Howard Zinn shall be missed
A few days ago I was staying at the home of my friend (and now IVAW ED) Jose Vasquez. We often rehash our many years in IVAW, telling our "war stories" and wondering where we shall be tomorrow. Therefore it would be no surprise to any who know us that in the days after one of our heros died we rehashed our first speaking event with Howard Zinn a few years ago.
It was the launch of Anthony Arnove's "Iraq the Logic of Withdrawal" a play on words to Howard's seminal "Vietnam the Logic of Withdrawal." That day a younger and thinner Geoff Millard sat next to a Jose Vasquez with a bit fuller head of hair in total awe of our hero while he gave a brilliant lecture. We sat just happy to be listening to him but to be speaking on the same panel... wow.
Howard talked about the work of IVAW and the ways it would contribute to ending the war but we were too young, I think, to fully understand what this meant. Looking back I was dumbstruck but he was again right, it is our deeds as a collective that will end these wars. The soldiers who have burdened the horrors of these wars with only our families to share in the pain, must now take the stands needed to end them.
You Can't be neutral on a moving train. What this means for us is that any order to deploy must not be seen as a mere order to board a plane but instead an illegal order to participate in an illegal war.
To me the lesson of Howard's life is greater than "A" people's history but our history. We must write our history in the deeds that we chose every day. Members of IVAW have made history and will continue to shape the course of human history but doing it is not enough. We must also record what we do. We must challenge the militarism of our society and never let the right re-write our war as they have with Vietnam.
Howard you shall be missed my friend, my hero. May your life live on in the deeds of many generations to come.