August 2011

JFP 8/31: Amnesty: Black Libyans at Risk from Rebels

Just Foreign Policy News
August 31, 2011

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Why I'm Protesting the Tar Sands Pipeline at the White House on Saturday

The key political fact about the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is this: at the end of the day, the decision of whether to approve the permit for the pipeline or not will be a political decision wholly owned by President Obama.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/obama-keystone-xl_b_943269.html

*Action: Tell Congress: $200 Billion In "Real Savings" If We End the Wars "On Time"

Most Americans don't realize that the Super Committee can reach 1/6 of its debt reduction goal just by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan when we said we were going to. Urge your representatives in Congress to make this part of any debt reduction deal.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endwarsontime

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Why I'm Protesting the Tar Sands Pipeline at the White House on Saturday

The key political fact about the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is this: at the end of the day, the decision of whether to approve the permit for the pipeline or not will be a political decision wholly owned by President Obama.

 

The final determination on the permit will be based whether approval would be in the "national interest" of the United States. This is an inherently political determination. By denying the permit for the pipeline, President Obama can take a concrete action against climate chaos without securing one Republican vote, without spending one tax dollar, without getting approval from the Tea Party.

 

If, on the other hand, President Obama were to approve the permit for the pipeline, then he would be acting to promote climate chaos, and this decision could not be blamed on the dispute over the nation's projected debt in 2021, Republicans or the Tea Party. It would be President Obama, standing alone, breaking a campaign promise to act to protect the climate from chaos induced by human action.

 

This is a global justice issue, because climate chaos is inherently discriminatory against the poor and the weak. A hurricane that strikes Haiti and Florida with the same force is virtually guaranteed to hurt Haitians more, because Haiti has fewer resources to protect its citizens against hurricanes. More Haitians have inadequate shelter to start with; the infrastructure for emergency response is weaker; the health care system is weaker. So any action which has the effect of making hurricanes more intense is going to have disparate impact on Florida and Haiti, for the future as far as we can see.

 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has noted:

 

 

JFP 8/30: Palestinian UN draft echoes US position; Calderon hints at drug legalization

Just Foreign Policy News
August 30, 2011

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

*Action: Tell Congress: $200 Billion In "Real Savings" If We End the Wars "On Time"

Most Americans don't realize that the Super Committee can reach 1/6 of its debt reduction goal just by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan when we said we were going to. Urge your representatives in Congress to make this part of any debt reduction deal.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endwarsontime

Okinawa Schoolkids Prepare for Osprey Disaster

Elementary school children in Okinawa practice fleeing from their school in case an American MV-22 Osprey to be deployed by the U.S. next year accidentally crashes into it. "Okinawa is the only place in Japan where schools carry out such drills in preparation for an aircraft crash. This really is quite unreasonable," said school principal Harumi Chinen. "The government has indicated that the Osprey will be deployed… We want to be rid of these dangers as soon as we can."
http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2011/07/21/1988/

Iara Lee: "Obstructing Business": South Koreans on the March

Filmmaker Iara Lee reports on a visit to residents working to block the construction of a U.S.-supported naval base on Jeju Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iara-lee/hanjin-protests_b_941166.html

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JFP 8/29: Afghan govt scuttled US-Taliban talks

Just Foreign Policy News
August 29, 2011

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

*Action: Tell Congress: $200 Billion In "Real Savings" If We End the Wars "On Time"
Most Americans don't realize that the Super Committee can reach 1/6 of its debt reduction goal just by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan when we said we were going to. Urge your representatives in Congress to make this part of any debt reduction deal.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endwarsontime

Video: Ashley Joppa-Hagemann: My Husband Killed Himself to Avoid Deployment to Afghanistan
Ashley Joppa-Hagemann tells her story. Her husband had PTSD. She says it would have been his 9th deployment; the military said it would have been his 7th.
http://blip.tv/toddfboyle/state-of-the-soldier-tacoma-4-of-5-ashley-joppa-hagemann-5495267

Council on Hemispheric Affairs: The U.S. Whitewashes Panama's Fatal Flaws to Champion Its "Free Trade" Agreement
Carrie Burggraf argues that the U.S. should be in no rush to push through a trade agreement with Panama, given the country's unresolved status as a tax haven and other unaddressed concerns.
http://www.coha.org/the-u-s-whitewashes-panama%E2%80%99s-fatal-flaws-to-champion-their-free-trade-agreement/

Matthew Hoh at City Club Forum This Week

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JFP 8/26: Palestinian UN bid deterred major Israeli attack on Gaza

Just Foreign Policy News
August 26, 2011

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

*Action: Tell Congress: $200 Billion In "Real Savings" If We End the Wars "On Time"

Most Americans don't realize that the Super Committee can reach 1/6 of its debt reduction goal just by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan when we said we were going to. Urge your representatives in Congress to make this part of any debt reduction deal.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endwarsontime

Matthew Hoh at City Club Forum This Week

Afghanistan Study Group director Matthew Hoh - who resigned from the Foreign Service in protest of the continuing war in Afghanistan - is the speaker this week in the City Club Forum. This program is broadcast on many NPR affiliates, at various times - check your local station's website for local time.

Partial Lists of Congressional Town Halls
Urge your reps. to cut the base military budget by a trillion and end the wars as part of the debt deal. [Note: these lists of "town halls" are incomplete.]
http://www.narfe.org/pdf/CongressionalTownHallMeetings.pdf
http://nolabels.org/blog/60-congress-not-holding-town-halls

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JFP 8/25: Clyburn: Super Committee Deal Will Include Ending the Wars

Just Foreign Policy News
August 25, 2011

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Ending Wars on Time Would Save $200 Billion, One-Sixth of Debt Reduction Goal

Compared to what the Pentagon wants to do - 25,000 troops in Afghanistan and 10,000 troops in Iraq forever - zero troops in Afghanistan after 2014 would save $120 billion, and zero troops in Iraq after December of this year would save $80 billion, by 2021. That's one-sixth of the Super Committee's debt reduction goal, and that's in addition to the savings from cutting the base military budget by a trillion dollars over ten years, half of the Super Committee's goal. Thus, 2/3 of the debt reduction can come just from cutting the military budget and withdrawing our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan when we said we were going to.
http://www.truth-out.org/ending-wars-time-would-save-200-billion-one-sixth-debt-reduction-goal/1314194678

*Take Action: "Super Committee" Should Cut the War Budget

Representative Lynn Woolsey is circulating a letter to the Super Committee calling on them to zero out future spending on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the debt deal. Urge your Rep. to sign on.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/woolseyletter

Partial Lists of Congressional Town Halls
Urge your reps. to cut the base military budget by a trillion and end the wars as part of the debt deal. [Note: these lists of "town halls" are incomplete.]

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Ending Wars on Time Would Save $200 Billion, 1/6 of Debt Reduction Goal

By Thanksgiving, the Congressional "Super Committee" is supposed to come up with $1.2 trillion in debt reduction over the next ten years. The Super Committee can include anything it wants in its package - short-term economic stimulus (like extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax holiday), revenue increases from curtailing tax breaks, cuts in military or domestic spending, subject only to two constraints. To avoid automatic cuts, the package has to add to $1.2 trillion in debt reduction over ten years. Also, to avoid automatic cuts, the package has to pass both houses of Congress in December, so the package has to have the property that it can pass the House and Senate.

A plausible and reasonable option would be to curtail future spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, consistent with keeping existing agreements and commitments to withdraw our troops, rather than replacing these agreements and commitments with agreements to establish permanent military garrisons in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under plausible and moderate assumptions, this would save at least $200 billion over ten years, 1/6 of the Super Committee's debt reduction goal.

JFP 8/22: 25K troops in Afghan. til 2021? $121B added to US debt

Just Foreign Policy News
August 22, 2011

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

*Take Action: "Super Committee" Should Cut the War Budget

Representative Lynn Woolsey is circulating a letter to the Super Committee calling on them to zero out future spending on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the debt deal. Urge your Rep. to sign on.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/woolseyletter

Glenn Greenwald: Qaddafi's Fall Won't Make the War Legal
Of course U.S. participation in the war is still illegal, as argued by Attorney General Holder, Office of Legal Counsel Chief Caroline Krass, and DOD General Counsel Jeh Johnsen, Greenwald writes. It's illegal because it was waged for months not merely without Congressional approval, but even in the face of a Congressional vote against its authorization. That NATO succeeded in defeating the Mighty Libyan Army does not have the slightest effect on that question, just as Saddam's capture told us nothing about the legality or wisdom of that war.
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/08/22/libya/index.html

Groups Urge Senate to Close Pentagon FOIA Loophole
Just Foreign Policy joined with the Project On Government Oversight, OpenTheGovernment.org and other groups to urge the Senate to adopt the Leahy Amendment to remove a broad FOIA exemption for military facilities.

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Woolsey Sign-On Letter to Super Committee on War Spending

Rep. Lynn Woolsey is circulating the following Dear Colleague and Sign-On letter to the Super Committee urging them to end funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the debt deal.

Urge your representatives to sign the Woolsey letter here.


Letter to Super Committee: $1.8 Trillion in Savings

August 12, 2011

Dear Colleague:

As the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also referred to as the “Super Committee,” begins its work, we must remind its members of the overwhelming costs due to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I urge you to join me in cosigning the letter below to the Co-Chairs and members of the Select Committee noting the $1.8 trillion that could be saved by ending the wars. To cosign or for additional information, please contact me or Jennifer Goedke (5-5161) on my staff.

Sincerely,

Lynn Woolsey

Member of Congress

***

September 9, 2011

The Honorable Patty Murray
The Honorable Jeb Hensarling

Co-Chairs
Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
The Honorable Dave Camp
The Honorable James E. Clyburn
The Honorable Fred Upton
The Honorable Chris Van Hollen
The Honorable Max Baucus
The Honorable Jon Kyl
The Honorable John Kerry
The Honorable Rob Portman
The Honorable Pat Toomey

Members
Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

Dear Co-Chairs and Members,

Congress and the American people have entrusted you with a great responsibility – ensuring the economic well-being of our nation. This is no simple task and will require both bold decisions and fair compromises.

JFP 8/19: Obama approval down on Afghanistan; when will Brazil leave Haiti?

Just Foreign Policy News
August 19, 2011

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Why the Jobs Argument Against Military Cuts is Bogus

An argument against cuts to projected military spending that is sure to rear its ugly head is that this would cost American jobs. In the current political context, this "jobs" argument is 100% nonsense. Here's why.
http://www.truth-out.org/why-jobs-argument-against-military-cuts-bogus/1313598273

*Take Action: Urge Your Rep. to Support the Lee Bill

Representative Barbara Lee has introduced legislation that would prevent the Pentagon from keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq by cutting off funds for the war after December 31, 2011. Urge your Representative to co-sponsor the Lee bill.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/obamaextendsbushwar

(Incomplete) List of Congressional Town Halls
Are your representatives in Congress having a "Town Hall" during the recess? Urge them to end the wars and cut the military budget by a trillion dollars over the next ten years (the time frame of the "Super Committee"). An incomplete list of town halls is here:
http://www.narfe.org/pdf/CongressionalTownHallMeetings.pdf

Tony Karon: Why Iraq's Terror Uptick Won't Affect Decisions on U.S. Troops

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