Stephen Zunes : Nonviolent Action
During the McCarthy era of the 1950s, in what became known as “guilt by association,” simply being friends with someone suspected of being a Communist could ruin your career. Today that’s been extended to guilt by spatial proximity, which could appropriately be called the “cooties effect.” If you sit on the same board, have appeared on the same panel, or otherwise have been in close physical proximity to someone deemed undesirable, you therefore must have been infected by their politics or, at minimum, have no problems with things they may have done in their past….
Aminatou Haidar, a nonviolent activist from Western Sahara and a key leader in her nation’s struggle against the 33-year-old U.S.-backed Moroccan occupation of her country, won this year’s Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award….
Gene Sharp, an 80-year-old scholar of strategic nonviolent action and veteran of radical pacifist causes, is under attack by a number of foreign governments that claim that he and his small research institute are key players in a Bush administration plot against them….
There is an infamous line from the Nazi era, which Hermann Goring adapted from a play performed on Hitler’s birthday: “When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun.” By contrast, the people of Estonia, when faced with many guns, reached for their culture….
[Stephen Gowans has written an article, “Stephen Zunes and the Struggle for Overseas Profits.” This is Zunes’ reply.]
Stephen Gowans’ February 18 article, “Stephen Zunes and the Struggle for Overseas Profits,” is filled with demonstrably inaccurate and misleading statements about both me and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), with whom I serve as chair of the board of academic advisors. Below is a 13-point refutation which only begins to challenge the lies and misinformation.
The United States has done for the cause of democracy what the Soviet Union did for the cause of socialism. Not only has the Bush administration given democracy a bad name in much of the world, but its high-profile and highly suspect “democracy promotion” agenda has provided repressive regimes and their apologists an excuse to label any popular pro-democracy movement that challenges them as foreign agents, even when led by independent grassroots nonviolent activists….
While many Western governments argued that the benevolent influence of Western capital would gradually force an end to South Africa’s apartheid system and many on the left argued that liberation would come only through armed revolution, in fact it was largely unarmed resistance by the black majority and its supporters, both within South Africa and abroad.
Some elements of the American left have committed a grievous error, both morally and strategically, in their failure to enthusiastically support the momentous pro-democracy movement in the Ukraine. After more than three centuries of subjugation under Russian rule?first under the czars and then under the communists?followed by a dozen years of independence under corrupt and […]
Though the Bush administration has repeatedly emphasized its desire for democratization and regime change in Iran, there are serious questions regarding how it might try to bring this about. There is, however, little question about the goal of toppling the Islamist government, with the Bush administration threatening war, arming ethnic minorities, and funding opposition groups.
In a country wracked with violence, more than 100,000 Iraqis marched peacefully through the streets of Baghdad on 19 January 2004 demanding direct elections. Shouting ‘No to Saddam!’ and ‘No to America’, the nonviolent throng – many of them linking hands – marched for three miles to the University of al-Mustansariyah where speakers called for […]