Howard Zinn is a historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and playwright, best known as author of the bestseller A People's History of the United States.
Zinn has been active in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements in the United States.
The author of some 20 books, Zinn is currently Professor Emeritus in the Political Science Department at Boston University. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, the artist Roslyn Zinn. The couple have two children, Myla and Jeff, and five grandchildren. Both artist and editor, Roslyn has had a role in editing all of Zinn's books and many of his articles.
Question: What should the next US President do to get the military out of Iraq?
Howard Zinn: I think the next president should begin, announce the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. I think this will be a very healthy thing for Iraq.
The American occupation has not helped a thing. It has not stopped civil war; it has provoked civil war. It has not given the Iraqi people security or democracy; it has given them the opposite. It has ruined their country. And, of course, it has ruined our country, too.
The most important thing is for the Iraqis. I think the next president should announce the immediate withdrawal and he should call upon the international community--the UN [United Nations], the Arab States--to convene an international body to mediate in Iraq among the different groups, among the Shiites and the Sunnis and the Kurds, and try to work out--and this is what the United States should not do--try to work out a compromised solution for the conflicts among them. I say to not try to work out a compromised solution.
The United States moved in, shock and awe with enormous force, set the Shiites up in power, moved the Sunnis out and created the conditions for the present civil war. So getting out, trying to help with an international group, using our resources to give food and medicine and restore clean water and all the fundamental things that the Iraqis have been deprived of because of the war. In other words, we can begin to do constructive things, rather than continuing the destruction.
Recorded on: July 5, 2008