Without Honor
ARNOLD R. ISAACS

~ musings, rants, life stories, and publications ~

Arnold R. Isaacs


Arnold R. Isaacs is a writer, educator, and the author of two books relating to the Vietnam war, Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia and Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy. He has also written From Troubled Lands: Listening to Pakistani and Afghan Americans in Post-9/11 America, available online at www.fromtroubledlands.net.
He was formerly a reporter, foreign and national correspondent, and editor for the Baltimore Sun. During six years as the Sun's correspondent in Asia, beside covering the closing years of the Vietnam war, he traveled throughout Southeast and South Asia. Since leaving daily journalism he has taught or conducted training programs for journalists and journalism students in more than 20 countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and has written studies for the Critical Incident Analysis Group and the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis on subjects including the Virginia Tech shooting, displacement after Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and other events that challenged American society and its institutions.

RECENT WRITINGS:

2018

A remembrance of John McCain

Real Facts About the Islamophobes' False Facts

Review of 1947: Where Now Begins, by Elisabeth Åsbrink,

In America, anti-Muslim bigotry is more acceptable than other prejudices

In Present Wars, Repeating Past Mistakes -- Reading about Iraq and Afghanistan, Remembering Vietnam

Review of The Violent American Century -- War and Terror Since World War II, by John W. Dower

Excerpts from Frederick Douglass's last published essay before his death in 1895, "Why Is the Negro Lynched?" These quotes were prepared for a program on Douglass's bicentennial, organized by the local chapter of the Fulbright Association. The essay gives a remarkable view of the post-Reconstruction era, which restored white supremacy rule in the South and largely nullified the emancipation -- a period in America's racial history that is usually overlooked in our customary celebratory narrative. The full text is available online.

Podcast interview 3/15: "calling out BS" about immigration and terrorism (ARI segment begins at minute 17:00; follows an earlier segment on a college course called -- really! -- "Calling Out Bullshit," which is worth a listen too)

Using Fake Facts to Make Us Afraid: On Immigration and Terrorism, the Trump Administration Misleads About Its Own Misleading Data

Review of The Ghosts of Langley: Into the CIA’s Heart of Darkness, by John Prados

 

2017

Fact-checking the Pentagon's misleading Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration website

A video accompanying "Remembering Vietnam"
I am one of several talking heads appearing in this video, which accompanies an exhibition of Vietnam war documents at the U.S. National Archives in Washington (third of three segments, arranged chronologically; this one covers the years 1970-1975)

Review of Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts, by Harlan K. Ullman

Review of Bringing Vincent Home, a very unusual Vietnam war novel by Madeleine Mysko

"Facts About the Vietnam War," 5-part series in advance of Ken Burns-Lynn Novick Vietnam documentary: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V

Podcast interview, 9/7: separating myth from facts about the Vietnam War

Review of A Rift in the Earth, by James Reston Jr., on the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

In shaping Trump's immigration policies, Jeff Sessions misrepresented his own data on refugees and terrorism

Lies have power even when we know they're lies

Remembering a long-ago encounter with John McCain -- reprise (originally published in 2000)

Podcast interview 7/24: telling the truth in the Trump era, and whom do you trust on the facts? (go to minute 30:55)

The Real Danger of Fake News

Are David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt (Planned Parenthood sting videotapers) really journalists?

Review of Generation Revolution, by Rachel Aspden

Podcast interview 3/7: more perspective on American fears of terrorism and the roots of Islamophobia (go to minute 22:25)

Fact Sheet 1: Refugees and the Risk of Terrorism

Fact Sheet 2: Real Facts About Islamophobia Fake Facts

Podcast interview 2/24: Trump's fear-mongering on refugees (go to minute 7:00)

How scared should we be of refugees? Jeff Sessions claimed to make the case, but didn't.

Podcast interview 1/31: Trump's travel ban, false fear of refugees, and anti-Muslim hysteria (go to minute 21:20)

Are We Safer Yet? Part 1: Some facts on refugees and terrorism -- an imaginary danger

Are We Safer Yet? Part 2: Islamophobic influence in Trump's White House and why it is dangerous

Review of A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA, by Joshua Kurlantzick

Review of Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, by John Nixon


2016

Review of Retire the Colors: Veterans & Civilians on Iraq and Afghanistan, Dario DiBattista, ed.

Remembering two friends whose lives were upended by the Vietnam war

Is Islamophobia a blind spot in American journalism?

A look back at the reporting of Vietnam

Review of Children of Paradise, by Laura Secor

Review of McNamara's Folly, by Hamilton Gregory

Donald Trump's call to bar Muslims from entering the country got all the attention, but an even uglier thread of anti-Muslim bigotry exists inside Ted Cruz's campaign

2015

Who lost the Vietnam war? Forty years after the event, the facts on that question have been increasingly challenged by a series of myths (first of a four-part series)


CICERO ARCHIVE: Writings originally in Cicero Magazine.com

 

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last edited 9/2/2018


Vietnam Shadows
From Troubled Lands