Follow this link to hear me and Stephen Zunes discussing the situation in Syria on China Radio International. (Due to a timezone confusion, I was asleep until two minutes before this hour-long broadcast, which took place between 3 and 4 in the morning, my time.)
By Michael Barker
“[A]nti Zionism may be a ‘fool’s anti-imperialism,’ where Jewish nationalism itself is erroneously seen as the problem rather than the alliance its leaders have made with exploitative Western interests.”
—Stephen Zunes, 2006.1
Who is Stephen Zunes? Well according to his web-site, he is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, who in 2002 won recognition from the Peace and Justice Studies Association as Peace Scholar of the Year. Although Zunes describes himself as a committed peace loving, anti-imperialist activist, by reviewing just one of his books this article will demonstrate that in actual fact his scholarly actions belie such intent. The book in question is Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Zed Books, 2003), a popular text that received glowing accolades from Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Richard Falk, and Saul Landau (amongst others). This essay will illustrate how Zunes’ proclivity for defending Zionism ultimately leads hims to promote a “fool’s anti-imperialism.”
That is not to say that Zunes is uncritical of U.S. foreign policy, far from it, just that his work serves as a smokescreen for understanding the real drivers of U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis the Middle East.