Howard Zinn: The Promise of Change: Vision and Reality in Obama’s Presidency (2009)

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Boston University
October 22, 2009

Hosted by College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Howard Zinn, a College of Arts & Sciences professor emeritus of political science, joins novelist Mary Gordon, author James Carroll, and Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman for a discussion of the Obama administration’s successes and disappointments as part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series. The event, which kicks off Alumni Weekend 2009, focuses on Obama’s foreign policy promises, his actions thus far, and whether he can live up to the public’s high expectations.

Zinn speaks first, offering the harshest criticisms of Obama’s “many compromises” on foreign policy issues. He faults the president for keeping the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan and blames a political culture in which Democratic presidents historically have been just as aggressive as Republicans. Carroll follows Zinn, putting Obama’s young presidency into the historical context of a nation often obsessed by military growth. He applauds Obama’s early efforts, saying, “I think the Nobel Prize went to the right person.” Goodman then argues that the president is almost doomed to fail in the eyes of America’s polarized public, which seems to want both a peacemaker and a strong commander-in-chief. Gordon concludes the discussion optimistically, noting that Obama, like FDR and JFK, has already “changed the American imagination.” Like his visionary predecessors, she says, Obama has already altered our perception of the role of “America in the world.”

The Howard Zinn Lecture Series, supported by a gift from Alex MacDonald (CGS’70, CAS’72) and Maureen A. Strafford (MED’76), is an annual talk on contemporary issues from a historical point of view.

October 22, 2009, 7 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center

Video length is 01:43:20.

About the Speakers:

[…]

via BUniverse – The Promise of Change: Vision and Reality in Obama’s Presidency

see

Glen Ford: Obama and great expectations + Triumph of right-wing nationalism

Noam Chomsky: Obama, the Middle East, and the Prospects for Peace

Daniel Ellsberg: Obama, The Con Man

Breaking With Obama? by Ralph Nader

Changing Obama’s Mindset By Howard Zinn + Zinn at Busboys & Poets, Washington DC

Howard Zinn: Myths of the Good Wars (Three ‘Holy’ Wars) (must-see)

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20 responses to “Howard Zinn: The Promise of Change: Vision and Reality in Obama’s Presidency (2009)

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  15. WTGDMF? We aren’t engaging some of our own presumptive ephemerally “high expectations”; just(ly) Obama’s OWN PROMISES to US!!!

  16. I have seen alot of peopel quoting Zinn on this one, and, i think it is a shame..but, it is just a fricking prize..

    • And exactly what did Zinn say that people are quoting?

      James Carroll said, from the text above:

      Carroll follows Zinn, putting Obama’s young presidency into the historical context of a nation often obsessed by military growth. He applauds Obama’s early efforts, saying, “I think the Nobel Prize went to the right person.”

      From:
      https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/war-and-peace-prizes-by-howard-zinn/

      What Zinn said:

      People should be given a peace prize not on the basis of promises they have made – as with Obama, an eloquent maker of promises – but on the basis of actual accomplishments towards ending war, and Obama has continued deadly, inhuman military action in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      The Nobel peace committee should retire, and turn over its huge funds to some international peace organization which is not awed by stardom and rhetoric, and which has some understanding of history.

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  18. The Nobel Prize went to the right person? Wow. I call that a measure of how absurd the intellectual elite has become. Absurd? More like perverse. And then there is the claim that Obama has changed the American Imagination!!!
    Again, to call that claim absurd is to enoble it. Obama has channeled a potential change in the American imagination, the possibility that citizens might begin to really question the notions of empire and endless war, that they might ask themselves ‘did we really react the way we should have to 911″ , right back into the same old dreams of World Conquest.

    He didn’t change the narrative. He repaired it.

  19. Pingback: The Implosion of the American Political Consciousness By David Michael Green « Dandelion Salad

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