Stephen Zunes : Democratic Party Foreign Policy


Netanyahu’s Speech and Congressional Democrats’ Embrace of Extremism
3 June 2011

As Israeli opposition parties, peace and human rights activists, and editorialists denounced their prime minister’s intransigence in the face of President Barack Obama’s peace initiative, Congressional Democrats here in the United States have instead joined their Republican counterparts in lining up to support the right-wing Israeli leader’s defiance. As Benyamin Netanyahu arrogantly rejected Obama’s modest parameters for a peace settlement in a May 20 speech before a joint session of Congress – a rare honor for a foreign leader – Democrats joined Republicans in giving him no less than 29 standing ovations, more than were given to Obama during his State of the Union Speech earlier this year.


The United States and the Prospects for Democracy in Islamic Countries
27 January 2011

The unarmed insurrection that overthrew the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia and the ongoing uprising in Egypt have opened up debate regarding prospects for democratization in Arab and other predominately Muslim countries. Many in the West are familiar with the way unarmed pro-democracy insurrections have helped bring democracy to Eastern Europe, Latin America, and parts […]


Democrats Push Through Yet Another Anti-Palestinian Resolution
19 December 2010

Though outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has insisted that there just isn’t enough time for the lame duck Democratic-controlled Congress to consider much of the progressive legislation on the docket prior to the Republican takeover early next month, she and other Democratic leaders did find time last Wednesday to pass a resolution condemning efforts by Palestinian moderates to seek recognition of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.


Richard Holbrooke Represented the Worst Side of the Foreign Policy Establishment
15 December 2010

The many accolades coming out following the sudden death on Monday of veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke and his death bed conversion in opposing the Iraq war have overshadowed his rather sordid history of supporting dictators, war criminals and military solutions to complex political problems.


A “Progressive Hero?” Time to Think Outside of the Boxer
20 October 2010

The failure of progressives to make major inroads in electoral politics in the United States today could not be better illustrated than a recent decision by Democracy for America, a million-member political action committee founded by former Vermont governor Howard Dean which claims leadership in the support for progressive candidates for office, regarding a veteran U.S. senator facing reelection in November.


Congress Defends Murder of American Peace Activist and Other War Crimes
11 October 2010

Despite revelations from a detailed investigation by a special commission of the United Nations Human Rights Council confirming that Israel committed war crimes, the overwhelming majority of both Republican and Democratic members of Congress remain on record defending the Israeli attack as legitimate self-defense. This is particularly striking given evidence presented in the report that five of the nine people killed, including a 19-year-old US citizen, were murdered – shot execution-style by Israeli commandos.


Senate Again Undermines Obama’s Middle-East Peace Efforts
4 October 2010

Once again, as President Barack Obama began pressuring the right-wing Israeli government to freeze the expansion of its illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, leading Congressional Democrats have joined in with Republicans to try to stop him.


Iraq: The Democrats’ War
10 September 2010

The ongoing presence of over 50,000 US troops, many thousands of civilian employees and tens of thousands of US-backed mercenaries raises serious questions over the significance of the partial withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. The August 31 deadline marking the “end of US combat operations in Iraq” is not as real or significant a milestone as President Obama implied in his speech. Indeed, hearing for the umpteenth time that the US has “turned a corner” in Iraq, it makes one think that the country must be some kind of dodecahedron.


The Other Oil Spill
8 September 2010

Leading congressional Democrats are outraged at British Petroleum and others responsible for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But that stands in sharp contrast to their outspoken support of those responsible for a major oil spill in the eastern Mediterranean in 2006, the largest in that region’s history.


Harry Reid’s Anti-Islamic Agenda
1 September 2010

The moral bankruptcy of the Democratic Party could not be any more evident than in its continued support for Nevada Sen. Harry Reid as majority leader despite his decision to join the bigoted and Islamophobic campaign against the Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center in New York, arguing that it “should be built somewhere else.”