the United States involvement in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

            To counter the Department of Defense history and commemoration, Veterans For Peace (VFP) has established a separate website titled Vietnam Full Disclosure (http://www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org/ ) which provides numerous articles and information from academic and nonacademic sources intended to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the United States involvement in Indochina. Under "Education Resources" are numerous resources covering:  Documents and essays, Vietnamese sources, Gulf of Tonkin, Antiwar movement, Legacies of the war, Teaching materials, Visuals, Videos/DVDs, and Further reading (fiction and nonfiction).

The Vietnam Full Disclosure website also contains timelines and histories but without the glorification propagated by the DOD website. The history timelines include ancient history and the French colonial history as well as the buildup of the United States involvement in Vietnam and Indochina.

            A petition generated by Tom Hayden to Lieut. Gen. Claude M. "Mike" Kicklighter (http://tomhayden.com/home/vietnam-peace-commemoration-committee-petition.html) has been signed by hundreds of historians and other academics calling upon the Pentagon to correct many of the omissions and flawed lessons in the official DOD history.

            We, the Steering Committee of HAW, call upon all historians to help counter the glorified propaganda being perpetuated by the Department of Defense Vietnam Commemoration. With the planned roll-out of the Department of Defense official commemoration commencing on Memorial Day we call upon all historians to write op-ed articles, and/or letters to the editor's, to be published on Memorial Day reminding the American people of the true cost of this horrendous war in both human lives and destroyed environment, as well as the actual dollar cost for all countries involved. We cannot afford to allow history to be so distorted that one of the greatest mistakes in United States history is glorified and sold to the American people as patriotism.

            In addition to the resources available on the Vietnam Full Disclosure website, numerous articles and blogs have been posted outlining the many flaws in the government's official website. One such well-written article is Marjorie Cohn's "US Government Sanitizes Vietnam War History" which is available at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26842-us-government-sanitizes-vietnam-war-history# , and has been reproduced on numerous other websites including the Huffington Report and the History News Network.

            In addition to writing op-ed articles on Memorial Day, HAW also encourages college teach-ins, lectures, and other forums be utilized by all historians to remind the American people of the divisiveness and true cost of the United States decades long involvement and war in Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia).

            The Steering Committee also recommends participation in the Vietnam: The Power of Protest rally in Washington, D.C. May 1st and 2nd.  For information and registration go to www.lessonsofvietnam.org .

Thursday, April 02, 2015

[haw-info] Registration is still open for both of the Vietnam War events in DC, April 29 - May 2

Both of the following conferences are in Washington, DC. The descriptions below include links for full information.

Registration is still open (and is free) for the conference entitled "The Vietnam War Then and Now: Assessing the Critical Lessons," Wednesday evening April 29 through Friday afternoon May 1 at the NYU-DC Global Academic Center, 1307 L St., NW. Speakers include Andrew Bacevich, Phyllis Bennis, Carolyn Eisenberg, David Cortright, Mai Elliott, David Elliott, David Hunt, Jeffrey Kimball, John Prados, Nick Turse, Marilyn Young, and many others. 

Registration also remains open (at a cost of $100 regular, $60 low-income, or $25 student) for the commemoration of the Vietnam Peace Movement, "Vietnam: The Power of Protest," Friday evening May 1 and Saturday May 2 at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue. Again, many of the speakers (including Phil Donahue, Daniel Ellsberg, Frances Fitzgerald, Todd Gitlin, Tom Hayden, Ron Kovic, Holly Near, Robert Scheer, and former Reps. Ron Dellums and Pat Schroeder) are well known to many readers of these mailings.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 4/1/15: Links to recent articles of interest


Links to Recent Articles of Interest

"The Deal with Iran: Five Arguments to Watch Out For"

By Gary Sick, LobeLog, posted April 1

The author served on the National Security Council under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan

 

"Into the Abyss: Saudi Arabia's War in Yemen"

By Michael Horton, CounterPunch.org, posted April 1

Includes historical background on Saudi Arabia's relation to Yemen.


By Andrew J. Bacevich, Aljazeera, posted March 31
The author is a professor of history and international relations emeritus at Boston University.

By Dilip Hiro, TomDispatch.com, posted March 31
The author's latest book, on the history of the rivalry between India and Pakistan, has just been published by Nation Books.

By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted March 30
The author teaches history and religion at Tufts University.

The author brought the My Lai massacre to public attention in the US in 1969.

By Brian Glyn Williams, History News Network, posted March 29
The author teaches history at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted March 29
The author is a professor of history emeritus ast SUNY Albany.

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment blog, posted March 11
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan.

Thanks to Mim Jackson and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.

By the way, the last "HAW Notes" mailing contained an embarrassing typo, saying that the April 29 - May 2 Vietnam War events in Washington, DC would mark the "50th" anniversary of the war's end in 1975, not 40th. Sorry!





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 3/24/15: Vietnam War commemorative events in DC, April 29 - May 2


Two major events regarding the Vietnam War will take place in Washington, DC between Wednesday, April 29 and Saturday, May 2, marking the 50th anniversary of the war's end. At both events, many of the speakers and panelists will be well familiar to readers of these mailings. The websites that are linked from the following paragraphs give full information.

"The Vietnam War Then and Now: Assessing the Critical Lessons." Wednesday evening April 29 to Friday afternoon May 1 at the NYU-DC Global Academic Center, 1307 L St., NW. Sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace at the University of Notre Dame and the Provost's Global Research Initiatives and History Department at New York University.The registration deadline is April 1.

"Vietnam: The Power of Protest." Friday evening May 1 and Saturday May 2 at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue.This program of panels and workshops is sponsored by the Vietnam Commemoration Committee, including many well-known leaders of the Vietnam-era antiwar movement, and is co-sponsored by a number of groups including the Institute for Policy Studies and MoveOn.org. At 4pm Saturday there will be a commemorative walk to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial via the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Women's Memorial. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

[haw-info] Tell Your Senators: Don't Wreck Diplomacy With Iran !! 202-224-3121

 
This week 47 Republicans Senators took the breath-taking step of sending an "open letter" to Iranian leaders aimed at blowing up the nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers including the United States.
This follows closely on the unprecedented invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to the Congress in opposition to the diplomacy of an American President.
 
And sad to say it's not just Republicans who are out to prevent the agreement. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisles have been all too active in placing in the obstacles in the way of peace.  At the present time, there are two bills in the Senate clearly designed to prevent an agreement:
 
 
We realize you have probably made these calls before, but it is more important then ever that constituents speak up now. And don't hesitate to call Republicans. They need to hear how outraged constituents are about their unprecedented sabotage of a President's foreign policy, as well as their appalling invitation to a foreign leader to challenge the national security policy of the United States.
 
Call your Senators
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
 
Let them know:
* You support the President's diplomacy with Iran
* You oppose legislation, which seeks to undermine the prospects for an agreement.
 
Ask the person, who answers the phone, where the Senator stands. And let us know of any results.
 
Please forward widely.
Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg and Margaret Power for HAW Steering Committee

Thursday, March 05, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 3/5/15: Links to recent articles of interest

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

"Netanyahu, 'Censored Voices,' and the False Narrative of

Self-Defense"

By Marjorie Cohn, CommonDreams.org, posted March 4

On the 1967 war


By Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept, posted March 2

By Greg Grandin, The Nation blog, posted March 2
The author teaches history at New York University.

By Paul R. Pillar, The National Interest, posted February 27
The author is a 28-year CIA veteran and a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies.

By William R. Polk, CounterPunch.org, posted February 25
The author was a member of the Kennedy administration's Crisis Management Team during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The author teaches history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

By Patrick Cockburn, The Unz Review, posted February 24

By Walter G. Moss, History News Network, posted February 24
The author is a professor of history emeritus at Eastern Michigan University.

By Juan Cole, The Nation blog, posted February 24
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan.

By William J. Astore, Contrary Perspective blog, posted February 22
The author is a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force who also has a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford.


As usual, thanks for Mim Jackson, Rosalyn Baxandall, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

[haw-info] Skip the Speech! Stand for Peace! Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121

Skip the Speech! Stand for Peace!
 
House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3. This partisan initiative is an obvious effort to embarrass the President and sabotage the Administration's promising negotiations with Iran about its nuclear energy program.
 
As of now 25 Representative and 4 Senators have stated they will skip the speech, while a larger group have asked the Israeli Prime Minister to stay at home. This could be a turning point in US-Israeli relations opening the prospect of greater independence by members of Congress in addressing Middle East policy.
 
Please pick up the phone and call your member of Congress. Ask the Capitol Switch-board to connect you:
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
 
Ask your Representative to:
* Skip the speech
* Support the Administration's negotiations with Iran about its nuclear-energy program
* Resist Israeli efforts to intervene in American politics
 
Carolyn Eisenberg and Van Gosse for the Historians Against War Steering committee
ps please let us know of any responses

Friday, February 20, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 2/20/15: Links to recent articles of interest

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

By Staughton Lynd, CounterPunch.org, posted February 20
Review essay on American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity by Christian Appy

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment blog, posted February 19
The author teaches history at the University of Michigan.

By Scott McConnell, The American Conservative, posted February 18
Draws lessons from the 1956 Suez crisis

By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, posted February 16

By Andrew J. Bacevich, Moyers & Company, posted February 14
The author, retired from teaching history at Boston University, is a fellow at Columbia University's School of Public and International Affairs.

By Jim Lobe, LobeLog, posted February 12
Parallel's Netanyahu's arguments about Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion with his statements on Iran today.

By Danny Postel, In These Times, posted February 11
Review essay on Muhammed Idrees Ahmad's new book The Road to Iraq

By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted February 11
The author teaches history at Tufts University.

By Rebecca Gordon, TomDispatch.com, posted February 10
The author's book Mainstreaming Torture was published in 2014.

By Christian Appy, TomDispatch.com, posted February 8
The author teaches history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His just-released American Reckoning is his third book on the Vietnam War.

Thanks to Mim Jackson, Rosalyn Baxandall, Chad Pearson, and an anonymous reader (always the same one) for suggesting articles included in the above list. And special thanks to Steve Gosch for having acted as co-editor of these lists for most of the past year. Suggestions for articles to be included can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.



Wednesday, February 04, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 2/4/15: Vietnam War notes; Links to recent articles of interest


Vietnam War:  A new book by Christian Appy, author of two previous books on the Vietnam War, is being released by Viking Press tomorrow, February 5, with the title American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity. Information is available at http://www.christianappy.com. Also regarding the Vietnam War, the ad hoc project Peace Commemoration is planning a May 2 convention in Washington. D.C. honoring the Vietnam-era peace movement. There is not yet a website, but information can be obtained by writing to peace.commemoration@gmail.com or to David.B.Cortright.1@nd.edu.



Links to Recent Articles of Interest

By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted February 3
Memories of I. F. Stone and reflections on the US in the Vietnam era and the present

By William J. Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted February 1
The author is a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force who also has a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford.

By David Mizner, Jacobin magazine, posted January 30

By Danny Postel, Portside.org, posted January 30

By Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted January 29
The author, retired from teaching history at Boston University, is a fellow at Columbia University's School of Public and International Affairs.

By Stephen R. Shalom, Mondoweiss, posted January 29

By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted January 25
The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany.

By Andrew Meyer, History News Network, posted January 25
The author teaches history at Brooklyn College, CUNY.

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, posted January 21

Thanks to Rosalyn Baxandall and an anonyous reader for suggesting articles that are included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

[haw-info] Report on HAW at the AHA

Members and supporters of HAW,

By now, many of you have read about HAW's very active presence at the AHA Annual Meeting in New York over the past weekend.  We have waited until the dust settled before reporting back to you in detail; at the bottom of this email are links to a range of coverage, from accurate reports in the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education to less reliable stories from several Israeli newspapers. 

We began with a Roundtable sponsored by MARHO: The Radical Historians Organization (an AHA affiliate) on January 3, discussing "What Is the Responsibility of Historians Regarding the Israel-Palestine Conflict." Speakers included Joel Beinin of Stanford, Barbara Weinstein and Linda Gordon of New York University, and Leena Dallasheh of Rice.  The moderator was Steering Committee member Carolyn Eisenberg of Hofstra.  HAW members present agreed it was very successful—from the large, engaged audience, which included former AHA President Natalie Zemon Davis, incoming President Vicki L. Ruiz, and other prominent historians, to the quality of the discourse. Carolyn led off by evoking the debates in AHA over Vietnam forty years ago, when she had just joined, followed by analysis of the "silencing" of Palestinian history (Leena), the many ways in which Palestinian scholarship and intellectual life have been attacked and undermined since the founding of Israel (Joel), how in Europe BDS has led to meaningful economic sanctions whereas here it focuses on cultural boycotts (Linda), and how those of us not teaching the Middle East can incorporate its history into our pedagogy (Barbara).  Even if you have discussed and read about Israel/Palestine for years, there were new and powerful insights, and we urge you to go to this HAW page with links to the various presentations:  http://historiansagainstwar.org/aha15

The Roundtable was also attended by a group calling itself "Historians Against Academic Boycotts" (or, sometimes, the Alliance for Academic Freedom), which put flyers on all the chairs objecting to the resolutions HAW had sent in on December 22, asking for consideration at the Business Meeting. More generally, these historians disagreed with the premise of the Roundtable that, as historians, we have a responsibility to discuss and, when necessary, criticize Israel, including its violations of academic freedom.  It was clear that they would mobilize heavily for the Business Meeting, to oppose a suspension of the rules allowing our resolutions to be debated. As it turned out, they were successful, and by a vote of 144 to 51 (with 3 voting "present"), the meeting on Sunday voted against permitting debate on our resolutions.

At the meeting itself, it was clear as soon as Executive Director James Grossman read the AHA Council's rationale for not adding our resolutions to the agenda (that they had arrived too late to permit full discussion, after people had already decided whether or not to attend) that we would lose.  A two-thirds vote would have been required, in any case, a very high bar.

Some observers have suggested that we made our resolutions in blithe ignorance of AHA rules.  This was hardly the case:  the idea of proposing these two resolutions first came up during a Palestine-Israel Working Group phone meeting in late November. A resolution (not ours) in favor of BDS had been circulating among some historians already, and the Working Group members who had seen it thought it was not likely to pass the AHA. The group all, however, agreed that a positive resolution, explaining the actual difficulties faced by Palestinian scholars and West Bank and Gazan universities because of the Israeli occupation, might be more able to open the discussion, and garner support even of AHA members who were wary of BDS.  We were well aware that the deadline to guarantee consideration (November 1) was past.  Acting on advice from persons familiar with AHA's past practice, that indeed such a suspension of the Business Meeting agenda was allowed in the rules and has happened before, we decided to go ahead.  At the least, we thought, we could guarantee some discussion, and prepare the ground for further action in the future.  And that is what has happened. Instead of waiting a full year, we have gained a great deal of publicity, stimulated ample debate, and (not the least) seen in detail the arguments against our work within the profession to criticize Israel's denial of Palestinian rights. On that front, it is clear that we need to produce detailed, well-sourced reports on how international standards of academic freedom are routinely violated in Israel/Palestine, to answer those colleagues who felt they were being asked to vote on unproven allegations.  So, no matter how much crowing there is about the actual vote, that was a temporary victory for the opponents of free discussion. Crucially, AHA President Vicki Ruiz has announced that she will devote half her presidential sessions at next year's Annual Meeting to historicizing the Israel/Palestine conflict. 

In descending order of importance and factual accuracy, here is the press coverage of what happened last weekend.  You will note in many cases the false assertion that our resolutions on academic freedom were linked to an earlier resolution proposing that AHA endorse BDS.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/scholars-effort-to-condemn-israel-fails/?ref=arts

http://chronicle.com/article/Historians-Decline-to-Take-Up/151035/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/05/historians-reject-vote-controversial-anti-israel-resolutions 

http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/158070

http://www.timesofisrael.com/american-historical-association-rejects-anti-israel-resolutions-vote/ 

http://forward.com/articles/212086/american-historical-association-rejects-push-for-a/

http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anti-israel-resolution-fails-at-american-historical-association/2015/01/05/ 

http://www.jpost.com/International/American-historians-vote-against-BDS-resolution-on-Israel-386698

http://www.meforum.org/4957/inside-account-how-anti-israel-resolutions-were 

Van Gosse
Department of History
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster PA 17604-3003
717-615-4708
@vangosse


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