Stephen Zunes : Obama Foreign Policy

Despite Horrific Repression, the U.S. Should Stay Out of Syria
15 May 2013

Dr. Stephen Zunes talks about why there is nothing the U.S. can do about the Syrian situation

Hillary Clinton’s Legacy as Secretary of State
7 February 2013

Hillary Clinton leaves her position as Secretary of State with a legacy of supporting autocratic regimes and occupation armies, opposing enforcement of international humanitarian law, undermining arms control and defending military solutions to complex political problems. She was appointed to her position following eight years in the US Senate, during which she became an outspoken supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, lied about Iraq’s military capabilities to frighten the public into supporting the illegal war, unleashed repeated attacks against the United Nations, opposed restrictions on land mines and cluster bombs, defended war crimes by allied right-wing governments and largely embraced Bush’s unilateralist agenda.

The Case Against Kerry
3 January 2013

President Obama’s selection of John Kerry as the next secretary of state sends the wrong signal to America’s allies and adversaries alike. Kerry’s record in the United States Senate, where he currently chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, has included spurious attacks on the International Court of Justice, unqualified defense of Israeli occupation policies and human rights violations, and support for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, thereby raising serious questions about his commitment to international law and treaty obligations. Furthermore, his false claims about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” and his repeated denials of well-documented human rights abuses by allied governments raise serious questions about his credibility.

US policy on Gaza crisis rife with contradiction
19 December 2012

The Obama administration’s reaction to last month’s Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip is emblematic of the contradictions in its foreign policy seen throughout its first term.

Susan Rice Would Have Been a Bad Secretary of State Anyway
17 December 2012

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice’s announcement that she would withdraw her name from consideration to be the next secretary of state is a mixed blessing.

U.S. policy at U.N. hurts prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace
7 December 2012

Up until the mid-20th century, Western attitudes regarding national freedom was that the independence of white Western nations was a given, but independence for nonwhite, non-Western nations could only be under conditions granted by the occupying powers.

Obama to Aid Uzbek Dictatorship
9 November 2011

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, in a move initiated by the Obama administration, has voted to waive Bush-era human rights restrictions on military aid to the Islam Karimov dictatorship in Uzbekistan, one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the planet. The lifting of the restrictions, now part of the Foreign Operations bill, is before the full Senate and appears to have bipartisan support. The Obama administration has indicated that it intends to provide taxpayer-funded military assistance to Uzbekistan once the legislation passes both houses of Congress.

Obama’s Mideast Speech: Two Steps Back, One Step Forward
22 May 2011

Although President Barack Obama’s May 19 address on U.S. Middle East policy had a number of positive elements, overall it was a major disappointment. His speech served as yet another reminder that his administration’s approach to the region differs in several important ways from that of his immediate predecessor, but he failed to consistently assert principled U.S. support for human rights, democracy, or international law.

Mitchell’s Inevitable Resignation
16 May 2011

At age 77, George Mitchell’s resignation as President Barack Obama’s envoy on Arab-Israeli affairs may have indeed been for personal reasons, as he claimed. More likely, however, it came out of frustration at the Obama administration’s failure to pressure the right-wing Israeli government to make the necessary compromises for peace.

Obama’s Veto on Israeli Settlements Demonstrates Contempt for International Humanitarian Law
21 March 2011

The US veto of a mildly worded United Nations Security Council resolution supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and reiterating the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied territories leaves little doubt that, in certain critical respects, President Barack Obama shares his predecessor’s contempt for international law. All fourteen of the other members of the Security Council voted for the resolution — which was cosponsored by a nearly unprecedented majority of UN members — not only situating the United States as an extreme outlier in the international community, but placing President Obama to the right of the conservative governments of Great Britain and France.