Historians Against the War approve a new mission statement





As historically minded activists, scholars, students, and teachers, we stand opposed to wars of aggression, military occupations of foreign lands, and imperial efforts by the United States and other powerful nations to dominate the internal life of other countries.

In particular, we continue to demand a speedy end to US military involvement in Iraq, and we insist on the withdrawal, not the expansion, of US and NATO military forces in Afghanistan. We also call for a sharp reduction of US military bases overseas, and an end to US financial and military support of regimes that repress their people, or that occupy the territories of other peoples. We favor as well a drastic redirection of national resources away from military spending and toward urgently needed domestic programs.

We deplore the secrecy, deception, and distortion of history, the repeated violation of international law, and the attack on civil liberties domestically that have accompanied US policies of war and militarism—policies that became especially belligerent in the aftermath of September 11.

We fear that the current, rapidly escalating crisis of global capitalism, which is creating suffering worldwide, will lead to escalating wars abroad and intensifying repression at home. We support solutions to this crisis that seek to enrich the lives and increase the power of people globally, and protect their fundamental human rights. We are unalterably opposed to any attempts to solve the crisis at their expense.

We are aware that, in the words of the late historian William Appleman Williams, "empire as a way of life" has long characterized the United States and is not easily changed. However, we are mindful as well that the current conjunction of international and domestic crises offers an opportunity to alter longstanding destructive patterns. As historians, we believe that we can and must make a contribution to the broad, international movements for peace, democracy, and environmental and social justice. In pursuing our objectives, we look toward building and joining alliances with a wide variety of intellectual and activist groups that share our concerns.


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