Archive for March, 2009


Video interview: A New Political Moment for Empire (video)
24 March 2009

Institute on Foreign Policy

John Feffer of Foreign Policy In Focus interviews professor Stephen Zunes about the role of the U.S. in the world under the Obama administration. Will the U.S. empire roll back or continue on?


The Budget’s Foreign Policy Handcuffs
20 March 2009

Hopes that a Democratic administration with an expanded Democratic congressional majority might lead to a more ethical, rational, and progressive foreign policy were challenged with last week’s passage of the 2009 omnibus budget bill, which included many troubling provisions regarding the State Department and related diplomatic functions. In the House of Representatives, all but two […]


The U.S. and Afghan Tragedy
18 March 2009

One of the first difficult foreign policy decisions of the Obama administration will be what the United States should do about Afghanistan. Escalating the war, as National Security Advisor Jim Jones has been encouraging, will likely make matters worse. At the same time, simply abandoning the country — as the United States did after the overthrow of Afghanistan’s Communist government soon after the Soviet withdrawal 20 years ago — would lead to another set of serious problems….


Neocons 1, Obama 0
16 March 2009

The Obama administration’s choice to head the National Intelligence Council (NIC) recently withdrew in face of a concerted right-wing attack. Veteran diplomat Chas Freeman would not have had to face Senate confirmation. Instead, he had to face attacks in the right-wing press and blogosphere. His withdrawal was a victory for Bush-era neoconservatives and their allies regarding intelligence and broader Middle East Policy.


Presentation: Nonviolent Action in the Islamic World
11 March 2009

Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, discusses the long history of strategic nonviolent action throughout the Islamic world, in the Middle East and beyond. Based in part on the social contract implied in Islamic teachings which advocate the withdrawal of obedience from unjust authority, nonviolent civil insurrections have played a major role in the struggle for freedom and human rights for more than a century. Dr. Zunes, looks at case studies from Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Mali, Western Sahara, Indonesia, Pakistan, and others.


Obama and Israel’s Military: Still Arm-in-Arm
4 March 2009

In the wake of Israel’s massive assault on heavily populated civilian areas of the Gaza Strip earlier this year, Amnesty International called for the United States to suspend military aid to Israel on human rights grounds. Amnesty has also called for the United Nations to impose a mandatory arms embargo on both Hamas and the Israeli government. Unfortunately, it appears that President Barack Obama won’t be heeding Amnesty’s call….