In 1967 I wrote a text entitled Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal. Would I write today the same about Iraq? Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal?
Last October 1st, Los Angeles Times quoted testimonies of U.S. Generals in charge of the war in Iraq, who under oath, stated that the U.S. presence in Iraq was increasingly an important part of the Iraqi issue. In their opinion, Iraq’s adventure has been a disaster, an expected defeat. And when you hear a high-ranking military officer to talk like this to the President, we know that all the pieces of the puzzle called “withdrawal” have been already fixed. The question is not whether this will take place or not, but when. The longer it takes, the more people will die.
The arguments of those who claim that our withdrawal would create a chaos are absurd, because chaos already exists – and with a much-crowed constitution nothing will change. The best we can do is to leave as soon as possible. We will only win with our withdrawal.
From a broader moral point of view, we did not have anything to do there in the first place, and we have no right to stay there. Even if we could win this war, it would be an immoral victory. In the past, we have had this kind of victories that at present we just get embarrassed.
At school, we are briefly taught about the Hispano-American War and tell us that it was short, victorious and, among other things, that we liberated the Philippines. But we are not told that 600 000 Filipinos died in that war. It was a long and bloody war, forerunner of the war in Vietnam, with massacres and atrocities. We won in the Philippines, and, what was the outcome? 50 years of military occupation, dictatorship and social poverty. What really matters, the moral issue, is not to raise the question “did we win or lose?” The only question that has to be raised is: “why are we there?” And it is very obvious that we are there because of oil, military bases, and psychological adrenaline injection that rulers resort to when they want to expand the control of the American Empire.

AlterNet (United States)

Howard Zinn: Vision and Voice”, by Howard Zinn, AlterNet, October 21, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.