Vietnam War

My Grades Will Not Be Instruments of War

Source: Howard Zinn Papers, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University
In an undated letter (probably in 1966), Zinn said that he would not allow the grades he gave to play a role in helping the United States wage immoral wars. He announced that for students with a moral opposition to the war...

Howard Zinn Guest Editorial (1968): “Refuse to play the game of silence in the midst of murder”

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.

Excerpt:

We’ve become fanatic about the word communist and this is part of the game.…

The Pentagon Papers Disclosure and Indictments

December 30 is the anniversary of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo being indicted in 1971 for releasing the Pentagon Papers. The papers were part of a 7,000-page, top secret history of the U.S. political and military involvement in the Vietnam War from 1945-71. In other words, their “crime” was to make the American public aware of the history of the war. Excerpted from chapter 12 of You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, Howard Zinn recounts the lead-up to Ellsberg and Russo's indictment.

After the War

By Howard Zinn • The Progressive • January 27, 2006
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.

“To Be Neutral, To Be Passive In A Situation Is To Collaborate With Whatever Is Going On”

Interviewed by Amy Goodman • Democracy Now! • April 27, 2005
Howard Zinn: “To Be Neutral, To Be Passive In A Situation Is To Collaborate With Whatever Is Going On”

Kerry Needs the Courage to Walk Away from Iraq

By Howard Zinn • Miami Herald • September 16, 2004
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.

The Logic of Withdrawal

By Howard Zinn • The Progressive • January 1, 2004
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.