AHA Election: Historians Vote to Condemn War in Iraq

Historians in the News

Members of the American Historical Association have ratified the “Resolution on United States Government Practices Inimical to the Values of the Historical Profession.” The vote was 1,550 (75.61%) in favor and 498 (24.29%) opposed. Two persons submitted incomplete ballots. The number of voting members represented 14.67% of the AHA membership.

The Resolution was originally accepted by the Council at the January 7, 2007 council meeting. Because it was received too late to be published in the December 2006 issue of Perspectives, and because of its intrinsic importance, the Council took the additional step of asking the membership to ratify the resolution. Members were informed of the voting process in the February edition of Perspectives. On February 15, 2007, members were sent an email* inviting them to participate in a special discussion forum blog from the February 15 to the 28th. The vote was held from March 1 to 9, 2007. Members wishing to review comments from the discussion forum on the resolution can visit the AHA member services page.

Related Links

  • AHA council approves antiwar resolution contiongent upon its acceptance by the full membership
  • News Story (Inside Higher Ed)
  • Read entire article at AHA Blog

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    Chris Grant - 3/14/2007

    I only cannot help but ask what was supposed to be demonstrated by the vote in the first place. Aside from a general "War is bad, Mmmmkay?" statement, what does this show? Was anyone at any point going to say "war is great, and we should have more of them!"

    General Robert E. Lee said "it is good that war is so terrible, else we would grow too fond of it". No one is saying anything that isn't already known, so a nice big round of back-patting for reminding ourselves of these sentiments prooves little.

    How about a resolution calling for academic standards to be applied in public schools so kids can actually learn something instead of "teach to test" standards? Then when they reach college/uni they have critical thinking skills that enable them to learn and make informed decisions that go beyond mere platitudes. Maybe they can actually learn something about the Middle East and the people and conflicts there instead of memorizing bumper-sticker philosophies abiut this war or that war.

    Put our energies into giving people the tools they need to think critically and maybe wars won't be necessary except in the most intractable situations. Placard waving doesn't do it.

    Bill Heuisler - 3/14/2007

    Mr. Furnish,
    As a non-historian I'm really shocked that a group who apparently take themselves seriously can be trite and transparent - childishly simplistic - about an issue so well-researched and truly "historic".

    They have asked the wrong question and given a meaningless answer so patently political as to call their collective intellect into question.

    Don't these so-called scholars realize how foolish they appear?
    Bill Heuisler

    Tim R. Furnish - 3/14/2007

    As an AHA member (but probably not for much longer), the only surprise about this vote is that one quarter actually opposed it. The AHA, like most of academia, is reflexively and unthinkingly Lefist, and like most of the Left harbors a visceral, indeed irrational, hatred for all things Bush. AHA is quickly going the way of the Middle East Studies Association--which is to say becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moveon.org