Stephen Zunes : Democratic Party Foreign Policy


Obama’s Escalation in Syria
5 November 2015

President Obama’s announcement that he would send up to 50 U.S. Special Forces to “train, advise and assist” armed militia fighting forces of the so-called “Islamic State” in Syria marks an escalation in U.S. military involvement in that country.


Bipartisan Attacks Against Anti-occupation Divestment Campaigns
14 September 2015

In April, the student senate at Earlham College, a Quaker liberal arts institution in Indiana, approved a resolution by consensus recommending the college endowment divest from three U.S. companies (Motorola, Hewlett Packard and Caterpillar) which are directly supporting the Israeli occupation in violation of international law. The resolution (thus far ignored by the college’s board of trustees) follows decisions by a number of Quaker-affiliated organizations — as well as the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, and other nonprofit groups — to divest from these companies…


Hillary Clinton, phosphates, and the Western Sahara
20 June 2015

For more than a half-century, a series of United Nations resolutions and rulings by the International Court of Justice have underscored the rights of inhabitants of countries under colonial rule or foreign military occupation. Among these is the right to “freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources,” which “must be based on the principles of equality and of the right of peoples and nations to self-determination.”


Hardliners on All Sides Undermining Iran’s Nuclear Talks
5 April 2015

Reaching an interim nuclear deal with Iran would have been difficult enough even without hardliners in both Iran and the United States seeking to undermine them.


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.


Democrats Share the Blame for Tragedy of Iraq War
17 March 2013

Here on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, it is important to remember that it was not just those in the Bush White House who were responsible for the tragedy, but leading members of Congress as well, some of whom are now in senior positions in the Obama administration. The 4,500 Americans killed, the far larger number permanently wounded, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and millions displaced, the trillion dollars of US taxpayers’ money squandered (and the resulting cutbacks through sequestration), the continued costs of the war through veterans’ benefits and interest on the national debt, and the anti-American extremism in reaction to the invasion and occupation which has spread throughout much of the world all could have been avoided if the Democratic-controlled Senate hadn’t voted to authorize this illegal and unnecessary war and occupation.


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.


Democratic Leaders Undermine Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Their Own Procedures
7 September 2012

In a stunning violation of its own rules, the wishes of the majority of delegates at its national convention, and positions taken by the United Nations and virtually every country in the world, the Democratic Party leadership pushed through an amendment to its platform early during its proceedings on Wednesday, with barely half the delegates […]


Progressive Defense of Weiner Overlooks His Right-Wing Foreign Policy
20 June 2011

A surprising number of progressives have been expressing regret at the resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) over the “sexting” scandal, correctly noting how the grossly inflated media coverage has distracted from far more pressing issues, as well as the far worse sins (mostly not involving sex) committed by Republican lawmakers. What is disturbing, however, is the way Weiner is being treated as if he was a leading progressive voice on Capitol Hill despite his decidedly right-wing political agenda, particularly on foreign policy.