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Monday, October 19, 2015

[haw-info] HAW Notes 10/19/15: contact info regarding Ros Baxandall; links to recent articles of interest

Note: We wrote last Thursday to share with Historians Against the War members and friends the passing of  feminist historian and antiwar activist Rosalyn Baxandall at age 76. For anyone wishing to write to her son, the contact information is as follows: mail, Phineas Baxandall, 595 Franklin St., Cambridge, MA 02139; email, phineas@baxandall.net.

The following list of articles is dedicated to her memory. For years up until her diagnosis this summer with incurable cancer, she was a mainstay of suggesting articles for these lists.

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

By David Milne, Salon, posted October 18

By William J. Astore, The Contrary Perspective blog, posted October 17
The author is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and formerly taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

By Paul Pillar, LobeLog, posted October 16 (from The National Interest)
The author, a 28-year veteran of the CIA, is a visiting professor at Georgetown University in security studies; the article draws on the Soviet experience in Afghanistan.

By Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted October 13
The author is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University.

Interview with David Talbot, Democracy Now!, posted October 13
David Talbot is a former editor in chief of Salon and the author of a new book on Allen Dulles.

By Jon Schwartz, The Intercept, posted October 7

By Walter L. Hixson, History News Network, posted October 7
The author teaches history at the University of Akron.

By David M. Perry, The Guardian, posted October 6
The author teaches medieval history at Dominican University.

By Greg Grandin, The Nation, posted October 5
On the targeting of hospitals during the Vietnam War; the author teaches history at New York University.

By Sami Zubaida, Informed Comment blog, posted October 1

Thanks to Rusti Eisenberg, Cyrus Bina, and an anonymous reader for flagging articles that are included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

[haw-info] Rosalyn Baxandall, 1939 - 2015

To members and friends of Historians Against the War,


It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing on Tuesday, October 13 of Ros Baxandall. As an active member of the HAW steering committee she made numerous important contributions to our work. She was an especially active source of suggestions for the "recent articles of interest" feature of many of our messages to our email list. Until very recently, she had been very active in the work around the HAW resolution "Protecting the Right to Education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories" that we will present at the 2016 AHA. However, she is best known for the significant contributions she made to the historical profession, particularly in the areas of women's and gender history, and to social justice causes. For more information on her remarkable career, see the New York Times obituary, "RosalynBaxandall, Feminist Historian and Activist, Dies at 76," and a newly updated Wikipedia page.


We mourn her passing and we celebrate her life!


Margaret Power and Jim O'Brien for the HAW Steering Committee


Friday, October 09, 2015

[haw-info] appeal for support of Maati Monjib, Moroccan historian and human rights activist

The following message is from Richard Greeman, a longtime activist and former teacher of history at the University of Hartford. Questions can be sent to him at rgreeman@gmail.com.

Support Maati Monjib, Moroccan Historian and Human Rights Activist


Maati Monjib, the embattled Moroccan historian and human rights activist, has once again begun a hunger strike (as of Oct. 6) to protest being denied the right to leave Morocco to attend an academic conference in Norway (Oct. 8-11), where he is invited to speak on his specialty, African history. Prof. Monjib has been under attack since April, when he became President of "Freedom Now," which defends the rights of Moroccan journalists.


Details: On Aug. 31, returning from France, he was stopped at Casablanca Airport and informed he was "wanted for harming state security." On Sept. 14, he was interrogated by the National Police and accused, among other things, of "destabilizing citizens' allegiance to the institutions." On Sept. 16, he was blocked at the Casablanca Airport on grounds of "National Security" and prevented from flying to an academic forum in Barcelona, whereupon he began his first hunger strike. On Sept. 19, the Ministry of Interior published a denial that Monjib was barred from leaving the country, but at the same time accused him of financial irregularities, sparking a campaign of slander in the pro-government press: a blatant attempt to turn a political case into a criminal case!


You can help by sending a message to the Moroccan Ambassador: see URLs and sample message below. Also by posting and forwarding this message to your networks.


BACKGROUND: Monjib is active internationally as a scholar having taught in the U.S. (Univ. of Florida, Brookings Institution) and participated in conferences throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, where he is known for his articulate defense of the values of democracy, human rights, and internationalism. Monjib directs the Ibn Rochd ["Averoes" in English] Center in Rabat, where he is Professor at the Institute of African Studies.  He holds two doctorates (Univ. Paul Valéry, Montpellier, FR; Univ. of Dakar, SENEGAL) and is the author of four books (in French) and numerous articles in French and Arabic.


When Monjib and other journalists founded "Freedom Now" last April, the government quickly deprived their Association of legal status by simply refusing to process their application. For months Monjib has been the object of a systematic campaign of outrageous personal and political slander in the press of political parties close to the Throne.



The Monarchy is sensitive to international opinion, and you can put pressure on by writing to the Moroccan Ambassador in London, Washington, or wherever you live. Here's a sample message you can copy/paste right now:


Your Highness/Your Excellency:


"Scholars and journalists around the world are disturbed by reports of harassment of our respected colleague Maati Monjib. Please reassure us that his honor as a scholar and right to travel, speak and write freely will be protected by the Moroccan Monarchy."


Respectfully yours, etc, etc.


They'll get the point.


H.H. Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui

Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco 
to The Court of Saint James's



Ambassador Rachad Bouhlal



Thursday, October 08, 2015

[haw-info] justice for Doctors without Borders

This message from CREDO Action is forwarded on behalf of the Steering Committee of Historians Against the War.

Dear Friend,
In the middle of the night on Saturday, a U.S. military plane "repeatedly and very precisely" bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital filled with doctors, nurses and wounded patients in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
The airstrike killed twelve Doctors Without Borders staff members and ten patients, including three children, and injured scores more. Some patients literally burned alive in their hospital beds.
So far, the Pentagon has only released incomplete and contradictory accounts of what happened and why.
On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) stated that: "Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, MSF demands that a full and transparent investigation into the event be conducted by an independent international body. Relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict would be wholly insufficient."
The world needs to know how and why this grave violation of International Humanitarian Law was committed. Those responsible for what we presume to be an atrocious war crime must then face justice. Please join Doctors Without Borders in calling for an immediate and independent international investigation.
The Pentagon initially claimed that the hospital was hit by accident after U.S. troops nearby came under fire and called in the airstrike, then later changed its story and said that no U.S. troops were in the area and that Afghan troops called in the strike.
But the Pentagon's story simply doesn't add up. According to Doctors Without Borders: "Not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the MSF hospital compound prior to the U.S. airstrike on Saturday morning... We reiterate that the main hospital building, where medical personnel were caring for patients, was repeatedly and very precisely hit during each aerial raid, while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched."
Further, "The bombing took place despite the fact that MSF had provided the GPS coordinates of the trauma hospital to Coalition and Afghan military and civilian officials as recently as Tuesday, September 29, [five days before the airstrike] to avoid that the hospital be hit."
Shockingly, the bombing continued for more than half an hour after Doctors Without Borders staff began making frantic calls to U.S. and Afghan military officials.
The Pentagon's claim that the hospital was bombed by accident is also contradicted by statements by Afghan officials, who have tried to justify the attack by claiming that the hospital was used by the Taliban for military purposes. Doctors Without Borders responded to this reprehensible claim with a statement saying: "MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz.
These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital with more than 180 staff and patients inside because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.
This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimize the attack as 'collateral damage.'
There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds. MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation."
The human cost of this crime far exceeds the staff and patients killed in the airstrike. The hospital, which in 2014 treated 22,000 and performed more than 5,900 surgical procedures, was the only free trauma care hospital in northern Afghanistan, where the Afghan military and the Taliban are currently engaged in heavy fighting. Doctors Without Borders has now closed the hospital.
We cannot allow this horrific act to be swept under the rug, and, as the Pentagon's shifting account of the attack shows, we can't trust the same people who may have participated in a war crime to investigate it. We need an independent investigation.
Thank you for taking action.
Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Sunday, October 04, 2015

[haw-info] Deadline for AHA members to sign on to HAW resolution in support of the right to education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Dear HAW supporters and members,

On October 19, at the suggestion of the AHA Secretary, we will submit our resolution, to give time to vet the resolution's wording and verify the *current* membership of all signers.  So this is your final opportunity to sign yourself, if you are an AHA member, and approach colleagues to ask them to join you in signing this carefully-worded resolution on academic freedom and the universal right to education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  Send them here:

I need to stress that we can only use signatures from current members of AHA.  We ask that, while you solicit support, please make every effort to ensure the person is a member.

Thank you,

In solidarity, for HAW, 

Van Gosse
Associate Professor & Chair
Department of History
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster PA 17604-3003