Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal
Four decades ago the Vietnam War led to millions of deaths throughout Indochina. 58,000 Americans were killed. The war generated enormous opposition in the U.S. Today the U.S. is in another war of aggression in Iraq. Mirroring the Vietnam happy talk of lights at ends of tunnels, General Peter Pace, the head of the Joint Chiefs announces that things in Iraq “are going very, very, well.” The unprovoked U.S. attack has caused widespread death, destruction and civil strife. Sectarian violence is escalating. Virtually all non-Bush Administration sources say Iraq is fragmenting under the stress of invasion and occupation. Yet the president continues with his “stay the course” rhetoric. How many more Americans and Iraqis will die for a war that should never have been fought?
Anthony Arnove produced the Academy Award-nominated documentary Dirty Wars. He is the editor of several books, including Voices of a People’s History of the United States, which he co-edited with Howard Zinn, The Essential Chomsky, Howard Zinn Speaks, and Iraq Under Siege. He is the author of Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal. He also wrote the introduction for the thirty-fifth anniversary edition of Zinn’s classic book A People’s History of the United States.
Amy Goodman is the award-winning host of Democracy Now the daily syndicated radio and TV program. Howard Zinn says, “Amy Goodman has carried the great muckraking tradition of Upton Sinclair, George Seldes, and I.F. Stone into the electronic age, creating a powerful counter to the mainstream media.” She’s the author of The Exception to the Rulers and Breaking the Sound Barrier.
Howard Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, was perhaps this country’s premier radical historian. He was born in Brooklyn in 1922. His parents, poor immigrants, were constantly moving to stay, as he once told me, “one step ahead of the landlord.” After high school, he went to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. During World War II, he saw combat duty as an air force bombardier. After the war, he went to Columbia University on the GI Bill. He taught at Spelman, the all-black women’s college in Atlanta. He was an active figure in the civil rights movement and served on the board of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was fired by Spelman for his activism. He was among the first to oppose U.S. aggression in Indochina. His book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal was an instant classic. A principled opponent of imperialism and militarism, he was an advocate of non-violent civil disobedience. He spoke and marched against the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. His masterpiece, A People’s History of the United States, continues to sell in huge numbers. Among his many other books are You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, Failure to Quit: Reflections of an Optimistic Historian and Original Zinn with David Barsamian. Shortly before his death he completed his last great project, the documentary The People Speak. Always ready to lend a hand, he believed in and practiced solidarity. Witty, erudite, generous and loved by many the world over, Howard Zinn, friend and teacher, passed away on January 27, 2010. He would say, Don’t mourn. Get active. The struggle for peace and justice continues.