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JFP 12/16: Bogus Afghan "Review" Shows Need for Journalism on Classified Information

Just Foreign Policy News
December 16, 2010

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Bogus Afghan "Review" Shows Need for Journalism on Classified Information
The Obama Administration "review" of Afghanistan policy claims "progress." The assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies gives a very different picture. The intelligence agencies say Pakistan remains unwilling to stop providing support and sanctuary for members of the Afghan Taliban. Many experts inside and outside the U.S. government believe Pakistan's policy will be fatal to U.S. war plans; many experts inside and outside the U.S. government think there is no reason to expect Pakistan's policy will change, because it is based on Pakistani perception of core national security interests and opposition to what the Pakistanis see as a pro-India U.S. policy in Afghanistan, which the U.S. has no current plans to change. Therefore, the clear implication of the alternative assessment is that the current U.S. war policy is doomed to costly failure.

The reason that we know about this fundamental disagreement among U.S. officials on this critical point concerning the war policy is because news outlets like the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times report on classified information, and because of WikiLeaks. That's why the attacks on WikiLeaks are not only attacks on freedom of the press - as Human Rights Watch notes, #4 below, if the U.S. prosecuted Julian Assange for releasing classified State Department cables, "this would imperil media freedom everywhere" - but also attacks on the ability of the public to end the Afghanistan war and prevent new wars.

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JFP 12/15: LAT, NYT: Classified Intel Contradicts Rosy Afghan Review

Just Foreign Policy News
December 15, 2010

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Honor Holbrooke: "Stop This War in Afghanistan"
To honor Holbrroke's memory, we should obey his last command.
http://www.truth-out.org/honor-holbrooke-stop-this-war-afghanistan65964

Rep. McDermott: Could WikiLeaks Have Prevented 9/11?

"… the information that's coming out is very important. I read an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, about the fact that had we had WikiLeaks in 2001, we may well not have had 9/11 occur." McDermott was referring to the op-ed by former FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
http://www.washingtonstakeout.com/index.php/2010/12/12/rep-mcdermott-could-wikileaks-have-prevented-911/

CNN: Ex-CIA Ray McGovern Supports Wikileaks' Julian Assange

"Of course he's a journalist - unlike the 'Fawning Corporate Media.'"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM_IdfPPmEY

St. Louis Flash Mob: Boycott Israeli Apartheid

"Hang up on Motorola."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGAdfvGQ-xg

Afghanistan experts call for peace deal and exit strategy

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JFP 12/14: Holbrooke: "You've Got to Stop This War in Afghanistan"

Just Foreign Policy News
December 14, 2010

Richard Holbrooke: "You've Got to Stop This War in Afghanistan"
To honor Holbrooke's memory, we should obey his last command.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/the-richard-holbrooke-mem_b_796502.html

Afghanistan experts call for peace deal and exit strategy

Afghanistan experts with decades of experience in the country call on President Obama to change course and push for a peace settlement and exit strategy. Signers include: Scott Atran, Michael Cohen, Gilles Dorronsoro, Bernard Finel, Joshua Foust, Anatol Lieven, Ahmed Rashid, and Alex Strick van Linschoten.
http://www.afghanistancalltoreason.com/

Deficit Reduction Proposals: Defense Discretionary Spending
Laicie Olson of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation has put together a chart that shows where various deficit reduction proposals come down on specific cuts to the military budget. For example, one can see from the chart that five of the nine proposals essentially call for returning troop levels to their prewar levels; and seven of the nine proposals call for at least a 1/3 cut in the US military presence in Asia and Europe.
http://armscontrolcenter.org/Deficit_Proposals_PDF.pdf

Public Citizen Condemns Attacks on WikiLeaks, Which Threaten Online Speech and Freedom of Press
Statement of Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen: "the attacks are an assault not only on WikiLeaks, but on freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of the Internet."

The Richard Holbrooke Memorial Peace Talks to End the Afghan War

When a Member of Congress dies, sometimes other Members name a bill after that Member that advances some cause identified with the Member. So, for example, we had the "Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act" - Kennedy was a champion of volunteer service.

Such naming has multiple effects. Of course it honors the departed. But, like the Spanish hero El Cid, whose companions suited him up and placed him on his horse to drive off their foes, it also gives the departed one last ride into battle. When you name something the "Our esteemed colleague who just passed" Act, you're laying down a challenge - don't leave this one on the cutting room floor. And everyone gets to cheat death a little by giving the departed one last accomplishment associated with that person's name.

The uncompleted challenge of Richard Holbrooke's diplomatic career was a peace deal in Afghanistan. It was the hope of many that Holbrooke would help broker a peace deal between the warring factions in Afghanistan and between their regional patrons that would end the war. This hope was encouraged by Holbrooke's role in negotiating the 1995 Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia.

This unfinished business was apparently very much on Holbrooke's mind as they prepared him for surgery from which, presumably, he had some inkling that he might not return.

"You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan," Holbrooke said, according to family members.

Are peace talks to end the war a pipe dream? Not according to many Afghanistan experts with decades of experience in the country.

JFP 12/13 - Daniel Ellsberg: "I Am Wikileaks!"

Just Foreign Policy News
December 13, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg: "I Am Wikileaks!"
Before asserting that Julian Assange and Wikileaks have nothing in common with Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers case, Senator Durbin would have been wise to take note of the fact that Daniel Ellsberg is still alive and forcefully believes the opposite.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/daniel-ellsberg-i-am-wiki_b_795848.html

Afghanistan experts call for peace deal and exit strategy
Afghanistan experts with decades of experience in the country call on President Obama to change course and push for a peace settlement and exit strategy. Signers include: Scott Atran, Michael Cohen, Gilles Dorronsoro, Bernard Finel, Joshua Foust, Anatol Lieven, Ahmed Rashid, and Alex Strick van Linschoten.
http://www.afghanistancalltoreason.com/

*Action: Petition: Timetable for the Withdrawal of UN Troops from Haiti
The election fiasco in Haiti, following UN attempts to cover up the likely role of UN troops in the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, add urgency to the call for the UN to tell Haitians what the plan is for the full restoration of Haitian sovereignty.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/haiti

Ron Paul Defends Wikileaks on the House Floor

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Daniel Ellsberg: "I Am WikiLeaks!"

Since E.D. Hirsch failed in his noble jihad to enforce Cultural Literacy, I can't assume readers are familiar with the scene in Annie Hall in which Woody Allen stops a movie line bloviator from pontificating about Marshall McLuhan by producing the actual Marshall McLuhan from behind a movie poster to tell the pontificator off. So here is a clip:

Allen concludes the scene by saying to the camera, "Boy, if life were only like this."

But the funny thing is, sometimes life is just like that, and in the past week we have been presented with a spectacular, world-historical example.

A standard bloviator talking point in the last few weeks against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange has been: the WikiLeaks release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables is nothing like the Pentagon Papers case which exposed the US government's fundamental lying to the public about the Vietnam War, and Julian Assange and alleged leaker Bradley Manning are nothing like Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. This Manichean division between "good" and "bad" leakers has been recited with great earnestness: "Four legs good, two legs baaaad!"

A striking example was noted by Sam Husseini on December 5 , citing an appearance by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin on CBS' "Face the Nation":

 

JFP 12/10: Is US flexible on Iran enrichment?

Just Foreign Policy News
December 10, 2010

*Action: Tonight: Attend a "South of the Border" Screening Party and/or follow us online
In major US media, evidence of US involvement in coups in Latin America doesn't exist.
But Oliver Stone's documentary "South of the Border" documents U.S. involvement in the 2002 coup in Venezuela. Today - Human Rights Day - attend a house party to watch "South of the Border." Check to see if there's a house party near you:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/southofobama/search

Watch the webcast tonight with Mark Weisbrot, at 9pm ET, 8pm CT/ 7pm MT/ 6pm PT
Just Foreign Policy President Mark Weisbrot, who co-wrote the script of the movie, will introduce the film by webcast at 9pm ET, then we'll watch South of the Border by DVD, then Mark will answer questions by webcast, starting at around 10:40pm ET. The webcast will be here:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/south-of-obama

Follow us tonight on Twitter:
During the Q &A, starting around 10:40pm ET, you can ask questions of Mark by posting to Twitter using the hashtag #southofobama.

*Action: Petition: Timetable for the Withdrawal of UN Troops from Haiti

During the webcast tonight, we'll be pitching our petition for a timetable to be established for the withdrawal of UN troops from Haiti. Have you signed the petition yet?
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/haiti

The Real News: Just Foreign Policy on Wikileaks and US Iran policy

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JFP 12/9: Europeans Slam US Jihad on Wikileaks

Just Foreign Policy News
December 9, 2010

*Action: Attend a "South of the Border" Screening Party
In major US media, evidence of US involvement in coups in Latin America doesn't exist.
But Oliver Stone's documentary "South of the Border" documents U.S. involvement in the 2002 coup in Venezuela. On December 10 - Human Rights Day - attend a house party to watch "South of the Border," and tune in to a live webcast with Just Foreign Policy President Mark Weisbrot, who co-wrote the script. Check to see if there's a house party near you:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/southofobama/search

Haiti Election Fiasco: Chickens Come Home to Roost
The Administration ignored calls from Congress to push for reform of Haiti's election commission. Now we see the consequence: an election result that even the US Embassy doubted.
http://www.truth-out.org/haiti-election-fiasco-chickens-come-home-roost65805

Guardian: Wikileaks under attack: timeline
The Guardian tallies attacks on Wikileaks from governments and corporations.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-under-attack-definitive-timeline

CounterSpin: WikiLeaks and the Coup in Honduras
One story hasn't received enough media attention: how the U.S. embassy really saw the 2009 coup in Honduras. How did this cable conflict with official U.S. pronouncements and corporate media spin? Counterspin talks to Just Foreign Policy.
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4208

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Welcome to the South of the Border Watch Parties!

Thank you for participating in a screening of Oliver Stone's documentary South of the Border!

On Friday, this page will redirect to the live web stream from Washington with Just Foreign Policy President Mark Weisbrot, who co-wrote the film. Mark will introduce the film at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific. Then we'll watch the movie, and then Mark will answer questions via the webcast.

If you want to test your ability now to watch the live stream on Friday, you can visit this link to watch NASA TV.

Have you signed our petition calling for the UN to establish a plan for the withdrawal of UN troops from Haiti? You can do that here.

JFP 12/7: French Report: Haiti cholera outbreak 'came from UN camp'

Just Foreign Policy News
December 7, 2010

*Action: Attend a "South of the Border" Screening Party
In major US media, evidence of US involvement in coups in Latin America doesn't exist..
On December 10 - Human Rights Day - attend a house party to watch Oliver Stone's documentary "South of the Border," and tune in to a live webcast with Just Foreign Policy President Mark Weisbrot, who co-wrote the script. Check to see if there's a house party near you:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/southofobama/search

CounterSpin: WikiLeaks and the Coup in Honduras
One story hasn't received enough media attention: how the U.S. embassy really saw the 2009 coup in Honduras. How did this cable conflict with official U.S. pronouncements and corporate media spin? Counterspin talks to Just Foreign Policy.
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4208

Guardian Misreports Wikileaks on US Stance on Taliban Talks
The Guardian reported that "the secret cables show a united US front against talks" and that Richard Holbrooke, Obama's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said: "There will be no power-sharing with elements of the Taliban." But the cable cited was sent in January, and in reporting on the cable to characterize US policy in the present tense the Guardian ignored its own reporting in July that the US said its policy had changed. It's important that what we know about the US stance be reported correctly. If public understanding of the situation becomes pea soup, that makes it harder for people to effectively advocate for the needed change in policy to end the war.

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