Archive for June, 2013


Banned in Phoenix: How the Arizona State Bar Association Considers Analysis of International Law in the Middle East Too Controversial
25 June 2013

This past week, the Arizona State Bar Association (SBA) held its annual convention. It appears that the ban on my participation is still in effect.
It was exactly ten years ago that the session in which an academic paper I was scheduled to present on the application of international law in conflicts in the greater Middle East was abruptly cancelled just two weeks before its scheduled presentation at the 2003 convention. No one in the organization?s leadership could explain anything objectionable in the paper, which they acknowledged they had not actually read, but were apparently convinced by a right-wing campaign that I was ?anti-Israel? and ?anti-American.?


Managing Repression (video)
20 June 2013

NonviolentConflict.org

Dr. Stephen Zunes emphasizes the international impact of repression, specifically how nonviolent responses in the face of brutal repression makes it easier to isolate the oppressive regime, whereas violent resistance, even where seemingly justifiable, could be seen as rationalizing further repression in the name of ?national security? or ?counter-terrorism.? He also addresses the importance of nonviolent discipline in encouraging defections by security forces and divisions within the regime.


Progressives Flock to Ed Markey’s Senate Campaign Despite Hawkish Record
5 June 2013

Democratic Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts is heavily favored to win the June 25 special election to fill the US Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated by John Kerry’s appointment as Secretary of State. Markey’s campaign has received widespread and enthusiastic backing from the progressive community, including endorsements from groups such as Peace Action and Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) which have previously tended to formally endorse only a selected number of candidates who have strong records on peace and human rights.
This nearly unprecedented level of support comes despite the fact that – even though he comes from one of the most liberal states in the country – Markey’s foreign policy record is well to the right of the majority of Democrats, both in Massachusetts and nationally.


The Last Colony: Beyond Dominant Narratives on the Western Sahara Roundtable
3 June 2013

Western Sahara is a sparsely-populated territory about the size of Italy, located on the Atlantic coast in northwestern Africa, just south of Morocco. Traditionally inhabited by nomadic Arab tribes, collectively known as Sahrawis and famous for their long history of resistance to outside domination, the territory was occupied by Spain from the late 1800s through the mid-1970s. With Spain holding onto the territory well over a decade after most African countries had achieved their freedom from European colonialism, the nationalist Polisario Front launched an armed independence struggle against Spain in 1973. This (along with pressure from the United Nations) eventually forced Madrid to promise the people of what was then still known as the Spanish Sahara a referendum on the fate of the territory by the end of 1975. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) heard irredentist claims by Morocco and Mauritania and ruled in October of 1975 that (despite pledges of fealty to the Moroccan sultan back in the nineteenth century by some tribal leaders bordering the territory, and close ethnic ties between some Sahrawi and Mauritanian tribes) the right of self-determination was paramount. A special visiting mission from the United Nations engaged in an investigation of the situation in the territory that same year and reported that the vast majority of Sahrawis supported independence under the leadership of the Polisario, not integration with Morocco or Mauritania.