INTERVIEW: The Sudanese Ousted a Dictator Last Year—Why Is Washington Still Imposing Sanctions?

INTERVIEW, The Nation March 20,2020 & at Rethinking Foreign Policy: Middle East scholar Stephen Zunes… January 2020, traveled to Sudan to learn about the protest movement that ousted longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir last year. While the military regime Bashir headed is still a powerful force in Sudan, it has been pressed into sharing power with a civilian government in formation. Sudan’s future remains undecided… Sudan is still under strict US sanctions [d]espite now having a moderate, secular, civilian-led government… still listed as a state sponsor of terror. Ironically, the United States spends billions to prop up a military dictatorship in Egypt and sells billions in arms to the Saudis and Emiratis in the Gulf, while a nearby democratic experiment is being punished by sanctions. [FULL LINK]

Interview: Today’s US-Iran Crisis Is Rooted in the Decision to Invade Iraq

Truthout January 20, 2020 also at ScottHorton.org
The ramifications of the illegal, unnecessary and predictably tragic U.S. decision to invade Iraq are still with us. This includes the ongoing crisis with Iran, which brought us perilously close to all-out war in early January, resulted in the tragic downing of a civilian airliner and remains in a hair-trigger situation. [FULL LINK]

Interview: Proof that Soleimani killed hundreds of Americans is “groundless” says Middle East expert

WMNF FM January 10. 2020: The claim that General Soleimani and the Iranian government are somehow responsible for the deaths of “hundreds of Americans” in Iraq—which has been repeated by Republicans, some Democrats and the mainstream media—appears to be groundless, according to Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. His new piece for The Progressive Magazine says there is zero evidence Soleimani killed hundreds of Americans…
Listen here or Download the MP3 audio file..

The Robust Opposition: The Modern History of Israel/Palestine

Video interview with Lauren Steiner, May 19, 2018: While no one can cover the entire conflict comprehensively in an hour, I talk with Stephen Zunes about the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict since the beginning of the Zionist project touching on key points such as the wars of 1948, 1967, the first and second Intifada, the various peace talks, the change in Israel over the years making it harder and harder to achieve peace and how any real solution must be precipitated by American Jews pressuring their elected officials to show more concern for the plight of the Palestinians.

The problem with leftist support for Syria’s Assad regime & How Syria Divides the Left: An Interview With Middle East Scholar Stephen Zunes

Despite his country being in the throes of one of the worst wars of our time, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad unveiled a statue of his late father, Hafez Assad, in Hama, one of the birthplaces of the rebellion against his rule. There is currently a tenuous ceasefire in place between Assad and the rebel groups he is fighting. According to Al Jazeera Assad has made an offer to swap prisoners with the rebels as a gesture of goodwill. [This item’s no longer available.]

Truthout July 10, 2017Interviewed Dr. Zunes
SZ: “Most credible academics and journalists on the left, while varying to some degree in their analyses, generally agree that the Syrian regime is horrifically repressive and not particularly progressive by any measure.    There is also a consensus that the bulk of the armed opposition is dominated by reactionary Salafist extremists and that the largely nonviolent movement that first emerged in 2011 had strong progressive and democratic elements, but has largely been crushed. Further, the United States and other outside powers (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Britain, France, etc.) should not be bombing, sending arms, providing troops or contributing to the carnage in any way….”

Interview: Commentary on the OPCW and the Nobel Peace Prize

Institute for Public Accuracy October 27, 2013
Nobel Prize for OPCW: Examining Both Organizations,
Institute for Public Accuracy October 11, 2013
STEPHEN ZUNES, Professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, wrote the piece “The U.S. and Chemical Weapons: No Leg to Stand On.”

He said today: “Under the Bush administration, the OPCW and its leadership was attacked and undermined because it dared to use inspections rather than unsubstantiated claims to determine the existence of these dangerous arsenals and peaceful means rather than war to eliminate them. Under the five years of tireless leadership under Jose Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, the number of signatories of the treaty grew from 87 to 145 nations, the fastest growth rate of any international organization in recent decades, and his inspectors oversaw the destruction of two million chemical weapons, constituting two-thirds of the world’s chemical weapons facilities. However, because he insisted that the OPCW inspect U.S. chemical weapons facilities with the same vigor it did for other countries and his efforts to get Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and open their facilities to surprise inspections would undermine U.S. claims that Iraq was still developing them, the Bush administration successfully forced his removal…

“The subsequent OPCW leadership has been far weaker and more averse to challenging great power prerogatives, as indicated by the fact that they are currently in the process of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal while the vast stockpiles belonging to U.S. allies Israel and Egypt remain intact. Nevertheless, the fact that the OPCW exists made it possible to avoid a U.S. attack on Syria and the likely disastrous consequences that would have resulted.”

Interview: What should be the US’s next step in Syria? (89.3 KPCC, National Public Radio Los Angeles audio)

KPCC (NPR) LAist AirTalk August 27, 2013
In a statement yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry called the use of chemical weapons in Syria “a moral obscenity” that demands action from the U.S. Now the question is what action the U.S. will take against Syria for crossing the “red line” President Obama outlined against the use of chemical weapons?

Interview: Scope of Syrian War Widens Following Deadly Israeli Strikes on Damascus (audio)

Free Speech Radio News May 6, 2013

Scope of Syrian war widens following deadly Israeli strikes on Damascus Israeli airstrikes hit Damascus Sunday and late last week. According to a Syrian doctor quoted in the New York Times, at least 100 Syrian soldiers were killed in Sunday’s attack. Also today, a UN human rights commission investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria said that it had “no conclusive findings” on whether the regime of Bashar al Assad or opposition forces had used chemical weapons. The panel is scheduled to release its findings next month. For more on some of these developments, we’re joined by Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. Read Stephen Zunes’ article, “The US Has No Credibility Dealing With Chemical Weapons” and “The U.S. and Chemical Weapons: No Leg to Stand On.”