Alternative Radio on 12/01/09
Howard Zinn Three Holy Wars (lecture)
Howard Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, is perhaps this country's premier radical historian. He was born in Brooklyn in 1922. His parents, poor immigrants, were constantly moving to stay “one step ahead of the landlord.” After high school, he went to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. During World War II, he saw combat duty as an air force bombardier. After the war, he went to Columbia University on the GI Bill. He was an active figure in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. Today, he is in great demand as a public speaker. He's a regular contributor to "The Progressive" magazine. His masterpiece, "A People's History of the United States," continues to sell in huge numbers. His latest books are "A Power Governments Cannot Suppress" and "Original Zinn." His documentary “The People Speak” premieres on the History Channel, Sunday December 13, 8PM EST.
The conventional view of U.S. wars follows a formulaic line: We are innocent victims of unprovoked attacks. The sleeping giant wakes and reluctantly goes to fight. All military action is imbued with benevolent intentions: human rights, democracy, and liberty. There are parades and flag-waving. Solemn ceremonies and gun salutes at funerals honor the fallen. But who asks for what and for whom were they killed? Who benefits? Weapons manufacturers and mercenary contractors make out like bandits. That’s a taboo subject. Resources? Empire expansion? Don’t go there. Stick to patriotism. You can mouth the typical prattle of they died for freedom. The Afghan war is Operation Enduring Freedom. And war crimes? That’s what they do, not us. Tribunals? Same deal: for them. Wars are packaged and sold just like any other commodity. Propaganda is skillfully used to win over the population.