On The Monitor this week:
- Repression and Politics in Egypt – An interview with Stephen Zunes
- Why oil drilling in Ecuador is ‘ticking time bomb’ for planet – An interview with Antonia Juhasz
More about this week’s guests:
Dr. Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as coordinator of the program in Middle Eastern Studies. Recognized as one the country’s leading scholars of U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic nonviolent action, Professor Zunes 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, a contributing editor of Tikkun, and co-chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.
He is the author of scores of articles for scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, strategic nonviolent action, and human rights. He is the principal editor of Nonviolent Social Movements (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), the author of the highly-acclaimed Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003) and co-author (with Jacob Mundy) of Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution (Syracuse University Press, 2010.)
We talk about his three most recent articles on events in Egypt:
- Repression, paranoia increases in Egypt
- Egyptian Junta Claims U.S. Conspiracy While Accepting U.S. Support
- How to discredit your democratic opponents in Egypt
Antonia Juhasz, an energy and oil industry analyst, is the author of several books, including “Black Tide” and “The Tyranny of Oil.” Juhasz received a Levinson Family Foundation grant in 2013 to support ongoing work in investigative journalism in the oil and energy sectors. Juhasz was a 2012-2013 Investigative Journalism Fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. She investigated the role of oil and natural gas in the Afghanistan war. Juhasz recently completed work for The Nation magazine with funding provided by The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. Her work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Harper’s Magazine, and The Atlantic’s website.
Her recent article Why oil drilling in Ecuador is ‘ticking time bomb’ for planet states: “Experts believe that in order to avoid the worst of a future climate change catastrophe, most of the planet’s fossil fuels must be left in the ground. Ecuador’s ambitious Yasuni-ITT Initiative, launched in 2007, was hailed as a landmark plan to keep oil exploration out of one of the most biologically diverse places left on earth and to preserve the homes of indigenous tribes living there. But Ecuador abandoned the plan last year, and drilling could now begin any time. In November I traveled to the Yasuni National Park in northeastern Ecuador, marveling at its beauty and the richness of the lives of those who live there. But the once global struggle to secure the Yasuni-ITT Initiative has now largely fallen on the shoulders of a few indigenous tribal communities who have pledged to fight, some to the death, to keep oil companies out of their communities and their oil in the ground.
“Will the world back them up? It is a question with significance far beyond Yasuni National Park. The age of ‘easy oil,’ if it ever existed, is over. What is left is in places like the Yasuni, previously deemed too sensitive, valuable, or risky to drill. The cost to both the planet and local people of pursuing such oil grows in tandem with the difficulty of extracting it. The Yasuni presents a critical opportunity to demonstrate that a different path is possible, though fortunately it is not the only place where the effort to leave our ‘oil in the soil’ has taken root.
“Across the U.S. and world, communities are voting to ban oil and natural gas development. These efforts come from a growing realization that we are all now ultimately on the front lines of the battle over what is to be done with the world’s remaining fossil fuels.”