Stephen Zunes : Electoral Politics


The Republicans Embrace the Cootie Effect
20 October 2008

Back in the 1950s, at the height of the McCarthy era, simply being friends with someone suspected of being a Communist could ruin your career. It became known as “guilt by association.” During this year’s presidential campaign, however, it’s been extended to guilt by spatial proximity, which could appropriately be called the “cootie effect.”


Evaluating the Democratic Party Platform
7 October 2008

The excitement over the nomination of Barack Obama as the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party has been tempered by some key foreign policy planks in the 2008 platform, particularly those relating to the greater Middle East region. These positions appear to run counter to Obama’s pledge early in the primary race to end the mindset that led to the Iraq War…


What the Prospective VPs Got Wrong
3 October 2008

The October 3 debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden was disturbing for those of us hoping for a more enlightened and honest foreign policy during the next four years. In its aftermath, pundits mainly focused on Palin’s failure to self-destruct and Biden’s relatively cogent arguments. Here’s an annotation of the foreign policy issues raised during the vice-presidential debate, which was packed with demonstrably false and misleading statements….


The VP Debate: Dishonest Foreign Policies
3 October 2008

The October 3 debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden was disturbing for those of us hoping for a more enlightened and honest foreign policy during the next four years. In its aftermath, pundits mainly focused on Palin’s failure to self-destruct and Biden’s relatively cogent arguments. Here’s an annotation of the foreign policy issues raised during the vice-presidential debate, which was packed with demonstrably false and misleading statements….


Biden’s Foreign Policy ‘Experience’
23 September 2008

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s choice of Joseph Biden as his running mate has drawn sharp criticism from many Democrats as a result of the Delaware senator’s support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, his flagrantly false claims about the alleged Iraqi threat, and the abuse of his position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to suppress antiwar testimony before Congress prior to the invasion.


Assessing the Republican Party Platform
15 September 2008

Among the more frightening aspects of the platform is its unconstitutional assertion that the president has sole prerogative to make decisions on matters of war, rejecting any role for Congressional “interference” in foreign policy matters. This appears to be a pre-emptive assertion by the Republican Party that, in the event of a John McCain win in November, they would reject any attempt by the likely Democratic-controlled Congress to impose any checks and balances to prevent a possible war on Iran or other dangerous executive initiatives.


Biden, Iraq, and Obama’s Betrayal
24 August 2008

Incipient Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s selection of Joseph Biden as his running mate constitutes a stunning betrayal of the anti-war constituency who made possible his hard-fought victory in the Democratic primaries and caucuses.


The Democrats’ Twisted Morality
18 August 2008

Revelations of an extra-marital affair two years ago by former North Carolina senator John Edwards has led the Democratic Party to not only reject the possibility of him running again for vice-president but to rule out allowing him to give his widely-anticipated address before the national convention. According to former Democratic National Committee chair Don Fowler, Edwards no longer meets the “high moral standards” expected of those given such a prominent role in the party’s quadrennial gathering….


Why Obama Won
18 June 2008

Barack Obama has won the race for the Democratic nomination for president against Hillary Clinton on the issues. Sort of. This is not what the pundits will tell you: they would rather focus upon the most superficial and trivial aspects of the two final candidates’ style, personality, associates, personal history, and campaign organization and strategy, not to mention race and gender….


Clinton’s GWU Iraq Speech
25 March 2008

On March 17, New York Senator and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton gave a speech at George Washington University outlining her plans to de-escalate U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Though she called for the gradual withdrawal of U.S. combat brigades over the next several years, she continued to refuse to apologize for her 2002 vote authorizing the invasion, to acknowledge the illegality of the war, or to fully explain her false claims made at that time regarding Iraq’s military capabilities and alleged ties to al-Qaeda. Nor was she able to offer an explanation as to what led to her dramatic shift from a supporter of the ongoing war and occupation as recently as a year and a half ago to her current more critical perspective.