The Logic of Withdrawal


| January 1, 2004

Howard Zinn pens a speech for the presidential candidate willing to take Bush head-on. Zinn's hypothetical candidate gets out of Iraq, promises universal free healthcare, guarantees jobs for all, renews a true commitment to the environment, and calls for a complete change in foreign policy.

Drawing on the historical context of his 1967 book, The Logic of Withdrawal -- the first book calling for LBJ to withdraw from Vietnam -- Zinn writes this column as a mirror of the last chapter of that book: a speech for Lyndon Johnson. Looking back at 1967, we can only hope that Howard Zinn is not as prescient as he was then and that there will not be another Tet, another Christmas bombing, and six more years of war that could have been avoided by taking his advice. Today, Zinn is sticking to his guns once again, this time in 'an all-out challenge to the Bush Administration, for its war policy and its assault on the well-being of the American people.'

Zinn as president, or the candidate willing to take a stand, would mean providing health care, education, environmental protection, veterans' benefits, and even school lunches for children. 'If I became President,' he writes, 'I would immediately begin to use the great wealth of our nation to provide those things, which represent true security.'
-- Joel Stonington

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