April 2011

JFP 4/19: "Permanent Bases Agreement" Threatens Afghan Peace Talks

Just Foreign Policy News
April 19, 2011

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Phyllis Bennis: UK Sends Troops to Libya as Intl Coalition Expands Mission to Include Regime Change

Military interventions have humanitarian consequences. Western military powers are reportedly using depleted uranium. The UN should be pushing a ceasefire and political negotiations, but is instead a party to the war.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi6V37PsKSc

Kate Gould: Congress Rewrites Goldstone's Op-ed

On April 14th, fifteen House Members sent a letter to Ambassador Rice claiming that "[Goldstone's] retractions clear Israel of the charge that it violated international law under the Fourth Geneva Convention." This assertion is, of course, not true.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/884

Real News: Honduran Teachers get Shock Treatment
The post-coup regime in Honduras is carrying out an assault on teachers. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6635

Reality Radio: getting US troops out of Afghanistan
Just Foreign Policy talks to CND radio in the UK.
http://www.realityradio.org.uk/afghanistan-getting-the-us-troops-out

Radio Adelaide: on the Intervention in Libya

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JFP 4/18: Three Cups of Fabrication? False Pretense for Libya War?

Just Foreign Policy News
April 18, 2011

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On 8th Day of Hunger Strike, Bahraini Activist Zainab Alkhawaja Urges U.S. to Press for Family's Release

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/4/18/on_8th_day_of_hunger_strike

Al Jazeera Video: Israeli troops filmed attacking Palestinian prisoners

An Israeli television channel has aired footage of Israel's "Control and Restraint unit," or Masada, attacking Palestinian prisoners.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz89CHSWoPU

LATimes: Libyan Rebel's Story Shows Links To Taliban, Al Qaeda, NATO

Rebel leaders are sensitive to criticism by some in the West that Al Qaeda "fellow travelers" are deeply involved in the fight against Kadafi. But there are many unanswered questions about Libya's anti-Kadafi forces, with at least 20 former Islamic militant leaders in battlefield roles, the LAT says. In a new state, will they be tempted by a once-in-a-lifetime chance to overpower Libya with a conservative Islamist vision?
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-libya-qaeda-20110417,0,6153551.story

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Congress Rewrites Goldstone's Op-ed

Leading Israeli politicians have claimed that Israel's conduct has been vindicated, distorting Justice Goldstone's op-ed so comprehensively that Amnesty International excoriated the Israeli spin as being "based on a deliberate misinterpretation of Justice Goldstone's comments". Meanwhile in Congress, every bill, letter, and press statement on the subject has parroted the very same narrative that Israel has been absolved of all allegations of wrong-doing in the wake of Justice Goldstone's op-ed.

JFP 4/15: US, Al Jazeera slammed on Bahrain

Just Foreign Policy News
April 15, 2011

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Update: House vote this morning on the People's Budget

77 House Members voted this morning for the People's Budget, which would have ended the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by zeroing out funding in FY2013. In the context of the budget debate, this was a good result: Progressive Caucus Members turned out for the Progressive Caucus budget, proving that they are a real caucus. Also, lots of Americans found out that there was an alternative to domestic cuts that includes ending the wars, in part because the debate was broadcast on CSpan. Thanks to everyone who contacted House Members and who helped spread the word.

Harry Reid: 'I'm Not Confident' Afghanistan Is Going To Work

The headline says it all.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/15/harry-reid-afghanistan-war-not-confident_n_849925.html

*Action: US Mayors' resolution to bring the war dollars home

At the June meeting of US mayors, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will propose a resolution to end the wars and bring the war dollars home. Ask your mayor to co-sponsor.
http://codepinkalert.org/section.php?id=429

*Action: FAIR: Stop Blacking Out Progressive Protests

Where did all the anti-war protests go? The corporate media decided not to cover them.

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JFP 4/14: People's Budget Vote Friday; BRICS slam Libya war

Just Foreign Policy News
April 14, 2011

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*Action: Call Congress in support of the "People's Budget"

Progressive Democrats of America and Peace Action report that the Congressional Progressive Caucus "People's Budget" will be in the floor of the House Friday as a substitute amendment to Rep. Ryan's budget plan. The People's Budget would end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. PDA and Peace Action urge a yes vote; PDA and Peace Action are urging phone calls to the House. You can use the message: "Vote for the Congressional Progressive Caucus substitute amendment that ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and reduces the Pentagon budget."
The Capitol Switchboard is 202-225-3121.

[Some folks may be confused by the fact that a budget was approved in the House Thursday. That debate was on the budget for the current fiscal year; Friday's debate is on the budget for the future.]

More:
A Vote on the People's Budget is a Vote on the Wars

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/a-vote-on-the-peoples-bud_b_849351.html

The list of Progressive Caucus Members is here:
http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=71&sectiontree=2,71

Democracy Now: While Obama Touts Compromise with GOP, Progressive Lawmakers Unveil "People's Budget"
People's Budget discussion begins at 11:50.

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A Vote on the People's Budget is a Vote on the Wars

The House of Representatives is expected to vote soon, perhaps by tomorrow morning, on the People's Budget put forward by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

A vote in favor of the People's Budget is a vote against the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, because the People's Budget would end the wars.

In particular, the People's Budget would end emergency war funding beginning in FY 2013:

 

End emergency war funding beginning in FY 2013 The CBO baseline assumes that all discretionary funding--including emergency war funding--grows with inflation (from a starting point of $159 billion in 2011) when projecting future discretionary spending. Eliminating all emergency defense funding starting in 2012 would save $674 billion over 2012-16 and $1.6 trillion over 2012-21 relative to this baseline.

Furthermore, the People's Budget would cut the "base" military budget (that is, the "not for the current wars" or "future wars" military budget.) It would:

 

JFP 4/13: Rights Advocates: Honduras Complicit in Killings

Just Foreign Policy News
April 13, 2011

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*Action: Urge Congress to Block Escalation of the Libya War

Despite President Obama's promise not to put U.S. ground troops in Libya, General Ham, the former U.S. commander of the military mission, said last week that U.S. ground troops in Libya are a possibility. Rep. Conyers has proposed an amendment prohibit U.S. ground forces from being introduced into Libya. Urge your Representative to support this prohibition.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nogroundtroops

Norman Solomon Announces for Congress
Solomon has been a leader of the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign.
http://www.normansolomonnow.com/index.php/page/norman_solomon_launches_run_for_congress_in_the_north_bay

Rethink Afghanistan: War Tax Calculator
How much are you paying for the war?
http://rethinkafghanistan.com/iou

Democracy Now: Journalists, Activists Targeted as Honduran Repression Grows
DN talks with Gerardo Torres, independent journalist and member of the National Front of Popular Resistance in Honduras.
http://www.democracynow.org/2011/4/13/journalists_activists_targeted_as_honduran_repression

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Funding Bill Includes More of the Same Unconditional Military Aid to Egypt

The budget bill unveiled on Tuesday, set to fund the government for the next six months, includes $1.3 billion in unconditional military assistance for Egypt. The lack of any new measures for oversight of military aid bound for Egypt is alarming, particularly in the wake of testimonies from female detainees subjected to coerced "virginity tests" by the military and of the Egyptian army’s brutal crackdown which reportedly killed two protesters and wounded dozens on April 9th.

This lack of oversight stands in stark contrast to the Senate’s earlier version of the budget bill, which would have required that "prior to the disbursement of funds" for the Foreign Military Financing program that designates military aid to Egypt, "the Secretary of State should report to the Committees on Appropriations" that the Egyptian government enacted a number of specified reforms. H.R. 1473, which is scheduled for a vote on Thursday, does require Secretary Clinton to submit a report on those same reforms, but it does not in any way condition military aid to the Egyptian government's success at meeting these basic human rights and democratization standards.

JFP 4/12: US rejects Libya cease-fire

Just Foreign Policy News
April 12, 2011

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*Action: Urge Congress to Block Escalation of the Libya War
Despite President Obama's promise not to put U.S. ground troops in Libya, General Ham, the former U.S. commander of the military mission, said last week that U.S. ground troops in Libya are a possibility. Rep. Conyers has proposed an amendment prohibit U.S. ground forces from being introduced into Libya. Urge your Representative to support this prohibition.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nogroundtroops

Can Jeff Sachs Get Us Out of Afghanistan?
Economist Jeffrey Sachs, slamming the White House's proposals for cutting domestic spending, calls for the US to get out of Afghanistan.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/can-jeff-sachs-get-us-out_b_847995.html

Congressional Progressive Caucus: The People's Budget
Ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=70&sectiontree=5,70

AngryArabiya on hunger strike for release of her father
In a letter to President Obama, Bahraini human rights blogger Zainab Alkhawaja announces a hunger strike for the release of her family.

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JFP 4/11: Sadr to revive militia if US won't leave; wake-up call in Peru

Just Foreign Policy News
April 11, 2011

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*Action: Urge Congress to Bar Ground Troops in Libya

Despite President Obama's promise not to put U.S. ground troops in Libya, General Ham, the former U.S. commander of the military mission, said last week that U.S. ground troops in Libya are a possibility. Michigan Rep. John Conyers wants to explicitly prohibit U.S. ground forces from being introduced into Libya. Urge your Representative to support this prohibition. Supporters include: Cohen, Jones, Farr, Grijalva, Honda, Kucinich, McClintock, George
Miller, Stark, Tonko, Woolsey.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nogroundtroops

Los Angeles Times: High-tech tools and human errors

By the U.S. military's own admission, excessive faith in high-tech tools contributed to the deaths of civilians in a U.S. airstrike.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-drone-20110410,0,2818134,full.story

Kucinich Responds to Office of Legal Counsel's Twisted Rationale for Libyan War

Kucinich notes that before they did it, they called it a war.
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=234894

The Israeli Peace Initiative

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