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Eva Bartlett Debates Syria with Misinformed US University Prof

By Richard Edmondson | Fig Trees and Vineyards | September 16, 2016

Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett attempts to clarify issues about the Syrian conflict in a debate with two Americans, one of whom, is Stephen Zunes, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco. From his perch in California, Zunes, who seems to have a peculiar facial tic, pompously suggests he knows more about the situation in Syria that does Bartlett, who has filed numerous reports from on the ground inside Syria.

Zunes apparently relies a lot on the mainstream media for his information. For one thing, he believes there are “moderate” rebels. He also asserts that protests held in 2011 at the outset of the conflict were “brutally suppressed by the Assad regime,” and he refers to the democratically elected president of Syria as a “war criminal.” If Zunes is typical of university professors in America, it’s no wonder the country is in such a sad state.

When Bartlett attempts to set the record straight–for instance on the early protests–Zunes basically dismisses everything she has to say.

The other guest on the show, Gareth Porter, is not one of my favorite writers either, but at least he has the grace and good form to concede at one point that Bartlett “knows much more about this than I do.” No such concession is made by the presumptuous and overbearing Mr. Zunes. … More

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , , | Leave a comment

The Arab Spring’s National Security Cheerleaders

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | January 25, 2012

Check out this Middle East Institute publication, “Revolution and Political Transformation in the Middle East,” featuring “The Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action in Arab Revolutions” by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict’s Stephen Zunes; and “People Power: The Real Force Behind the ‘Bad Year for Bad Guys’” co-authored by Srdja Popovic, leader of the National Endowment for Democracy-backed Otpor movement that overthrew Milosevic.

Timed to coincide with the six-month anniversary of the resignation of Mubarak, the Introduction reads:

The first volume of this series, “Agents of Change,” focuses on the groups and individuals who have led the popular uprisings throughout the region. Nine scholars, journalists, and activists remind us of the history behind these movements, demonstrate the effectiveness and importance of nonviolent struggle, explore the use of social media and other tools of mobilization, and investigate the characteristics and motivations of the players in the activist and rebel movements in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

The Middle East Institute’s Board of Governors includes such noted advocates of nonviolent anti-imperial revolution as Anthony C. Zinni, former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM); Richard A. Clarke, former chief counterterrorism adviser on the National Security Council; and William H. Webster, the only American to serve as both Director of Central Intelligence and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In “The Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action in Arab Revolutions,” Prof. Zunes parenthetically reveals his uncanny powers of prediction:

(Indeed, my visits to Egypt and meetings with pro-democracy activists led me to predict in an article posted on the Foreign Policy in Focus web site in early December that “Egypt could very well be where the next unarmed popular pro-democracy insurrection takes place of the kind that brought down Marcos in the Philippines, Milosevic in Serbia and scores of other autocratic regimes in recent decades.”6)

It might be worth keeping an eye on his Institute for Policy Studies-affiliated FPIF column (regularly republished by the supposedly “non-interventionist” Antiwar.com) to see where Zunes “predicts” the next “unarmed popular pro-democracy insurrection” is likely to spontaneously occur.

January 25, 2012 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Arab Spring’s National Security Cheerleaders