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 email@example.com.
[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.
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 .
[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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
[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.
[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.
[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
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 email@example.com.
[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 firstname.lastname@example.org or to David.B.Cortright.email@example.com.
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.