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JFP 11/10: Inouye Balks at Fast Track Escalation Funding

Just Foreign Policy News
November 10, 2009


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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye spoke against speculation that new funding for additional troops in Afghanistan could be quickly inserted into year-end spending bills pending in Congress, the Politico reports. Such a strategy would avoid a divisive fight in the spring over supplemental war spending. "I would be against doing it right now," Inouye said. "If we're going to do something this important, then it should be done according to regular procedure - unless we're going be a rubber stamp."

2) President Obama is nearing a decision to add tens of thousands more forces to Afghanistan, AP reports. National Security Adviser James Jones denied the press reports that a decision had been made.

3) What we confront in Afghanistan is not an insurgency but a civil war - one whose resolution can only be found in a new decentralized Afghan politics based on the realities of power there, and not through another decade of Western military intervention, argues former UN official Nader Mousavizadeh in Foreign Policy.

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JFP 11/9: Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall

Just Foreign Policy News
November 9, 2009


Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall
On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western leaders are full of self-congratulation. But their paeans to universal freedom ring hollow, when they bear large responsibility for another wall constricting human freedom: the apartheid wall dividing the Palestinian West Bank. Today, to mark the anniversary, Palestinians tore down a chunk of the wall near Ramallah.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/397

Video of the Palestinian action today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaBpvauMFLU

NoEscalation.org: Help Us Push and Track Congress on Afghanistan Escalation
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http://NoEscalation.org

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Afghans are voicing serious doubts about an increase in U.S. troops, the New York Times reports. They are increasingly skeptical that the Taliban can be defeated; nearly everyone agrees that the Afghan government must negotiate with the insurgents.

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Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall

On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western leaders are full of self-congratulation. But their paeans to universal freedom ring hollow, when they bear large responsibility for another wall constricting human freedom: the apartheid wall dividing the Palestinian West Bank.

Israeli authorities refer to it as a "separation barrier," but that's misleading. The wall doesn't separate pre-1967 Israel from the West Bank. If that's all it did, it would be an entirely different political object. Instead, the wall cuts deep into the Palestinian West Bank, separating Palestinians from each other and from their land, and signaling to the Palestinians that Israel intends to annex territory that Palestinians want for an independent Palestinian state. The fact that Western countries that support the Israeli government - above all the United States - say nothing about the West Bank wall signals to Palestinians that Western support for Palestinian statehood is merely rhetorical.

Today, AFP reports, Palestinians tore down a chunk of the wall near Ramallah.

AFP notes that 85 percent of the planned wall is inside the West Bank, and it would leave 9.5 percent of the West Bank and 35,000 West Bank Palestinians between the barrier and the Green Line that marks the 1967 border with Israel.

The World Court issued a resolution in 2004 calling for those parts of the barrier that are inside the West Bank to be torn down and for further construction in the territory to cease. Israel and Western countries have ignored the World Court resolution.

Two years ago Israel's own High Court ruled against the route of the wall near the Palestinian village of Bilin, but the Israeli government ignored the ruling of its own highest court.

JFP News 11/6: Deal Collapses in Honduras

Just Foreign Policy News
November 6, 2009


Rep. Eric Massa calls for a conclusion to the war in Afghanistan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJqnWIQ3o1c

NoEscalation.org: Help Us Push and Track Congress on Afghanistan Escalation

No decision has been announced. Call Members of Congress, ask where they stand, and report the results.
http://NoEscalation.org

Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy

Your financial contributions to Just Foreign Policy help us create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) An agreement to end a four-month political crisis in Honduras collapsed early on Friday, Reuters reports. President Zelaya declared the pact dead just a week after it was signed and called on Hondurans to boycott presidential elections this month because, in a surprise move, de facto leader Micheletti moved to form a new government without him.

2) Fort Hood, the base stricken in Thursday's shooting rampage, has a large share of the military's overall instances of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide, the Wall Street Journal reports. Since the start of the Afghan war in 2001, the base has lost hundreds of soldiers in combat. The base has also lost at least 75 of its soldiers to suicide, one of the heaviest such tolls in the U.S. military. Through October, 10 Fort Hood soldiers had taken their lives in 2009, the second-highest tally in the Army behind Kentucky's Fort Campbell, which had 16 suicides.

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JFP News 11/5: Mullen Forecasts War Supplemental

Just Foreign Policy News
November 5, 2009


Washington Post Slants Afghan News with Biased News Header
The Washington Post prefaces news articles about Afghanistan and Pakistan with the header: "The AfPak War: Combating Extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Even the article on Matthew Hoh's resignation - in which Hoh argued the opposite, that the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan was fueling the insurgency - carries this header. Urge the Washington Post to retire this biased news header.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/wapo-header

Background: WaPo Slants Afghan News with Biased News Header
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/394

NoEscalation.org: Help Us Push and Track Congress on Afghanistan Escalation
No decision has been announced. Call Members of Congress, ask where they stand, and report the results.
http://NoEscalation.org

Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
Your financial contributions to Just Foreign Policy help us create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
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Summary:
U.S./Top News

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WaPo Slants Afghan News with Biased News Header

On October 27, the Washington Post reported on the resignation of Matthew Hoh, a top U.S. official in Afghanistan, in protest of the U.S. war, noting that Hoh had come to believe that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan was simply fueling the insurgency.

But the editors of the Washington Post are still slanting their news coverage in a way that promotes the assumption that the United States is "combating extremism," rather than fueling extremism.

Stories on the Washington Post website about what the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan - including the story on Hoh's resignation - are introduced by a "header" that says:

"The AfPak War
Combating Extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan"

In using this header on news articles about U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Washington Post editors are skewing the news, reinforcing an assumption that Matthew Hoh and other critics of the war are trying to challenge, that U.S. policy is combating extremism.

Not only does the Post's "combating extremism" header reinforce the assumption that the U.S. is "combating extremism," the "AfPak War" designation also reinforces the assumption that Afghanistan and Pakistan are "one theater" of conflict. In particular, it promotes the assumption that the war in Afghanistan is justified on the basis of promoting stability in Pakistan. Many Afghans and Pakistanis, as well as critics of the Afghanistan war, see this assumption as false, counterproductive and even offensive.

JFP News 11/4: Zelaya Asks Clinton to Clarify U.S. Position on Coup

Just Foreign Policy News
November 4, 2009


Joint Chiefs: Don't Mess With Dwell Time
The Joint Chiefs have urged President Obama not to send new troops to Afghanistan unless they have spent 12 months in the U.S. That may disappoint Fred Kagan, who wants new troops in place for the "spring fighting season." But the U.N.'s Kai Eide has a better idea for the "spring fighting season": let's give it a miss.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/392

NoEscalation.org: Help Us Push and Track Congress on Afghanistan Escalation
No decision has been announced. Call Members of Congress, ask where they stand, and report the results.
http://NoEscalation.org

Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
Your financial contributions to Just Foreign Policy help us create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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Joint Chiefs: Don't Mess With Dwell Time

If you think there's a house-on-fire emergency demanding that President Obama send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan right away (is your name Fred Kagan?) you don't just have a problem with President Barack Obama. You have a problem with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

At a White House meeting Friday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged President Barack Obama to send fresh troops to Afghanistan only if they have spent at least a year in the U.S. since their last overseas tour, according to people familiar with the matter. If Mr. Obama agreed to that condition, many potential Afghanistan reinforcements wouldn't be available until next summer at the earliest.

A recent study by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, concluded that the U.S. has only three Army and Marine brigades - about 11,000 to 15,000 troops - capable of deploying to Afghanistan this year after spending at least 12 months back in the U.S.

Note that, by law, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "is the principal military adviser to the President."

Like every other patriotic American, I want to support our troops. If the Joint Chiefs say our troops need twelve months at home before being sent to Afghanistan, I think we better do what they say.

The rise is military suicides is a key issue driving the Joint Chiefs' concern:

Army officials say the strain of repeated deployments with minimal time back in the U.S. is one of the biggest factors fueling the rise in military suicides.

JFP News 11/3 - Joint Chiefs: Repeated Deployments Fueling Suicides

Just Foreign Policy News
November 3, 2009


Obama's Decision on More Troops to "Someone Else's Civil War"
In his letter of resignation, Matthew Hoh wrote, "I fail to see the value ... in continuous U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year old civil war." A prominent American agrees: "It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war." That was Senator Barack Obama, announcing his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10, 2007. A search through the New York Times and the Washington Post for the last 12 months turns up exactly one article mentioning the idea that there is a civil war in Afghanistan: the Post article on Hoh's resignation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/389

NoEscalation.org: Help Us Push and Track Congress on Afghanistan Escalation
No decision has been announced. Call Members of Congress, ask where they stand, and report the results.
http://NoEscalation.org

Rethink Afghanistan: "Congressman Alan Grayson on Afghanistan"

"I think that the aid program is a fig leaf to try to make Congress and the American people feel better about war...I think the basic premise that we can alter Afghan society is fatally flawed…everywhere you go, people want to be left alone. And that's the best foreign policy of all: just to leave people alone."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVLJUUgIOv4

Veterans Brock McIntosh & Rick Reyes on Afghanistan

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JFP News 11/2: Media Buries Afghan Civil War

Just Foreign Policy News
November 2, 2009


Obama's Decision on More Troops to "Someone Else's Civil War"
In his letter of resignation, Matthew Hoh wrote, "I fail to see the value ... in continuous U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year old civil war." A prominent American agrees: "It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war." That was Senator Barack Obama, announcing his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10, 2007. A search through the New York Times and the Washington Post for the last 12 months turns up exactly one article mentioning the idea that there is a civil war in Afghanistan: the Post article on Hoh's resignation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/389

NoEscalation.org: Help Us Push and Track Congress on Afghanistan Escalation
No decision has been announced. Call Members of Congress, ask where they stand, and report the results.
http://NoEscalation.org

Jon Stewart Interview with Anna Baltzer and Mustafa Barghouti

The Daily Show introduces Jewish-Palestinian cooperation for Palestinian human rights to television-watching America.
http://www.indecisionforever.com/2009/10/29/jon-stewarts-extended-interview-with-anna-baltzer-and-mustafa-barghouti/

Malalai Joya and the Tale of 2 CNNs

CNN US objects to Joya's reference to the US "occupation" of Afghanistan, but CNN International has no problem with it.

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