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JFP News, 6/22: House to Consider Exit Strategy from Afghanistan

Just Foreign Policy News
June 22, 2009


Congress Should Require an Exit Strategy from Afghanistan
Rep. McGovern's bill, which would require the Pentagon to submit an exit strategy to Congress, now has 90 sponsors. Rep. McGovern is expected to try to attach his language to the 2010 Defense Authorization. Urge your Represenative to support this effort.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/exit

Background: Congress Should Require an Exit Strategy from Afghanistan
Military commanders have suggested the U.S. military will remain in Afghanistan until 2020. If the Pentagon is planning for 11 more years of war, the American people have a right to know it.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/233

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Attacks are mounting against President Obama for failing to offer sufficient support to backers of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran, writes Paul Saunders of the Nixon Center in the Washington Post. But it is not only unproductive but dangerous for the US to play too visible a role, Saunders argues. Many politicians and commentators seem to suffer from the illusion that the US can have a decisive influence on Iran's political evolution. They appear to believe this despite the fact that engineering Iraqi democracy - which a number of them also urged - has been far more difficult and costly than was advertised at the outset.

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JFP News, 6/3: With IMF Money, War Supplemental Could Be Defeated in the House

Just Foreign Policy News
June 3, 2009


With IMF Money Included, the War Supplemental Can Be Defeated in the House
Last month, 60 Members of the House of Representatives voted against the war supplemental. But this week the supplemental could be defeated on the floor of the House. The key thing that's changed is Treasury's insistence the supplemental include a $100 billion bailout for the IMF - a bailout for European banks facing big losses in Eastern Europe, the international version of the Wall Street bailout. House Republicans have threatened to vote no on the war funding if the IMF money is attached. If all Republicans vote no, and if all the Democrats who voted no last month vote no again, the war supplemental would fail on the floor of the House, 200-228. Call your Representative and urge them to vote no on the war/IMF supplemental. The Congressional switchboard is 202-225-3121; asked to be connected to your Representative's office.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/with-imf-money-the-war-su_b_210738.html

In Cairo, Obama Can Win With Changed U.S. Policies Towards Palestine and Iran
If Obama highlights his strong opposition to Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, his support for Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, his sustained diplomatic engagement with Iran, and his willingness to work with whoever wins the upcoming Lebanese and Iranian elections, he can change perceptions of the United States in the region.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/221

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JFP News, 6/2: Newsweek's Zakaria Supports International Uranium Enrichment in Iran

Just Foreign Policy News
June 2, 2009


In Cairo, Obama Can Win With Changed U.S. Policies Towards Palestine and Iran
President Obama has the opportunity to make history in Cairo on Thursday, the kind of history Eisenhower made when he rebuked the 1956 invasion of Egypt by Britain, France and Israel. Eisenhower's stand won tremendous goodwill for the U.S. in the Arab world. If Obama stands firm on his policy differences with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, he can win tremendous goodwill for the U.S. in the Arab and Muslim world. If Obama highlights his strong opposition to Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, his support for Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, his sustained diplomatic engagement with Iran, and his willingness to work with whoever wins the upcoming Lebanese and Iranian elections, he can change perceptions of the United States in the region.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/221

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JFP News, 6/1: NGOs Fight "Blank Check" for IMF

Just Foreign Policy News
June 1, 2009


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1) A broad coalition of civil society groups, as well as some lawmakers, is fighting a "blank check" from the U.S. to expand funding for the International Monetary Fund, Inter Press Service reports. Typically, the IMF requires recipient countries to reduce their budget deficits and increase interest rates, both of which can produce the opposite effect of the economic stimulus the funds are meant to provide. As a result, countries have been forced to cut essential social programs, like unemployment insurance. A Congressional letter from Rep. Waters calls for Congress to attach conditions on the IMF: ensuring that the IMF's new loans are stimulatory and not contractionary; using IMF gold sales to finance at least five billion dollars in debt relief and/or grants; and requiring parliamentary approval in the recipient countries before loans are extended. The letter has more than 33 signatures.

2) The Senate owes more than a pro forma confirmation of Gen. McChrystal as the next US commander in Afghanistan, writes the New York Times in an editorial. McChrystal, who goes before the Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, was commander of the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations teams in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2003 to 2008. Special Operations forces have been repeatedly linked to abusive interrogations. The Times says McChrystal has a responsibility to illuminate what went wrong, what if anything was done to stop these horrors, and what he intends to do to ensure that they are not repeated under his command in Afghanistan.

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