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Two Views on Obama’s Speech on Mideast: Prof. Steven Zunes and Col. Ann Wright

President Obama gave a speech at the State Department on May 19, defining US policies toward the Arab uprisings and offering his clearest views to date on Israel/Palestine.  We get comments from J. Stephen Zunes, Chair of Mideast Studies and Professor of Politics at University of San Francisco, and US Army Col. (retired) Ann Wright. Zunes has praise for Obama’s rhetoric, but says he maintains double standards and a strong US bias toward Israel.  Obama restates America’s commitment to Israeli security, while trying to nudge it into a meaningful peace process and calling for a secure Palestinian state.  We talk about the extreme reaction from the Netanyahu government and its American supporters, and some of the historical context for Obama’s call to use the pre-1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations.

In our second segment starting at 26:50, Col. Wright returns.  We get her reaction to the speech, her plans to join a protest of Obama’s planned speech to AIPAC in the next few days, the plans for the second major Gaza Flotilla in late June, her recent protest of US drone actions at Hancock AFB near Syracuse, NY, and her ongoing efforts to get the Pentagon to address the widespread sexual abuse and rape in our military.