Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal – Howard Zinn (1967)

Howard Zinn (January 1, 2004) – “[A note of explanation: 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. This time, I am writing a speech for whichever candidate emerges as Democratic Party nominee for President. My supposition is that the nation is ready for an all-out challenge to the Bush Administration, for its war policy and its assault on the well-being of the American people. And only such a forthright, courageous approach to the nation can win the election and save us from another four years of an Administration that is reckless with American lives and American values.] My fellow Americans, I ask for your vote for President because I believe we are at a point in the history of our country where we have a serious decision to make. That decision will deeply affect not only our lives, but also the lives of our children and grandchildren. At this moment in our nation’s history, we are on a very dangerous course. We can remain on that course, or we can turn onto a bold new path to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence, which guarantees everyone an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The danger we are in today is that the war–a war without any foreseeable end–is not only taking the lives of our young but exhausting the great wealth of our nation. That wealth could be used to create prosperity for every American but is now being squandered on military interventions abroad that have nothing to do with making us more secure. We should listen carefully to the men serving in this war. … What is national security? This Administration defines national security as sending our young men and women around the world to wage war on country after country–none of them strong enough to threaten us. …”
Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn: Remembering a War
amazon: Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal

Howard Zinn and Daniel Berrigan in Hanoi, 1968.

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