Stephen Zunes : Iraq


Why We Should Transfer the Administration of Iraq to the United Nations: Four Theses
31 July 2003

The invasion and occupation of Iraq posed new challenges to peace and justice activists. The growing credibility crisis of the Bush administration with respect to Iraq, as well as the ongoing crisis on the ground in Iraq, provides us with new opportunities. Below I present four theses on one campaign that could use these opportunities in a creative way: a campaign to turn the administration of Iraq over to the United Nations.


The U.S. and Post-War Iraq: An Analysis
1 May 2003

There has been a disturbing degree of triumphalism following the overthrow–perhaps “evaporation” is a better word–of Saddam Hussein’s regime in the face of invading American forces. Even putting aside the appropriateness of this kind of gloating in the face of such death and destruction–including thousands of civilian casualties–it is striking that few people are asking whether the U.S. or the rest of the world is safer now as a result of this overwhelming American military victory.


President Bush’s February 26 Speech on the Future of Iraq: A Critique
8 March 2003

Considerable attention has been given to President George W. Bush’s February 26 speech before the right-wing American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC outlining his vision of the Middle East in the aftermath of a possible U.S. invasion of Iraq. The speech was broadcast live over national radio and television and given widespread coverage in the print media, yet few critical voices questioning the major points raised in this sanctimonious and highly misleading address were given the opportunity to offer commentary.


Addressing Iraqi Repression and the Need for a Change of Regime
30 January 2003

As the administration’s rationales for invading Iraq–such as Baghdad’s alleged ties to al Qaeda and claims of an imminent nuclear threat–have crumbled under closer scrutiny, the administration and its allies in Congress and the media are increasingly emphasizing a point that cannot be disputed: the repressive nature of the Iraqi regime….


A US Invasion of Iraq Can Be Stopped
15 January 2003

Despite increased preparation for war, there is a growing perception that a U.S. invasion of Iraq can be stopped.

There is little question that were it not for the anti-war movement, the United States would have gone to war against Iraq already. It was the strength of opposition to plans for a unilateral U.S. invasion that forced the Bush Administration to go to the UN in the first place. So far, Iraqi compliance with the United Nations weapons inspectors has made it extremely difficult for the administration to proceed with its war plans.


The Abuse of the No-Fly Zones as an Excuse for War
1 December 2002

With the apparent willingness of the Iraqi government to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors, the Bush administration and its congressional supporters of both parties seem determined to find an excuse–any excuse–to invade this oil-rich country and replace the current regime with one more to its own liking. This eagerness to wage war could not be more apparent than in recent claims out of Washington that Iraq firing upon British and American aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq constitutes a “material breach” of UN Security Council resolutions that could justify a U.S. invasion.


UN Resolution Does Not Authorize US To Use Force Against Iraq
14 November 2002

Despite successfully pushing the U.N. Security Council to toughen further its already strict inspections regime against Iraq, the Bush administration appears ready to engage in unilateral military action. “If the Security Council fails to act decisively in the event of further Iraqi violations, this resolution does not constrain any member state from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq or to enforce relevant United Nations resolutions,” U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte claimed immediately after last Friday’s vote.


It’s Iraq, Stupid!
7 November 2002

This should have been the Democrats’ year.

The country is still mired in recession. Polls consistently have shown that the Republicans’ positions on such basic policy issues as the environment and the economy are decidedly unpopular. The connection of top administration officials with scandal-plagued corporations provided ample opportunities for a populist message against corruption and in support of economic justice.


Zunes Debates U.S. Policy Toward Iraq (video)
22 October 2002

Georgetown University

The exchange between Dr. Stephen Zunes and Mark Lance explores “policy toward Iraq and whether the U.S. should engage in military action to remove Saddam Hussein?” as well as “Iraqi weapons capability, stability in the Middle East, and building an international coalition to take action against Iraq.”


President Bush Fails to Make His Case
8 October 2002

Given what is at stake, one would have thought that the administration would have made a stronger case for going to war than President George W. Bush did on Monday evening.

The weakness of the administration’s position is apparent in its insistence of repeating stories of Iraqi atrocities from more than 10 to 20 years ago, such as its support for international terrorist groups like Abu Nidal and its use of chemical weapons. It was during this period when the United States was quietly supporting the Iraqi regime, covering up reports of its use of chemical weapons and even providing intelligence for Iraqi forces that used such weapons against Iranian troops. Though the 1980s marked the peak of Iraq’s support for terrorist groups, the U.S. government actually dropped Iraq from its list of states sponsoring terrorism because of its own ties to the Iraqi war effort.