- June 13, 2011
The Nation - Editors CutVisit the publisher's website
Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) fellow Phyllis Bennis says that the Pentagon and military have been brilliant at spreading military production across virtually every Congressional district so that even the most anti-war members of Congress are reluctant to challenge big Defense projects.
“But there’s really no significant constituency for overseas bases because they don’t bring much money in a concentrated way,” says Bennis. “So in theory it should be easier to mobilize to close them.” What is new and heartening, according to Bennis, is that “there are now people in countries everywhere that are challenging the US bases and that’s a huge development.”
- June 3, 2011
Electronic IntifadaVisit the publisher's website
Earlier in the conference Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, pointed out that the discourse on this highly-charged issue has begun to change in the US. Netanyahu’s address to Congress, which concluded the events of the weekend, shows that challenging AIPAC is more important than ever. Members of US Congress were falling over themselves to demonstrate their enthusiasm and unwavering support for anything that came out of Netanyahu’s mouth.
- June 1, 2011
The Diane Rehm ShowVisit the publisher's website
What I think is much more appropriate is to begin a serious drawdown for a rapid withdrawal of all of the 100,000 U.S. troops, the 90,000 U.S. DOD contractors and the 50,000 NATO troops. This is not a war that's going to be won militarily.
- May 14, 2011
Green Left WeeklyVisit the publisher's website
On the contrary, as anti-war activist Phyllis Bennis pointed out, Obama equated the operation to kill bin Laden and the ongoing “war on terror” with, among other things, the “struggle for equality for all our citizens”.
Bennis wrote in a May 2 Alternet.org article: “In President Obama’s iteration, the global war on terror apparently equals the anti-slavery and civil rights movements.”
- May 13, 2011
Inter Press ServiceVisit the publisher's website
Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, told IPS the unprecedented opportunity for human rights change in the Middle East comes from the courage and creativity of a newly- energised, newly mobilised civil society across the Arab world and beyond.
Social media continues to play a part, but it is that of an instrument, not a strategy, she said.
"Just as the then-cutting edge fax machine played an unprecedented role in the Tiananmen Square protests (in China), cassette tapes in Iran's anti-Shah movement, and secretly printed and distributed nidat (leaflets) served to mobilise the activists of Palestine's first intifada, creative young activists took advantage of all the potential of cell phones, Facebook, Twitter accounts and more to build the Arab Spring," said Bennis.
"Word was spread through the mosques, in quiet words passed to neighbours and co-workers, written notes appeared. The mobilisations continued," said Bennis, who has written extensively on Middle East politics and is author of several books, including "Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict".
Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies told IPS the challenge to human rights in the Middle East today comes not from dictatorial regimes shutting down access to social media but it comes from their refusal to recognise that the Arab Spring, especially but not solely its victories in bringing down dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, has created an entirely new dynamic in the region.
"The U.S., which for more than half a century scaffolded those dictatorships with money and arms in search of an ultimately elusive stability, is facing an unprecedented challenge to retool U.S. foreign policy in light of these changes," she pointed out.
- May 3, 2011
The San Francisco ChronicleVisit the publisher's website
"Closing Guantanamo 'remains a crucial obligation of the Obama administration, and its failure to make good on that promise remains a huge obstacle to any effort to mobilize progressive support for the 2012 campaign,' said Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank.
"'The real problem President Obama will likely have,' Bennis said, 'still will lie with those who mobilized for him because of his claimed commitment to end 'the mind-set that leads to war.'"
- May 2, 2011
Truthout features article “Justice or Vengeance?”Visit the publisher's website • See the article
- May 2, 2011
Red Pepper Magazine features article “Justice or Vengeance?”Visit the publisher's website • See the article
- April 21, 2011
Arab NewsVisit the publisher's website
Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based think tank, International Policy Studies, speaks for a lot of us long-term watchers of UN peacekeeping operations when she says that "the airstrikes are more of a political than a humanitarian operation". She argues that that powerful forces are once again using the UN as an instrument for their own interests, rather than legitimizing it as an institution of international law
- April 7, 2011
BBC NewsVisit the publisher's website
Others, such as Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based think tank International Policy Studies, says the timing of the operation "strengthens the argument that the air strikes are more of a political than a humanitarian intervention," aimed at helping to "re-establish the French presence in Francophone Africa."
She says the interventions in both Libya and Ivory Coast suggest that powerful forces are once again using the UN as an instrument for their own interests, rather than legitimising it as an institution of international law.