"THE THINGS THEY CARRIED" WAS IT THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR TIM O'BRIEN TO NOT DODGE THE DRAFT?

| January 5, 2016

This papers argument should be that Tim O’Brien made the right decision on going to the draft, and that it is never acceptable to defect from the draft. I need you to use the three sources I have sent attached as well as the book itself “The Things They Carried” as a source.)

In this paper, you will argue a position that a character from your book has (suggestions follow). You can agree or disagree with the character’s thoughts or actions, but you have to back up your position with your observations, experiences, and a little research.  Before you argue a position, however, you should do a little research and look at both sides of the issue so that you are informed before you start.

Attachments: DAVID S. CHURCHILL Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism, and the Politics of Anti-Imperialism Abstract: The politics of Canadian left nationalism, opposition to the war in Vietnam, and critiques of us imperialism occupied shared, overlapping, and in many cases intersecting intellectual and cultural space in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Principally centred in Toronto as they were – though not exclusively – this article traces the ways that us draft resisters and expatriates became both advocates of left nationalism and contentious subjects within nationalist debates. For some, left Canadian nationalist draft resisters and other expatriates represented a symbol of independence and defiance vis-a`-vis the United States. In turn this iconographic representation was challenged by some Canadian nationalists who saw American expatriates as yet another unwanted us import, part of American political influence and cultural, embodied representations of us hegemony on Canadian soil. Keywords: draft resister, left nationalism, sixties Re´sume´ : A` la fin des anne´es 1960 et au de´but des anne´es 1970, les espaces intellectuels et culturels du nationalisme canadien de gauche, de l’opposition a` la guerre du Vietnam et des critiques de l’impe´rialisme e´tatsunien se sont chevauche´s et, souvent, entrecroise´s. Cet article montre comment les objecteurs de conscience et les expatrie´s e´tatsuniens, principalement base´s a` Toronto, sont devenus a` la fois des partisans du nationalisme de gauche et des sujets de discorde au sein du de´bat nationaliste. Pour les uns, les objecteurs de conscience et autres expatrie´s nationalistes canadiens de gauche symbolisaient l’inde´- pendance et la de´fiance envers les E´tats-Unis. Mais des nationalistes canadiens ont conteste´ cette repre´sentation iconographique; pour eux, ces expatrie´s n’e´taient rien d’autre qu’un apport e´tatsunien non de´sire´ supple´mentaire, un e´le´ment de l’influence politique des E´tats-Unis et une incarnation de l’he´ge´monie e´tatsunienne en sol canadien. Mots cle´s : objecteur de conscience, nationalisme de gauche, anne´es 1960 During the 1960s thousands of us citizens looked to Canada as a place of escape, opportunity, and refuge. Some of these migrants were young men resisting induction into the us military and potential service in the ongoing war in Vietnam. Many were women following their husbands, boyfriends, or their own political conscience into an uncertain exile. The Canadian Historical Review 93, 2, June 2012 6 University of Toronto Press Incorporated doi: 10.3138/chr.93.2.227 For some the migration to Canada was a rejection of the United States and the political conflicts, which increasingly seemed to animate everyday life. Still others were men and women who were simply seeking employment and opportunity north of border.1 Ultimately, these us expatriates became bound up with an unexpected political debate over the Canadian nation and national sovereignty. Indeed, American expatriates would become real and symbolic actors in the emergence of a robust English-Canadian nationalist movement – particularly those elements that were closely connected to the Canadian New Left, opposition to the war in Vietnam, and the question of 1 An estimated 250,000 Americans immigrated to Canada between 1966 and 1976, at a rate that was double that of immigration in the previous decade. Determining how many of these individuals were draft resisters is uncertain. Some estimates vary between 30,000 and 100,000. See F.C. Leacy, ed., ‘Series 385–416: Immigration to Canada by Country of Permanent Residence, 1956– 1976,’ Historical Statistics of Canada (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1983). On the number of us war resisters in Canada, see Joseph Jones, Contending Statistics: The Numbers for us Vietnam War Resisters in Canada (Vancouver: Quarter Sheaf, 2005), 34. See also David S. Churchill, ‘An Ambiguous Welcome: American Expatriates, National Needs and Cold War Containment,’ Histoire sociale / Social History 38, no. 73 (May 2004): 2–3; John Hagan, Northern Passage: American Vietnam War Resisters in Canada (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 2001), 3–4; Renee G. Kasinsky, Refugee from Militarism: Draft-Age Americans in Canada (New Brunswick, nj: Transaction Books, 1976), 77–81. For some discussion of the dynamics of gender and race amongst draft resisters and us expatriates, see Lara Campbell, ‘‘‘Women United against the War’’: Gender Politics, Feminism, and Vietnam Draft Resistance in Canada,’ ed. Karen Dubinsky, Catherine Krull, Susan Lord, Sean Mills, and Scott Rutherford, 346–9, New World Coming: The Sixties and the Shaping of Global Consciousness (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2009); David S. Churchill, ‘American Expatriates and the Building of Alternative Social Space in Toronto,’ Urban History Review / Revue d’histoire urbaine, 39, no. 1 (Fall 2010): 31–44. us Vietnam War draft resisters have also been the subject of recent master’s theses, an excellent PhD dissertation, as well as a number of scholarly articles. See Rachel Adams, ‘‘‘Going to Canada’’: The Politics and Poetics of Northern Exodus,’ Yale Journal of Criticism 18, no. 2 (2005): 409–33; D.W. Maxwell, ‘Religion and Politics at the Border: Canadian Church Support for American Vietnam War Resisters,’ Journal of Church & State (2006): 807–29; Daniel G. Ross, ‘‘‘Unknown Territory’’: Canada and American War Resister Identity in the Pages of amex, 1968–1971’ (master’s thesis, York University, 2009); Matthew Roth, ‘Crossing Borders: The Toronto Anti-Draft Programme and the Canadian Anti-Vietnam War movement’ (master’s thesis, University of Waterloo, 2008); Jessica Squires, ‘A Refuge from Militarism?: The Canadian Movement to Support Vietnam Era American War Resisters, and Government responses, 1965–1973’ (PhD diss., Carleton University, 2009); Jay Young, ‘Defining a Community in Exile: War Resister Communication and Identity in amex, 1968– 1973,’ Histoire sociale / Social History 44, no. 87 (May 2011): 115–46. See also 228 The Canadian Historical Review Canadian sovereignty and American economic domination.2 Forms of Canadian nationalisms manifested themselves across the ideological spectrum of Canadian politics with significant intellectual and policy presence in all three major political parties as well as extraparliamentary movements.3 Thus, wittingly and unwittingly, expatriates Lawrence M. Baskir and William A. Strauss, Chance and Circumstance: The Draft, the War and the Vietnam Generation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), 27–35, 49–52; David Surrey, Choice of Conscience (New York: Praeger, 1982), 67–86. On us draft resisters and deserters in Canada, see John Hagan, Northern Passage: American Vietnam War Resisters in Canada (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 2001). Also see Frank Kusch, All American Boys: Draft Dodgers in Canada from the Vietnam War (Westport, ct: Praeger, 2002). For more journalistic accounts and profiles of resisters and expatriates, see James Dickerson, North to Canada: Men and Women against the Vietnam War (Westport, ct: Praeger, 1999); Allan Haig-Brown, Hell No We Won’t Go! (Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 1996). 2 There is a growing historical literature on the Canadian New Left and the 1960s. In particular, see Sean Mills, The Empire Within: Postcolonial Thought and Political Activism in Sixties Montreal (Montreal and Kingston: McGillQueen’s University Press, 2010); Bryan D. Palmer, Canada’s 1960s: The Ironies of Identity in a Rebellious Era (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009). See also Myrna Kostash, Long Way from Home (Toronto: Lorimer Books, 1980); Cyril Levitt, Children of Privilege: Student Revolt in the Sixties (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984); Marcel Martel, Not This Time: Canadians, Public Policy and the Marijuana Question, 1961–1975 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006); Ian McKay, Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada’s Left (Toronto: Between the Lines, 20
05); Doug Owram, Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby Boom Generation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996); Dimitrios Roussopoulos, ed., The New Left in Canada (Montreal: Black Rose, 1970). See also Dimitry Anastakis, ed., The Sixties: The Passion, Politics and Style (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008); Dubinsky et al., New World Coming; Magda Fahrni and Robert Rutherdale, eds., Creating Postwar Canada: Community, Diversity and Dissent, 1945–1975 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2008). 3 Marco Adria, Technology and Nationalism (Montreal and Kingston: McGillQueen’s University Press, 2010); Stephen Aziz, Walter Gordon and the Rise of Canadian Nationalism (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999); Steven High, ‘The ‘‘Narcissism of Small Differences’’: The Invention of Canadian English,’ in Fahrni and Rutherdale, Creating Postwar Canada, 89–110; Norman Hillmer and Adam Chapnick, eds., Canadas of the Mind: The Making and Unmaking of Canadian Nationalism in the Twentieth Century (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007); Jose´ E. Iguarta, The Other Quiet Revolution: National Identities in English Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2006); Philip Massolin, Canadian Intellectuals, the Tory Tradition, and the Challenge of Modernity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001); Robert Wright, ‘From Liberalism to Nationalism: Peter C. Newman’s Discovery of Canada,’ in Fahrni and Rutherdale, Creating Postwar Canada, 111–37. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 229 became involved in Canadian nationalism. For some American expatriates, Canadian nationalism had great appeal, and they in turn became enthusiastic proponents of the cause. The language of Canadian independence and cultural autonomy was a powerful way for some expatriates to eschew us imperialism and position themselves in opposition to American hegemony and global power. For Canadian nationalists, the presence of American draft resisters and deserters also served a function: these e´migre´s were potent symbols of Canadian sovereignty and the ability of the Canadian federal government to chart a separate course distinct from the us State Department. Nonetheless a few Canadian nationalists became alarmed at the presence and visibility of these ‘ex-Americans’ and began to regard them as yet another unwanted import, and thus a part of the ongoing process of colonization and not, as some thought, a sign of independence. Within the field of Canadian history intense debates have periodically erupted over the role of national history, nationalist historiography, and the place and/or obligations of Canadian historians in the viability of the nation.4 At the heart of this literature has been a shift from studying national history as a mission, in the words of eminent Canadian historian Ramsay Cook, to ‘try to understand ourselves’ to skeptically question the epistemological legitimacy and construction of who might in fact be constituted, or interpolated, as ‘ourselves’ within the dynamic historical context of the Canadian nation-state.5 For Cook 4 Prominent Canadian historians Michael Bliss and J.L. Granatstein famously argued that most contemporary historical writing on Canada was not only professionally insular and focused on narrow identity-based topics, but failed to provide a useable historical narrative to support contemporary Canadian citizenship and national interest. Michael Bliss, ‘Privatizing the Mind: The Sundering of Canadian History, the Sundering of Canada,’ Journal of Canadian Studies 26, no. 4 (Winter 1991–2): 5–17; J.L. Granatstein, ‘Who Killed Canadian History’ (Toronto: Harper/Collins, 1999). There have been numerous responses to these polemics. See Gregory Kealey, ‘Class in English-Canadian Historical Writing: Neither Privatizing, Nor Sundering,’ Journal of Canadian Studies 27, no. 2 (Summer 1992): 123–4; Linda Kealey, Ruth Pierson, Joan Sangster, and Veronica Strong-Boag, ‘Teaching Canadian History in the 1990s: Whose ‘‘National’’ History Are We Lamenting?’ Journal of Canadian Studies 27, no. 2 (Summer 1992): 129–30; Steven Maynard, ‘The Maple Leaf (Gardens) Forever: Sex, Canadian Historians and National History,’ Journal of Canadian Studies 36, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 70–105; Brian McKillop, ‘Who Killed Canadian History? A View from the Trenches,’ Canadian Historical Review 80, no. 2 (1999): 269– 99. 5 Ramsay Cook, ‘Canadian Centennial Cerebrations,’ International Journal 22, no. 4 (Autumn 1967): 663; Ramsay Cook, ‘‘‘Identities Are Not Like Hats,’’’ Canadian Historical Review 81, no. 2 (June 2000): 260. 230 The Canadian Historical Review this has been a cautious project premised on the view that ‘Canada’s difficulties came from too much, not too little nationalism.’6 The 1960s in Canada was arguably one of those moments when too much nationalism emerged, shaping and framing a wide variety of political, economic, and cultural issues. Paraphrasing Partha Chatterjee, this article is not providing an alternative vision or theory of nationalism or even a clearer understanding of the vexed nature of nationalism, but rather it analyzes Canadian nationalist discourse and ideology, particularly its left-nationalist tendency, and the ways draft resisters and expatriates were used, embraced, critiqued, and in a manner even produced by this left-nationalists discourse.7 As such my engagement with the myriad national narratives, representations, and ideologies from this period is approached from a critical perspective and not to presumptively explain who Canadians supposedly are in an ontological sense, or to undergird nationalist epistemologies of legitimacy.8 For English Canadians, during the 1960s, nationalism manifested itself in the nexus of the anti-war movement, the growing sense among some Canadians that the country has increasingly become an economically dependent colony of the United States. Added to this was the postwar collapse of British imperialism, not to mention the emergence of nationalist and separatist movements in Quebec in the wake of the Quiet Revolution. Thus the ‘new nationalism’ in English Canada in the 1960s was a dynamic expansion of postwar concerns, often by 6 Ramsay Cook, Watching Quebec: Selected Essays (Montreal and Kingston: McGillQueen’s University Press, 2005), xiii. 7 Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse (New York: Zed Books, 1985), 52. 8 Ramsay Cook’s historiographic essay is an open, inclusive vision of nation, one that is attuned both to the communitarian diversity of the past and the protean potential of the future. Though a laudatory perspective, my own engagement with national history and nationalism does not centre on a more nuanced or deeper understanding of who Canadians are, or even who they might understand themselves to be (though these are important and interesting questions). Rather, my research focuses on the deployment of national narrative and identity, and its historically situated relationship to political projects, claims of standing, and authority – be they the governmentality of the state or contradiscources that sought different relations of power. Here I see my approach to be closer to that of historian Ian McKay, who has argued that Canadian historians should undertake reconnaissance to understand the hegemonic ‘project of liberal rule.’ Rather than some sort of discovery or excavation of an essential Canadian past, this article explores nationalism and national history from a position of skeptical reconnaissance. Ian McKay, ‘The Liberal Order Framework: A Prospectus for a Reconnaissance of Canadian History,’ Canadian Historical Review 81, no. 4 (2000): 616–78. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 231 elites, regarding cultural nationalism, continentalism, and Canadian sovereignty. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s this new nationalism had come into sharper focus through contentious public discussions, such as the flag debate, the
stationing of us bomarc missiles on Canadian soil, the meaning and value of the Canadian dollar versus the us greenback, and the production of a supposedly authentic Canadian culture. Added to this was the larger global historical context of anticolonial struggles, the emergence of social movements for civil and human rights, peace, and other causes that were reinforced through transnational and us-based connections.9 Ultimately these events took place within the context of Canada’s active participation in the Cold War, the politics of liberal internationalism, and the decline of imperial connections to Great Britain.10 Expatriate Americans, particularly military draft resisters from the war in Vietnam, would find themselves imbricated within these currents of nationalist debate. Scholars of the 1960s and of postwar social movements in Canada have shown how intellectual linkages, influences, and legacies of the 1950s, 1940s, and earlier helped to prefigure the activism that would emerge during the decade. Long-standing historical influences and connections were especially true for 1960s left-nationalists, who drew 9 C.P. Champion, ‘A Very British Coup: Canadians, Quebec and Ethnicity in the Flag Debate, 1964–1975,’ Journal of Canadian Studies 40, no. 3 (2006): 68–99; Ryan Edwardson, Canadian Content: Culture and the Quest for Nationhood (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008); Ryan Edwardson, ‘Kicking Uncle Sam Out of the Peaceable Kingdom: English-Canadian ‘‘New Nationalism’’ and Americanization,’ Journal of Canadian Studies 37, no. 4 (2003): 131; Len Kuffert, A Great Duty: Canadian Responses to Modern Life and Mass Culture, 1939–1968 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003), 178–80; Paul Litt, The Muses, the Masses and the Massey Commission (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992); Palmer, Canada’s 1960s, 35–7. On social movements in the postwar decades, see the enormously insightful work of Dominique Cle´ment: Canada’s Rights Revolution: Social Movements and Social Change, 1937–82 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2009); Dominique Cle´ment, ‘Generations and the Transformation of Social Movements in Postwar Canada,’ Histoire sociale / Social History 42, no. 84 (2009): 361–87. 10 Richard Cavell, ed., Love, Hate and Fear in Canada’s Cold War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004); Sean M. Maloney, Canada and un Peacekeeping: Cold War by Other Means, 1945–1970 (Toronto: Vanwell Publishing, 2002); Gary Marcuse and Reg Whitacker, Cold War Canada: The Making of National Security State, 1945–1957 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996). For a discussion of the immediate postwar years and Canada’s negotiation of the emerging Cold War order, see Robert Tiegrob, Warming Up to the Cold War: Canada and the United States’ Coalition of the Willing, from Hiroshima to Korea (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009). 232 The Canadian Historical Review on the long-established legacies and tendencies of Canadian nationalism, political economy, and anti-Americanism. In this way too, leftnationalism generated linkages that connected its proponents with other issues and causes. In the case of the student movement of the 1960s (a key constituency of left-nationalism) historians such as Roberta Lexier, Catherine Gidney, and Nicole Neatby have shown the ways that student activists organizing at universities drew on and were influenced by older international struggles for democracy, peace, liberation, and social justice. Moreover, solidarity with the global project of decolonization of the 1950s and 1960s infused and shaped local efforts to ‘de-colonize’ and liberate university governance and administration.11 Thus the language of self-determination, autonomy, and liberation was instrumental to a range of New Left concerns, not the least of which was Canadian left-nationalists who interpreted the relationship between the United States and Canada in neo-colonial and post-colonial terms. It is this influence – what social movement theorists term ‘movement spillover’ and diffusion – that emphasizes the transactive and interactive dynamic of movement politics where the tactics and aims of one movement such as the civil rights movement influence another, such as the women’s movement.12 As historian Frances Early has shown in her research on the Voice of Women, the organization did not adhere to a narrow focus on peace but rather ‘defined peace broadly’ to include social justice issues such as racial discrimination, bilingualism, not to mention the women’s movement.13 Such diffusion in turn helps to shape what theorist Leela Ghandi has termed ‘affective affiliations’ producing new forms of political subjectivity and symbolic political connections that linked politically engaged subjects 11 Catherine Gidney, A Long Eclipse: The Liberal Protestant Establishment and the Canadian University, 1920–1970 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004), 56–65; Roberta Lexier, ‘‘‘The Backdrop against Which Everything Happened’’: English-Canadian Student Movements and Off-Campus Movements for Change,’ History of Intellectual Culture 7, no. 1 (2007): 1–18; Nicole Neatby, ‘Student Leaders at the University of Montreal from 1950 to 1958: Beyond the ‘‘Carabin Persona,’’’ Journal of Canadian Studies 29, no. 3 (Fall 1994): 26–44. 12 Doud McAdam, Sidney Tarrow, and Charles Tilly, Dynamics of Contention (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 15–17; David S. Meyer and Nancy Whittier, ‘Social Movement Spillover,’ Social Problems 41 (1994): 277–98. 13 Frances Early, ‘Canadian Women and the International Arena in the Sixties: The Voice of Women / La voix des femmes and the Opposition to the Vietnam War,’ in The Sixties: The Passion, Politics and Style, ed. Dimitry Anastakis (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008), 25–6. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 233 in complex and interconstituent ways. Thus becoming a left-nationalist was also a way of being a progressive political actor in Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s.14 As such the engagement with the issue of draft resisters needs to be understood in terms of affective politics where solidarity for resisters and skepticism of their influence were both manifestations of the diffusion of left-nationalist thought with opposition to the war in Vietnam, and an analysis of American imperialism. Similarly the articulation of left-nationalism by some draft resisters and expatriates reflects a continuation of their anti-American sensibility, solidarity with many of those who had provided aid and assistants, and even an assertion of belonging. In the spring of 1970 Robin Mathews, an English professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, launched a broadside against us draft resisters in Canada. First in the pages of the left-nationalist publication Canadian Dimension, and then in the Toronto-based periodical amex, Mathews charged that draft resisters were ‘part of us imperialism in Canada.’15 This harsh assessment of resisters and their impact followed Mathews’s earlier efforts to limit the number of American academics in Canadian universities. Mathews and his Carleton colleague James Steele had gained national attention with their campaign to reduce the percentage of us faculty hired by post-secondary institutions.16 The focus on draft resisters announced the expansion of Mathews’s nationalist campaign and the deepening of his critique of American influence on the everyday life of Canada. Mathews’s opposition to the presence of draft resisters reflected his reading of the historical relationship of the United States and Canada as imperial and neo-colonial. Sociologist John Hagan saw Mathews’s critique of us war resisters as part of an increased ambivalence, if not outright hostility, by the Canadian public toward so-called draft dodgers.17 As sociologist Jeffery Cormier has argued, Mathews, Steele, 14 David S. Churchill, ‘supa, Selma, and Stevenson: The Politics of Solidarity in Mid-1960s Toronto,
’ Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d’e´tudes canadiennes 44, no. 2 (2010): 32–69; Leela Ghandi, Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought, Fin-de-Sie`cle Radicalism, and the Politics of Friendship (Durham, nc: Duke University Press, 2008). 15 Robin Mathews, ‘On Draft Dodging and us Imperialism in Canada,’ Canadian Dimension 6 (Feb./Mar. 1970): 10; Robin Mathews, ‘The us Draft Dodger in Canada Is Part of us Imperialism in Canada,’ amex 1 (June 1970): 24. 16 Robin Mathews and James Steele, The Struggle for Canadian Universities (Toronto: New Press, 1969); Robin Mathews and James Steele, ‘The Universities: The Takeover of the Mind,’ in Close the 49th Parallel Etc.: The Americanization of Canada, ed. Ian Lumsden, 169–79 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970). 17 Hagan, Northern Passage, 140–1. 234 The Canadian Historical Review and other cultural nationalists were deeply concerned by the physical presence of non-Canadians in academic and key administrative positions within cultural institutions such as museums and galleries. Moreover, the lack of Canadian content in classrooms, in exhibitions, on the walls of galleries, on stages, not to mention in the media and in bookstores thwarted the development of an independent Canadian identity.18 For Mathews and his fellow Canadian nationalists, the gross asymmetries in economic, military, and media power were generating a profoundly subordinating dynamic. The physical presence of American expatriates reproduced these historical inequalities at the most personal and intimate level. Any encounter between the two countries needed to be approached with a measure of ambivalence and skepticism. What on the surface might have seemed harmless and inconsequential could potentially result in the erosion of Canada’s cultural autonomy. According to Mathews, the us exile in Canada is different politically, socially, culturally and individually from any other exile we could conceivably harbour, because of the immense effect of the us imperialism in Canada, because of his own conditioning before he comes here, and because of the attitude of resident us citizens in Canada.19 The ‘refusal’ of Americans to study Canadian history, to read Canadian literature, or to learn French illustrated to Mathews the expatriates’ inability to recognize or acknowledge Canadian difference. Assimilation, the complete and utter rejection of things American, and the surrender of us cultural capital were thus the only way for the expatriate to avoid reproducing and disseminating us imperialism. As long as expatriates were unreflective Americans who saw Canada as a way station or a place to reproduce an American way of life, they posed a threat to the integrity of the Canadian national life. English-Canadian nationalism involved and engaged American expatriates in a number of crucial ways. First, many of the positions of Canadian nationalists, particularly its more New Left proponents, dovetailed with indigenous forms of American anti-imperialism. Thus, for many expatriates, the movement for Canadian nationalism represented a common cause – a cause that allowed expatriates to explicitly 18 Jeffery Cormier, The Canadianization Movement: Emergence, Survival, and Success (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), 4–5. 19 Mathews, ‘Draft Dodging,’ 10. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 235 critique American military involvement in Vietnam, while offering a more sustained opposition to us power and influence, as well as solidarity with sovereignty and anti-colonial politics of subordinated nations. For Canadian nationalists, American expatriates were a symbol of independence, autonomy, and defiance vis-a`-vis the United States. In turn, some Canadian nationalists who saw American expatriates as yet another unwanted us import, part of American political and cultural influence, challenged this iconographic representation. Mathews’s critique of draft resisters was articulated in a Fanonian language of cultural imperialism.20 Canada’s encounter with the United States was compared with and linked to transnational struggles for independence in former colonies. Not only was the relationship between the United States and Canada that of an imperial power and a colony, but American expatriates in Canada were direct importers and embodiments of imperialism. us draft resisters, military deserters, academics, students, and any other American migrants posed imminent threats to the supposedly distinctive and authentic aspects of Canadian life. Despite their political intentions, they eroded and diminished Canadian culture. They are cultural imperialists in the exact use of the word. They think they bring a better culture. For that reason they think they have a right to all and any Canadian positions in Canadian culture. By the aid of Canadian colonials they bring us personnel to Canadian positions even when Canadians are available.21 This vision of Americans as arrogant hegemons who assumed expertise, superiority, and access to culturally significant positions filled Mathews with a righteous anger. In his logic, us notions of entitlement displaced Canadians from their own homes and jobs, impoverishing the distinct civil society that generations of Canadians had built and defended. One of the most dangerous effects of cultural imperialism, to Mathews’s mind, was the way that ‘us influence diverts Canadian attention to us problems.’22 Instead of focusing on local, provincial, or national politics, young Canadians were becoming enamoured with political concerns not their own. Writing in 1970, Mathews was 20 Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove, 1965). 21 Mathews, ‘us Draft Dodger in Canada,’ 25. 22 Ibid. 236 The Canadian Historical Review disturbed to discover that an anti-Vietnam demonstration’s highlight was ‘to be to an eyewitness account’ of the shootings at Kent State University. He asked, ‘Have we not had enough of Kent State students? Should a Canadian anti-imperialist protest really centre around the shooting of four Kent State students?’ Such an emphasis on us events would turn the rally from an anti-imperialist protest into a ‘demonstration against the bad us Empire.’23 In his view, the protest should have focused on Canadian complicity with the us war machine, its political acquiescence on the international stage, and its profiteering through the sale of materials and weapons.24 To effectively resist this sort of imperialism, Canadians had to guard against ‘American’ perceptions and tactics creeping into their political culture. Accordingly, a demonstration against the war in Vietnam at the University of Toronto should not simply be a replication of protests in Ann Arbor or Austin, but a distinctively Canadian rally, which could take place only at a Canadian school. To illustrate his argument, Mathews pointed to Canadian activists’ use of American appellations such as ‘pig’ – in reference to police officers – as an everyday effect of cultural imperialism. According to Mathews, this pejorative descriptor did not accurately reflect the historical role of police officers within the Canadian ‘community.’ The increased usage of American political styles and forms of protest were examples of learned behaviour rather than an expression of an ‘authentic’ Canadian dissent. The smashing of Eaton’s Department Store windows during another Toronto protest was a further illustration of this unwanted borrowing of radical American behaviour at work. ‘Real anti-imperialists,’ according to Mathews, ‘would not have broken the windows.’ Such behaviour was the direct result of a ‘hellraising us style.’ The net effect of having so many young Americans in Canada, Mathews asserted, was the diminishing and diluting of Canadian political culture. In its place, us tactics, style, and forms of political conduct were being enacted and embodied by Canadian political actors.25 Mathews’s moral tone with regard to political action neatly 23 Ibid. 24 Mathews’s colleague James Steele was one of the earliest critics of Canada’s ‘indirect’
role in Vietnam. See James Steele, ‘Ottawa/Saigon Complicity,’ Our Generation 4 (1966): 71–83. 25 Robin Mathews, ‘The Americanization of Canada Means Precisely the Takeover of Canadian Culture by us citizens,’ Saturday Night (May 1971): 20–2. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 237 distinguished Canadian and us sensibilities, despite the fact that political violence had in fact been part of the history of the Left in Canada throughout the twentieth century.26 As mentioned earlier, Mathews was a leading figure in the fight against the us influence within Canadian institutions of higher education. Mathews had become increasingly disturbed by what he saw as a form of American imperialism at the very heart of Canadian society – the large number of American faculty at Canadian schools. Along with his Carleton University colleague James Steele, Mathews published The Struggle for Canadian Universities, relating their attempts to ensure that Carleton’s faculty be made up predominately of Canadian citizens. Writing in a polemic style, the authors argued that Canadian universities risked becoming ‘alien’ institutions because they would be ‘staffed by an increasingly large majority of scholars whose primary community is not the Canadian community; whose primary national experience is not Canadian; whose primary interests do not merge with and show respect for the seriousness of Canadian problems and the unique relevance of their solutions.’27 The danger they saw in this situation of ‘foreign influence’ on Canadian universities was the denial, or the potential for denial, of Canadian students about the supposed ‘Canadian fact.’ Their proposal to rectify this problem was to demand a two-thirds majority of Canadian faculty in all university departments and to make Canadian citizenship a requirement for individuals to hold administrative positions.28 Mathews cited one example of the colonized nature of Canadian higher education: the curriculum in the Graduate Department of English at the University of Toronto. During the 1960s and early 1970s Toronto had achieved international prominence due in part to the presence of two renowned scholars: Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. Mathews’s examination of the English Department’s 1970–1 course offerings discovered one hundred and six different graduate 26 J.M. Bumsted, The Winnipeg General Strike (Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer, 1994); Steven Hewitt, Spying 101: The rcmp’s Secret Activities at Canadian Universities, 1917–1997 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002); Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile, The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010); Michael Stevenson, Canada’s Greatest Wartime Muddle: National Selective Service and the Mobilization of Human Resources in World War ii (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001); W.A. Waiser, All Hell Can’t Stop Us: The On-to-Ottawa Trek and the Regina Riot (Calgary: Fifth House, 2003). 27 Mathews and Steele, Struggle for Canadian Universities, 3. 28 Ibid., 5–7. 238 The Canadian Historical Review courses listed. Of these only one was in the field of Canadian literature. In contrast, nine courses were offered in the literature of the United States ‘and about six others with us content.’29 Even more disturbing to Mathews was the fact that there was not a single faculty member who specialized in Canadian literature. He charged that ‘a department of the size and importance of the University of Toronto Graduate Department of English should offer twelve courses in Canadian literature, if it wishes, fairly but modestly, to represent knowledge and the search for truth as manifested by the Canadian literary imagination in Canadian history.’ Mathews went on to argue that the so-called pursuit of knowledge at institutions such as the University of Toronto ‘meant something other than knowledge that arises from Canada and Canadians.’30 What lay at the heart of this scholarly predicament, according to Mathews, was the bias of American scholars who represented close to 50 per cent of faculty hires throughout the 1960s, as well as their preference for things American, be it in literature, politics, or scholarship. For nationalists, the physical presence of Americans as directors or heads of public Canadian institutions such as universities, libraries, and art galleries was an illustration of the operation of cultural imperialism. Moreover, the placing of Americans in these important positions reflected the colonized nature and complicity of many Canadians who believed automatically that there were better qualified Americans for any important position. Speaking on cbc radio, Mathews argued, ‘There are a great many Canadians, let alone non-Canadians, who think that the Canadian thing has to be by definition inferior and there is a kind of pressure that says if you want excellence you don’t get it in Canada.’31 Mathews and Steele’s proposal to limit the number of foreign academics at Canadian institutions, and Mathews’s direct attacks on draft resisters, were met with a measure of resentment and resistance by both expatriates and those Canadians skeptical of nationalist sentiment. A variety of arguments were used to defend the status quo. First, the rapid expansion of Canadian universities in the 1960s demanded the sudden hiring of large numbers of qualified faculty, far exceeding the 29 Robin Mathews, ‘The Americanization of Canada Means Precisely the Takeover of Canadian Culture by us citizens,’ in The Star Spangled Beaver, ed. John H. Redekop (Toronto: Peter Martin Associates, 1971), 60. 30 Ibid. 31 Sunday Supplement, 4 May 1969, 690406-4, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Archives. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 239 supply of Canadians with advanced degrees. Further, Canadian universities were ‘liberal’ institutions and, as such, should be open forums for a range of ideas and schools of thought from outside Canada. Finally, liberal critics of hard-line nationalists argued that the university should be a place of excellence, and the very best scholars should be hired, regardless of their country of origin. On the cbc tv program The Way It Is, John Saywell, a historian at Toronto’s York University, argued that Canadian university students would benefit from us history professors who could teach ‘through the eyes of an American’ and thus see the United States as Americans see it. Mathews countered Saywell, asserting that Canadian students need to understand the us as Canadians, from a Canadian perspective, and not as Americans.32 Mathews’s anti-imperialist sentiment was nonetheless an application of foundational New Left thought, an analytic approach to power relations derived from an internal American critique and from the encounter between an internationally dominant United States and dependent satellite nations. ‘Ironically, Canadian anti-Americanism,’ historians Jack Granatstein and Robert Bothwell have asserted, ‘was largely a reflection of its native American source.’33 The deep critiques of American hegemony – the nation’s role as a Cold War superpower – were not only the province of those nations in dependent and subordinated relationships. Much of the New Left critique, the work of us intellectuals such as William Appleman Williams, Paul Goodman, and C. Wright Mills, were aimed directly at the exercise of us corporate and state power both at home and abroad. Yet the New Left was not simply a North American phenomenon. Canadian activists of the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly those associated with the Canadian-based Combined University Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, were keenly aware of their counterparts in the British peace movement, as well the generation of activist intellectuals who established periodicals such as the New Left Review.34 Nonetheless, the language of the Canadian left-nationalism, informed by a politics of anti-imperialism as well as economic sovereignty, would be particularly focused on the historical and political relationship between Can
ada and the United States. As such the rise of English-Canadian nationalism, a nationalism embraced and championed by critics such as Robin 32 The Way It Is, 690406-2, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Archives. 33 J.L. Granatstein and Robert Bothwell, Pirouette: Pierre Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Policy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), 42. 34 Roussopoulos, New Left in Canada, 6–11; Palmer, Canada’s 1960s, 253–4. For a personal account of the history of the New Left in Britain, see Stuart Hall, ‘Life and Times of the First New Left,’ New Left Review 61 (Jan./Feb. 2010): 171–93. 240 The Canadian Historical Review Mathews, was part of the political and cultural transaction between the United States and Canada during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The conceptualization of the United States as a modern empire was a core component of the New Left’s political critique, one that questioned the rationale of international anti-communism while at the same time rehabilitating older Marxist critiques of imperialism.35 In particular, New Left activists challenged the Cold War logic of containment as a rationale to protect us economic interests in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, as well as the us government’s continued support of authoritarian and undemocratic regimes. In the early 1960s, the most obvious example of such support was the economic and military maintenance of the Diem government in South Vietnam.36 ‘We have helped little,’ the authors of the Port Huron Statement argued, ‘seeming to prefer to create a growing gap between ‘‘have’’ and ‘‘have not’’ rather than usher in social revolutions which would threaten our investors and our military alliances.’37 Instead, the continued support for such oppressive states put the lie to the us government’s rhetoric about ‘making the world safe for democracy.’ Nationalist struggles against continued colonial rule provided young New Left activists with models and even folk heroes, whose seeming commitment to cause, desire to transform society, and willingness to take risks contrasted dramatically with the bland suburban conformity of middleclass America.38 35 The critique of us Cold War hegemony was expressed in the works of a slightly older generation of scholars and intellectuals. See William Appleman Williams, Tragedy of American Diplomacy (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1959); C. Wright Mills, The Causes of World War iii (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960). 36 Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of War: Vietnam, the United States, and the Modern Historical Experience (New York: New Press, 1994), 85–90; Marilyn Young, The Vietnam Wars 1940–1990 (New York: Harper, 1991); 58–68. 37 ‘The Port Huron Statement’ as reprinted in James Miller, Democracy Is in the Streets (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 349. In his memoir Tom Hayden recounts how Michael Harrington and other anti-Communist members of the Old Left were horrified by Hayden’s questioning of us policy toward the Soviet Union and the active deterrent of ‘Communist led revolutions’ in the Third World. See Tom Hayden, Reunion (New York: Collier Books, 1988), 89–93. 38 Rossinow argues that this identification had a strong generational element. Many of the most active leaders of these insurgent nationalist movements were student or former student leaders who were now struggling for more radical social change and political independence. Doug Rossinow, Politics of Authenticity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998); Penny M. Von Eschen, Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937–1957 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997); Van Gosse, Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War America, and the Making of a New Left (New York: Verso, 1993). Historian Penny Von Eschen has shown that African-American intellectuals and civil rights activists made explicit linkages between liberation movements in the Third Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 241 In Canada, nationalist anxiety over the inability, if not downright refusal, of American expatriates to recognize Canadian difference was compounded by fears that most Canadians had already become thoroughly colonized by the United States culturally, intellectually, politically, and economically. Writing in Canada’s premier current affairs magazine Maclean’s, Jon Ruddy found that the tastes and interests of Canadian teenagers seemed indistinguishable from those of their American counterparts. Contrasting the Woodstock concert with a similar event in Orangeville, Ontario, Ruddy asserted, ‘For most Canadian youth, where us teenagers go there will they also go.’39 Moreover, Ruddy continued, the music of Canadian bands such as Motherload and the Guess Who were ‘indistinguishable in style and content’ from popular American and British bands, leading him to conclude that us popular culture had already colonized and subjugated the minds of Canadian youth. For Canadian nationalists, the ever-present spectre of American mass media beaming directly into Canadian homes was a frightening reality. Newspapers, magazines, pop music, and Hollywood films were all ambient details helping to shape Canadian tastes, styles, attitudes, and patterns of consumption. Nonetheless. Ruddy’s comments on the Guess Who are especially ironic, as the band’s most famous song ‘American Woman’ had strong anti-American sentiments, suggesting perhaps the capacity for nationalist critique even within a predominantly American popular idiom.40 World and the struggle against segregation and racism in the United States. Von Eschen argues that African-American anti-colonialism declined in the last years of the 1950s and the early 1960s as the Cold War continued to ‘heat’ up. Anti-colonialism was a philosophical tenet of sncc and one of the reasons that the majority of its workers took an anti-Vietnam War stand. See Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: sncc and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 1981), 184–5. 39 Jon Ruddy, ‘How to Become an American without Really Trying,’ Maclean’s, Nov. 1969, 61. 40 Cultural historian Robert Wright is one of the few scholars who has seen the flourishing of Canadian popular music as an engagement with the American folk and protest music of the 1960s and not as a result of nationalist cultural policy instituted by the Canadian government. See Robert A. Wright, ‘Dream, Comfort, Memory, Despair,’ Journal of Canadian Studies (Winter 1987/8): 27–43. For reactions to the influence of ‘American’ culture in Canada, see Ramsay Cook, ‘Cultural Nationalism in Canada: An Historical Perspective,’ Canadian Cultural Nationalism: The Fourth Lester B. Pearson Conference on the Canada/us Relationship (New York: New York University Press, 1977); David H. Flaherty and Frank E. Manning, eds., The Beaver Bites Back? American Popular Culture in Canada (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1993); Litt, The Muses, the Masses and the Massey Commission. 242 The Canadian Historical Review As philosopher Ian Angus asserts, one of the central tenets of the discourse of Canadian left-nationalism was ‘its argument that the [Canadian] capitalist class no longer had a nation-building vocation.’41 For left-nationalists, the period after the end of the Second World War represented the steady erosion of Canadian economic and cultural sovereignty and a sense that Canadian interests were being subordinated to others. Moreover, Canadian citizens increasingly were found engaged in labours not of their own design or choosing. Following a Fordist understanding of industrial capitalism, economic nationalists critiqued the ‘branch plant’ nature of Canadian manufacturing.42 In addition to exporting profits south, branch plants would always act in the interests of the us head office, for instance cutting Canadian jobs before American jobs or modernizing us factories rather than those in Canada.43 Within this conceptual frame, University of Toronto economist Mel Watkins argued that Canada was both rich and ‘economically underdeveloped at the same time.’ The mit-trained Watkins
was instrumental in popularizing and legitimating nationalist economic theory during the 1960s. His Watkins Report on us economic domination built on the nationalist concerns of Liberal Cabinet minister Walter Gordon, advocating a greater degree of Canadian ownership of industries and staple resources. Unlike Gordon, Watkins argued for massive state 41 Ian Angus, A Border Within: National Identity, Cultural Plurality and Wilderness (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997), 177. 42 The most famous and influential of the examinations of Canadian economic dependency was Kari Levitt, Silent Surrender: The Multinational Corporation in Canada (Toronto: Macmillan, 1970). For other studies of Canadian economic nationalism, see Dave Godfrey and Mel Watkins, From Gordon to Watkins to You, a Documentary: The Battle for Control of Our Economy (Toronto: New Press, 1970); C.W. Gonick, ‘The Political Economy of Canadian Independence,’ Canadian Dimension (May–June 1967): 12–19; James Laxer, The Energy Poker Game: The Politics of the Continental Resources Deal (Toronto: New Press, 1970); Robert M. Laxer, ed., Canada Ltd: The Political Economy of Dependency (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973); Abraham Rotstein, The Precarious Homestead: Essays on Economics, Technology and Nationalism (Toronto: New Press, 1973); Abraham Rotstein, ed., The Prospect of Change: Proposals for Canada’s Future (Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1965). See also Lumsden, Close the 49th Parallel Etc. 43 Historian Steven High has argued that the existence of both economic and cultural nationalism in Canada had the paradoxical effect of ameliorating the effects of de-industrialization and neoliberal economic policies. As a result, plant closures, job loss, and even outsourcing were less acute than those experienced in many us counties. Steve High, Industrial Sunset: The Making of North America’s Rust Belt, 1969–1984 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.) Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 243 investment in key industrial and financial sectors. Watkins was not interested in replacing American capitalists with Canadian capitalists, but rather in moving Canada in the direction of democratic socialism.44 Watkins’s economic thinking would be foundational to the Waffle Movement, a group of academics, activists, and radical labour organizers within the New Democratic Party (ndp) that advocated a more nationalist economic policy along with a more extensive program of democratic socialism. The Waffle attempted to move the moderate social democratic ndp further to the left, in large part to thwart the pervasive influence of us mass culture and capital.45 As political theorist Gregory Albo has observed, the Waffle had an enormous impact on Canada’s political culture, ‘influencing intellectual debates and political visions long after its dissolution.’46 Canadian nationalism in the late 1960s provided a deep and at times radical critique of the historical relationship between the United States and Canada. Moreover, it was a critique that fused historical materialism, New Left concerns of political autonomy, and anti-colonialism. As a movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Canadian nationalism had an appeal because of its intensity, activism, and creative output. Not simply a movement about sovereignty and political economy, Canadian nationalism had a significant impact on cultural work and expression: fine art, theatre, reportage, and creative writing were all deeply influenced by the emergence of popular Canadian nationalist consciousness.47 The expatriate American writer Judith Merril recalled, 44 Godfrey and Watkins, From Gordon to Watkins to You. 45 There is no detailed history of the Waffle or its influence on Canadian polity. Much of what has been written is personal accounts and memoirs by Waffle members and opponents. On the Waffle, see Gregory Albo, ‘Canada, LeftNationalism and Younger Voices,’ Studies in Political Economy (Autumn 1990): 161–74; Melville Watkins, ‘Once Upon a Time: The Waffle Story,’ This Magazine, Mar.–April 1989, 28–30. 46 Though the Waffle was ultimately expelled from the ndp and never had any measure of electoral success, its ideas were incorporated into the platforms of all three major political parties. Moreover, the Waffle was a forerunner for influential extra-parliamentary organizations such as the Committee for an Independent Canada, which united ideologically diverse authors, journalists, artists, publishers, politicians, and academics in the cause of nationalism. Albo, ‘Canada, Left-Nationalism and Younger Voices,’ 162. 47 On the cultural politics of Canadian nationalism, see Richard Collins, Culture, Communication and National Identity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990); Ryan Edwardson, Canadian Content: Culture and the Quest for Nationhood (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008); Dennis Johnston, Up the Main Stream: The Rise of Toronto’s Alternative Theatres, 1968–1975 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), 6–7, 109. 244 The Canadian Historical Review ‘The people I found most interesting’ at the time ‘were, by and large, the ones who were doing things – whether it was getting into heavier drugs, more postmodern art, or intense Canadian nationalism – that I would never consider getting involved with. It was great to be here rubbing up against all the energy.’48 For Merril, however, there remained a strong ambivalence about nationalism itself, one derived in no small part from the process of leaving the United States and her critique of American nationalism and chauvinism. She writes, ‘I did not want to be a Canadian nationalist, I did not even want to see nationalism increase in Canada. I feel that, to the extent that I am a Canadian nationalist, I am so because of my anti-American tendencies.’49 This element of anti-Americanism appealed to us expatriates, many of whom responded enthusiastically to the rise of nationalism within English Canada. Canadian nationalism afforded politically active expatriates an opportunity to critique and reject the United States while also articulating commitment to their new homeland. Sociologist Rene Kasinsky termed those Americans who embraced Canadian nationalism ‘political converts,’ because their adoption of nationalism and wholesale rejection of the United States was ‘similar to that of religious conversion.’50 Kasinsky’s study found that 60 per cent of the resisters and deserters sampled were ‘changed Americans,’ in that the process of coming to Canada, and the political and personal choices involved in leaving the United States, raised or altered their political consciousness in a significant way, for ‘converts’ becoming involved with left-nationalist politics was an articulation of dissent from American society. However, adherence to Canadian nationalism was not simply a matter of rejecting the United States. Other expatriates, especially those who came to live in Canada free from legal risks, became Canadian nationalists through their involvement with other political causes. History professor Marty Klein found that his support for certain nationalist positions grew out of his involvement in progressive grassroots politics. Campaigning for municipal reform politicians such as Dan Heap, involvement with the ndp, and work with the Toronto Anti Draft Programme (tadp) brought Klein into the orbit of left-nationalism in 48 Judith Merril and Emily Phol-Weary, Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2002), 208. 49 Ibid. 50 Kasinsky, Refugees from Militarism: Draft-Aged Americans in Canada (New Brunswick, nj: Transaction Books, 1976), 168–9. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 245 Toronto. Moreover, Klein’s involvement in progressive politics inoculated him, at a personal level, against charges of American imperialism.51 Engagement with local politics and in new social movements was often a major factor in the development both of commitment to stay in Canada and a more overt expression of Canadian nationalism. Such engagements were not always immediate but g
rew slowly over time. Draft resister Charlie Novogrodsky and wife Myra found their initial year in Toronto to be very isolating and depressing. As students at Brandeis University in Boston, Myra and Charlie had been heavily involved in the student movement, had travelled to Mississippi to work on a civil rights project, and had been regular participants in anti-war demonstrations. For them, Canada – and more specifically Toronto – seemed dull, less politically engaged, and less intellectually stimulating than life back in the United States. Such impressions began to change once they became involved with the daycare movement at the University of Toronto. The young American couple were captivated by the alternative pedagogical approach of the daycare and the intense political campaign to expand its facilities. Moving into the daycare community proved to be politically and socially rewarding. Through contacts at the centre, Myra became involved in a feminist study group led by former Student Union for Peace Action (supa) member, community activist, and This Magazine contributor, Sara Sphinx.52 Charlie’s involvement with trade unionism, his work as a public school teacher in suburban Toronto, and the community of people around the daycare campaign were all crucial factors in his adoption of an increasingly nationalist political perspective and, ultimately, his desire to remain in Canada.53 Despite these involvements and active participation in social causes, Myra recalls feeling uneasy about being an American, especially around some of her more politically oriented Canadian friends. ‘That [Canadian nationalism] was really a huge issue, because I felt even amongst my very closest friends here that I had to prove myself as a Canadian. And I don’t want to say denounce where I came from, but I wasn’t entirely trusted, I think, until I got my Canadian citizenship, until people were convinced I was going to stay and that I understood 51 Marty Klein, interview by the author, Toronto, 14 Sept. 1998. 52 Myra Novogrodsky, interview by the author, Toronto, 4 Sept. 1998. 53 Charlie Novogrodsky, interview by the author, Toronto, 17 Sept. 1998. Kasinsky recognizes the crucial role played by women in shaping the attitude of expatriate couples to Canada. Work, involvement in community-oriented projects, schoolaged children were all factors in developing a deeper and more abiding commitment to Canada. Kasinsky, Refugees from Militarism, 170–2. 246 The Canadian Historical Review something about this country.’54 Being accepted as a Canadian, in Myra’s view, was based on staying in Canada, making a commitment to the country, and showing her Canadian friends that she and Charlie were not just waiting out their exile in Toronto. In the pages of the Toronto-based resister magazine amex, the works and ideas of Canadian nationalist thinkers were often presented and applauded. An early issue of the magazine even drew a parallel between draft resisters and two very different groups of American immigrants to Canada: escaped slaves and United Empire Loyalists.55 A number of amex contributors such as Charles Campbell, Dee Knight, and Stan Pietlock attempted to educate their readers in Canadian politics by writing long review articles covering debates, issues, and party politics.56 In doing so they sought to connect issues like Canadian nationalism with New Left themes of liberation, participatory democracy, and the quest for a supposedly authentic form of life. Once again themes of imperialism and colonialism wove together American movement politics with those of Canadian nationalism. Resister and amex writer Charles Campbell, while acknowledging some important differences between the two countries, argued that these differences were nonetheless mitigated by the place of Canada within the American Empire. ‘Since coming here, we have all, hopefully, come to realize that Canada – despite its non-violent life-style, its establishment socialist party, and its immanent relations with Red China – is effectively a colony of the United States.’57 Moving to Canada meant avoiding participation in the American war effort, according to Campbell, but it did not constitute an escape from the ‘System.’ Moreover, departing the United States did not mean leaving the influence and lived effects of American society behind. As such, nationalism provided the only breakwater against us domination. One deserter saw the situation very much in terms of Third World revolutions. ‘So many nations around the world are telling the us to get out, especially with their monopolistic corporations. They don’t want any more us control of their government through their 54 Novogrodsky, interview. 55 Stan Pietlock, ‘Loyalists and Runaway Slaves 1759–1865,’ amex 1 (1970): 30–3. 56 Charles Campbell, ‘The Americanization of Canada,’ amex 1 (Apr./May 1970): 12–14; Charles Campbell, ‘The Vietnamization of Canada,’ amex 1 (Mar. 1970): 26–8; Dee Knight, ‘Canadian Nationalism: Fighting Imperialism,’ amex 1 (Mar./Apr. 1971): 8–12; Dee Knight, ‘Canada’s Movement for Independence,’ amex 1 (Mar./Apr. 1971): 4–5; Dee Knight, ‘Yes, It Has Politics,’ amex 1 (Apr./ May 1970): 14–15. 57 Campbell, ‘Vietnamization of Canada,’ 28. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 247 economy. And I think Canada should wake up and start doing that too.’58 Journalist and draft resister Dee Knight made a similar argument, although he was careful not to lecture Canadians on the experience of us domination. ‘As American expatriates in Canada,’ he wrote, ‘we consider it our responsibility to come to an understanding with the help of Canadians, of how us imperialism is damaging this country and its peoples.’59 Following the New Left imperative toward education and political consciousness-raising, the amex writers sought to match the political horizons of radical expatriates with those of Canadian nationalists. For some expatriates, the move toward Canadian nationalism was something achieved over time and only after having first worked in the resister movement itself. Psychologist Saul Levine saw this as developmental stages in which draft resisters and deserters adjusted to the personal and political ruptures caused by the move to Canada. Those expatriates who did become involved in Canadian nationalism and other types of locally oriented community political activity exhibited an adaptive and integrationist sensibility.60 Deserter Paul Petrie followed this model in that he initially involved himself in work with resisters and deserters before returning to graduate school and committing himself to more locally oriented causes: I really think that the Vietnam War has emphasized a mentality whose seeds were already there. It’s a mentality of intolerance; it’s a mentality of racism; it’s a mentality of destruction . . . coming to Canada was an attempt to get out of this, to rethink. It was not an attempt to get away from America. It wasn’t an attempt to no longer be an American. It was an attempt for me to be first a real person and then to contribute what I could to America, to whatever I find myself a part of. Whatever I have to contribute now will be contributed to Canada because I plan to stay in Canada.61 Petrie’s journey of discovery, and his desire to be a ‘real person,’ exemplifies the intensely personal dimension of leaving the United States as well a classic 1960s quest for authenticity. For Petrie, becoming Canadian was a fusion of both personal and political ambitions, the result of his attempt to integrate existential concerns into a larger political context. The search for inner truth and the ability to break 58 Rebel 1 (Mar./Apr. 1969), qtd in Kasinsky, Refugees from Militarism, 156. 59 Knight, ‘Canada’s Movement for Independence,’ amex 1 (Mar./Apr. 1971): 4. 60 Saul Levine, ‘Draft Dodgers: Coping with Stress, Adapting to Exile,’ American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 42 (3 Apr. 1972): 431–40. 61 Roger Williams, The New Exiles (New York: Liveright Publishers, 1971), 321. 248 The Canadian Historical Review through historically sit
uated prejudice and violence corresponded with the New Left’s appeal to connect the affects of social and political life with the creation and production of such life. As amex editor Stan Pietlock observed, coming to Canada challenged and transformed expatriates’ unreflective Americanism, forcing many expatriates to experience imperialism from a different vantage point.62 Deserter and underground journalist Jim Christy recalls how reading Canadian history, ‘searching through the alien realms of its culture . . . forged for me a different perspective,’ one that fundamentally challenged his sense of what being an American meant. ‘My outlook broadened,’ Christy observes, ‘and my gaze was increasingly diverted from the world of America.’63 The growing awareness of American ethnocentrism was a crucial component in the intellectual transaction between New Left anti-imperialism and insurgent Canadian nationalism. This was matched by some expatriates with a deep anger and bitterness toward the United States. Expatriate writer Douglas Featherling recalls, ‘In 1966 I thought that Americans were the salt of the earth: and so wherever they walked, nothing would ever grow again.’64 Further, ‘The business of America, Calvin Coolidge’s remark to the contrary, was not just business, it was everybody else’s business, an attitude that inevitably led to violence.’65 As such, leaving the United States was seen as a rite of passage, a way of becoming real by decentring the self. Following in the tradition of American literary motifs of self-discovery and fulfillment, Canada was posited as a domain of clarity, a state in which the artifice of us modernity could be transcended and a supposedly ‘truer’ sense of the world could be apprehended. In this way the movement north resembled other prototypical counter-cultural quests for authenticity and for political and personal principles. By the late 1960s, the largest Canadian draft resister and military deserter aid organization, tadp, began to articulate a strong nationalist stance. Overwhelmed by the flood of young Americans coming north, they began to take a harder line with those individuals who were not in great need or in immediate legal jeopardy. As a result, the types of services offered by tadp were limited to finding short-term housing for resisters and military deserters and securing Landed Immigrant 62 Stan Pietlock, ‘The Canada Trip Can Radicalize Liberals,’ amex 1 (Mar./Apr. 1971): 5–6. 63 Jim Christy in Jim Christy, ed., The New Refugees: American Voices in Canada (Toronto: Peter Martin and Associates, 1972), 143. 64 Douglas Featherling, Travels by Night: A Memoir of the Sixties (Toronto: McArthur, 1994), 99. 65 Ibid., 100. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 249 Status for the young men.66 tadp did not provide expatriates with a social network or political structure into which they could easily move. Instead, the draft counsellors at tadp told newcomers to become involved in Canadian politics, to learn French (something very few native-born Canadian anglophones ever managed to accomplish), and begin to consider themselves Canadian. As mentioned earlier, Bill Spira and tadp were very critical of us migrants, particularly the ‘radicalized political section’ who believed it was necessary to organize as Americans. I have been accused, and correctly accused, that I have opposed Americans, for example, to demonstrate in front of the American embassy. I felt and still feel, that if you feel you can play a role in the United States, why don’t you stay there! On the other hand, if it becomes impossible to remain in the us – let’s say if you’re a deserter, or through political action you had to leave – you can’t just holus bolus leave the mother country, come to a colony, and try to use the same tactics there without understanding the dynamics of the struggle in the colony, and to organize as Americans can only retard, in my opinion, that understanding.67 Spira was very sympathetic to prominent nationalist figures such as Robin Mathews, reminding critical expatriates that the English professor had a history of aiding draft resisters in Ottawa. Spira repeated Mathews’s complaint that demonstrations against the war in Vietnam were too often couched in an American discourse and seemed ignorant of the Canadian context. The mechanical reproduction of slogans such as ‘Bring our boys home!’ or ‘Stop the bombing now!’ seemed oblivious to the fact that Canada had not sent troops to Vietnam, nor had it engaged in any bombing.68 The nationalist stance of tadp did not endear the organization to all us expatriates in Toronto. Indeed, tadp’s nationalist position reflected a vision of political action and work that was not shared by all American migrants, draft resisters, and military deserters. By 1970, a division had begun to emerge among ‘expatriates’ and ‘exiles.’ These terms were hotly contested descriptors of political beliefs, attitudes, and social positions. Generally, the term expatriate referred to an American migrant who had pursued an ‘assimilationist’ approach to life in Canada. These 66 Niomi Binder Wall, interview by the author, Toronto, 9 Sept. 1998. 67 Dee Knight, ‘Bill Spira Raps on Canadian Politics and us Exiles,’ amex 2 (Sept./ Oct. 1971): 8. 68 Ibid., 9. 250 The Canadian Historical Review individuals ranged from politically active leftists who threw themselves into local causes, to individuals who melted into the large counterculture, to those who found jobs and settled into middle-class lives. Exiles, on the other hand, were Americans who thought of themselves as political refugees, individuals who were forced to leave the United States and hoped one day to return. In classic sectarian mode, resister groups debated the ‘correct’ position to take on assimilation, nationalism, and the anti-war movement in the United States. Lawrence Svirchev, a draft counsellor in Montreal, asserted that ‘expatriates’ were ‘petty bourgeois’ individuals who ‘left the us because of legal consequences or because of economic instability. They therefore attempt to consolidate their social positions in another country.’ In contrast ‘exiles’ were individuals who ‘support the liberation and class struggle of the country of which she or he is an exile’ but whose ‘long range goal . . . is to return to the United States to engage in the struggle of the working-class against us imperialism.’69 tadp and Bill Spira argued that draft resisters and deserters needed to become involved in Canadian politics, to turn their activist energies away from the United States and into the communities where they now lived. ‘It’s very hard for Americans,’ Spira asserted, ‘to stop thinking in American terms. But brother you’re either going to have to do it, or simply become completely irrelevant to the people around you.’70 For Spira, assimilation was not an abandonment of politics; it meant embracing a new politics, one connected to an immediate and everyday world, not a leftist’s deferred dream of another American revolution. Ultimately, both positions advocated an engagement with the progressive and anti-imperialist politics of the place one lived, even if that place was only a temporary home. Within the Toronto-based expatriate publication amex, issues of national belonging and assimilation into Canadian society versus amnesty and the potential return to the United States created considerable tension and turmoil. Disagreements among the periodical’s collective members on the editorial direction of the newspaper – should it focus on exile, amnesty, and return or encourage war resisters to fully integrate themselves into Canadian life – became deeply divisive. In November 1973, these conflicts boiled over with the resignation of founding editor Stan Pietlock. It was Pietlock who was the strongest advocate for the Canadianization of the expatriate resister community. 69 Lawrence M. Svirchev, ‘Exiles and Expatriates: Two World Outlooks, Two Classes,’ amex 2 (Nov. 1972): 32. 70 Knight, ‘Bill Spira Raps,’ 10. Draft
Resisters, Left Nationalism 251 In contrast, many of the other members of the amex collective were wedded to the notion of political exile, with the goal of complete amnesty for draft resisters and military deserters as the ultimate objective. Writing in response to Pietlock’s resignation, amex collective members asserted their continued support for the policy of amnesty. ‘Amnesty,’ they wrote, ‘relates to a large portion of the exile community as a general need. It cannot be accomplished individually.’71 Amnesty was thus a form of collective politics that had to be approached and organized as community where assimilation was something that could be undertaken individually. However, Pietlock’s critics didn’t stop here. They fundamentally challenged the very goal of assimilation itself. A problem with assimilation is that it generally has not been seen to be valuable by a large portion of immigrants. The Melting Pot theory has been resisted and been proved to be invalid in terms of Urban Anthropology or sociology long ago. The Italians, Portuguese, French, Ukrainians, etc., give Toronto its charm as a cosmopolitan city. If assimilation were demanded as a condition of entry, Canada would be an awfully dead place.72 In response, Pietlock bristled at the collective letter’s tone, accusing the authors of ‘cultural chauvinism’ and asserting, ‘It wasn’t necessary to lecture me on the vices of assimilation for it is simply not the issue at hand.’73 In his letter of resignation Pietlock charged that the amex office was in the grip of ‘increased us chauvinism.’74 In its almost exclusive focus on amnesty and on us-based concerns, Pietlock felt that amex was becoming alienated from the place of its production (Canada) and from the vast majority of its readers. Writing to amex 71 amex Collective to Stan Pietlock, 16 Nov. 1973, box 1, founder 7, amex Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. The principal author of the letter would seem to be amex collective member Charles Stimac. 72 Ibid. 73 Stan Pietlock to Charles Stimac and anybody else who really had anything to do with drafting the 16 Nov. letter, 25 Nov. 1973, box 1, founder 7, amex Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Dee Knight to Stan Pietlock, 4 Jan. 1974, box 1, founder 7, amex Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. The conflict over amnesty/assimilation was underscored by particularly bitter personal animosity between Pietlock and Dee Knight and Jack Calhoun. Calhoun’s resignation from the editorial collective seemed to be a condition of Pietlock’s continued involvement. 74 Stan Pietlock, ‘amex Senior Editor Resigns in Protest over Elitism and American Chauvinism,’ copy, box 1, founder 7, amex Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 252 The Canadian Historical Review editor Dee Knight in early 1974, Pietlock claimed that the last issue of the magazine ‘could have easily been produced in Chicago and New York.’75 amex contributor Jack Colhoun’s history of the magazine, published in the periodical’s final issue, described how the editorial collective became divided, between the ‘New Canadian’ position of founding editor Stan Pietlock and the pro-amnesty ‘exile’ position of Colhoun and Dee Knight. The eventual ascendancy of the pro-amnesty position was due in large measure to the other side ‘losing interest as they continued to assimilate into Canadian life.’76 Aid groups like tadp were highly critical of amnesty efforts because they maintained an American focus and orientation rather than encouraging the adoption of Canadian nationalism and integration into Canadian society. Moreover, tadp, which relied on support from the Canadian Council of Churches and progressive Canadian donors, was concerned that support for amnesty might offend their nationalist benefactors. In December 1970, an editorial in the Toronto Star, the most liberal of the city’s three dailies, complained that some draft resisters and deserters were not assimilating into Canadian life. ‘They apparently regard themselves,’ the editorial complained, ‘as militants temporarily exiled in Canada but still part of a struggle to ‘‘liberate’’ the United States and perhaps the rest of the ‘‘capitalist’’ world.’77 What had inspired this critique of draft resisters and deserters was a letter to the editors at amex, setting out five priorities for Americans living in Canada: ‘aid the revolution in the us, aid dodgers and deserters in coming to Canada, screw capitalism, screw democracy, try to fit into Canadian life.’ What troubled the Star’s editors was that fitting into Canadian life was listed last, when it should have been first. Perhaps reflecting the strong nationalist sentiments of the time, the editors seemed less troubled by the revolutionary rhetoric of the letter than by the ‘mixed-up’ priorities of the young American writer.78 ‘Unless the young Americans for whom amex speaks revise their priorities 75 Stan Pietlock to Dee Knight, 10 Jan. 1974, box 1, founder 7, amex Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 76 Jack Colhoun, ‘War Resisters in Exile: The Memoirs of amex-Canada,’ amex 6 (Nov./Dec. 1977): 27. 77 ‘The Ardent Exiles,’ Toronto Daily Star, 17 Dec. 1970. 78 The editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star at the time was Peter C. Newman, who would become a prominent member of the nationalist group the Committee for an Independent Canada. On Newman, see Robert Wright, ‘From Liberalism to Nationalism: Peter C Newman’s Discovery of Canada,’ in Farhni and Rutherdale, Creating Postwar Canada, 111–36. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 253 and put Number Five first,’ the paper warned, ‘they risk arousing a growing hostility and suspicion among ordinary Canadians.’79 By the late 1960s, Left nationalism in English Canada was becoming a more common feature in the popular media, as well as a source of debate and contention within the Canadian left. In addition to the economic arguments advanced by Mel Watkins, Kari Levitt, and Abe Rotstein, an emergent critique of American cultural imperialism began to take hold.80 The fear of being overwhelmed by us culture was nothing new in Canada. After all, the establishment of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (cbc), and the National Film Board, as well as the Massey Commission, were efforts by the federal government to limit the influence of us media and popular culture by producing and promoting Canadian programming, writers, and artists.81 What was new in the late 1960s was the tone and militancy of this new Canadian nationalism, which came directly out of opposition to America’s involvement in Vietnam and the spread of American political hegemony internationally. Historian Natalie Zemon Davis was deeply troubled by what she saw as a rising tide of anti-American rhetoric among Canadian nationalists. Speaking of some of her more radical nationalistic colleagues, Davis noted, ‘They call people traitors. This kind of extreme language can only benefit the right wing. If they place nationalism before anything else – the struggle of women, the struggle for French Canada – they will have a very narrow movement.’82 Zemon Davis and her husband Chandler came to Canada in the early 1960s because of the legacy of McCarthyism. Chandler Davis had refused to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities and had served time in prison for contempt.83 At the University of Toronto where he was eventually able to find work, Chandler Davis became deeply involved in anti-war efforts, as well as with aiding draft resisters. In a 1968 radio interview, Chandler Davis called for increased Canadian independence and the need for Canadian 79 Ibid. See also Stan Pietlock, ‘Let’s Clear the Air,’ amex 1 (Jan. 1971): 7. 80 Kari Levitt, Silent Surrender: The Multinational Corporation in Canada (Toronto: Macmillan, 1970); Lumsden, Close the 49th Parallel; Mel Watkins, ‘The Branch Plant Condition,’ in Canadian Confrontations: Hinterland vs Metropolis, ed. Arthur K. Davis, 34–42 (Edmonton: Western Association of Sociolog
y, 1969). 81 Litt, The Muses, the Masses. 82 Valerie Miner Johnson, ‘What It’s Like to Be an American Professor in Canada and Discover the Canadians Aren’t So Happy to Have You Here,’ Saturday Night, Apr. 1971, 21. 83 Henry Abelove, Betsy Blackmar, Peter Dimock, and Jonathon Schneer, eds., Visions of History (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), 107–8. 254 The Canadian Historical Review universities to cultivate distinction. ‘At the same time,’ he argued, ‘as you have to understand the existing Canadian institutions, it certainly doesn’t mean you have to accept them.’ What was important for Davis was that ‘you evaluate what Canada needs in terms of Canada.’84 Neither Chandler Davis nor Natalie Zemon Davis considered themselves representatives of American imperialism or colonization. Indeed, they regarded themselves as refugees from the types of politics of which Canadian nationalists were so critical.85 For many Canadian writers and artists, us cultural domination was a non-transparent force, one that threatened to make Canadian works indistinguishable from American literature. The historical process of colonization, first under the British and then by the Americans, had robbed Canadians of a distinctly Canadian language, one that could articulate difference and interpolate Canadian experience. Poet Dennis Lee, one of the founders of Toronto’s experimental Rochdale College, saw the effects of American influence as part of a colonizing project that rendered Canadians unable to write or speak a language of their own. He wrote, To discover that you are mute in the midst of all the riches of a language is a weird experience. I had no explanation for it; by 1967 it had happened to me, but I didn’t know why . . . I had just begun to write, and now I was stopped. I would still sit down in my study with a pen and paper from time to time, and every time I ended up ripping the paper to pieces and pitching it out. The stiffness and falsity of the words appalled me . . . The colonial writer does not have words of his own. Is it not possible that he projects his own condition of voicelessness into whatever he creates? That he articulates his own powerlessness, in the face of alien words, by seeking out fresh tales of victims?86 Perhaps the experience of Rochdale, of working in the most ‘American’ space in Toronto, had contributed to Lee’s disillusionment. Yet Lee’s desire to speak and write in a language of his own, to articulate Canadian experience without the colonial mediation of British or American words was an ambition in keeping with the meta-discourses of the counter-culture and the New Left. To be officially Canadian, to be able 84 ‘The Invisible Tile in the Mosaic,’ The Best of Ideas, 26 Aug. 1968, 680826-3, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Archives. 85 Chandler and Natalie Zemon Davis, interview by the author, Toronto, 29 July 1997. 86 Dennis Lee, ‘Cadence, Country, Silence: Writing in Colonial Space,’ Boundary (Fall 1974): 2, reprinted in Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, eds., The Post-Colonial Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 1995), 399. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 255 to name authentic experiences and/or to express a true identity was part of the quest to be real. Rejecting artifice, searching in one’s self and one’s immediate world for genuine emotion and feeling was a significant part of the ongoing transaction of the period. Through a critique and negation of things American, as well as a search for an authentic expression of Canadian identity, intellectuals such as Mathews, Lee, and Martell engaged dominant themes of the 1960s – themes that corresponded to the aspirations of the New Left in the United States, Europe, and in the post-colonial struggles of developing countries. In questioning the legitimacy of us power over the Canadian economy and civic life, Canadian left-nationalists produced a political culture dominated by the impulse to counter American hegemony. As such, this emergent political field had much in common with movements inside the United States seeking to challenge the logic of international capital, Cold War alignment, and the values of the ‘silent majority.’ In particular, the imperative toward local empowerment and participatory democracy indicated the transnational character of Canadian left-nationalism. By the early 1970s, the potential benefits of such transactions were being regarded with greater suspicion by left-nationalists. In particular, ‘American style’ politics were coming under greater critical scrutiny. Canadian student leaders took up Mathews’s concerns about Vietnam protests being focused on American issues. Delores Broten, an editor of the York University student paper, chastised politically oriented draft resisters and deserters for trying ‘to turn this city [Toronto] into a little New York.’ Expatriates, according to Broten, ‘fail to come to an understanding of the Canadian situation – importing American tactics, American stages of struggle which are not indigenously developed, American viewpoints, and American slogans. No wonder many Canadians transfer their resentment against American domination to the draft dodger.’87 Nationalists like Broten believed that an ‘independent’ Canada could be achieved only once Canadians were able to find an authentic political voice, one that came directly from the shared experience of Canadian citizens. ‘Americans in Canada,’ Broten added, ‘are helping to undermine the cultural identity necessary for any liberation struggle.’88 supa veteran and Waffle leader Jim Laxer was an even more prominent and influential critic of the influence of American political traditions, and consequently the need to develop a ‘Canadian’ New Left. In 87 Delores Broten, ‘Americans Must Realize That They’re Fighting against Imperialism Not in the Heartland But in the Colony,’ amex 1 (Oct./Nov. 1970): 22. 88 Ibid., 22. 256 The Canadian Historical Review particular, Laxer was deeply troubled by the ‘smash the state’ rhetoric being mouthed by Canadian students and activists. He saw this antiestablishment, anti-government ideology as a us import, which did not fit into the Canadian scene and the legacy of social democracy. The Canadian government, he argued, was the only Canadian institution powerful enough to preserve cultural distinctiveness and political autonomy, and thus oppose the enormous power and asymmetry of us corporate and finance capital as well as the influence of American mass media and popular culture. Thus the language of smashing the state, Laxer asserted, only served ‘in a further softening-up of this country for American takeover.’89 An early popularizer of George Grant, Laxer would play a key role in advancing left-nationalism in the 1970s. As a leader in the Waffle movement, he would run for the leadership of the ndp in 1971, narrowly losing to eventual winner David Lewis. Laxer and other Left-nationalists owed a great deal to the anti-technological, anti-modern, and anti-continentalist stance of Grant and other Tory nationalists. As Philip Massolin notes, this adoption of a conservative nationalist critique by the New Left was not, however, a revival or celebration of Canada’s supposedly ‘inherent ‘Britishness’’ but rather an adoption of the deep suspicion of things American.90 Laxer was correct in his analysis that ‘American’ politics had played a huge role in shaping the Canadian New Left, but he fundamentally misunderstood the complexity of the political transaction by framing this ‘influence’ as another form of us imperialism. Here Laxer seemed impatient not only with the value of solidarity politics, the affective power of such politics in creating new types of political subjects, but also the importance, implementation, and adaptation of these political critiques to the Canadian context, for Laxer was particularly troubled by the focus on African-American civil rights, which he saw as a direct us import. Writing in Canadian Dimension, Laxer critiqued what he termed the ‘second hand’ identification of middle-class
Canadians (whom he seemed to presumptively assume were white) with AfricanAmerican culture and politics. Such identification, according to Laxer, ‘tends to cut them [Canadian students] off from traditionally radical sections of the Canadian population.’91 Here Laxer was referring to the socialist/social democratic tradition represented by the ndp and 89 James Laxer, ‘The Americanization of the Canadian Student Movement,’ in Lumsden, Close the 49th Parallel, 275–88. 90 Massolin, Canadian Intellectuals, 273. 91 James Laxer, ‘The Student Movement and Canadian Independence,’ Canadian Dimension 6, nos 3–4 (Aug./Sept. 1969): 30. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 257 its predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (ccf).92 Yet as scholar Jill Vickers has noted, calling a set of politic objectives ‘American’ and admonishing activists for ignoring Canadian progressive traditions was a tactic used to de-legitimate contentious political challenges including feminist critiques of the established Left made by members of the Waffle.93 The history of the civil rights movement was itself a transnational movement, deeply implicated in the politics of anti-colonialism and international anti-racist solidarity.94 Moreover, the universal rights claims and anti-racist vision of much of the civil rights movement, not to mention its deep debt to the Gandhian tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, reveal the transnational dynamic as well as local application of such political projects. Many of the events of the 1960s from the us civil rights movement and opposition to the war in Vietnam, to the struggles of Third World self-determination, introduced many young Canadians to political activism for the first time, providing them with alternative models and a rich array of strategies with which to pursue social change.95 The importance of these largely ‘American’ issues as entry points for future activism should not be diminished just because they did not, at first glance, affect the lives of Canadian citizens. The influence of us groups such as the Students for a Democratic Society and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and their community-based initiatives motivated the members of Canadian New Left groups such as the Combined University Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Student Union for Peace Action, and Company of Young Canadians to go into their own communities and to confront poverty, racism, and discrimination in cities like Halifax and Kingston, in Canada’s rural communities and on First Nations reserves. Finally, the opposition to the war in Vietnam brought together distinct strands of political thought, forcing Canadians to consider how they were both complicit 92 On the history of the ccf and the ndp, see Allen Mills, Fool for Christ: The Political Thought of J.S. Woodsworth (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991); Alan Whitehorn, Canadian Socialism: Essays on the ccf-ndp (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1992). 93 Jill Vickers, ‘The Intellectual Origins of the Women’s Movement in Canada,’ in Challenging Times: The Women’s Movement in Canada and the United States, ed. Constance Backhouse and David H. Flaherty, 72–89 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992). 94 Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 1995); Nikhil Pal Singh, Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 2005); Penny Von Eschen, Race against Empire. 95 Churchill, ‘supa, Selma, and Stevenson,’ 32–69. 258 The Canadian Historical Review with and subject to us military ambitions. In contrast, Laxer and critics such as Mathews, by advocating particular political traditions and approaches and by identifying certain local and regional political issues as worthy and appropriate, sought to authenticate certain types of activism, organizing, and protest as being part of the legitimate genealogy of the Canadian Left. Such a vision reified and impoverished the realm of the political and misunderstood the enormous power of the affective politics of solidarity.96 Far from taking Canadians away from supposedly ‘Canadian’ issues, as Laxer suggested, the influence of us social movements, the opposition to the Vietnam War, and the New Left engendered a more imminent critique of Canadian society, one that was quick to link global issues to problems at home. The American expatriates who came to Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s ran full force into a fierce and popular storm of English-Canadian nationalism. Their encounter, however, was not just coincidental. The dynamics of the us Cold War foreign policy, which matched the Truman Doctrine with the reach of us foreign investment, were crucial to the development of an emergent and robust nationalism in Canada. The protest against the war in Vietnam and transnational critiques of the American empire allowed Canadians to reinvigorate long-standing traditions of anti-Americanism. For the us expatriates, the issue of nationalism was prickly and confounding. In coming to Canada, in opting out of the United States, they had expressed a strong ambivalence, if not outright rejection of us nationalism. Yet in travelling north some discovered that their presence was not welcome and that a few Canadians regarded them as little better than gi’s in Vietnam trying to influence ‘hearts and minds.’ Ultimately, who resisters, deserters, draft dodgers, expatriates, and exiles were, what their effect was, and who they were becoming was interpolated by the discourse of English-Canadian nationalism of the late 1960s and 1970s. Indeed, judging by the continued scholarly interest in the topic, the historical legacy of these migrants remains a politically contentious and unresolved site for historical analysis. At times, expatriates were allies with the emergent nationalism, taking it on and matching it with their own anti-imperialism and deep disenchantment with the United States. At other times, however, expatriates posed problems to the nationalist cause by disrupting the symbolic logic of a supposedly unified and distinct Canada. How could Canadian difference be secured and sovereignty maintained if Americans themselves were part of this project? How could claims of 96 Ghandi, Affective Communities, 26. Draft Resisters, Left Nationalism 259 sovereignty be asserted when Americans themselves were participating in this emergent national cause? As THE DRAFT LOTTERY AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE VIETNAM WAR DANIEL E. BERGAN Abstract The most striking and theoretically anomalous finding of previous research on self-interest and attitudes is the absence of a self-interest motive in support for the Vietnam War. This research note reconsiders this result using a panel survey of university students collected before and after the first Vietnam draft lottery. These data are unique because they allow the unbiased estimation of the effect of self-interest on attitudes toward the war. I find that, contrary to previous results, self-interest had a substantial impact on support for the war. Empirical research suggests that self-interest does not have a substantial effect on attitudes toward war. Lau, Brown, and Sears (1978) find that individuals with relatives and friends serving in the Vietnam War do not differ in their support for the war from others. Barton (1968) and Mueller (1973) also find no evidence that self-interest influences opinion on the Vietnam War. Rugg and Cantril (1940) produce similar results for World War II; people with draft age family members were no less likely to support the United States declaring war on Germany than people without draft age family members. One exception to these findings is Gartner, Segura, and Wilkening (1997), who find that local casualties influence individual-level opinion on the Vietnam War. However, even these effects exist only early in the war. What makes these results surprising is that in the case of war, the conditions for a strong effect of self-interest hold. That is, the early literature on self-i
nterest concludes that the effects of self-interest are strongest when party stances on an issue are not distinct, when the responsibility of the government is clear, or when the stakes are high (for reviews, see Green and Gerken 1989; Sears and Funk 1990). In the case of Vietnam, the personal stakes in being sent to war (or in having a family member or friend sent to Vietnam) were large. In a 1968 DANIEL E. BERGAN is the Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Information with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, 468 Communication Arts and Sciences Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1212, USA. The author would like to thank Greg Huber and three anonymous reviewers for comments that greatly improved this paper. The author would also like to thank Charles Longino for discussing his dataset. All mistakes are the author’s. Address correspondence to Daniel E. Bergan; e-mail: bergan@msu.edu. doi:10.1093/poq/nfp024 Advance Access publication June 2, 2009 C The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org 380 Bergan survey asking about the most important problem facing the country, over half spontaneously mentioned the Vietnam War, more than any other issue (Page and Brody 1972, p. 982). Major party presidential candidates did not stake out distinct policy preferences over the Vietnam War issue in 1968, and the issue did not have a large effect on vote choice between the two major parties (see Page and Brody 1972). Americans did not perceive a clear difference between the two major parties on the war issue. Respondents in the 1970 NES did not differ on which party would better handle keeping the United States out of a bigger war. Of individuals who offered a response, 67 percent saw no difference between the two major parties, while 18 percent favored Democrats and 15 percent favored Republicans. Without any cues from parties, there is a smaller role for attachments to parties to guide attitude formation, and a greater role for rational self-interest (see Sears 1975; Sears and Funk 1990). Prior studies typically determine the effects of self-interest by correlating attitudinal measures of support for war with a measure of self-interest while controlling for demographic and other variables. One problem with this approach is that unmeasured variables that influence both the self-interest variable and support for war may bias the results. It appears that for existing measures of self-interest, this would tend to bias the measures of self-interest toward zero. For example Lau, Brown, and Sears (1978) operationalize self-interest with whether or not the respondent has close relatives in Vietnam1 and Gartner, Segura, and Wilkening (1997) operationalize self-interest with local casualties in the Vietnam War. Both of these variables could be related to general support for the use of force, biasing the estimates of the effect of self-interest downward.2 That is, individuals who have family members in Vietnam are probably more likely to support the use of force generally, meaning that correlating support for the Vietnam War with these measures of self-interest will underestimate the effect of self-interest on attitudes toward the Vietnam War.3 The current study relies on the randomized nature of the Vietnam draft lottery to produce an unbiased estimate of the effect of self-interest on war attitudes (Imbens and Angrist 1994).4 As these draft numbers influence the likelihood of serving in Vietnam, they tap self-interest in the war. Unlike other measures of self-interest, draft numbers that were randomly assigned to individuals should be unrelated to support for the use of force. 1. The researchers also use a measure including any relatives or friends in Vietnam or in the military because of the troop buildup. 2. This explains not only the null results in the literature, but also the negative correlations between opposition to war and self-interest found in some studies; see Sears and Funk (1990). 3. Some of these studies (e.g., Lau, Brown, and Sears 1978) control for liberalism and attitudes toward communism. However, these control variables may also be influenced by self-interest. 4. Recent studies of the effect of self-interest on policy attitudes have attempted to use arbitrary or random variation to determine the effect of self-interest on policy attitudes (i.e., Washington 2005; Doherty, Gerber, and Green 2006). The Draft Lottery and Attitudes Towards the Vietnam War 381 The Vietnam Draft Prior to 1970, draft status was determined by local draft boards, producing local variation in the numbers of males inducted. In 1969, this locally-based system was replaced by national guidelines, and a televised lottery was held in December of that year to determine draft calls for males born between 1944 and 1950. Numbers 1 through 366 were drawn, with each number corresponding to a particular birth date of males in this pool. Males with lottery numbers greater than 195 were not called for induction, while males with numbers of 195 or below were called to report for possible induction. While controversial as a method of induction, the randomized lottery is convenient for the estimation of the likelihood of induction having an effect on attitudes toward the Vietnam War, as birth date is related to likelihood of service but is unlikely to be related to predispositions to support the war. While most surveys from this period do not include birth dates (surveys typically exclude birth dates to protect the anonymity of subjects), a panel survey of college students at the University of Virginia was underway at the time of the first draft lottery described above, indicating whether or not the student had a low draft number. The students in the sample are a 20 percent probability sample of male University of Virginia students from the class of 1972.5 The data span a one-year period, and students were randomly sampled in a two-wave panel in the falls before and after the televised lottery drawings. By the time of the second wave of the panel, students knew their lottery number and whether, based on their draft number, they were likely to be called for induction. The draft number is therefore coded 1 if the draft number was 195 or below6 (the lottery numbers of individuals called for induction) and 0 otherwise.7 Because the draft variable is exogenous, the variable is not related to unobserved variables related to both measures of self-interest and support for war. Also, the panel structure of the data allows us to control for support for the war prior to the lottery drawing. Prior to the draft, members of the sample had an equal probability of being inducted. The draft changed this by greatly reducing the probability that individuals with high draft numbers would be inducted. The pre- and postlottery variables measuring support for war involve attitudes about what the United States should do with respect to the Vietnam War; students were asked what course they would prefer the President to follow concerning the war. Open-ended responses were coded into three categories: 5. One concern with the data is that there may be a self-selection bias in the sample. Unfortunately, no data exist on the response rates for the survey. However, repeated follow-up attempts were made to increase the response rate (personal communication with author, March 2008). 6. It was apparent by early August 1970 (prior to the second wave of the panel survey) that a cutoff of 195 was likely (The New York Times 1970). 7. Longino (1973) used the data in his study of attitudes toward the war, and the data used in this study were retrieved from his study by coding the data from his paper. The data used in this study are available in table 2 in Longino (1973). 382 Bergan Table 1. Effect of Low Draft Number on Support for Withdrawal Multinomial logit coefficients (baseline category = maintain current troop levels) Ordered probit coefficients (1 = immediate, 2 = gradual, 3 = no reduction) Logit coef
ficients (1 = immediate withdrawal 0 = other response) Outcome = Immediate withdrawal Outcome = No troop reduction Low draft number .752++ .220 .293+ .716++ (.467) (.716) (.227) (.451) Prewithdraw 2.22∗ −.798 1.55∗∗∗ 2.42∗ (.669) (1.21) (.335) (.624) Pre-Vietnamization −.571 −1.71∗ .193 −.266 (.543) (.778) (.266) (.517) Constant −.881 −.881 −1.15∗ (.612) (.612) (.492) Cut 1 .820 (.264) Cut 2 −.895 (.266) N 115 115 115 LR chi-squared 37.82 29.39 32.51 Prob.>chi-squared .000 .000 .000 Pseudo-R-squared .177 .138 .206 ∗∗∗ Indicates statistical significance p < .001, one tailed; ∗p < .05, one tailed; ++p < .06, one tailed; +p < .1, one tailed. Baseline in the multinomial logit model is temporarily “maintain current troop levels.” “Prewithdraw” and “Pre-Vietnamization” are indicators for attitudes prior to the Vietnam draft lottery; omitted category for pretest attitudes is “maintain current troop levels.” immediate withdrawal, gradual U.S. withdrawal, and all options not reducing U.S. troop strength.8 Analysis Thedata are analyzed with multinomial logit and ordered probit models. The analysis also employs logit regression with an indicator for immediate withdrawal versus all other outcomes. The results are presented in table 1. Model 1 shows that although there is no effect on moving between “gradual reduction of troops” (the baseline category) and options not favoring a reduction in troops, individuals with a low draft number are more lSomeday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come by Staughton Lynd There is a contradiction in U.S. law concerning conscientious objection. The Nuremburg Tribunal was premised on the concept that an individual must refuse to commit war crimes in a particular war. High-ranking German and Japanese personnel who were found to have violated this mandate were executed. The Nuremburg concept has been incorporated in the United States Army’s manual. Yet, the law of conscientious objection still requires a member of the military to object to service in all wars, that is, to be a pacifist, in order to qualify for conscientious objection. This must be changed. I must begin with a scholarly correction. The title of this talk, ‘‘Someday They’ll Have a War And Nobody Will Come,’’ is one of those quotations that has been in your head forever and that you are sure is right. However, it is wrong. The correct quotation—which I consider less felicitous—turns out to be ‘‘Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.’’ Moreover, I was quite certain that the quotation came from a play by Irwin Shaw called ‘‘Bury The Dead.’’ That is wrong also. The quotation is from Carl Sandburg’s ‘‘The People, Yes.’’ Both ‘‘Bury The Dead’’ and ‘‘The People, Yes’’ were published in 1936. Thus, neither was a product of the period between September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, and June 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the period that Communist Parties termed the period of ‘‘phony war’’ and during which persons in and close to the Party strenuously opposed war preparations. Indeed, in 1936, the Communist Party was encouraging young men to go to Spain to fight Note: ‘‘Someday They Will Have a War and Nobody Will Come’’ appears in From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader, edited by Andrej Grubacic (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2010) www.pmpress.org. PEACE & CHANGE, Vol. 36, No. 2, April 2011 2011 Peace History Society and Peace and Justice Studies Association 156 in the International Brigades. Accordingly, I presume that the passionate antiwar sentiments of these two literary works expressed what we might call the ‘‘World War I syndrome.’’ In some liberal and radical circles in 1936, there was still a wide and deep opposition to war caused by the horrors of 1914–1918. David Dellinger, in whose memory I delivered the original version of this talk, was one of a very small number of persons whose paci- fism continued into and throughout World War II. David was one of the Union Theological Seminary Eight who not only refused to fight in the Second World War but refused to register for the draft. David served two terms in federal prison and helped to lead long hunger strikes protesting racial segregation, censorship of mail, and other objectionable prison practices. While David was doing his second prison term for war resistance, his wife Betty was pregnant. David tells in From Yale to Jail how when he was on hunger strike at Lewisburg the warden came to his cell and said, ‘‘She’s dying. She has sent a message telling you to go off the strike so she can die in peace.’’ David said, ‘‘Take me to her.’’ The warden refused and David concluded, correctly, that the warden was lying. The prisoners won one of the major goals of their hunger strike concerning the censorship of mail. David was given a pile of letters from Betty telling him that she was well and supported the strike. The Dellingers’ oldest child, Patchen, was born soon after. When the Union Eight were released from prison, Union offered them readmission on condition that they would avoid any course of action that would publicize their draft resistance. Five of the eight refused and went instead to Chicago Theological Seminary. Another opponent of the military Goliath, David Mitchell, pioneered in the 1960s the position that I wish to explicate tonight. David Mitchell said that he was not a pacifist. He refused to participate in the Selective Service process because he believed that the actions of the United States in Vietnam were war crimes, as war crimes had been defined at Nuremburg after World War II. He spent two years in prison. With these forerunners in mind, we turn to the message of another hero, Ehren Watada. In the military, justice is administered by court-martial. In the court-martial process, there is a proceeding similar to the convening of a grand jury. It is called an Article 32 hearing. The hearing officer decides whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a court-martial. On August 17, 2006, at Fort Lewis, Washington, there was an Article 32 hearing for Lt. Watada. Early in the hearing, Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 157 the prosecution played video clips from his recent speeches. In one of these speeches at the national convention of Veterans for Peace, Lt. Watada said, ‘‘Today, I speak with you about a radical idea …. The idea is this; that to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers…can choose to stop fighting it.’’ Of course, in itself this was not a new idea. It was another way of saying, someday they’ll have a war and nobody will come. But what is unusual is Lt. Watada’s basis for saying ‘‘No.’’ Like David Mitchell in the 1960s, Ehren Watada is not a pacifist. He offered to go to Afghanistan but refused to go to Iraq. He refused to go to Iraq for the same reason David Mitchell refused to go to Vietnam, not because of objection to all wars, but because of a conviction that war crimes were being committed in this particular war, giving rise to an obligation, under the principles declared at Nuremburg, to refuse military service. Carl Mirra has edited a collection of oral histories of the second Iraq War entitled Soldiers and Citizens: An Oral History of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the Battlefield to the Pentagon. Therein, two interviewees—one a veteran and the other a veteran’s wife who now does military counseling—express the view that the current legal definition of conscientious objection is too confining, too ‘‘tight.’’ It is confining and tight because it requires a soldier who is troubled by actions he has been ordered to commit to object to participation in all wars in order to refuse conscientiously. Self-evidently, conscience cannot be thus circumscribed, and Nuremburg did not intend that it should be. A soldier can and must be able to say ‘‘No’’ to orders in a particular war that he perceives to be war crimes and that deeply offend conscience. Take a minute to recognize how radical a change th
is would be. The concept of conscientious objection, as set forth in Selective Service law during and after World War II and in the existing regulations of all the military services, is based on the Christian teaching of forgiveness of enemies, of doing good for evil, of turning the other cheek, of putting up the sword. To become a conscientious objector, the applicant must object to participation in ‘‘war in any form,’’ which is to say, to all wars. This is a noble idea. I happen to adhere to it, personally. But it is unlikely ever to be the conviction of more than a very few persons of military age. It is a legal system written to accommodate the tender consciences of members of certain small Christian sects that came 158 PEACE & CHANGE / April 2011 into being during the Radical Reformation: Hutterites, Quakers, Amish, Mennonites, Brethren, and the like. And let us be honest, Conscientious Objection thus defined exists because the powers that be know that it will never be the world view of more than a handful of persons. Moreover, it should be obvious that in a volunteer military, an even tinier minority of service men and women can be expected to object to war in any form. Had this been their belief, why would they have volunteered in the first place? In fact, it is possible to become a conscientious objector while serving in the military. Certain remarkable individuals like Camillo Mejia and Kevin Benderman have deployed to Iraq, been horrified by what they experienced, and on reflection concluded that they will never again fight in any war. But common sense tells us that such Conscientious-Objectors-From-Experience-In-A-Particular-War will be few. This is especially so because, as was the case with both Mejia and Benderman, the military will court-martial and imprison such objectors without giving them the legally required opportunity to appeal an initial rejection of conscientious objector status. The system can tolerate traditional conscientious objectors. For those who remember Herbert Marcuse’s concept of ‘‘repressive tolerance,’’ this is an example: precisely by making room for such atypical refuseniks, the system as a whole can continue undisturbed. But it might be otherwise if the David Mitchell-Ehren Watada approach became law. Then, you might have hundreds, even thousands of soldiers saying, in effect: ‘‘I can’t tell you how I might feel in another war. But I can tell you where I stand about this one. This particular war is a war that requires the commission of war crimes. It may even be a war that as defined at Nuremburg is a war crime in its totality, because it is an aggressive war, a crime against the peace. I ain’t gonna study this war no more.’’ If that idea were once let loose in the land, one might indeed have a war to which very few would come. So, let us try to form a more precise idea of refusal to fight based on the belief that a particular war involves war crimes. THE NUREMBURG PRINCIPLES At the end of the Second World War, humanity imagined a new design of international relations. In that new web of relationships, all nations would recognize certain human rights, all persons and governments would be required to avoid certain war crimes and crimes Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 159 against humanity, all conquering states would commit themselves to prescribed behavior with respect to prisoners and occupied territories. The initial conceptualization of these new rights and obligations took place at Nuremburg. For more than a half century, the verdicts at Nuremberg in trials of German leaders after World War II have provided the fundamental standards by which alleged war crimes are to be assessed. The Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) identified three kinds of war crimes: 1. War crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, illtreatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity; 2. Crimes against humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated. 3. Crimes against peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.1 Apart from the definition of war crimes, three principles set forth in the Charter are of particular importance here. The first is that the defense of ‘‘superior orders’’2 is expressly rejected. Article 8 of the Charter specified: ‘‘The fact that the defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires.’’3 The second Nuremburg principle is that international law must take precedence over the law of any particular nation. Expansion and clarification of the Nuremburg Principles was carried forward by the U.N. International Law Commission in 1950, when it adopted and 160 PEACE & CHANGE / April 2011 codified them in broad application to international law, drawing in some cases on the judgments of the Tribunal. Here, the Commission highlighted at the outset the principle ‘‘that international law may impose duties on individuals directly without any interposition of internal law’’ and, as a corollary, that individuals are not relieved of responsibility under international law ‘‘by the fact that their acts are not held to be crimes under the law of any particular country.’’ The Commission went on to point out that this implies ‘‘what is commonly called the ‘supremacy’ of international law over national law’’ and to cite the declaration of the IMT that ‘‘the very essence of the Charter is that individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual State.’’4 The third, and for my purposes most important, Nuremburg principle is that aggressive war is a crime no matter what nation may commit it. The nations that framed the Charter, the judges of the Tribunal, and in particular, the representatives of the United States considered that henceforth the crimes defined at Nuremberg should apply to all nations, including those that conducted the trials. Among these crimes was the ‘‘crime against peace’’ of aggressive war. Robert Jackson, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and Chief Counsel for the United States during the Nuremberg proceedings, reported that the definition of aggressive war occasioned ‘‘the most serious disagreement’’ at the conference which drafted the Charter. Jackson stated that the United States ‘‘declined to recede from its position even if it meant the failure of the Conference.’’ He described the conflict as follows: The Soviet Delegation proposed and until the last meeting pressed a definition which, in our view, had the effect of declaring certain acts crimes only when committed by the Nazis. The United States contended that the criminal character of such acts could not depend on who committed them and that international crimes could only be defined in broad terms applicable to statesmen of any nation guilty of the proscribed conduct.5 Telford Taylor corroborates Jackson’s account. According to Taylor, ‘‘the definition of the crimes to be charged… was an important question of principle which at first appeared to be
intractable.’’ The Soviets, Taylor says, wanted to charge the Nazi leaders with Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 161 ‘‘[a]ggression against or domination over other nations carried out by the European Axis.’’ The Soviets were willing to define ‘‘war crimes’’ and ‘‘crimes against humanity’’ as violations of international law no matter by whom committed. But the Russians—and the French—resisted creating a new crime of aggressive war.6 At the final meeting of the London conference, the Soviet qualifications were dropped and agreement was reached on a generic definition acceptable to all. In his opening statement to the Tribunal, Justice Jackson articulated the consensus reached by the United States, France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. ‘‘[L]et me make clear that while this law is first applied ‘against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.’’’7 Telford Taylor quoted this solemn affirmation by Justice Jackson on the first page of his subsequent book on Nuremberg and Vietnam.8 In trials conducted by the victorious occupying nations in other courts in occupied territory, phraseology limiting the jurisdiction of the tribunals to persons ‘‘acting in the interests of the European Axis countries’’ was dropped, making way for expansion of the Nuremburg Principles beyond the immediate prosecution of agents of the defeated European powers. As Taylor wrote, ‘‘Nuremburg is a historical and moral fact with which, from now on, every government must reckon in its internal and external policies alike.’’ Recalling the declaration of the Tribunal regarding the impartial application of its principles to all, Taylor wrote: ‘‘We may not, in justice, apply to these defendants because they are Germans, standards of duty and responsibility which are not equally applicable to the officials of the Allied Powers and to those of all nations.’’9 And on the last page of his book on Nuremberg, published shortly before his death, Taylor once again affirmed what he obviously considered to be the heart of the Nuremberg proceedings. Reflecting on the growing demand in the 1990s for the establishment of a permanent tribunal for the trial of international crimes, Taylor recalled: that the Nuremberg Tribunal had jurisdiction only over ‘‘the major war criminals of the European Axis countries.’’ Considering the times and circumstances of its creation, it is hardly surprising that the Tribunal was given jurisdiction over the vanquished but not the victors. Many times I have heard Germans (and others) complain that ‘‘only the losers get tried.’’ 162 PEACE & CHANGE / April 2011 Taylor continued: Early in the Korean War, when General Douglas MacArthur’s forces landed at Inchon, the American and South Korean armies drove the Koreans all the way north to the border between North Korea and China, at the Yalu River. About a week later the Chinese attacked in force and their opponents were driven deep into South Korea. During the brief period when our final victory appeared in hand, I received several telephone calls from members of the press asking whether the United States would try suspect North Koreans as war criminals. I was quite unable to predict whether or not such trials would be undertaken, but I replied that if they were to take place, the tribunal should be established on a neutral base, preferably by the United Nations, and given jurisdiction to hear charges not only against North Koreans but South Koreans and Americans (or any other participants) as well. And Taylor concluded: ‘‘I am still of that opinion. The laws of war do not apply only to the suspected criminals of vanquished nations. There is no more or legal basis for immunizing victorious nations from scrutiny. The laws of war are not a one-way street.’’10 It is crystal clear, then, that after the Nuremberg trials, the United States was committed to having its own conduct judged according to the principles of international law applied in those proceedings. THE NUREMBURG PRECEDENT IN U.S. COURTS AND MILITARY TRIBUNALS During and after the Vietnam War, U.S. courts and military tribunals were asked to apply the Nuremberg Principles to the conduct of individual soldiers. The civilian judicial system washed its hands of the issue and (to use another Biblical metaphor) passed by on the other side. Military tribunals were far more forthright than their civilian counterparts in facing the problem but did not succeed in resolving the dilemma. David Mitchell and the Fort Hood Three When David Mitchell was found guilty by the trial court and the federal court of appeals, his attorneys sought a writ of certiorari from Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 163 the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States decided not to consider the case. Justice William Douglas dissented from the denial of certiorari. He stated in part that petitioner’s defense was that the ‘‘war’’ in Vietnam was being conducted in violation of various treaties to which we were a signatory, especially the Treaty of London of August 8, 1945, 59 Stat. 1544, which in Article 6(a) declares that ‘‘waging of a war of aggression’’ is a ‘‘crime against peace,’’ imposing ‘‘individual responsibility.’’ Article 8 provides: ‘‘The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment ….’’ Mr. Justice Jackson, the U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg, stated: ‘‘If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.’’ (International Conference on Military Trials, Dept. State Pub. No. 3880, p. 330.) Article VI, cl. 2, of the Constitution states that ‘‘treaties’’ are a part of ‘‘the supreme law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby.’’ There is a considerable body of opinion that our actions in Vietnam constitute the waging of an aggressive ‘‘war.’’ This case presents the questions: (1) whether the Treaty of London is a treaty within the meaning of Article VI, cl. 2; (2) whether the question of the waging of an aggressive ‘‘war’’ is in the context of this criminal prosecution a justiciable question; (3) whether the Vietnam episode is a ‘‘war’’ in the sense of the Treaty; (4) whether petitioner has standing to raise the question; (5) whether, if he has, it may be tendered as a defense in this criminal case or in amelioration of the punishment. These are extremely sensitive and delicate questions. But they should, I think, be answered.11 In Mora et al. v. McNamara et al., three young men already drafted into military service—Dennis Mora, James Johnson, and David 164 PEACE & CHANGE / April 2011 Samas—refused to deploy to Vietnam. They offered essentially the same defense as had David Mitchell, adding the provisions of the U.S. Army Field Manual, The Law of Land Warfare (FM 27-10, 1956). This time, two justices of the United States Supreme Court, Justices Douglas and Potter Stewart, dissented from denial of certiorari.12 Howard Levy Captain Howard B. Levy, M.D., also a draftee, refused to teach medicine to Green Beret soldiers at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The hearing officer at Capt. Levy’s court-martial, Colonel Earl Brown, the law officer, suddenly injected the possibility of a defense based on Nuremberg: Now the defense has intimated that special forces aidmen are being used in Vietnam in a way contrary to medical ethics. My research on the subject discloses that perhaps the Nuremberg Trials and the various post-war treaties of the United States have evolved a rule that a soldier must disobey an order demanding that he commit war crimes, or geno
cide, or something to that nature. However, I have heard no evidence that even remotely suggests that the special forces of the United States Army have been trained to commit war crimes, and until I do, I must reject this defense.13 In colloquy with the prosecutor that followed, Colonel Brown stated that if the aidmen were being ‘‘trained to commit war crimes, then I think a doctor would be morally bound to refuse’’ to train them.14 Counsel for Dr. Levy were given one extra day to assemble witnesses to put on a Nuremberg defense. The defense found three witnesses. Donald Duncan was a former Special Forces Sergeant, who became disaffected while serving in Vietnam and resigned from the Army. Robin Moore was the author of a best-selling book, The Green Berets. Captain Peter Bourne was an Army psychiatrist who had served in Vietnam. The defense also proffered as exhibits four thousand articles describing war crimes in Vietnam, including war crimes by the Special Forces, and a brief by Professor Richard Falk, an international law expert at Princeton, assisted by Richard Barnet of the Institute for Policy Studies. Finally, the defense submitted a list of thirty-eight witnesses to be called should Col. Brown determine that a prima facie case of Nuremberg violations had been made out.15 Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 165 An out-of-court hearing followed. The Law of Land Warfare prohibits assassination of enemy soldiers or civilians. Duncan and Moore described assassination by U.S. forces and by the Vietnamese personnel that they trained. The Law of Land Warfare prohibits ‘‘putting a price on an enemy’s head,’’ but Duncan and Moore testified that in Vietnam it was a common practice. Most riveting, it seems, was defense testimony about torture and murder of unarmed prisoners, although The Law of Land Warfare prohibits killing prisoners ‘‘even in the case of…commando operations.’’16 Assessing the Nuremberg defense presented by Dr. Levy’s counsel, Col. Brown simply ruled that Levy had failed to make a prima facie showing.17 Levy, like Mitchell and Mora before him, sought review by the Supreme Court of the United States. In Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733 (1974), the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Levy’s court-martial conviction. Military tribunals quote and rely on the high court’s pronouncement in Parker v. Levy that ‘‘the military is, by necessity, a specialized society,’’ and hence ‘‘the fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it.’’18 Justice Stewart angrily read his dissenting opinion from the bench. After Vietnam The evasion of Nuremberg by the United States Supreme Court in the Mitchell, Mora, and Levy cases continues to cast a long shadow. Further departing from the Nuremburg principles, the United States has now explicitly endorsed the doctrine of preemptive war. In a speech at the 2002 graduation exercises at West Point, President George W. Bush remarked that for much of the last century, America’s defenses had relied on the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment. But, the President argued, containment means nothing against ‘‘terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend,’’ ‘‘the war with terror will not be won on the defensive,’’ and the United States must be prepared for ‘‘preemptive action when necessary.’’19 In September 2002, the Bush Administration promulgated a new National Security Doctrine which stated, in part, that ‘‘we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country.’’20 166 PEACE & CHANGE / April 2011 This new doctrine would appear expressly to violate the condemnation of aggressive war on which the United States insisted at Nuremberg. A conviction that his country is an aggressor in violation of international law is the essence of Lt. Watada’s conclusion that what he is being ordered to do is unlawful. He considers that he is not engaging in ‘‘civil disobedience’’ but rather obeying settled international law that Nuremburg decreed he would disregard at his peril. In his case, then, and in future cases like his, a potential or actual soldier may be entitled to refuse orders not only because they require ‘‘war crimes’’ or ‘‘crimes against humanity,’’ but also because they demand obedience to a ‘‘crime against peace’’: aggressive war. CONCLUSION To conclude: The little girl quoted in The People, Yes deserves the last word: The little girl saw her first troop parade and asked, ‘‘What are those?’’ ‘‘Soldiers.’’ ‘‘What are soldiers?’’ ‘‘They are for war. They fight and each tries to kill as many of the other side as he can.’’ The girl held still and studied. ‘‘Do you know … I know something?’’ ‘‘Yes, what is it you know?’’ ‘‘Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.’’21 NOTES 1. The Charter was part of the Treaty of London, August 8, 1945 (59 Stat. 1544), which established an International Military Tribunal. The Nuremberg Case as Presented by Robert H. Jackson, Chief of Counsel for the United States (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1971), 22–23. The first session of the general assembly of the United Nations unanimously affirmed the principles of international law in the Charter and directed the International Law Commission to formulate them into an International Criminal Code. Res. 95 (1), December 11, 1946. The text of the Charter may Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 167 be found in Michael R. Marrus, The Nuremburg War Crimes Trial, 1945–46: A Documentary History (Boston: Bedford Books, 1997), 51–55. 2. This was later often called the ‘‘Eichmann defense,’’ in reference to the spectacular trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961. Eichmann had been head of the Jewish Affairs Section of the Reich Security Head Office and was viewed as one of those chiefly responsible for the attempted ‘‘final solution of the Jewish question.’’ Eichmann’s defense rested in part on the claim that he had acted on superior orders and, moreover, under duress that left him no moral choice. The Israeli court rejected this argument, holding that ‘‘the accused closed his ears to the voice of conscience.’’ The court quoted the judgment of a District Military Court following the IMT that if an order was ‘‘manifestly unlawful, it cannot be used as an excuse.’’ Cited in Robert K. Woetzel, The Nuremberg Trials in International Law, with a Postlude on the Eichmann Case (New York: Praeger, 1962), 269. The Court of Appeals in Eichmann’s case further concluded in 1962 that ‘‘the appellant had received no ‘superior orders’ at all. He was his own superior, and he gave all orders in matters that concerned Jewish affairs.’’ Cited in Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (New York: Viking Press, 1963), 227. 3. Marrus, The Nuremburg War Crimes Trial, 53. Nevertheless, several of the defendants in the Trial of the Major War Criminals and many defendants in subsequent trials used the argument of superior orders to defend themselves. The Judgments of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) rejected this defense in all cases, generally on the ground that the Charter prohibited it. In some cases, the defense was rejected even for the purpose of mitigating a sentence. For example, in the case of Wilhelm Keitel (Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, directly under Hitler), the Tribunal concluded: ‘‘There is nothing in mitigation. Superior orders, even to a soldier, cannot be considered in mitigation where crimes as shocking and extensive have been committed consciously, ruthlessly, and without military excuse or justification.’’ 4. Principles of International Law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremburg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, ad
opted by the U.N. International Law Commission, August 2, 1950, U.N. Doc. A ⁄ 1316, 2 Y.B.I.L.C. 374 (1950), Principle I, par. 99; Principle II, par. 100, 102. Article 8 was revised by the International Law Commission to read: ‘‘The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.’’ In this formulation, the provision of Article 8 allowing mitigation of punishment was dropped on the ground that ‘‘the question of mitigating punishment is a matter for the competent court to 168 PEACE & CHANGE / April 2011 decide,’’ rather than a matter of general principle. At the same time, the provision concerning moral choice was added, based upon the following declaration of the judgment: The provisions of this article … are in conformity with the law of all nations. That a soldier was ordered to kill or torture in violation of the international law of war has never been recognized as a defense to such acts of brutality. The true test, which is found in varying degrees in the criminal law of most nations, is not the existence of the order but whether moral choice was in fact possible. Id., par. 105. 5. Report of Robert H. Jackson, United States Representative to the International Conference on Military Trials (New York: AMS Press, 1949), vii–viii. 6. Telford Taylor, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), 65–66 (emphasis added). Scholarship during the past half century has confirmed the account by Jackson and Taylor. An authoritative article appearing in 2002 states: The difficulties centered on whether the substantive definition of aggression would specify Nazi or Axis aggression (the Soviet position), or would define the crime [against peace] in a clean, universal way that might, in another era, even include American acts (the Jackson position)…. In the end, the Charter for the new tribunal embodied Jackson’s view. Jonathan A. Bush, ‘‘‘The Supreme … Crime’ and its Origins: The Lost Legislative History of the Crime of Aggressive War,’’ Columbia Law Review, Vol. 102, No. 8 (December 2002): 2369. 7. Opening Statement for the United States, November 21, 1945, The Nuremberg Case as Presented by Robert H. Jackson Chief of Counsel for the United States (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1971), 93. 8. Telford Taylor, Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), 11–12. Taylor went on to say: However history may ultimately assess the wisdom or unwisdom of the war crimes trials, one thing is indisputable: At their conclusion, the U.S. government stood legally, politically, and morally Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 169 committed to the principles enunciated in the charters and judgments of the tribunals. [Taylor shows that the President of the United States, thirty or more American judges who took part in the tribunals, General Douglas MacArthur, and the U.S. delegation to the United Nations general assembly all squarely endorsed the Nuremberg principles in one-way or another.] Thus, the integrity of the nation is staked on those principles, and today the question is how they apply to the conduct of our war in Vietnam and whether the U.S. government is prepared to face the consequences of their application … [T]he Son My [My Lai] courts-martial are shaping the question for us, and they cannot be fairly determined without full inquiry into the higher responsibilities. Little as the leaders of the Army seem to realize it, this is the only road to the Army’s salvation, for its moral health will not be recovered until its leaders are willing to scrutinize their behavior by the same standard that their revered predecessors applied to Tomayuki Yamashita twenty-five years ago. Id., pp. 94, 182. 9. Taylor, Final Report, 234, 235. 10. Taylor, Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials, 641. The speaker, although a vigorous opponent of the Vietnam War, took a similar position in declining to take part in the War Crimes Tribunal created by Lord Bertrand Russell. See Bush, ‘‘‘The Supreme … Crime’,’’ p. 2393 No. 224, citing Staughton Lynd, ‘‘The War Crimes Tribunal: A Dissent,’’ Liberation, Vol. 12 (December 1967–January 1968), 76. 11. Douglas, J., dissenting, in Mitchell v. United States, 386 U.S. 972 (1967), quoted in We Won’t Go: Personal Accounts of War Objectors (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968), ed. Alice Lynd, 102–104. 12. Id., 182–184. 13. Tr. at 875, quoted in Robert N. Strassfeld, ‘‘The Vietnam War on Trial: The Court-Martial of Dr. Howard B. Levy,’’ 1994 Wisconsin Law Review 839, 902. 14. Tr. at 878, quoted in id., 903. According to Professor Strassfeld, Colonel Brown had often discussed the implications of the Nuremberg and 170 PEACE & CHANGE / April 2011 Tokyo war crimes trials as a law instructor at West Point in the late 1940s and had been deeply impressed by the movie Judgment at Nuremberg. 15. Id., 905–908. 16. Id., 908–915. 17. Id., 922–923. 18. United States v. Moore, 58 M.J. 466, 2003 CAAF LEXIS 694 (2003), quoting Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 743, 758 (1974). 19. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601-3.html (emphasis added). 20. The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (Washington D.C.: September 2002), 5 (emphasis added). 21. Carl Sandburg, The People, Yes (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1936), 43. Someday They’ll Have a War and Nobody Will Come 171 Copyright of Peace & Change is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

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One of the most beneficial exercises in a course exploring ethics is to develop a paper that allows you the opportunity to create connections between your personal view of ethics and the theory under discussion
PART A. Read and mark Stanley Fish’s “Say It Ain’t So”(on Blackboard; download and print)

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