Interview: To the Brink of War with No Upside

WhoWhatWhy.org Podcast, January 17, 2020:
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Middle East scholar Stephen Zunes debunks the Trump administration’s changing rationale for assassinating Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s response, and the risk of war. Among his intriguing claims:

  • Too little is said about Democrats’ role  in the hostilities
  • The exact same beefs the US has with Iran apply equally to many American allies
  • Evidence does not support Trump’s key assertions about the Iranian general whose death he ordered.

In Trump’s America, who’s protesting and why?

Washington Post April 24, 2017
   For March 2017, we tallied 585 protests, demonstrations, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that 79,389 to 89,585 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely that there were far more participants.
   Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that occurred. This is particularly true of the “A Day Without a Woman” strikes on March 8. It’s virtually impossible to record an accurate tally of participants for strikes, in part because many people deliberately conceal their motivations for skipping out on work or school when they participate. Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States (For our counting methods, please see our first post in the series.)

The United States and Israel: An Alliance or a Protection Racket

Tikkun May 17, 2017
   Given the centuries of persecution against the Jewish people, threats by Arab neighbors to Israel’s very survival in the early days of its independence, and decades of terrorist attacks by Palestinian extremists against Israeli civilians, it has been understandably difficult for many Israelis to recognize the willingness of the Palestine Authority (PA) to make peace.
   As the principal mediator in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, one would think that the United States would be eager to underscore the Authority’s willingness to accept Israeli control of 78 percent of historic Palestine, allow for Israeli annexation of most of the major settlement blocs in the West Bank in exchange for an equivalent amount of land recognized as part of Israel, and the implantation of strict security guarantees, including the demilitarization of a Palestinian state, the disarming of Hamas and other militias, and the deployment of Israeli monitors and international peacekeeping forces.
   Unfortunately, the U.S. government and leading American political figures have done just the opposite