April 2012

JFP 4/30: ObL anniversary riddle; drone summit highlights; Admin floats Iran deal

Just Foreign Policy News, April 30, 2012
ObL anniversary riddle; drone summit highlights; Admin floats Iran deal


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

ObL anniversary riddle: what is 378?
That's the number of U.S. soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan since the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, according to icasualties.org.

Could We Stop "Signature" Drone Strikes in Yemen and Pakistan?
"Signature strikes" - drone strikes that target people based on intelligence of "suspicious activity" without knowing who the people are - increase the risk of killing innocent civilians, as well as the risk of killing people who have no dispute with the United States.
http://truth-out.org/news/item/8771-could-we-stop-signature-drone-strikes-in-yemen-and-pakistan

*Take Action: Urge Obama and Congress to oppose "signature strikes" in Yemen and Pakistan
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/signature-strikes

Drone Summit: Killing and Spying by Remote Control - highlights
A final statement from the summit is here:

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JFP 4/27: Tutu backs Methodist divestment; Israelis arrested for marking Nakba

Just Foreign Policy News, April 27, 2012
Tutu backs Methodist divestment; Israelis arrested for marking Nakba

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Alert: Tell Obama No to "Signature" Drone Strikes in Yemen and Pakistan
"Signature" drone strikes allow the CIA to target people without knowing who will be killed, people who are not on any list of suspected terrorists, contrary to President Obama's claim in January that drone strike only target people on a list. Urge President Obama not to permit "signature" drone strikes in Yemen or Pakistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/signature-strikes

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu endorses Methodist divestment
"I therefore wholeheartedly support your action to disinvest from companies who benefit from the Occupation of Palestine. This is a moral position that I have no choice but to support, especially since I know of the effect that Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions had on the apartheid regime in South Africa. May God bless your conference as you deliberate on this matter, and I pray that your decision will reflect the best values of the human family as we stand in solidarity with the oppressed."

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JFP 4/26: BCA Military Cuts = SS Shortfall; IDF head: Iran won't build weapon

Just Foreign Policy News, April 26, 2012
BCA Military Cuts = SS Shortfall; IDF head: Iran won't build weapon

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Budget Control Act Military Cuts Will Cover the Social Security Shortfall
If the cuts to military spending over the next 10 years mandated by the Budget Control Act are allowed to stand, over 75 years that would save taxpayers about as much money as the currently projected shortfall in Social Security's finances over the next 75 years. Thus Members of Congress cannot simultaneously claim that maintaining current military spending is affordable while claiming that the Social Security shortfall constitutes a dire fiscal threat, as Robert Greenstein might say.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/social-security-cuts_b_1453329.html

Juan Cole: Top Ten Reasons Israel tried to Censor Bob Simon's Report on Palestinian Christians
Ten reasons Israel's Likud Party would have wanted to censor American television news from reporting on the plight of Palestinian Christians.

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Budget Control Act Military Cuts Will Cover the Social Security Shortfall

A key reason that it's relatively easy to scaremonger about predictions regarding Social Security's finances decades in the future is that the language often used to talk about Social Security's finances isn't immediately comparable to anything else that most people can relate to. A number that isn't comparable to other numbers you know is a meaningless number. How big a difference is seven trillion dollars? It sounds like a huge number. But in a context devoid of comparable numbers, it's a meaningless number.

Responding to the 2012 Social Security Trustees report, Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put the Trustees' projections about the future finances of the Social Security system in the context of the current debate about tax policy:

 

The revenue loss over the next 75 years from making [the tax cuts enacted under President Bush] permanent would be about two times the entire Social Security shortfall over that period. Indeed, the revenue loss just from extending the tax cuts for people making over $250,000 -- the top 2 percent of Americans -- would itself be nearly as large as the entire Social Security shortfall over the 75-year period. Members of Congress cannot simultaneously claim that the tax cuts are affordable while the Social Security shortfall constitutes a dire fiscal threat.

 

JFP 4/24: U.S. Chamber of Commerce linked to Wal-mart Mexico bribery case

Just Foreign Policy News, April 24, 2012
U.S. Chamber of Commerce linked to Wal-mart Mexico bribery case


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

CBS News: Christians of the Holy Land
The exodus from the Holy Land of Palestinian Christians could eventually leave holy cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem without a local Christian population.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57417408/christians-of-the-holy-land/

Al Jazeera video: Egypt suspends natural gas deal with Israel
Egyptian companies have suspended an agreement to supply natural gas to Israel. The two governments say it is a commercial dispute, but the backstory is an alleged sweetheart deal under the Mubarak government, and Egyptian discontent with what was perceived to be an unbalanced relationship.
http://youtu.be/MwbX-_oWaHE

Al Jazeera video: Unrest continues in Bahrain
A day after the Formula One Grand Prix race in Bahrain, Al Jazeera correspondent describes the events after the death of a protester.
http://youtu.be/yGFVxv3c2gI

Video: The Eurozone Recession: Are There Alternatives?

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JFP 4/23: Holocaust survivor Wiesel rejects N'yahu Iran remarks; Iran upbeat on talks

Just Foreign Policy News, April 23, 2012
Holocaust survivor Wiesel rejects N'yahu Iran remarks; Iran upbeat on talks

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

The US and Iran Are Talking: Why Is the New York Times Peddling Iran Islamophobia?
At long last, the U.S. and Iran are having serious talks about Iran's nuclear program. But the New York Times has told its readers that Iran's Supreme Leader is uniquely and intrinsically untrustworthy when he says that Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon. Why? Because, according to the Times, Iran's leaders are Shiites, and Shiites have a religious doctrine called "taqiyya," which allows them to lie. Not one named analyst or scholar was cited in support of this claim.
http://truth-out.org/news/item/8628-the-us-and-iran-are-talking-why-is-the-new-york-times-peddling-iran-islamophobia

* Take Action: Urge NYT Public Editor to Investigate Iran Islamophobia in NYT reporting on Iran diplomacy
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nyt-iranophobia

American Nuns Reject Vatican’s Orders – Say They Are Not Going To Stop ‘Caring For The Least Among Us’

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JFP 4/20: Karzai seeks faster US pullout; IAEA focus on Parchin challenged

Just Foreign Policy News, April 20, 2012
Karzai seeks faster US pullout; IAEA focus on Parchin challenged


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I) Actions and Featured Articles

The US and Iran Are Talking: Why Is the New York Times Peddling Iran Islamophobia?
At long last, the U.S. and Iran are having serious talks about Iran's nuclear program. But the New York Times has told its readers that Iran's Supreme Leader is uniquely and intrinsically untrustworthy when he says that Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon. Why? Because, according to the Times, Iran's leaders are Shiites, and Shiites have a religious doctrine called "taqiyya," which allows them to lie. Not one named analyst or scholar was cited in support of this claim.
http://truth-out.org/news/item/8628-the-us-and-iran-are-talking-why-is-the-new-york-times-peddling-iran-islamophobia

* Take Action: Urge NYT Public Editor to Investigate Iran Islamophobia in NYT reporting on Iran diplomacy
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nyt-iranophobia

Joel Rubin: Five Principles for a Nuclear Deal with Iran

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JFP 4/19: Swing voters want troops out; NYT distorted history of anti-nuclear weapon fatwa

Just Foreign Policy News, April 19, 2012
Swing voters want troops out;
NYT distorted history of anti-nuclear weapon fatwa

Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
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,
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

Go Straight to the News Summary

I) Actions and Featured Articles

The US and Iran Are Talking: Why Is the New York Times Peddling Iran Islamophobia?
At long last, the U.S. and Iran are having serious talks about Iran's nuclear program. But the New York Times has told its readers that Iran's Supreme Leader is uniquely and intrinsically untrustworthy when he says that Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon. Why? Because, according to the Times, Iran's leaders are Shiites, and Shiites have a religious doctrine called "taqiyya," which allows them to lie. Not one named analyst or scholar was cited in support of this claim.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/the-us-and-iran-are-talki_b_1438080.html

* Take Action: Urge NYT Public Editor to Investigate Iran Islamophobia in NYT reporting on Iran diplomacy
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nyt-iranophobia

Kate Gould: Bahrain : United States :: Syria : Russia

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The U.S. and Iran are talking. Why is the New York Times peddling Iran Islamophobia?

At long last, the United States and Iran are engaged in serious talks about Iran's nuclear program. But instead of celebrating the fact that President Obama is keeping his promise to the people who voted for him to pursue diplomatic engagement with Iran, the New York Times has suggested to its readers that Iran's Supreme Leader is uniquely and intrinsically untrustworthy when he says that Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon. Why? Because, according to the Times, Iran's leaders are Shiites, and Shiites have a religious doctrine called "taqiyya," which allows them to lie.

No scholar or analyst was cited by the New York Times in support of this argument, which should have been a red flag for Times editors for an argument claiming that the leadership of a country against which the United States has threatened war is essentially different from us because they belong to a different religion.

Last Saturday - the same day the United States and Iran were having "constructive and useful" discussions on Iran's nuclear program in Istanbul, according to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton - the New York Times published a piece titled, "Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah's Utterances," over the byline of James Risen.

That piece contained the following paragraph:

 

Complicating matters further, some analysts say that Ayatollah Khamenei's denial of Iranian nuclear ambitions has to be seen as part of a Shiite historical concept called taqiyya, or religious dissembling. For centuries an oppressed minority within Islam, Shiites learned to conceal their sectarian identity to survive, and so there is a precedent for lying to protect the Shiite community.

 

JFP 4/18: US urged to join mineban; Israeli leader admits MA never said "wipe off the map"

Just Foreign Policy News, April 18, 2012
US urged to join mineban; Israel leader admits MA never said "wipe off the map"


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Go Straight to the News Summary

I) Actions and Featured Articles

* Action: Urge Obama to speak up to protect human rights defenders in Bahrain
Fourteen Bahrainis are in prison for supporting peaceful protests for democracy and human rights. One is on hunger strike and near death. Urge President Obama to speak up.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/alkhawaja

Seventy-Six Civil Society Leaders Deliver Letter to President Obama Calling on U.S. to Announce Intent to Join Mine Ban Treaty
Leaders from 76 nongovernmental organizations delivered a letter to President Obama urging the U.S. to relinquish antipersonnel landmines and join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty without further delay.
http://www.uscbl.org/fileadmin/content/images/Letters/April_18_2012_FINAL_2012_NGO_Letter.pdf

NYT: Despite foggy opposition, Romney has embraced 2014 withdrawal

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