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Reset: Stephen Kinzer's Vision of a New U.S. Relationship with Turkey and Iran

Until quite recently, it seemed that Turkey had a clearly defined role in the Middle East, from the standpoint of U.S. policy. They were the "good Muslims," who were part of NATO, who contributed troops to U.S. wars, and who had good relations with Israel.

In the past few weeks, therefore, some Americans may have been startled to see the government of Turkey seemingly playing a very different role. First, together with Brazil, Turkey negotiated a nuclear fuel swap agreement with Iran to defuse the standoff over Iran's nuclear program and forestall a controversial U.S./Israeli push for new sanctions against Iran at the U.N. Although the deal was very similar to one proposed by the Obama Administration - and Brazil and Turkey had a letter from Obama encouraging them to press forward with the deal - Obama Administration officials dismissed the deal, and far from being grateful to Turkey and Brazil, made a show of being angry. But instead of being chastened, Turkey and Brazil insisted their deal was good - invoking their letter from Obama to demonstrate their case - and insisted that the U.S. should pursue it.

JFP 6/7: Cordesman says Israel "strategic liability" for US

Just Foreign Policy News
June 7, 2010


Live Virtual Brown Bag with Stephen Kinzer
On Friday, June 11th at 1pm ET (12pm Central, 10am Pacific), Just Foreign Policy will be broadcasting a live, interactive virtual talk with former New York Times foreign correspondent and author Stephen Kinzer. Kinzer is promoting his new book, "RESET: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future," which is being published tomorrow.
Find out more and register:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/kinzertalk

This week and next, Stephen will be in New York, DC, Chicago, SF, LA:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/kinzertour

Get the book from Powell's (Union shop)

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buyreset

Al Jazeera Video: Israel Takes The Rachel Corrie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLnE08AVjZ8

Israel blocks cement shipment from entering Gaza

Israel refused to allow 500 tons of cement transported by the Rachel Corrie into Gaza.
http://nowlebanon.com/NewsArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=174699

Tristan Anderson comes home
After more than a year in a Tel Aviv hospital, activist and photo-journalist Tristan Anderson has returned to California. Tristan was critically injured when he was shot in the head at close range with a high-velocity tear gas canister at the Israeli Separation Wall on March 13, 2009, while taking photos following a demonstration against the apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Ni'lin.

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Buy "Reset" from Powell's (Union bookstore)

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JFP 6/4: Rachel Corrie Nears Gaza; Turkey Near Breaking Ties with Israel

Just Foreign Policy News
June 4, 2010

Track the #RachelCorrie on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#search?q=rachelcorrie

With "Linkage," Turkey and Brazil Can End the Siege of Gaza
It appears that if Turkey and Brazil want to have effective input at the Big Table, they are going to have to play hardball effectively with the United States: they have to continue to show the U.S. that they have the power to obstruct the U.S. from getting what it wants if the US continues to ignore their concerns. If Turkey and Brazil could delay a Security Council vote on Iran, the US would have to negotiate.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/with-linkage-turkey-and-b_b_600997.html

Video: Interview with Al Jazeera's Jamal ElShayyal:
Al Jazeera reporter who was on the Mavi Marmara: "There is no doubt from what I saw that live ammunition was fired before any Israeli soldier was on deck." Also, he asserts that Israeli soldiers refused a request from an Israeli member of parliament to provide assistance to 3 wounded who later died. Beginning at 3:43.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cQ69oKFtVg

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Summary:
U.S./Top News

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With "Linkage," Turkey and Brazil Can End the Siege of Gaza

In the past few weeks, Turkey and Brazil have elbowed their way to the Big Table of international diplomacy: first by negotiating a nuclear fuel swap agreement to try to push the US back towards diplomatic efforts to resolve its conflict with Iran, and then - in the case of Turkey - by its support of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla's efforts to break the Israeli-Egyptian-US siege of Gaza's civilian population - efforts that continue today as the Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie proceeds towards Gaza, amid silence - not enough protest, apparently - from the Obama Administration.

But it appears that if Turkey and Brazil want to have effective input at the Big Table, they are going to have to play hardball effectively with the United States: they have to continue to show the U.S. that they have the power to obstruct the U.S. from getting what it wants if the US continues to ignore their concerns.

Gibbs questioned on Rachel Corrie

From Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, 6/1/10

Q The aid ship the Rachel Corrie is scheduled to arrive in Gazan waters tomorrow and the Israelis are planning to intercept it. Would you consider calling on them not to do that?

MR. GIBBS: Let me get some information on the extent of that --

Q Will you get back to us on that?

MR. GIBBS: Sure, I will find that answer out.

Urge President Obama to "consider calling on them not to do that."

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JFP 6/3: Ex UN Official Urges Irish-Americans to Defend the Rachel Corrie

Just Foreign Policy News
June 3, 2010

Ex UN Official Denis Halliday Urges Irish-Americans to Defend the Rachel Corrie
Former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday said it was imperative that the Obama administration support Ireland's call on the Israeli authorities to ensure safe passage for the Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Irish Times reports. Speaking by satellite phone from on board the Rachel Corrie, Halliday called on Irish-Americans to lobby the Obama administration.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/halliday-urges-irish-amer_b_598924.html

Tell Obama: Speak Up for the Free Passage of the Rachel Corrie to Gaza
In his speech in Cairo, President Obama urged the Palestinian people to press their claims for justice through nonviolence. Now that the Israeli military has attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, President Obama should follow through on his Cairo speech, and demand free passage to Gaza for the Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/mvrachelcorrie

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http://twitter.com/home/?status=Urge+Pres+Obama+to+protect+MV+Rachel+Corrie+passage+into+%23Gaza+http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2FdokPGg+%23flotilla+RT+@justfp

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Halliday Urges Irish-Americans to Defend the Rachel Corrie

Former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday said it was imperative that the Obama administration supported Ireland's call on the Israeli authorities to ensure safe passage for the Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Irish Times reports. Speaking by satellite phone from on board the Rachel Corrie, Halliday called on Irish-Americans to lobby the Obama Administration: "We also feel there is a role for the Irish diaspora here, in the US and elsewhere to lobby politicians over this continued illegal blockade of Gaza, which is causing such hardship to the Palestinian people."

Halliday has some experience with this issue, having resigned from his position as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq in 1998 over the impact of UN/US sanctions on Iraqi civilians.

The issue of the Gaza blockade has tremendous resonance in Ireland, partly because of Ireland's high degree of engagement in international humanitarian causes - John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, who had called on the international community to break the siege by sending ships loaded with aid, is also Irish - but also, of course, because the Irish people have some experience with the consequences for civilians of a colonial blockade.

JFP 6/2: Experts Urge Talks on Fuel Swap Deal

Just Foreign Policy News
June 2, 2010

Tell Obama: Speak Up for the Free Passage of the Rachel Corrie to Gaza
In his speech in Cairo, President Obama urged the Palestinian people to press their claims for justice through nonviolence. Now that the Israeli military has attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, President Obama should follow through on his Cairo speech, and demand free passage to Gaza for the Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/mvrachelcorrie

Share this action on Twitter:

http://bit.ly/bEnnBj

Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
Your financial support allows us to educate Americans about U.S. foreign policy and to create opportunities for Americans to advocate for U.S. policies that are more just.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Video: Irish Labour Party Spokesman Says Gaza Blockade Illegal
Calls on the Irish government to press for the Rachel Corrie to pass unimpeded to Gaza.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzynO5YUrFE

Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Nine high-profile experts, including former weapons inspector David Kay and former Under Secretary of State Tom Pickering, said world powers should seriously consider the Iran nuclear fuel swap, Reuters reports. "We urge the so-called Vienna Group (Russia, France, the United States, and the IAEA) to seriously pursue this proposal as an opening for further diplomatic engagement with Iran on outstanding issues of concern," the experts said.

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JFP 6/1: Rachel Corrie Presses On for Gaza

Just Foreign Policy News
June 1, 2010

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Rachel Corrie Continues Towards Gaza: Will Obama Let Israel Attack?
The Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie is ploughing ahead with its attempt to deliver aid to Gaza despite yesterday's attack by the Israeli navy on Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara, the Irish Times reports. The government of Ireland is calling on the government of Israel to let the Rachel Corrie pass. What will the government of the US say?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/rachel-corrie-continues-t_b_596014.html

18 Senators Back Timetable for Afghanistan Withdrawal
Eighteen Senators voted for Senator Feingold's amendment to the war supplemental requiring the President to establish a timetable for the redeployment of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan. This will spur efforts for a timetable in the House.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/eighteen-senators-back-ti_b_592148.html

President Obama's letter to President Lula
President Obama's April 20 letter to President Lula shows that the deal Lula got was the deal that Obama told him to get: 1200 kgs of LEU out of Iran.
http://www.politicaexterna.com/archives/11023

Support a Timetable for Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan

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