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JFP 10/9: Won't More Pentagon $ Kill Jobs? UN sued on Haiti cholera; Palestinians return to Burka

Just Foreign Policy News, October 9, 2013
Won't More Pentagon $ Kill Jobs? UN sued on Haiti cholera; Palestinians return to Burka

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I) Actions and Featured Articles
**Action: With U.S. Borrowing Capped, Won't More Pentagon Spending Destroy Jobs?
Sign our petition at MoveOn, urging prominent Keynesian economists Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and Joe Stiglitz to publicly acknowledge that turning off planned cuts to the Pentagon budget by cutting Social Security and raising taxes on the middle class would destroy American jobs, because as a 2011 University of Massachusetts study showed, every other form of federal spending in the domestic economy, including tax cuts to promote personal consumption, creates more jobs than unnecessary Pentagon spending. So if you move money from the domestic economy to the Pentagon budget, you destroy jobs. Every American needs to know this before a "Grand Bargain" is imposed that cuts Social Security and raises taxes on the middle class to protect the bloated Pentagon.

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This Week, Let's Help Burlington Kill the $1.5 Trillion F-35 Taxpayer Ripoff

We have just a week left to help Burlington, Vermont kill the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the biggest taxpayer ripoff in human history. On Monday, October 7, the Burlington City Council will vote on a binding resolution that would block F-35 warplanes from being based at Burlington International Airport, which is owned by the city.


If the Council votes to block the planes from being based in Burlington, that won't kill the $1.5 trillion F-35 taxpayer ripoff by itself. But it will set a crucial precedent. It will prove that the F-35 is politically vulnerable. It will mark a historic defeat of pork-barrel military Keynesianism by citizen engagement. It would help change the national posture of Democrats on unnecessary military spending. It would help abolish the dogma that Democrats have to support unnecessary military spending when it takes place in their districts.

NYT's David Sanger Scaremongering Iran Nukes More Than Netanyahu

I've forgotten most of the Arabic I once knew. All I can remember now are a few colorful phrases, like "aktar maliki min il malik" - more royalist than the King.

Suppose that you decided that you wanted to scaremonger Iran's nuclear program. An obvious question presents itself: exactly how much should you scaremonger it? Suppose that you decided you wanted to run even with the world's top-drawer Iran nuclear program scaremongers. You might reasonably think to yourself, well, surely the world's preeminent Iran nuclear program scaremongers are Israeli government officials. If I scaremonger Iran's nuclear program like Israeli government officials, no-one's going to accuse me of being an Iran nuclear program scaremonger patzer.

So, you check the press reports to catch up on the latest in Israeli government Iran nuclear program scaremongering:

Iran Cooties: Will Obama Meet with Rouhani Tuesday?

In international diplomacy, gestures matter. This is particularly true for efforts to promote real diplomacy between the United States and Iran.

For three decades, the United States has mostly pursued an "Iran cooties" policy. We can't meet with Iranian leaders, because someone might interpret that to mean that we think that the Iranian government is "legitimate." OMG! We might get Iran cooties!

It sounds ridiculous, and it is. And it has a real cost in human lives. Because of the "Iran cooties" policy, it's harder to use diplomacy to help end wars in the Middle East, like the Syrian civil war, or the war in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, President Obama has a historic opportunity to end the "Iran cooties" policy. Iran's newly-elected, pragmatic, pro-diplomacy President Hassan Rouhani is going to be addressing the United Nations General Assembly. So is U.S. President Barack Obama.

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Tell the WaPo: Stop Getting Ahead of the Facts on Iran!

The Washington Post is at it again.

A September 15 article in the Post contained the following gem (emphasis mine): [1]

Israel’s security establishment fears that a failure to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons could encourage Tehran, Syria’s ally, to continue to enrich uranium for a bomb.

This sentence implies that Iran is currently enriching uranium for a nuclear bomb. But there is no evidence at all that this is the case. [2] In fact, both US and Israeli intelligence agree that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon. [3] So the Post should correct this sentence.

We've been through all of this before with the Post's former Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, who acknowledged that a header and subheader the Post printed back in 2011 was misleading because it implied that Iran was trying to build a nuclear weapon. [4] Asked to weigh in on the current controversy, Pexton responded on Twitter that [5]

That sentence is easy to miss but I think it should be corrected. No govt has yet said Iran is enriching for a bomb.

Unfortunately, the Post eliminated the Ombudsman position earlier this year when Pexton's contract ran out. [6] He was "replaced" by Douglas Feaver, who holds the title "Reader Representative." But Feaver has yet to respond to numerous calls over the last month to correct misleading Post passages on Iran's nuclear program. [7]

Let's flood Feaver's inbox so he can't ignore the truth any longer. It only took 1500 emails to get Pexton to issue his original correction. [8] With your help, we may be able to stop the Post from getting ahead of the facts on Iran yet again.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/wapo-iran-facts

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

WaPo: Back to Getting Ahead of the Facts on Iran

The Washington Post is at it again. A Sunday article entitled "Kerry tells Israel that Syria accord is no prelude to Iran deal" contained the following gem:

Israel’s security establishment fears that a failure to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons could encourage Tehran, Syria’s ally, to continue to enrich uranium for a bomb.

Saying that something could encourage Iran "to continue to enrich uranium for a bomb" implies that Iran is currently enriching uranium with the purpose of using it for a nuclear bomb. There is, of course, no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon or that it is diverting uranium from its civil program, which is under IAEA inspection. In fact, both Israeli and US intelligence agree that Iran has not made a decision to pursue nuclear weapons. Since there is no evidence that the aim of any Iranian enrichment is "for a bomb," this passage in the Post is misleading.

Press clips from vigil against the U.S. bombing of Syria in Illinois' 13th Congressional District (Rep. Rodney Davis)

WCIA-TV (with video): Former lawmaker joins anti-war vigil
http://www.illinoishomepage.net/story/former-lawmaker-joins-anti-war-vig...

WICD-TV (video): Some In CU Say: Don't Strike Syria
http://www.wicd15.com/news/top-stories/stories/some-cu-say-dont-strike-s...

WAND-TV (video): Residents urge lawmakers to vote against attacks on Syria
http://www.wandtv.com/category/182814/video?clipId=9289985

News-Gazette: Candlelight vigil held over proposed strikes against Syria
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-09-09/candlelight-vigil-held...

News-Gazette photo gallery: Vigil Against Bombing Syria: 9/9/13
http://www.news-gazette.com/multimedia/photogallery/2013-09-09/vigil-aga...

WILL-AM: At Rally, Fmr. Rep. Johnson Speaks Out Against Possible Military Strike
http://will.illinois.edu/news/story/at-rally-fmr.-rep.-johnson-speaks-ou...

Daily Illini: Community members plead for peace
http://issuu.com/thedailyillini/docs/di09102013/1?e=9235924/4776596

JFP 9/11: War Push Paused as Obama Tries Diplomacy with Russia

Just Foreign Policy News, September 11, 2013
JFP 9/11: War Push Paused as Obama Tries Diplomacy with Russia

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

**Action: Engage Iran for a ceasefire in Syria
Last night, President Obama indefinitely postponed his push for a Congressional authorization for war in Syria, saying he was going to pursue a Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. As the New York Times noted, this historic shift from a push for war to a push for diplomacy came as the Obama Administration faced "implacable opposition to a strike in Syria in Congress and throughout the country," and a vote authorizing military action "was almost certain to lose" as "opposition to a strike was hardening" on Capitol Hill. This shift is a historic opportunity to change the conversation about U.S. policy towards Iran. Engaging Iran is going to be key to achieving a ceasefire in Syria and negotiations to end the civil war. Urge President Obama and Congress to support engagement with Iran to address the crisis in Syria.

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How Syria Plays Into AIPAC Mythology

When the news broke that President Obama wanted to launch military strikes in Syria, I was sitting in a hotel in Jerusalem nearing the end of a fact-finding mission examining the situation on the ground in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What I had recently witnessed was the failure of the US to uphold not only international law but its own stated policy as Israel effectively colonized East Jerusalem and vast swathes of the West Bank, encircling Palestinian cantons in a sea of Israeli-only settlements, roads, state lands, and military zones.

Even the initiation of the US-brokered peace process seems to have had little impact on the Israeli calculus. I arrived in the country the same week as Martin Indyk, the US envoy for the talks. In the days immediately preceding my arrival, and in the three weeks I spent in the country, the Israeli government announced the construction of over 4,400 new settlement units. In the same period of time, 11 Palestinian families were made homeless through house demolitions. Under present circumstances, a contiguous Palestinian state seems like an impossible dream.