In this editorial, Howard Zinn nominates Eartha Kitt for Woman of the Year and Dr. Benjamin Spock for Man of the Year because “both refused to play the game” by speaking out against the Vietnam War.
We’ve become fanatic about the word communist and this is part of the game.…
Originally broadcast on “What’s Happening Mr. Silver?” on WGBH Boston, Howard Zinn lauds Eartha Kitt and Dr. Benjamin Spock for their public resistance and calls on everyone to actively resist and protest social injustice.
What’s Happening Mr. Silver? • 1968…
The war against Iraq, the assault on its people, the occupation of its cities, will come to an end, sooner or later. The process has already begun. The first signs of mutiny are appearing in Congress. The first editorials calling for withdrawal from Iraq are beginning to appear in the press. The anti-war movement has been growing, slowly but persistently, all over the country. Public opinion polls now show the country decisively against the war and the Bush Administration. The harsh realities have become visible. The troops will have to come home.
Howard Zinn: I believe neutrality is impossible, because the world is already moving in certain directions. Wars are going on. Children are starving. And to be neutral, to pretend to neutrality, to not take a stand in a situation like that is to collaborate with whatever is going on, to allow it to happen. I did not want to be a collaborator with what was happening. I wanted my history to intercede and to take a stand on behalf of peace, on behalf of a racial equality or sexual equality..."
If John Kerry wants to win, he must recognize that our military intervention in Iraq is a disaster -- for Americans, for Iraqis, for the world. He must stop boasting about his courage in Vietnam and instead start talking about his moral courage in opposing that war. He needs to stop saying, as he did recently in the Midwest, that he defended this country when he was fighting in Vietnam. That is not an honest statement. If it were true, then he would not have turned against the war. He was not defending this country when he fought in Vietnam. He was defending this country when he said that we were wrong to be in Vietnam and we should get out.
In the spring of 1967, my book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal was published by Beacon Press. It was the first book on the war to call for immediate withdrawal, no conditions. Many liberals were saying: "Yes, we should leave Vietnam, but President Johnson can't just do it; it would be very hard to explain to the American people."My response, in the last chapter of my book, was to write a speech for Lyndon Johnson, explaining to the American people why he was ordering the immediate evacuation of American armed forces from Vietnam. No, Johnson did not make that speech, and the war went on. But I am undaunted, and willing to make my second attempt at speech writing.
Democracy Now! • February 13, 2003
We go now to historian Howard Zinn. Howard Zinn is a historian and professor emeritus of political science at Boston University. He is the author of fourteen books, including “A People’s History of the United States,” and “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.”…