Stephen Zunes


Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, discusses how the Libyan War spilled over to Mali and destabilized West Africa’s most enduring democracy; the Al-Qaeda associated Islamic militants that swarmed into Mali and desecrated a UNESCO World Heritage holy site; the US-trained African military officers who will probably be among the next generation of dictators; the double-standard of international law, where US allies are exempt from UNSC resolutions and enemies must comply or get regime-changed; how legitimate political uprisings are corrupted by foreign aid; and why picking sides in Syria is difficult for proponents of both individual liberty and anti-intervention.

MP3 here. (26:15)

Dr. Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies. A native of North Carolina, Professor Zunes received his PhD. from Cornell University, his M.A. from Temple University and his B.A. from Oberlin College. He has previously served on the faculty of Ithaca College, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College. He serves as a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, and chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

7 thoughts on “Stephen Zunes”

  1. Democracy — the ultimate conclusion of human slavery

    Stephen Zunes
    “Dictatorships overthrown by non-violent protests tend to evolve into stable democracies in a few years.

    Whereas, dictatorships overthrown by armed struggles end up being leader dictatorships, or involved in factional fighting, and or become puppets of foreign benefactors.”

    Above logic being true and correct, if Mali was “about the best democracy in Africa,” why was it overthrown by a minority of the military without hardly a shot being fired?

    Because if society is so dysfunctional that it needs to give the state a monopoly on the use of force and violence in order to keep the people civil, then democracy can be of benefit only to the 51% most wealthy, as such a voter monopoly will surely enslave and impoverish the entire lower half of society.

  2. “Where have all the young men gone, long time passing? Where have all the young men gone long time ago? Gone to solder everyone, when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.”

    To accomplish something of value for society a civil war should be between classes, namely the rich and the poor, but they never are. For a nation at war within itself invariably has both sides being led by men of the educated upper half of society with all the wealth, while virtually all of the bleeding and dying is done by men of the uneducated lower half with all the debt.

    General Patton
    “Americans love war, we love a good fight”

    A high achievers paradise is war, for the spoils of war go only to those who rationalize problems the fastest and take corrective action the soonest. What our midnight kill squads are all about, Special Forces being the exceptional men of the high end of the educated middle-class.

  3. Goodbye to the 53 ZoO state of amr-I-can 50U$+israel+japan+gulfaramco(saudi-bahUAEQatOman) AND welcome to Abu_Baker Quranic State(falastine-jorhijazyemen)

  4. War, Peace and Empire

    War is the result of aggressors striving to enrich themselves upon the misery of another, to take all they can take.

    Whereas, peace is the result of benefactors striving to enrich themselves upon the enrichment of another, to give all they can give.

    Whereas, Empire is the result of benevolent aggressors fooling their victims with an illusion of enrichment, until a barbed hook called IMF starts inflicting the misery of austerity.

  5. I don't claim to know much about Mali, and I don't have the academic credentials of Stephen Zunes', but his narrative just didn't ring true. His story was that until Qaddafi was overthrown, Mali was this model of democracy, and the people were happy. Later, when speaking about the military coup that overthrew it, he mentioned that by the way, well, the president wasn't popular anymore because he had been corrupt. So which is it?

    If you look up Mali, you'll see that it is very poor, with a life expectancy of around 50 years, one of the highest rates of infant mortality, its health and development indicators among the worst in the world – and as Dr. Zunes himself admitted later, the 'democratic' government was corrupt. Yet because it was a so-called 'democracy', he described it as a 'model' country?

    For a guy with so many academic credentials, his interview was disappointing. When Scott asked him how many people had been killed, or any other details, he had no idea…

    And I'm sorry, but I can't take someone seriously as an expert on the Middle East when he can't pronounce 'Salafi' (SELL-uh-fee), a name which has been in common usage for at least 20 years, and which anyone familiar with Arabc would know cant be pronounced 'Sal-AF-fee'.

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