February 2012

JFP 2/14: Bahrain uprising; Dems balk at LieberBill; Iran not suspect in India bombing

Just Foreign Policy News, February 14, 2012
Bahrain uprising; Dems balk at LieberBill; Iran not suspect in India bombing

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

** Action: Free U.S. policy toward Bahrain from the chess game with Iran
Washington foreign policy elites rationalize the U.S. policy of opposing democracy in Bahrain by saying that Bahrain's government is an "ally" against Iran. That's a pretty poor excuse, isn't it? Bahrain is a tiny country with minor influence on regional affairs. What real difference does it make if its government is anti-Iran? Is the difference enough to justify supporting minority rule? Urge President Obama and Congress to delink U.S. policy towards Bahrain from the standoff with Iran, so the U.S. can stop siding with those who seek to block the democratic aspirations of the majority of Bahrainis.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endsilencebahrain

The Real News: Why are Israel and US on a Collision Course with Iran?
Just Foreign Policy talks to The Real News: the dispute over Iran's nuclear program is also a proxy for the contest for influence in the region between the U.S.-Israel-Saudi axis and the Iran axis.

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JFP 2/13: What I Learned at the Airport in Bahrain; ending war worth xfer of 5 detainees

Just Foreign Policy News, February 13, 2012
What I Learned at the Airport in Bahrain; ending war worth five detainees


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

What I Learned at the Airport in Bahrain
The government of Bahrain is paying a real cost for its efforts to shield its crackdown on peaceful protesters from international scrutiny.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/bahrain-us-relations_b_1272934.html
 
II) Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Bahrain deployed thousands of security forces Sunday to confront anti-government protesters ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Shiite-led uprising that seeks to loosen the ruling Sunni dynasty's monopoly on power, AP reports. Bahrain's ruling Sunni monarchy has warned it would not tolerate a spike in protests to mark the anniversary. Shiites account for about 70 percent of Bahrain's population of some 525,000 people, but say they have faced decades of discrimination.
 

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What I Learned in the Airport in Bahrain

Bahrain International Airport - When I came to Bahrain, it certainly wasn't with the intention of spending my whole time in the country in the airport. I wanted to see what was going on in the country, not to see what was going on in the airport.

 

But the Bahrain authorities would not let me enter the country. At this writing, it's 5 PM local time. My flight got in at 2:15 AM. I have been informed that the Director of Immigration has decided that I shall not have a visa to enter Bahrain - although in the past it was the practice of the Bahrain authorities to give visas to Americans in the airport pretty much automatically - so the authorities are saying that the only way I am leaving the airport is on a plane out of the country. At this writing, it looks like I could be in the airport for another 36 hours.

 

Other observers managed to get in, and you can see their reports at Witness Bahrain. [You can't see that website if you live in Bahrain though - it's blocked here by the Bahrain authorities.] But if you're in the U.S., you can read reports on Witness Bahrain on the protests marking the first anniversary of the uprising for democracy, and the Bahrain government's response to those protests. I won't be able to contribute to those reports, since, sitting in the airport, I won't be able to observe the protests and the government response.

 

However, I did learn something useful, sitting in the airport, waiting with a bunch of other foreigners for permission to enter the country.

 

I learned that the government of Bahrain is starting to pay a real price for its efforts to shield its actions towards peaceful protesters from international scrutiny.

 

JFP 2/10: US walks back support of Maldives coup; Greenwald on US fingering Israel/MEK

Just Foreign Policy News, February 10, 2012
US walks back support of Maldives coup; Greenwald on US fingering Israel/MEK


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

J Street Video: "Iran - What the Experts are Saying"
War with Iran would be no walk in the park, say Israeli and American National Security All Stars.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImqC8b05rTk

Can Joe Lieberman Block Diplomacy With Iran That Would Prevent War?
Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham plan to introduce a bill that seeks to push the President to declare that it would be "unacceptable" for Iran to have a "nuclear weapons *capability*"? What's so outrageous about this? According to U.S. and European officials cited in the New York Times, an Iran that has but does not use the capacity to produce nuclear weapons is the best achievable outcome. So what Lieberman and Graham are really trying to do is block any meaningful diplomatic engagement with Iran; they are trying to remove from the table anything except war and externally-induced regime change.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/lieberman-graham-iran_b_1266064.html

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JFP 2/9: US fingers MEK, Israel in scientist killings; Lieberman seeks to block diplomacy

Just Foreign Policy News, February 9, 2012
US fingers MEK, Israel in scientist killings; Lieberman seeks to block diplomacy


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Can Joe Lieberman Block Diplomacy With Iran That Would Prevent War?
According to reports from DC, Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham plan to drop a bill that seeks to push the President to declare that it would be "unacceptable" for Iran to have a "nuclear weapons *capability*"? What's so outrageous about this? According to U.S. and European officials cited in the New York Times, an Iran that has but does not use the capacity to produce nuclear weapons is the best achievable outcome. So what Lieberman and Graham are really trying to do is block any meaningful diplomatic engagement with Iran; they are trying to remove from the table anything except war and externally-induced regime change.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/lieberman-graham-iran_b_1266064.html

RT interview: The dirty history of "promoting democracy"

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Can Joe Lieberman Block Diplomacy with Iran that Would Prevent War?

Can Joe Lieberman Block Diplomacy with Iran that Would Prevent War? by Robert Naiman There's no question that some people in Washington would very much like for the U.S. to have a policy towards Iran whose endgame is war or externally-induced regime change. And they have a long-term strategy to bring this about, which is to block efforts at meaningful diplomacy, so that the only thing left on the table is war or externally-induced regime change.

 

Now, according to reports from DC, come Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham with a new bill. What does their bill seek to do? According to reports from people who have seen the draft bill, in its current form it seeks to block the President from having a policy to "contain" Iran if it develops nuclear weapons capability.

 

Jasmin Ramsey wrote Wednesday at LobeLog:

 

 

The key lines in the resolved [clauses] have been highlighted by a Washington policy expert:

 

"(6) Strongly rejects any policy that fails to prevent the Iranian government from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and that instead would settle for future efforts to "contain" a nuclear weapons capable Iran;

 

(7) Urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and to oppose any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat." [my emphasis on variations of the word "capable" - RN]

 

JFP 2/8: 78% back Afghan drawdown; Futenma relocation "effectively dead"

Just Foreign Policy News, February 8, 2012
78% back Afghan drawdown; Futenma relocation "effectively dead"


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

The Real News: US Arms Deal with Bahrain as Crackdown Continues
Just Foreign Policy talks to The Real News about Congressional concerns over Obama Administration plans to sell arms to Bahrain ahead of the February 14 anniversary of the uprising.
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7872

House letter supports accelerating Afghan withdrawal
A letter is circulating in the House supporting Panetta announcement of moving up U.S. transition away from combat.
http://blog.livableworld.org/story/2012/2/8/123055/9222

"Occupy AIPAC": March 2-6

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JFP 2/7: State to slash Iraq presence; top Israeli soldiers & spies against Iran war

Just Foreign Policy News, February 7, 2012
State to slash Iraq presence; top Israeli soldiers against Iran war


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Robert Redford: The Battle for Jeju Island: How the Arms Race is Threatening a Korean Paradise
The U.S. campaign to "encircle" China with its Aegis anti-ballistic system is threatening the pristine coastline of Jeju Island, a culturally and ecologically unique land off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula.
http://www.onearth.org/blog/robert-redford-jeju-island-korean-paradise-threatened

William Hartung: Military Spending: A Poor Job Creator
Fact sheet compares the impact of military spending on jobs to domestic spending and tax cuts.
http://www.ciponline.org/research/entry/military-spending-poor-job-creator

"Occupy AIPAC": March 2-6

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JFP 2/6 - U.S. officer: military not saying Afghan truth; Obama: neither Israel nor Iran plan to attack

Just Foreign Policy News, February 6, 2012
U.S. officer: military not saying Afghan truth; Obama: neither Israel nor Iran plan to attack

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Glenn Greenwald: The growing Iranian military behemoth
Claims Iran will increase its military budget for next year by 127% have been widely reported. Whether this is feasible is dubious, but suppose it will actually happen. According to the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, Iran's total annual military spending is $7 billion; an increase of 127% would take it to $15.8 billion - also known as: less than 2% of total U.S. military spending (which was $698 billion for fiscal year 2010). According to Defense News, Iran's official military budget for 2011 is actually $12 billion; an increase of 127% would bring it to $27.2 billion, also known as: less than 4% of U.S. military spending. [GG provides a graph to show the scale - JFP.]
http://www.salon.com/2012/02/04/the_growing_iranian_military_behemoth/

Kyodo/Bloomberg: Marine base to remain in Futenma: U.S.

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JFP 2/5: ABC called on Iran hype; U.S. on Israeli strike; Romney slams Afghan pullout

Just Foreign Policy News, February 5, 2012
ABC called on Iran hype; U.S. on Israeli strike; Romney slams Afghan pullout


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Your support helps us to educate Americans about U.S. foreign policy and create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a foreign policy that is more just. Help us press for an end to the war in Afghanistan and spread opposition to a new war with Iran,
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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Afghan shift: The U.S. is right to curtail combat earlier
Americans who believe the U.S. has put enough lives and money into Afghanistan should be pleased by Defense Secretary Panetta's statement that the U.S. role will be shifted from combat to training sooner than planned, to mid-2013, says the paper in an editorial. The US is no longer fighting al-Qaida; instead, it has become involved in a civil war. As long as the Karzai government continues to rely on U.S. forces for its existence it is much less likely to arrive at the political compromises required to achieve a new working arrangement with the Taliban.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12034/1207753-192.stm

Ray DuBois and David Vine: Bipartisan Strategy Takes Shape To Close Overseas U.S. Bases

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