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Friday, March 26, 2010

[haw-info] Links to recent articles of interest

Suggestions for inclusion in these more-or-less biweekly lists can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.  Working group members are Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, Maia Ramnath, Matt Bokovoy, Tom Murphy, and Jim O'Brien.  Thanks also to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and John J. Fitzgerald for suggesting articles included in this week's list.

"Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem Does Not Belong to Jewish-Israelis"


By Juan Cole, Informed Comment blog, posted March 23
On the history of Jerusalem from ancient times; the author teaches Middle East history at the University of Michigan

"Texas School Board Whitewashes History"


By Daniel Czitrom, History News Network, posted March 22
The author teaches history at Mt. Holyoke College

"Counterfactual: A Curious History of the C.I.A.'s Secret Interrogation Program"


By Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, March 29 issue
Dismantles Marc Theissen's best-selling book Courting Disaster

"From the Philippines Conquest to Afghanistan, the U.S. Trains Local Police in Brutality"


By Jeremy Kuzmarov, History News Network, posted March 22 (first published in Asia-Pacific Journal)

"Twisting History in Texas"


By Eric Foner, The Nation, April 5 issue, posted March 18
The author teaches history at Columbia University

"The Pentagon Church Militant: The Top Five Questions We Should Ask the Penatagon"


By William J. Astore, TomDispatch.Com, posted March 18
The author, a retired Air Force lieutenant Colonel, teaches history as the Pennsylvania College of Technology

"Justifying Torture: Yoo Besmirches the Legacy of Jefferson"


By Ray McGovern, CounterPunch.org, posted March 16

"Torture and the Imperial Presidency"


By Cary Fraser, Truthout.org, posted March 15
The author teaches history at Pennsylvania State University

"The Travails of a Client State: An Okinawan Angle on the 50th Anniversary of the US-Japan Security Treaty"


By Gavan McCormack, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted March 12

"An Open Letter to President Obama: U.S. Foreign Policy and Post-Election Iran"


By Cyrus Bina, Counterpunch.org, posted March 12
Traces the history of recent decades of US-Iran relations


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

[haw-info] HAW Notes (including links to recent articles of interest)

To members and friends of Historians Against the War,

Here are a couple of notes, followed by our (more or less) biweekly links to recent articles of interest.

1.  HAW will have a literature table at the Left Forum (www.leftforum.org), being held this year at Pace University in New York City, March 19-21.  If anyone is planning to attend and is interested in helping at the table for a stretch on either Saturday or Sunday, March 20 or 21, please contact Jeri Fogel at jerise@jerise.com.

2.  Members of the HAW Steering Committee for this year, following an election by the currently enrolled HAW membership (see the HAW web site, at historiansagainstwar.org, on how to join) are as follows:  Marc Becker, Matt Bokovoy, Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, John J. Fitzgerald, Jerise Fogel, Rich Gibson, Van Gosse, Martin Halpern, Mark Hatlie, Julia Liss, Staughton Lynd, Edrene McKay, Beth McKillen, Carl Mirra, Tom Murphy, Jim O'Brien, Margaret Power, Maia Ramnath, Robert Shaffer, Francis Shor, and Andor Skotnes.

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

"Israel Sandbags Biden"


By Juan Cole, Reader Supported News, posted March 10
includes historical background

"Exit Strategies for Aghanistan and Iraq"
By Tom Hayden, The Nation, posted March 8
on Congressional dynamics and the state of the peace movement

"Let Europe Be Europe: Why the United States Must Withdraw from NATO"


By Andrew Bacevich, Foreign Policy, March-April, posted March 4
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

"The Pentagon's Runaway Budget"

By Carl Conetta, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted March 3
on the rise in military spending since 1998, compared to past surges

"How to Fight a Better War (Next Time)"
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted March 2
on "lessons" from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, tongue-in-cheek

"The System Works, Obama's Approach Doesn't"
By Stanley Kutler, Truthdig.com, posted March 2 
compares Obama to Franklin Roosevelt

"America, the Fragile Empire"
 By Niall Ferguson, Common Dreams (from Los Angeles Times), posted February 28

"US Started a War of Aggression Against Afghanistan over 30 Years Ago"
By James A. Lucas, Countercurrents.org, posted February 26

Suggestions for articles to include in these mailings can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.  Other members of the working group for this project are Matt Bokovoy, Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, Maia Ramnath, and Tom Murphy.

U.S. Impact on Haiti often Tragic

HAW Steering Committee member Elizabeth McKillen wrote this short piece on the history of U.S. involvement in Haiti. It was originally published in the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine Newsletter v 23, no 3 (March 2010)at http://peacectr.org/wp/.

Abundant news footage of U.S. soldiers landing on the shores of Haiti to help with relief in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince on January 12 likely inspired mixed feelings among those familiar with the long history of U.S. political interventionism and military occupations in that country. Although current U.S. efforts to help with earthquake relief in Haiti are both laudable and necessary, long-term solutions to Haiti’s problems must rest on the bedrock of its political and economic autonomy from the United States.

George Washington was the first American president to intervene in Haiti’s internal politics. When a slave insurrection broke out in the French West Indian colony of Saint Dominique (present-day Haiti) in 1791, the Washington administration supplied French planters with provisions, arms and munitions, before officially declaring U.S. neutrality. The U.S. president declared it “Lamentable! to see such a spirit of revolt among the Blacks” of Saint Dominique. The rebels triumphed despite U.S. aid to the French and created an independent republic in 1804. The U.S. withheld diplomatic recognition until 1862.

U.S. companies invested heavily in Haiti after the Civil War and by 1900 U.S. marines had landed in Haiti eight different times “to protect American lives and property.” In 1915, the Woodrow Wilson administration launched a full-scale military
occupation of Haiti that continued until 1934. Wilson argued that the island nation might be used by the Germans for military activity against the United States during World War I. But Wilson was also influenced by U.S. railroad and banking companies with extensive interests in Haiti who feared European competition and continuing political unrest. U.S. occupation officials wrote a constitution for Haiti, but then suspended the legislature for thirteen years. U.S. marines built hospitals and highways in Haiti but also introduced racism and segregation. Haitians resented their colonial status and rebelled frequently; in 1919 alone, U.S. marines killed over 2000 residents in their efforts to quell the unrest.

To assist in pacifying Haiti, U.S. military leaders created the Garde d’ Haiti, which became known for its brutality. After the U.S. military withdrew, the Garde continued to play an important role in Haitian life and democracy remained elusive.
In 1946, a revolution placed the government in the hands of the Garde, and in 1957 the ruthless dictator Francois Duvalier (“Papa Doc”) assumed power. He was succeeded by his equally ruthless son, “Baby Doc,” who ruled until being ousted in 1986. Both leaders maintained strong ties to the United States.

Since 1986, instability has continued to plague Haiti and the U.S. has periodically intervened, ostensibly in an effort to restore order. Yet Haiti remains the most impoverished nation in the Western hemisphere, despite its wealth of resources
and proud tradition of defying white colonial powers.

The point here is not to inspire cynicism in the face of one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time, but to suggest that long term solutions to Haiti’s problems will require that the United States finally accede to Haitians the independent political and economic development they have sought since 1804.

Monday, March 08, 2010

[haw-info] Support needed for Kucinich withdrawal resolution

This message is sent on behalf of Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, Steering Committee member and legislative coordinator of Historians Against the War.
This past Thursday, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced H. Con Res. 248 , a privileged resolution with 16 original cosponsors that will require the House of Representatives to debate whether to continue the war in Afghanistan. Debate on the resolution is expected early this week (week of March 8).

This Resolution would require the President to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2010. While unlikely to pass, significant Congressional support for the Kucinich measure would help build momentum for the budget battles to come. The White House is asking for  $33 billion Supplemental to 2010 budget to pay for the increase in troop numbers, along with an additional $159 billion for FY 2011.

As of now, the Kucinich resolution lists as cosponsors John Conyers, Ron Paul, José Serrano, Bob Filner, Lynn Woolsey, Walter Jones, Danny Davis, Barbara Lee, Michael Capuano, Raúl Grijalva, Tammy Baldwin, Tim Johnson, Yvette Clarke, Alan Grayson, and Chellie Pingree.

Because Rep. Kucinich is invoking the War Powers Act, a vote is expected to come soon. Please call the Congressional switchboard 202-224-3121 and tell your Congressional Representative to support  H. Con Res. 248.