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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Are We Still Historians Against the War?

Or are we now just Historians Against the Republicans?

Since it took power, the new administration has ordered bombings that killed twenty-four Afghan civilians (including several children), promised that an attack on Iran remains “on the table," vowed to double U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan, and proposed an increase of forty-billion dollars in the already bloated Pentagon budget.

Meanwhile, Richard Holbrooke, the new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan has predicted that the Afghan war will last longer than the fourteen years of the Vietnam War, Vice President Biden has matter-of-factly promised an "uptick" in American casualties, and the American commander of NATO forces announced that all Afghan drug dealers, regardless of any connection to the insurgency, will be killed on sight.

Even the good news is less hopeful than it seemed on first appearance. Though President Obama has begun plans to close Gitmo and end torture he also issued executive orders to continue the policy of "rendition."

These developments should be of grave concern to all advocates of peace. Despite this, the official face of HAW on the front page of the website highlights a cartoon (see above) of Michael Steele, a person who has nothing to do with setting U.S. foreign policy. It is not the first cartoon of this type to appear. If this continues, readers will naturally start to wonder if HAW still takes a firm stand against the pro-war policies of the United States.



Blogger Thaddeus Russell said...

Great question! I hope that we're not just Historians Against the Republicans.

After all, historians should be well aware that Obama's role models JFK, Truman, FDR, and Wilson were anything but anti-war.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Sukrit Sabhlok said...

I don't understand how President Obama is ending torture when the CIA still runs secret prisons around the world? The CIA has been violating the law since it was founded in 1947, so Obama would basically have to shut the entire agency down or at least strip it of some major powers before we could say he's really ending torture.

What he's doing is shuffling the torture around. Instead of it being conducted at Guantanamo Bay, it will continue to be done at less publicized locations.

1:24 AM  
Blogger David said...

All very good points from the contributors above.

Heard on NPR yesterday that the drone bombings has pushed many Muslim Fundamentalists away from the border and deeper into Pakistan. In new areas under their control they have already executed secular leaders, imposed Islamic Law, and have blown up roughly 200 schools for girls. Ah, the law of unintended consequences . . . .


1:27 PM  

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