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Monday, March 09, 2009

More responses to the statement published by the HAW steering committee...

The following are only those e-mailed responses for which we have received explicit permission to publish.


To HAW Steering Committee:

I think we should revise our existing policy statement from September 21, 2003. It was good for then, but events have moved along. We should take some credit as an organization for helping to raise some of the anti-war consciousness that eventually became politicized and will result in the eventual end of US military occupation of Iraq by August 2010.

I think the proposed statement takes us well in the right direction. I would reduce the word-count but expand on the anti-war ideas. Please see my revised statement that is attached.

I have looked through the blog exchange and would restrict my comments to two issues. First, I do not think we need to attract all historians. We are liberal and progressive historians in a professional organization that has traditionally been quite conservative, often apolitical, and frequently silent on US imperial aggression. This should be our guiding light. Second, I agree with the contributor who wishes to remove the reference to global capitalism’s crisis. As a socialist, I need little persuading regarding the accuracy of the argument. I just think that HAW’s raison d’etre is anti-war opposition to US imperial policies past and present and that this is where our focus should lay.

I do not think we need a redefinition of HAW; nor do we need to consult the members in an e-mail ballot. I think the proposed statement should be a statement offered by the HAW steering committee. We elected you. You have solicited feedback and revision. That’s fine by me.

One suggestion for the future is that the policy statement might be updated every time by newly-elected steering committee members.

in solidarity,

J. R. Kerr-Ritchie


I agree totally with the statement only one word I would change: "crisis of global capitalism" for "global economic crisis." Capitalism (unless one is a determined terminologically commited marxist) is not a very clear category and adds a political tone that is not heplful and somewhat restricts the appeal of the statement. My best wishes and many thanks.

Arturo Giraldez


The new statement appropriately broadens the concerns of HAW and I believe should be considered as a re-definition of the group's purpose. I am very pleased to see at least a mention of the "global capitalism" in relation to US empire.

E. Wayne Ross


Dear Steering Committee,
I am enthusiastically in favor of the first three paragraphs, but strongly opposed to the fourth and much of the fifth. I think you stand a real danger of limiting your membership to a negligible sect as soon as you start talking about "the crisis of capitalism," a term that I've heard thrown around for too much of my life, and labelling the entire course of American history as evil. Many people, myself included, and I would suppose the Society of Friends, are opposed to all that you mention in the first three paragraphs but are not ready to agree on causes or on the complexion of American history in the 18th century. Please ponder ways of broadening your organization, not narrowing it.

Robert Lerner


Dear HAW Colleagues ~
I've read through the comments on the blog, yet still believe the new revision is strong, clear and a better expression of contemporary concerns. One minor suggestion - if we oppose both "foreign military bases" and US empire, should we not explicitly encourage the return of Guantanamo to Cuba? I think a job well done on a difficult and delicate issue! My thanks to those who worked so hard on this -
In solidarity,
nelly blacker-hanson


Hi -

As far as feedback - I would like to see a better developed rationale for opposition to the Afghan war. The major US media seem not to address this issue at all. US goals seem muddled and vague.

Best wishes,

Thomas K. Murphy


I like the statement and would support it as redefinition of HAW. I do have two comments, though. In this sentence, why not just "people" rather than "working people" (?):
"We support solutions to this crisis that seek to enrich the lives and increase the power of [working] peoples globally, and protect their fundamental human rights."

Also, in the penultimate sentence, would it make sense to add environmental to "social justice" (thus, "environmental and social justice")? Environmental justice is implicit in social justice, but it seems to me worth making the former more explicit.

Matthew Dennis


I like the revised/updated statement; I'm not sure its adoption would necessarily entail "redefinition" of HAW. Thanks for all the work you do.
Warm regards, Davis Joyce

I support the statement, and opt for the second option to include the question of support for Israel as part of the mession statement.
Magid Shihade


I support the revised statement, in general and as the position of HAW rather than just the Steering Cmte. Thanks for drafting it and sending it out for comment.
Dan Berger



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