Stephen Zunes : Electoral Politics


Rashid Khalidi: The Republicans’ Latest Smear of Obama
2 November 2008

The smear campaign by John McCain, Sarah Palin and their supporters reached a new low this past week with their attacks on Democratic nominee Barack Obama for his former ties with Palestinian American scholar Rashid Khalidi. This is just one of a series of desperate guilt-by-association tactics by the Republicans to make the staunchly pro-Israel Obama appear to be anti-Israel and may be designed less to harm the Democratic nominee’s chances of election as to limit politically his options for addressing urgent matters of Israeli-Palestinian peace upon becoming president….


Obama’s Missed Opportunity
21 October 2008

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama missed a number of key opportunities during the presidential foreign policy debate on September 26 to challenge the dangerous and reckless foreign policies of Republican nominee John McCain….


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….