tv Democracy Now LINKTV August 24, 2022 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
amy: we spend the hour remembering the legendary historian, author, professor, playwright, and activist howard zinn, born 100 years ago on today. after he served as an air force bombardier in world war ii and witnessing the horrors of war, zinn went on to become a lifelong dissident and peace activist. he wrote the classic work "a people's history of the united states" that changed the way we look at history in america. he was a regular guest on democracy now! we'll feature his interviews and his speeches, as he went on to including one of his final addresses in 2009. howard: when people stop obeying, they have no power. when workers go on strike, corporations lose their power.
when consumers boycott, huge business establishments have to give in. amy: today, our howard zin n-tennial. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. voters went to the polls tuesday for primaries in florida, new york and oklahoma. in new york, redrawn congressional districts led to the losses of two democratic incumbents. in new york's redrawn 12th congressional district congressmember jerrold nadler defeated fellow incumbent carolyn maloney, the chair of the house oversight committee, . in the redrawn 10th congressional district, former federal prosecutor dan goldman appears to have defeated several morerogressivepponents including incumbent mondaire jones and yuh-line niou, a member of the new york assembly. goldman, who is an heir to the levi strauss fortune, spent $4 million of his own money on the
race. he also picked up a controversial endorsement from the new york times whose publisher a.g. sulzberger is a close family friend. in another closely watched new york race, democrat pat ryan won a special election in a swing district in the hudson valley defeating republican mark molinaro. ryan campaigned heavily on the need to protect reproductive rights after the supreme court overturned roe v. wade. he spoke tuesday night. >>hen the supreme court rips away reproductive freedoms, access to abortion rights, we said this is not what america stands for. as more and more kids are getting gunned down by the same weapons i carried in combat, we said this is not what america stands for. amy: in florida, the state's
former republican governor charlie crist won florida's democratic primary for governor on tuesday. congress member crist will face republican governor ron desantis in november. crist spoke on tuesday night. >> the stakes could not be higher for the selection. our fundamental freedoms are literally on the ballot,y friends. a woman's right to choose on the ballot. democracy on the ballot. your rights as minorities are on this ballot. that is what is at stake in this election. make no mistake about it. because this guy wants to be president of the united states of america, and everyone knows it. however, when we defeat him on november 8, that show is over. [applause] amy:n another florida race of note, 25-year-old maxwell alejandro frost won the democratic primary in florida's 10th congressional district. he is set to become the first
afro-cuban american and first member of generation z to serve in congress. frost is the former national organizing director for march for our lives which was formed by survivors of the parkland shooting in florida. meanwhile, val demings easily won the democratic primary for senate tuesday. she will face republican senator marco rubio in november. the biden administration is set to formally announce $3 billion in more military aid to ukraine. the announcement is expected today to coincide with ukraine marking its independence day as well as the six-month anniversary of the russian invasion. public gatherings have been banned in kiev due to fears of russian strikes. earlier today, pope francis repeated his call to end the war. he also warned of a potential nuclear disaster at the zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. in recent weeks, russia and ukraine have accused each other of attacking the plant which has been under russian control since march. on tuesday, the un security council held a meeting about zaporizhzhia at the request of russia.
this is u.n. political chief rosemary dicarlo. >> we must be clear that any potential damage to the plant or any other nuclear facility in ukraine will lead to a possible nuclear incident and would have catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity but for the region and beyond. amy: the new york times reports the united nations is facing a record aid shortfall as it attempts to address growing humanitarian crises around the world. while un appeals for money for ukraine have exceeded requests, other appeals have fallen far short. according to the times, un appeals are only 11% funded for haiti, 12% for el salvador, 14% for burundi, and 17% for burma. the biden administration is expected to make an announcement today on student debt cancellation. according to multiple news accounts, the administration will cancel $10,000 of federal student loans for borrowers making $125,000 or less.
the plan has been widely panned by groups pushing for broader student debt relief. derrick johnson the head of the naacp tweeted on tuesday: "president biden's decision on student debt cannot become the latest example of a policy that has left black people - especially black women - behind. a jury in michigan has convicted two members of the far-right boogaloo movement of conspiring to kidnap michigan's democratic governor gretchen whitmer in 2020. the men, barry croft and adam fox, face up to life in prison. during closing arguments prosecuts claimed the mewere hopi to "setff a secd ameran civilar.” defenslawyers ve maintned theiclies were erapped b fbi infoants. the national archives is claiming donald trump took more than 700 classified documents to his resort in florida after leaving the white house. that's according to a letter the
national archives sent to trump's lawyers in may. the letter also appears to confirm some of the documents were highly sensitive material related to special access programs. the archives released the letter on tuesday, just over two weeks after fbi agents searched trump's property at mar-a-lago and seized more documents that had not been previously turned over. a former louisville police detective has pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to falsify the search warrant used to justify the deadly raid on breonna taylor's home two years ago. kelly goodlett, who resigned from the louisville police earlier this month, becomes the first officer to be convicted for involvement in the raid during which police officers shot taylor dead in her own home. in georgia, a special prosecutor has dropped charges against two atlanta police officers involved in the shooting death of rayshard brooks, an unarmed 27-year-old black man who was shot dead in the parking lot of a wendy's restaurant in 2020.
the incident began when police found brooks sleeping in his car outside the wendy's. the police questioned brooks, patted him down and gave him a breathalyzer test. during a scuffle, he grabbed one of the officers' stun guns and attempted to run away. an officer then shot brooks in the back two times. the officer, garrett rolfe, can then be heard on a bodycam video saying, “i got him.” the president of the naacp in georgia is criticizing the decision to drop charges saying there is no statute of limitations on a murder case, and there will be no statute of limitations on our efforts to ensure there is justice for rayshard brooks." in more news about police violence, the justice department has launched a federal civil rights probe into three officers in arkansas who were filmed on saturday brutally beating 27-year-old randal worcester as they pressed him face-first into the pavement. the three officers involved have
been suspended. the u.s. has announce it has carried out airstrikes in eastern syria tuesday. central command said the strikes targeted areas feel even with the islamic guard corps. iran's foreign ministry condemned the u.s. strike as a violation by the u.s. army of the people and infrastructures of syria. in malaysia, the former prime minister will serve 12 years in prison for looting some $12.5 billion from the state fund. a court on tuesday upheld his conviction on money laundering, abuse of power, and other abuse of power related charges. he is the first malaysian prime minister to be sent in prison. he served from 2009 until 2018.
in thailand, the constitutional court has suspended prime minister prayuth chan-ocha from official duties as it reviews a petition challenging the legality of his eight-year term limit. the petition was filed monday by the leading opposition party arguing chan-ocha's time spent as head of a military government after he staged a coup in 2014 should count towards his constitutionally stipulated term as prime minister. in mexico, journalist and columnist fredid roman was shot dead in the state of guerrero monday. he's the 15th journalist killed in mexico so far this year. roman was reportedly gunned down by unknown attackers on a motorcycle in the city of chilpancingo. before his murder, roman had published a column discussing the alleged involvement of politicians in guerrero in the 2014 disappearance of the 43 students from ayotzinapa and a new report by mexico's truth commission calling the events a
state crime. texas has declared emergencies in over 20 counties after torrential rain in recent days triggered flash floods turning roads into rivers, destroying homes and killing at least one person. in the city of mesquite, a woman died after her car was swept away by flood waters. she was identified as 60-year-old jolene jarrell, a mother and grandmother who worked as an uber driver. she was on her way home from dropping off a passenger when she was caught in the massive flood. in more news from texas, a five-year-old girl from guatemala drowned in the rio grande, monday. margaret sofia was reportedly ripped from her mother's arms after the girl was pulled by heavy muddy waters as they tried to swim across the river between juarez, mexico and el paso, texas. the girl's mother, silvia garcia del carmen, was rescued. this is the head of firefighters in ciudad juarez. >> the water levels of the bravo river are swollen. people who try to cross are
risking their lives. this is what happened in this case. we received a report of someone in this part of the river. we intervened and rescued the body of a five-year-old girl. amy: this comes as the biden administration continues to enforce the trump-era, pandemic policy title 42 which has blocked some two million asylum seekers at the u.s.-mexico border from entering the country through safer routes and ports of entry to apply for refuge in the united states. and the former head of security twitter has filed a whistleblower complaint with federal agencies describing what he calls "extreme, egregious deficiencies by twitter" that pose a threat to user privacy and national security. the software engineer, peiter zatko, who is better known by his hacker name "mudge," alleges twitter has mislead federal regulators about its cybersecurity defenses. on tuesday he spoke to cnn.
[no audio] august 24, 1922, to working-class jewish immigrant parents in brooklyn. he died in 2010 at the age of 87 but his books continueo be read across the globe. at 18 years old, zinn began working as a shipyard worker and then joined the air force where he served as a bombardier in world war ii. after witnessing the horrors of war, howard zinn went on to become a lifelong dissident and peace activist. he was active in the civil rights movement and other struggles for social justice. he taught at spelman college in
atlanta, the historically black college for women. he was fired for insubordination for standing up for student protesters. while at spelman, he served on the executive committee of sncc, the student nonviolent coordinating committee. after being forced out of spelman, zinn became a professor at boston university. in 1967 he published “vietnam: the logic of withdrawal.” it was the first book on the war to call for immediate withdrawal, no conditions. a year later, he and father daniel berrigan traveled to north vietnam to receive the first three american prisoners of wars released by the north vietnamese. when daniel ellsberg needed a place to hide the pentagon papers before they were leaked to the press, he went to howard and his late wife roz. in 1980, howard zinn published his classic work, "a people's history of the united states.” the book would go on to sell over a million copies and changed the way we look at history in the united states. howard zinn was a regular guest on democracy now! from the time
we went on the air in 1996 up until his death. we begin today's show with an interview i did with howard zinn in 2005 when he came into our firehouse studio. it is great to have you with us. howard: nice of you to invite me. i was worried. amy: you just came from beord hills correctional facility? howard: yesterday afternoon, i spoke at bedford hills, euphemiscally caed correctional facility, they don't correct anything, speaking mostly to women, prisoners of color, spoke to them yesterday afternoon before giving this talk at manhattanville college. amy: what did you talk about with the women? howard: they had been using my book. they have classes, "a people's history of the united states" and i would talk about why i did history the way i did.
how i came to do it. i told him something about my life. of course, i always like to talk about that. then they asked a lot of questions. very lively, enthusiastic group. if every teacher in the country d a class like that, they would be inspired. i have always found this to be true. wonderful and amazing when you talk to prisoners who should be the last ones to be optimistic and in good spirits, but it is always there. it was actlly encouraging -- troubling to know that the markable people are being kept in prison. very often for nonviolent crimes, kept there for long periods of time.
the sad commentary of people in washington who are free and these people are imprisoned. amy: you talk about being a teacher. howard zinn, the places where you did teach, spelman where you were fired, boston university where you almost fired. howard: are you trying to make me out as a troublemaker? amy: what happened at spelman? howard: i got involved with the students, actions going on in the south, the sit ins, picket lines. i was supporting my students. this was the first black president at spelman college, was not happy with me joining the students, was not happy with what they did, but could not do anything about it. when the students came back from jail and rebelled against the campus regulations, restrictions on them, and i supported them. amy: during civil rights years? howard: yes, this was during
civil rights years. he was very unhappy with the fact that i was supporting students who were rebelling against the paternalism and authoritarianism on that campus. these were black women students. the movement brought them out of this little convent-like atmosphere of spelman college and out into the world. amy: the author alice walker was one of those students. howard: head of the children's -- those were some of the students i had at spelman. alice walker was in jail. amy: boston university was many years later. why did you almost get thrown out of their? howard: we had a strike.
faculty went on strike, secretaries went on strike. they settled with the falty after the successful strike but not with the secretaries. i, and some the other faculty,efused to cross the picket line. five of us refused to do that and were threatened with firing, even though all of us had a 10 year -- tenure. it was a long struggle. amy: going back to your time as professor, you were a bombardier in world war ii. you talk about your final bombing run, not over japan or germany, but over france. howard: we thought that the bombing was over, that the more was going to come to an end. this was april in 1945. remember the war ended in may.
it was a few weeks before and everyone knew it would be over. our armies were passed france into germany, but there were pockets of german soldiers hanging around this town along the atlantic coast of france. the air force decided to bomb them. 1200 of them flew over this little town and dropped napalm, the fit use in the european theater. we don't know how many people we killed or how many were terribly burned as a result of what we did. i did it, like most soldiers do, unthinking, mechanically, thinking we are on the right side, they are on the wrong side, therefore we can do whatever we want and it's ok. really only after the more when i s reading aut hiroshima, reading about are survivors and what they went through, only then did i begin to think about
the human effects on bombing. think about what it meant to human beings on the ground when bombs were dropped on them. as a bombardier, i was flying at 30,000 feet, six miles, could not hear screams, could not see blood. this is modern warfare. soldiers fire, they dr bombs, but they have no notion really of what is happening to the human beings they are firing on. everything is being done at a distance. this enables terrible atrocities to take place. reflecting back on that bombing raid, thinking of that in here oshimaall of the other raids on civilian cities, huge numbers of civilians kled, hundreds of thousands of people in tokyo on one night of firebombing, all of that made me realize that war, even so-called good wars, do not
solve any fundamental problems. they always poison everybody on both sides. they poison minds and souls of everybody. we are seeing that now in iraq, where the minds of soldiers are being poisoned by being an occupied army in a land where they are not wanted. the results are terrible. amy: you learned you dropped napalm on this french village? howard: we actually didn't know what it was. they said you will not have the usual 500 pound demolition bombs. you are going to carry 30 100- pound canisters of jelly gasoline. we hado idea what that was but it was napalm. amy: you went to the village later? howard: about 10 years after the war. i went to the library which i had destroyed, was not rebuilt,
and i dug out records of survivors, what they wro about the bombing. i wrote kind of an essay about the bombing before i went home, which appears -- where does it appear -- in my book, also the politics of history. for me, it was a very important experience, a sobering lesson about so-called good wars. amy: you learn wn you were there on the ground many years later who had died? howard: i spoke to people who had survived that, whose family members had died. they were very bitter about the bombing. they attributed it to all sorts things, the desire to try out a new weapon. it is amazing how many things
are done anymore just to try out new weapons. maybe one of the reasons for dropping the bombs on here oshima and nagasaki, see what this does to human beings. human beings become sacrifices in the desire to develop new military technology. i think that was one of those instances. amy: we are talking to historian howard zinn here in our firehouse studio in chinatown, just blocks from where the towers othe world trade center once stood. you went to north vietnam. why? howard: this was early 1968, the time of the tet offensive, also the tet holiday, and the north vietnamese decided they want to release the first three airman prisoners who were shot down over north vietnam, wanted to release them into the custody of
not the american government, but the peace movement. daniel berrigan, he and i traveled together to north vietnam, to pick up these three american airmen who were being released by the north vietnamese. we spent some time in hanoi, surrounding areas, visiting little villages that had been bombed in the middle of the night, one million miles from any possible military target. vietnam was being bombed every night. every day wwere going out to air raid shelters. every night daniel would write a poem about what happened that day. y: what do you say to those, then and now, before the
invasion, who would go to iraq, those who would go to north vietnam, being called tra itors giving comfort to the enemy? howard: like so many others, jane fonda. so many others before. people that have gone to iraq. people in the wilderness. americans going to iraq and violating the u.s. sanctions, bringing food and medicine, the whole business of being traitor s. i think there is somew a wrongheaded notion of what treason is and what patriosm is, a notion that if you bid -- disobey the laws of your government you are being treasonous. but i believe the government is being treasonous and unpatriotic, when the government violate the fundamental rights of human beings. when the government invades
another country, a country that has not attacked it, a country that has not teatenedt, when our government invades another country and drops bombs and kis a huge number of people, and then america have the guts to go to that country and bring ople food and medicine to see what is going on, as american did when they went to vietnam, i think these are the st patriotic amecans. if you define patriotism as obedience to the government, then i think you are following a kind of totalitarian principal. that is the principle of a totalitarian state, that you do with the government tells you to do. democracy means that the government is an instrument of the people. this is a declaration of independence. governments are artificial entities set up in order to preserve the equal right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.
en the government violates those rights, it is the duty of people to divide that government. that is patriotism. amy: howard zinn, you called your autobiography "you cannot be neutral on a moving train." why? howard: i stole it from myself, i used to say it to my classes. i wanted to be honest with them about the fact that they were not entering a class where the teacher would be neutral, where the teacher spent half the year with the students, and they had no idea where the teacher stood on important issues. this would not be a neutral class, i said. i don't believe in neutrality. the world is already moving in certain directions. moore's are going on, children are starving. to be neutral, to pretend neutrality, to not take a stand in a situation like that is to
collaborate with whatever is going on. i did not want to be a collaborator with what was happening. i wanted to enter into history, play a role, i wanted my student to play a role. i wanted us to intercede. i wanted my history to intercede, take a stand on behalf of peace, on behalf of racial equality, sexual inequality. i wanted my students to know that from the beginning. -- racial equality, sexual equality. amy: that was howard zinn. when we come back, we continue with our zinn-tennial with a speech that he made two weeks after the u.s. invaded afghanistan in 2001. back in 30 seconds.
♪♪ [music break] amy: "ludlow massacre" by woody guthrie. about a colorado militia got call strikers. howard zinn said hearing the song was a defining moment for him and made him to research and tell stories left out of most history books. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue with our zinn-tennial. remembering the legendary historian howard zinn on what would have been his 100th birthday. on october 21, 2001, howard zinn gave a major address at the university of vermont, burlington.
this was just over a month after the 9/11 attacks and two weeks after the u.s. invaded afghanistan beginning what became the longest war in u.s. history. it was a year ago this month that the u.s. finally withdrew from afghanistan and the taliban regain control. this is howard zinn in 2001. howard: i emphasize this because we have to understand what we are doing in afghanistan to end terrorism. because we need to end terrorism. we absolutely need to end terrorism. [applause] and we have to begin to think about what we need to do to end terrorism. and we have to think about whether bombing afghanistan is going to end terrorism.
how much thinking went into this? really, how much thinking went into this? there are all of these mines. it doesn't matter how many you have, it is the quality of mi nds. it is also the count and the morality of these minds. the understanding that maybe there are people in other countries who deserve to live as much as those people in the twin towers deserved to live. [applause] so, people say, but you must do something. i agree. you cannot do nothing. i agree, you must do something.
i like the logic. you must do something, therefore, bomb. i don't get it. that is the only possible thing you can do if you must do something? the medical students confronted -- somebody has a leg infection, they don't know what to do about it. amputate. medical students, you don't know what to do. something is really bad. you must do something. but the first rule is, do no harm. let's start out with do no harm. we are doing great harm. if you think we are not, try to imagine.
we are not killing that many people. we are not killing that many people. we don't know how may people we are killing. first of all, you cannot believe the government. i'm not saying you can believe the taliban. all governments lie. it is just common sense and history of bombing. the little report that come through, even through the filter of control and so on, there were reporters in villages in afghanistan reporting. there they were on the spot. these houses were destroyed, freshly dug graves, a man who lost his wife and kids in the bombing. a red cross compound was hit on the same day that bush is asking people to pay tribute to the red cross. if we are going to pay tribute to the red cross, first assure us that you are not going to bomb the red cross, you see?
if you think what we are doing in afghanistan is not very much, no. consider there are hundreds of thousands of people in afghanistan who are fleeing the cities and towns in which they live. have you seen the pictures of afghan refugees? it started as soon as bush promised to bomb. there are certain american promises they can count on, and that is one of them. the refugees immediately begin moving you see the pictures of these families with all ofheir possessions, as many as they can carry on their backs, their wagons, their kids, hundreds of thousands of them. this is not a small thing, killing a few pple in that is the price we are willing to pay. we are terrorizing afghanistan.
i am not exaggerating. the people that are in kabul, in other places in afghanistan, have to live with the fear of these bonds. have you lived under bombs? can you imagine what it is like? you are in an undeveloped country and here come these machines with a ferocious noise and the lights and flashing and explosions. yes, we are terrorizing people in afghanistan. it is not right to respond to the fact that we have been terrorized, as we have, not right to respond to that by terrorizing other people. absolutely wrong.
[applause] and furthermore, it is not going to help. it may be worth doing if this would end terrorism. how much common sense does it take to know that you cannot end terrorism by indiscriminately throwing bombs on afghanistan. we have now destroyed three of their camps. who are you kidding? how many hours does it take to set up a training camp? how easy is it to move from one place to another? the history of bombing is mostly a history of futility.
there is a book that came out recently called "the history of bombing." i was a bombardier. sure, the technology has improved, but it was claimed even then, our bombs are smart. people believed that. even we believed that. we wouldbomb at 4000, 11,000 feet. then we would go on our missions and we would bomb at 30,000 feet, and they would go all over the place, killing all sorts of people. it didn't matter. who were these people? i didn't even see them. if you bomb another country, you don't see the people. bombing from high-altitude.
they want to escape antiaircraft fire. you don't see anything on the ground. you see flashes and explosions, may take pictures, but you don't hear screams, you don't see blood, you don't see severed limbs. you don't see any of that. we saw that in new york. we saw those scenes in new york. they horrified us. we saw people in panic, running from those explosions in an enormous pile of debris. we were horrified. these were real people to us. but then, if we bomb other countries, those people are not real to us. one of the things i thought of after i got over the initial horror of what happened in new york, this is what it must have been like when i was bombing in europe. i didn't even know it because
these people were site first to me. maybe i thought to these terrorists, that is what it is to them. 6000 human beings. no, they have a mission, they have a goal. they are not human beings to terrorists. people in other parts of the world have not been human beings to us. if there is anything we might get out of this experience, it is that we take that horror and the scenes that we saw in new york, the compassion that we felt for the people who endure this and their families, and extend this to people in other parts of the world who have been entering this for a mayor long time -- very long time. [applause]
and that does mean examining the united states and our policies. [applause] when you do that, when you suggested that, i think we ought to look at ourselves and our policies. people say you are justifying -- absolutely not. if you don't want to explain anything, you will never learn anything. in order to understand, you have to explain without justifying. you have to dig down and see if you can figure out what is at the root of this terrorism? there is something at the root besides irrational, murderers
feeling -- murderous feeling. yes, this was murderous, fanatical feeling, but these were not simply mad men who just go berserk and kill everybody in sight. we have seen that in our country. something goes haywire in them, they go wild. terrorism is not that sort of thing. there is something underneath that fanaticism which may have a core of truth to it. something in the core belief of these terrorists, which may also be a core belief of millions of
other people in the world who are not terrorists, who are angry at american policy but are not frenetic enough to go and kill americans because they are angry at our policy, but who are capable of doing that if they are even more aroused. if we begin doing even more things to anger them, you might say there is a reservoir of possible terrorists among all those people in the world that have suffered as a result of u.s. policy. i don't know if you think i'm exaggerating when i say there are millions of people in the world who have suffered as a result of u.s. foreign policy. but yes, there are. ambush, -- and bus at a recent press conference, said something like, i don't understand why these people hate us.
we are good. that is what he said. we are good. look at me. i am good. you know. well, sometimes the united states is good, yes. there are a lot of good things about the united states. and yes, there are times when the united states is good. but then there are times, unfortunately too many times, when the united states has been bad. people, really -- evil, really. and have carried out policies that have resulted in the deaths of millions of people. amy: legendary howard zinn speaking into thousand one just two weeks after the u.s. invaded afghanistan becoming the longest war in u.s. history. back with our zinn-tennial in a
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue with our zinn-tennial. the legendary historian howard zinn would have been 100 years old today. in 2006, we featured a speech he delivered in madison, wisconsin, where he was receiving the haven center's award for lifetime contribution to critical scholarship. his lecture was titled, “the uses of history and the war on terrorism.” howard: i was talking to my authors the other day as we always discuss world politics. he was totally politically unpredictable. as with most fathers are. he said, howard, you know, you and i disagree on many things. but on one thing we agree. war solves nothing.
it is not hard for people to grasp that. history is useful. we have had history of war after war after war. what have they done? even world war ii, the good war, the war in which i volunteered, dropped bombs, after which i received a letter from general marshall, the general of generals, addressed personally to me and 16 million others, in which he said we won the war and it will be a new world. it was not a new world, has not been a new world. war after war. i came out of that war, which i volunteered, where i was an enthusiastic bombardier, came out with certain ideas that just develop gradually by the end of the war.
one, war corrupts everyone who engages in it. war poisons everyone who engages in it. you start out as the good guys, as we did in world war ii. they are the bad guys, the fascists. what could be worse? they are the bad guys, we are the good guys. as the war goes on, the good guys begin behaving like the bad guys. you can trace this back to the peloponnesian wars, the good guys, the athenians, the bad guys, the spartans, and then after a while, the athenians become ruthless and cruel like the spartans. we did that in world war ii. after heather omitted his atrocities -- hitler committed his atrocities, we committed our own atrocities. killing civilians in japan and germany. they were not hitler, tojo, they
were ordinary people, like we are ordinary people living in a country, a marauding country. they were in countries that were marauding other countries, caught up in whatever it was, afraid to speak up. war poisons everybody. this is an important thing to keep in mind. when you go to war against a tyrant. and we got rid of saddam hussein, which was nonsense. did our government care that saddam hussein tyrannized his people? we helped him. we helped him gas the kurds. we helped him accumulate weapons he wrote a book about it. it.
"green parents: diary of a war surgeon." he said of all the patient that he operated on in iraq, afghanistan, 80% were civilians, one third of them children. if the people understand, if you spread the word of this understanding, that whatever is told to you about war and how we must go to war, wtever the threat is, the goal is, democracy, liberty, it is always a war against children. they are the ones that will die in large numbers. einstein said this after world war i. war cannot be humanized, it can only be abolished. war has to be abolished.
[applause] i know it is a long shot. i understand that. but when something is a long shot, but it has to be done, you have to start doing it. just as the end of slavery in the 1830's was a really long shot, but people stuck at it. it took 30 years but slavery was done away with. we see this again and again. we have a job to do, we have lots of things to do. one of the things that we will learn from history, history is not only a history of things inflicted on us i powers that be. history is also a history of resistance, of people who endure tyranny for decades, but for who, ultimately rise up and overthrow the dictator.
we see this in country after country. rulers who have seemingly total control wake up one day and there are a million people in the streets, and they pack up and leave. this has happened in the philippines, and yemen, all over, napal, a million people in the streets. then the ruler has to get out of the way. this is what we are aiming for in this country. everything we do is important. every little thing, every picket line we walk on, every letter that we write, every act of civil disobedience that we engage in, any recruiter that we talk to, parent, g.i. that we talk to, young people that we
talked to, everything that we do in a direction of a different world is important, even though at the moment they seem futile. that is how change comes about. change comes about when millions of people do little things, which at certain points in history, come together, and then something good and important happens. thank you. amy: the legendary historian howard zinn speaking in 2006 in . three years later, howard joined us in the studio as he launched the paperback edition of "a young people's history of the united states." i asked whether retelling of history including columbus was appropriate for children. howard: people have asked that question all the time, columbus
was told they were a great hero, but that he mutilated and kidnapped indians in pursuit of gold. should we tell people that theater roovelt, who is held up as one of our great presidents, was really a warmonger who loved nila terry exploits, congratulated an american general who committed a massacre in the philippines? should we tell young people that? we should be honest with young people. we should not deceive them. we should be honest about the history of our country. we should be not only taking down the traditional heroes like andrew jackson, theater roosevelt, but we should be giving younger people in alternate set of heroes. instead of theodore roosevelt, tell them about mark twain. mark twain, everyone learns about as the author of " tom
sawyer and huckleberry finn" but we don't learn about mark twain as the vice president of the anti-imperialist league. we are not told that mark twain denounced theodore roosevelt for approving this massacre in the philippines. we want to give young people i deal figures like helen keller. everybody learns about helen keller. the disabled person who overcame her handicaps, became famous. but people do not learn in school, young people do not learn in school what we want them to learn when they do books like the young peoples of the united states. helen keller was a socialist. she was a labor organizer. she refused to cross a picket line that was picketing a theater showing a play about her. there are these alternate heroes
in american history. there is fibula hay her, bob mozer, a lot of people who are obscure, who are unknown. we have a history of a young hero, who was sitting on the bus in montgomery, alabama, fused to leave the front of the bus. this is before rosa parks. rosa parks is justifiably famous for refusing to leave her seat, she was arrested, and that was the beginning of the montgomery bus boycott and movement in the south. but this 15-year-old girl did it first. we are trying to bring a lot of these obscure people back into the forefront of our attention, inspire young people to say this is a way to live.