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Monday, October 13, 2008

[haw-info] Historians and the Elections. TIME SENSITIVE

This is a message from Carolyn "Rusti" Eisenberg, Beth McKillen, and Margaret Power on behalf of the Steering Committee of Historians Against the War.


Although temporarily eclipsed by the economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the possibility of an armed confrontation with Iran will loom large in the next administration. And while this is barely mentioned, the $612 billion in defense spending for FY 2009, just authorized by the House of Representative, could seriously constrain the ability of the US government to provide urgently needed domestic expenditures.


Across the country, students are paying unprecedented attention to this presidential election. This is a "teachable moment," when we can provide vitally needed education on the issues and on the role of office-holders.


Two suggestions:


*Many historians and social scientists around the country have scheduled on-campus forums to engage questions of war and peace. However, if such programs have not occurred we encourage historians to take the lead in creating pre-election educational events. These can be modest initiatives- a film showing, a panel discussion that draws on local expertise, a campus debate. Or you may wish to draw upon our list of outstanding scholars and peace activists who have agreed to speak on campuses and to waive an honorarium if the school lacks sufficient funds. (This would be a last minute invitation, but there are many flexible people on the list...who might agree to participate even on short notice.) HAW Speakers list: http://www.historiansagainstwar.org/teachin/speakers.htm


While maintaining a non-partisan stance, we can provide information about the record of Congressional office-holders. Over the past two years, Congress has taken numerous votes on the Iraq war and all incumbents have made a clear record. Yet most constituents have no idea where their elected officials actually stand. You can obtain Congressional Report Cards for your district and state from United for Peace and Justice by clicking here. Please distribute widely and forward to friends.


And keep us posted on your campus events. power@iit.edu. For additional information, contact us at:


Carolyn Eisenberg hiscze@aol.com

Beth McKillen  Elizabeth.McKillen@umit.maine.edu

Margaret Power  power@iit.edu



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