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JFP News 10/5: House Liberals Seek to Bar Troop Increase in Afghanistan

Just Foreign Policy News
October 5, 2009


Attend a Screening of Robert Greenwald's "Rethink Afghanistan"
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http://rethinkafghanistan.com/screenings/

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Nearly two dozen House liberals have signed onto a bill that would prohibit an increase of troops in Afghanistan, The Hill reports. Rep. Barbara Lee and 21 lawmakers introduced H.R. 3699 on Thursday.

2) National security adviser Jones rebuked Gen. McChrystal's public campaign for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan, saying that "it is better for military advice to come up through the chain of command," the Washington Post reports. McChrystal had criticized as "short-sighted" an alternative strategy put forward by Vice President Biden that would not involve sending more troops. Jones indicated that the Obama administration expects McChrystal and his military superiors to broaden the range of alternatives for how best to proceed in Afghanistan.

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Popular Resistance to the Coup in Honduras: an Interview with Bertha Caceres

This interview with Honduran human rights activist Bertha Caceres was conducted on September 4 by Beverly Bell, author of Walking on Fire: Haitian Women's Stories of Survival and Resistance and Program Coordinator of Other Worlds.

Bertha Caceres is a co-founder of COPINH, the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations in Honduras. COPINH addresses human rights issues such as the impunity of large land-owners and the forced eviction of campesinos; illegal de-forestation by corporations; and compensation for victims of human rights violations committed by the Honduran government.

Beverly Bell: Here we are in Havana with Bertha Caceras Flores in the Forum on Emancipatory Paradigms, speaking about the tactics and repression of those behind the coup d'etat.

JFP News, 9/25 - MoveOn: Exit Strategy, Not More Troops to Afghanistan

Just Foreign Policy News
September 25, 2009


[The editor of the JFP News will be traveling and presenting next week; the JFP News will resume on October 5.]

MoveOn to Obama: Exit Strategy, Not More Troops to Afghanistan
MoveOn.org is asking MoveOn members to write to President Obama in opposition to demands for more U.S. troops to be sent to Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/352

Tell President Obama: No More Troops for Afghanistan
Some of Obama's advisers are urging him to reject General McChrystal's request for more troops. With Obama publicly deliberating, now is the time to weigh in. Send President Obama a letter. Urge him to reject the request for more troops and turn U.S. policy away from military escalation and towards diplomacy and negotiation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nomoretroops

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Americans are more likely to say they would oppose (50%) rather than favor (41%) a possible decision by President Obama to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. By an overwhelming 82% to 14% margin, those opposed to a troop increase say they favor withdrawal over keeping the status quo. As many Americans overall favor withdrawing troops from the country (41%) as favor increasing troop levels (41%).

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MoveOn to Obama: Exit Strategy, Not More Troops to Afghanistan

The cavalry has arrived!

MoveOn.org is asking MoveOn members to write to President Obama in opposition to Pentagon/ McCain/Lieberman demands for more U.S. troops to be sent to Afghanistan, Greg Sargent reports.

MoveOn To Call On Obama To Develop Exit Strategy For Afghanistan

In its first direct pressure on President Obama over a major war-and-peace issue, MoveOn will call on the president today to develop an exit strategy for Afghanistan, a MoveOn official confirms to me.

MoveOn will blast an email to its massive list later today calling for members to write to the White House and demand "a clear exit strategy," the official confirms.

Indeed, MoveOn has already sent the email to some of its members. (If you are a MoveOn member and didn't see the email, don't panic - MoveOn typically starts its engagement by sending an email to part of its massive list.)

Sargent publishes the email here.

Pro-war advocates both inside and outside the administration - including John McCain and Joe Lieberman - are calling for a big escalation. The general in charge of Afghanistan is expected to request tens of thousands more troops, and that may just be the beginning. They're cranking up the pressure for an immediate surge.

But other powerful voices are urging caution: Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have raised real concerns about the idea of sending more troops to Afghanistan without a clear strategy, as have Democrats in Congress. And a majority of Americans oppose increasing troop levels.

McChrystal's "Ground Truth": Need Half a Million Boots on the Ground

Journalist Andrea Mitchell has noted that General McChrystal's report to President Obama calls for 500,000 troops in Afghanistan. [That's not 500,000 U.S. troops, but 500,000 troops overall.] Mitchell correctly notes that if you don't believe that the goals in McChrystal's report for increasing the size of the Afghan army are realistic, that should lead you to question agreeing to send more U.S. troops, because the premise of the request for more troops is that if you add more U.S. troops there's going to be "success," and that success, apparently, requires 500,000 boots on the ground. If you don't believe there's going to be success even if you add more U.S. troops, then you shouldn't add more U.S. troops - you should do something else.

McChrystal has suggested that without more U.S. troops we will "fail" - but the same logic says that without more Afghan troops we will also "fail." If adding the additional U.S. troops will not lead to the required addition of Afghan troops, then U.S. policy will "fail," even with the additional U.S. troops.

Some have dismissed the concern occasioned by Mitchell's comments by saying of course there aren't going to be half a million U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It's certainly true that there aren't going to be half a million U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But supporters of sending more troops have to answer this: to defend sending another 40,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, they have to defend their scenario that there's going to be 350,000 Afghan boots on the ground. Otherwise - according to General McChrystal - their plan is not going to work. Furthermore, they should say now what they will propose then if adding 40,000 more U.S. troops does not produce 350,000 Afghan troops. Do they promise not to ask for more U.S. troops? Would anyone believe such a promise?

JFP News 9/24: 500,000 Troops in Afghanistan?

Just Foreign Policy News
September 24, 2009


Tell President Obama: No More Troops for Afghanistan
Some of Obama's advisers are urging him to reject General McChrystal's request for more troops. With Obama publicly deliberating, now is the time to weigh in. Send President Obama a letter. Urge him to reject the request for more troops and turn U.S. policy away from military escalation and towards diplomacy and negotiation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/nomoretroops

Scholars, NGOs Appeal to President Obama for UN Security Council Meeting on Honduras
Brazil has asked for an emergency UN Security Council session on the crisis in Honduras. The State Department has said it is viewing Brazil's request positively. Scholars and NGO leaders have initiated a letter to President Obama urging him to support Brazil's request. You can sign too.
http://bit.ly/3KGt7g

Video - Andrea Mitchell: 500,000 Troops Needed for Afghanistan?
Journalist Andrea Mitchell is reporting that in the classified section of the McChrystal report on Afghanistan was a statement that 500,000 troops would be needed in Afghanistan. That's total troops, not U.S. forces, but Mitchell makes the point that since many are deeply skeptical that McChrystal's goals for increasing Afghan troops are realistic, it's reasonable for President Obama to view McChrystal's request for more U.S. troops very skeptically, since the request for more U.S. troops is based on a promise of a "success" in which there are 500,000 troops overall.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWX794aJ_y8

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JFP News 9/12: The Real Failure of the Afghan Election

Just Foreign Policy News
September 23, 2009


The Real Failure of the Afghan Election
The post-election claims about the Afghan election have had the unfortunate effect of obscuring a far more fundamental consequence for evaluating the future of US policy. The fundamental failure was not the attempted theft of votes by some Karzai supporters and some Abdullah supporters. The fundamental failure was the failure of the US and allied forces to provide security for the election, as they had promised to do. If the US and its allies could not establish security for this single event, an event on which they were highly focused, an event for which they had explicitly increased their forces in the country, that suggests that current plans to provide security by increasing foreign forces will fail, absent a broad political process to resolve Afghanistan's conflicts - a political process that must include the "Taliban" insurgencies to be successful.
http://www.truthout.org/092209R?n

Withdraw from Afghanistan with a Public, Negotiated Timetable
In this short video from the CATO forum, Just Foreign Policy makes the case for a timetable for withdrawal.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/exit-afghanistan

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Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP News 9/22: Brzezinski suggests U.S. threaten Israeli planes to deter Israeli attack

Just Foreign Policy News
September 22, 2009


Now is the Time to Restore President Zelaya
Secretary of State Clinton says that "now that President Zelaya is back, it would be opportune to restore him to his position." But before there can be a diplomatic solution, the U.S. must make clear to the coup regime that a violent crackdown won't solve the crisis. Urge the State Department and the White House to speak out forcefully against violent repression.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/342

Withdraw from Afghanistan with a Public, Negotiated Timetable
In this short video from the CATO forum, Just Foreign Policy makes the case for a timetable for withdrawal.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/exit-afghanistan

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) Honduran authorities maintained a security cordon around the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa Tuesday after forcefully dispersing supporters of ousted President Zelaya, CNN reports. Police and soldiers blocked off streets throughout the capital to enforce a nationwide curfew. All flights in and out of the country were canceled. The de facto authorities isolated the Brazilian Embassy by cutting water, power and phone lines to the building. The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa was closed. The State Department said U.S. diplomats remained in contact with both sides in the conflict.

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Hillary: Now Is the Time to Restore President Zelaya

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras yesterday; President Zelaya is under the protection of the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa. The coup regime immediately declared a curfew; Honduran military and police have surrounded the embassy, violently dispersing President Zelaya's supporters.

As Secretary of State Clinton has noted, the question of whether President Zelaya can return to Honduras has been resolved by events. He has returned. The question is now restoring him to office.

Speaking after meeting with Costa Rican President Arias, Secretary Clinton said:

now that President Zelaya is back, it would be opportune to restore him to his position under appropriate circumstances, get on with the election that is currently scheduled for November, have a peaceful transition of presidential authority, and get Honduras back to constitutional and democratic order in a very - on a very clear path toward that goal.

That's good. But before there can be a diplomatic resolution of the crisis, the US must make clear to the coup regime that a violent crackdown will not be a way out. The reports from Honduras indicate that a violent crackdown is already underway.

Brazil's Foreign Minister Amorim has warned that any threat to President Zelaya or the Brazilian embassy would be a grave breach of international law. OAS Secretary General Insulza said the de facto authorities must be responsible for the security of President Zelaya and for the Brazilian Embassy.

But an adviser to the coup regime's foreign ministry claimed that international law would not stop the coup regime from raiding the Brazilian embassy.

JFP News 9/21: President Zelaya Returns to Honduras

Just Foreign Policy News
September 21, 2009


A Winnable Fight: No More U.S. Troops to Afghanistan
The stars are aligning for a winnable and worthwhile fight on U.S. policy in Afghanistan in the next several weeks: stopping the Obama Administration from sending more troops.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/337

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) President Zelaya returned to Honduras Monday and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy, Reuters reports. His appearance in Honduras increased pressure on the country's ruler Roberto Micheletti to cede power, Reuters says. Several thousand Zelaya supporters gathered outside the embassy while a military helicopter clattered overhead and a small group of police stood 100 yards away. The U.S. called for restraint. Brazilian Foreign Minister Amorim said he was hopeful Zelaya's return could start a new stage in negotiations to end the crisis.

2) OAS Secretary General Insulza said the de facto government authorities must be responsible for the security of President Zelaya and for the Brazilian Embassy, the Buenos Aires Herald reports. The OAS held an emergency meeting in Washington to decide when Insulza will be able to travel to Honduras.

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