VIJAY PRASHAD, vp01 at aub.edu.lb
Edward Said chair at American University in Beirut, Prashad is co-editor of Dispatches from the Arab Spring and author of The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. See his new interview with The Real News in which he argues that a possible missile strike against Syria has been a part of the West’s game plan since 1979 to weaken Iran for its independent path. He also says that U.S. military intervention will increase sectarianism in the region and disrupt fragile peace in Lebanon. Prashad also notes that Obama is not getting UN Security Council approval, just like Bush with the invasion of Iraq and Clinton with the bombing of Yugoslavia.
BASSAM HADDAD, bhaddad at gmu.edu
Haddad is director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University and co-founder of Jadaliyya magazine. He said recently on “Democracy Now!” that the U.S. policy amounted to a “very cynical attempt to do a bloody nose operation, and that will actually prolong the civil war, prolong the depletion of the resources of anything that has to do with Syria, not just the Syrian regime.”
Recently on MSNBC Haddad, in response to allegations that Syria would attack Israel, said: “In the past six years Israel attacked Syria with airplanes, with jet fighters, and Syria did not respond at all. Of course, we all know it is because Israel has a stockpile of nuclear weapons and nuclear warheads. …
“The problem is that we are not ready to actually have these discussions because it will take compromises; compromises that the United States is not willing to make in terms of its support of very problematic dictatorial or racist regimes, like the state of Israel and dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
“This is the problem. We are not willing to budge on other issues, so our bargaining power with Russia or other states is very limited. These are the issues that I think we need to discuss in light of what is happening in the region and in light of us getting it wrong almost every time since we fraudulently attacked and invaded a country in 2003, the country of Iraq, on false premises.” [Video]
Haddad is author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience and co-editor of The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order?