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Submitted by Megan Iorio on 6 December 2013 - 6:49pm
For seven years, we’ve been urging that the U.S. government resolve its differences with Iran through diplomacy. Now that the Obama Administration is finally making progress some in Congress are trying to blow up the peace train.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is planning to ignore the Administration's request, and–with the assistance of AIPAC, which is going to be on the Hill this week—to introduce a bill that would mandate new sanctions and try to tie the hands of U.S. negotiators by demanding that a final deal stipulate that Iran not be able to enrich any uranium at all–Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand, which everyone knows cannot be achieved through diplomacy.
Call your Representative NOW at 1-855-686-6927 and say:
I urge you to oppose Rep. Cantor’s legislation that would undermine diplomacy by imposing new sanctions and tying the hands of U.S. negotiators from reaching a realistic deal with Iran.
You can report your call below.
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Submitted by Robert Naiman on 2 December 2013 - 3:17pm
People have noticed the silence of former Secretary of State and widely presumed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. Where does she stand? How long can she dodge? And how long can former President Bill Clinton dodge?
It's not like the Clintons have gone into seclusion on public affairs in general or U.S. foreign policy in particular.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 15 November 2013 - 2:38pm
by Robert Naiman
The Senate Intelligence Committee recently took an important step by passing an intelligence authorization which would require for the first time - if it became law - that the Administration publicly report on civilian casualties from U.S. drone strikes.
Sarah Knuckey, Director of the Project on Extrajudicial Executions at New York University School of Law and a Special Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, calls this provision "an important step toward improving transparency," and notes that "Various U.N. officials, foreign governments, a broad range of civil society, and many others, including former U.S. Department of State Legal Advisor Harold Koh ... have called for the publication of such basic information."
This provision could be offered as an amendment in the Senate to the National Defense Authorization Act. It could be offered in the House as an amendment on the intelligence authorization, or as a freestanding bill. But it's not likely to become law unless there's some public agitation for it (you can participate in the public agitation here.)
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 13 November 2013 - 3:27pm
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2013
JFP Hails WikiLeaks TPP Leak, Urges Donors to Fulfill Reward Pledges
WikiLeaks Sparking Debate Not Possible While Agreement Secret;
Events Show Anti-Democratic Government Policy Secrecy Not Limited to “National Security”
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 13—Today, WikiLeaks published the text of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement intellectual property chapter. This is generating headlines around the world as the controversial provisions of this proposed agreement are revealed to public opinion, helping groups that have been campaigning against the TPP make their case to the media and the public. ...
Full release at http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/pressreleases/tpp-leak
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 12 November 2013 - 4:38pm
Below is the text of the drone strike transparency provision of the Senate intelligence authorization. [You can urge Congress and the President to support this provision here. The full bill is here.]
SEC. 312. UNCLASSIFIED ANNUAL REPORT ON THE USE OF TARGETED LETHAL FORCE OUTSIDE THEUNITED STATES.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 7 November 2013 - 12:38pm
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 3 November 2013 - 3:17pm
In mid-November, the Christian Science Monitor reports, a loya jirga in Afghanistan - a national meeting of tribal leaders and other notable Afghans - will vote on whether to meet the Obama administration's terms for keeping U.S. troops in the country beyond the end of 2014.
If you care about democracy in Afghanistan, you should be happy for the Afghans. Whether or not - and if so, under what conditions - they want to have thousands of U.S. troops in their country after 2014 is obviously a very big deal for them. Why shouldn't they have full deliberation and debate?
But if you also care about democracy in the United States, you should be a bit troubled. Because Congress has never approved keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the end of 2014.
The closest Congress has come to considering this question is in language passed by the House in June, 2013. Offered by Democratic Representative Jim McGovern, this language - which passed the House 305-121, with a majority of both Democrats and Republicans voting yes- said [my emphasis]:
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 31 October 2013 - 3:13pm
Forget the scary costumes and gory Hollywood movies. If you're looking for a true fright this Halloween, just take a look at the video of a panel discussion that took place at New York's Yeshiva University last week in which Sheldon Adelson, a major donor for numerous organizations and political candidates who promote strife, called for the US to nuke Iran—and the audience applauded!
For years, Adelson and his ideological kin have been using examples of Iranian rhetoric—often exaggerated and sometimes even fabricated—as an excuse for opposing any US-Iran rapprochement. Yet, in a disturbing attempt to evade responsibility, Adelson's spokesman insisted that his boss's comments shouldn't be viewed in the same light as those coming from Iran because he was obviously “using hyperbole to make a point that … actions speak louder than words.”
Yes, Mr. Adelson, actions do speak louder than words. Just as the US and Iran embark on the most promising talks in years, Adelson's cheering section on the Hill is brewing up some major sabotage, with the Senate threatening to pass further sanctions, and the House considering an authorization for the use of military force.
Isn't it scary that US and Iranian negotiators could be on their way to an agreement and Congress could just flip a switch and potentially blow the whole deal? We think so. That's why we've been working to give Obama the political space to pursue diplomacy.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 18 October 2013 - 6:38pm
Earlier this week, we initiated a petition at MoveOn to Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor of the New York Times, urging that the Times put budget numbers in context.
.@nytimes, @Sulliview: Put Budget Numbers in Context
Margaret Sullivan has responded. You can read her response here:
The Times Is Working on Ways to Make Numbers-Based Stories Clearer for Readers
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 16 October 2013 - 3:14pm
Just Foreign Policy News, October 16, 2013
NYT Should Put Budget Numbers in Context; Bogus Bibi Claim on Iran ICBM Based on US Threat Inflation
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I) Actions and Featured Articles
**Action: New York Times: Put Budget Numbers in Context
A key reason Members of Congress have been able to get away with holding our government hostage is that they've been able to trick many Americans into thinking that federal government spending on domestic priorities is out of control, while these same Members of Congress have diverted public attention from the bloated Pentagon budget. Mainstream media have enabled these Members of Congress by failing to put budget numbers in context. If the New York Times tells you that we’re spending $15 billion on foreign aid or $400 million on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which funds PBS and NPR) without putting those numbers in context, you might think that's a lot of money. But in the context of the Pentagon's half a trillion dollar annual budget, these numbers are chump change.