Potential Speakers for Fall 2008 Educational Events

Updated as of Sept. 10



Each of the listed speakers has agreed to be available for some events during the Fall semester.  The exact timing will depend on their schedules.  The host institutions will be expected to cover travel expenses. Many of the speakers have agreed to waive their fees or to speak for a nominal cost, but these arrangements should be made on an individual basis.


While each of those listed is a critic of Administration policies, they come from diverse positions on the political spectrum and hold diverging views on appropriate solutions.



Maziar Behrooz, Asst. Prof. of Middle East history, San Francisco State U., mroozbeh@sfsu.edu

Topics:  Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan in relation to regional issues and US foreign policy.


David Beito, University of Alabama, dbeito@tenhoor.as.ua.edu

Topics:  “I could talk about the anti-imperialist movement of the 1890s and early 1900s, libertarian/conservative non-interventionism in the Cold War (and earlier), and civil liberties during wartime (particularly World War I and World War II), left/right antiwar coalitions in American history (and now).  I am flexible, however, beyond these topics.”


Medea Benjamin, Founding Director of Global Exchange, author of several books including Stop the Next War Now, medea@globalexchange.org


Phyllis Bennis, fellow of Institute for Policy Studies, author of Challenging Empire and Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, pbennis@ips-dc.org

Topics:  Connecting Crises: US Policy in the Middle East; Iraq War; Israel-Palestine


Frida Berrigan, senior program associate with the New America Foundation's arms and security initiative,  frida.berrigan@gmail.com.

Topics:  the war in Iraq, military spending and the arms trade


Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator of the antiwar coalition United for Peace and Justice, lesliecagan@igc.org.

Topics:  Stopping the Iraq War; Peace and the Elections


Ira Chernus, University of Colorado, chernus@colorado.edu

Topics:  What Drives US Foreign Policy: A Historical Perspective; American Attitudes Toward War and Peace, Past and Present; The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin; Nonviolence in Theory and US History; Alternative Views of Patriotism; Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Jewish Peace View 1968 and 2008.


Blanche Wiesen Cook, John Jay College and CUNY Graduate Center, author of The Declassified Eisenhower and three-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, blanchewcook@aol.com

New York area only

Topic:  “Eleanor Roosevelt: The Promise and Hope for Human Rights & The Restoration of Democracy


Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor and author of U.S. v. Bush et al., elizabethdelavega@verizon.net

Available to speak on legal/constitutional issues arising out of invasion of Iraq, Bush administration's torture policy, illegal wiretapping, use of signing statements, and the Military Commissions Act.


Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, California State University East Bay, rdunbaro@pacbell.net, phone/fax 415-771-3808

Topics:  Bush wars in historical perspective, particularly the roots of the formation of the United States in wars against the Indians as well as US imperialism in Latin America; Ethnic and religious conflicts.


Carolyn (“Rusti”) Eisenberg, Hofstra University, author of Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany and other writing on the occupation of Germany and Iraq, hiscze@aol.com

Topics:  The Iraq War in Historical Perspective; Peace and the Elections


Irene Gendzier, Boston University, author of Notes from the Minefield: United States Intervention in Lebanon and the Middle East, 1945-1958 and other books, gendzier@bu.edu

Topic:  Modern Middle East; US policy in the region


Marv Gettleman, co-editor of Middle East and Islamic World Reader (with Stuart Schaar), marvget@earthlink.net

Topic: Middle East


Rich Gibson, rgibson@pipeline.com

Topic:  Wars, regimented schools, high-stakes exams, the military, and empire; Critique of capitalist democracy and its elections, as a shell game


Aaron Glantz, international journalist, author of How America Lost Iraq and the forthcoming The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans, aaronfglantz@yahoo.com.


Melvin A. Goodman, former CIA officer and former professor at National War College, author of Failure of Intelligence: Decline and Fall of the CIA, goody789@comcast.net 

Topic:  The Challenge of International Security for the Next Administration


Walter Hixson, University of Akron, author of books on the Vietnam War and the Cold War, whixson@uakron.edu

Topic:  “I could speak on how patriotic nationalism and war are incompatible with world leadership and solving the environmental, economic, and security issues that confront us.”


Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University, author of numerous books including the forthcoming Sowing Crisis: American Hegemony and the Cold War in the Middle East, rik2101@columbia.edu.


Jeffrey P. Kimball, Emeritus professor of history, Miami University (Ohio), author of Vietnam War File: Uncovering the Secret History of Nixon-Era Strategy and other books, jpkimball@muohio.edu, 513/523-3640(home)

Topic:  Comparing Bush’s Foreign Policy Legacy and Obama’s New Outlook


Peter Kuznick, History professor and director of Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, pkuznick@aol.com

Topics:  Vietnam and Iraq; The Current Nuclear Crisis


Erik Leaver, Institute for Policy Studies, Policy Outreach Director of the Foreign Policy in Focus project, erik@ips-dc.org, phone 202-234-9238 x240

Topics:  Iraq / Afghanistan / War on Terror


Jerry Lembcke, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass., Vietnam veteran and author of Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam and other books, jlembcke@holycross.edu

He could speak in connection with the film Sir! No Sir! (http://www.sirnosir.com) an 85-minute documentary on the Vietnam-era GI antiwar movement; he appears in the film.


Mark LeVine, University of California Irvine, author of Why They Don’t Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil (2005) and other books, mlevine@uci.edu, contact for speaking engagements Christine Byrd, 949-824-9055

Topic:  US Policy in the Middle East


Zachary Lockman, Middle East and Islamic Studies, New York University, zachary.lockman@nyu.edu

Topic:  US Policy in the Middle East


Elizabeth McKillen, University of Maine, Elizabeth_McKillen@umit.maine.edu (not available until after early November)

Topics: U.S. Labor and American Foreign Policy; "Losers" in Past Debates over National Security and their significance for today; U.S. Military Occupations in Historical Perspective


Robert McMahon, Ohio State University, past president of Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, mcmahon.121@osu.edu

Topic:  The Iraq War and the War on Terror in Historical Perspective


Carl Mirra, State University of New York at Old Westbury, editor of HAW pamphlet Join Us?: Testimonies of Iraq War Veterans and Their Families, mirrac@optonline.net.

Topic:  Resistance in the Military


Gael Murphy, Code Pink, gael@codepinkalert.org (she is based in Washington, DC but willing to travel).

Topic:  Antiwar Activism


Robert Naiman, naiman@justforeignpolicy.org.

“Topics I would be happy to talk about:  Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel/Palestine; Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia.”


Margaret Power, Illinois Institute of Technology, former co-chair of Historians Against the War, power@iit.edu

Topic:  Solidarity and the Antiwar Movement


Melinda Power, civil rights attorney, West Town Community Law Office, Chicago, one of the attorneys handling the case of 800 people arrested in March 2003 for protesting the war, mpwr2502@earthlink.net

Topics:  Civil Rights and the Bush Administration; Cases involving anti-war demonstrators


John Prados, author of numerous books including Safe for Democracy: The Secret History of the CIA, phone 301-565-0564

Topic:  American National Security and the Elections


Wayne Ross, Department of Curriculum Studies, University of British Columbia, wayne.ross@ubc.ca

Topic:  Schooling, Inequality, and Warfare


David F. Schmitz, Whitman College, author of books on US foreign policy, schmitdf@whitman.edu

Topic: Dissent in Times of War


Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University, author of books on American civil liberties, schreckr@ymail.yu.edu, phone 212-316-4072

Topics:  Assault on Civil Liberties; Threats to Academic Freedom


Michael Schwartz, Stony Brook University, author of the new War Without End: The Iraq War in Context, mschwartz@ms.cc.sunysb.edu

Topic:  “War and Occupation in Iraq


Mark Stoler, professor emeritus of US diplomatic history, U. of Vermont, past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, mark.stoler@uvm.edu

Can appear in nearby locations

Topic:  Bush policy in historical perspective


David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, currently working on book on the imperial presidency, david@davidswanson.org, web site http://www.davidswanson.org


Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania, author of America’s Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier, rvitalis@sas.upenn.edu

Topics:  US Middle East Policy; Oil/Energy and Politics


Larry Wittner, State U. of New York at Albany, author of books on US foreign policy and peace movements, wittner@albany.edu

Topics:  The Role of the US Movement; Challenging Nuclear Militarism; The Tragedy of US Foreign Policy


Ann Wright, military veteran and diplomat who resigned from the US Foreign Service in protest of the invasion of Iraq, previously in US Embassy in Kabul, microann@yahoo.com

“I am available to speak on the war in Iraq; the pending war on Iran; torture, Guantanamo, and Abu Ghaib; sexual assault of women in the military; suicide or murder of women in the military; foreign policy issues of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan”


Marilyn Young, New York University, author of books on the Vietnam War and other topics, marilyn.young@nyu.edu

Topic:  Bush Foreign Policy in Historical Perspective; Iraq War / Vietnam


Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics, U. of San Francisco, zunes@usfca.edu, cell phone 831-234-9468

Topics:  A list of possible topics can be found at



Other Potential Sources of Speakers:


The following organizations may also be able to help with speakers:

American Civil Liberties Union (http://www.aclu.org – click on link to “Your Local ACLU” at bottom of page for contact information for state affiliates)

Center for Constitutional Rights(http://www.ccr-ny.org)

Code Pink (http://www.codepink4peace.org)

Gold Star Families for Peace (http://www.gsfp.org)

Iraq Veterans Against the War (http://www.ivaw.net)

Military Families Speak Out (http://www.mfso.org – click on “Chapters” link on left side of home page)

September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (http://www.peacefultomorrows.org – click on “Speakers Bureau” on home page)

United for Peace and Justice (http://www.unitedforpeace.org)

Veterans Against the Iraq War (http://www.vaiw.org) email vaiw@hotmail.com, phone 201-876-0430

Veterans for Peace (http://www.veteransforpeace.org – click on “Chapter Contacts” on left side of home page)

Vietnam Veterans Against the War (http://www.vvaw.org – click on “Contact Us” for a page that includes links to regional contacts)



Pro-Administration Speakers:

Many of the most vibrant and important Vietnam-era Teach-Ins took the form of debates between antiwar speakers and defenders of the Johnson/Nixon policies.These offered students the opportunity to observe proponents of the "conventional wisdom" in direct dialogue with critics.

If you wish to use this format, you may find it difficult to identify pro-Administration speakers who are willing waive a fee.

Some suggestions:

Public officials: Congressional representatives or members of the state legislature who support the war may be willing to participate in campus events.  Republicans will be more likely to support the existing policies, but keep in mind that many Democrats also support the war in Iraq and are in favor of an extended American troop presence.

ROTC:  If ROTC is on your campus the commanding officers, many of whom have served in Afghanistan and Iraq may be willing to speak.  These officers are prohibited by law from advocating a particular point of view but they are free to describe their mission.


Conservative Foundations and Think- Tanks

These organizations do not provide formal Speakers Bureaus, but they do give contact information for relevant experts and in some instances guidance from staffers about possible speakers:

American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/

Center for Strategic and International Studies, http://www.csis.org/

Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/About/Contact.cfm

Hudson Institute, http://hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_an_expert&raid=ForeignPolicy


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