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JFP 3/19: 10 Years Later, Peace Groups Tell Congress: Don't Iraq Iran!

Just Foreign Policy News, March 19, 2013
10 Years Later, Peace Groups Tell Congress: Don't Iraq Iran!

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

*Action: 10 Years later, Don't Iraq Iran!
Together with Win Without War, Peace Action West, the National Iranian American Council, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation, we're calling Congress today, urging them not to repeat their disastrous Iraq war with Iran. Urge your Senators and Representative not to cosponsor AIPAC's bills for war with Iran, and to insist that these bills go through committee markup so that (at least!) their most egregious features can be removed - like trying to pre-approve US participation in an Israeli attack on Iran. FCNL has offered the use of its toll free number, 1-855-68-NO WAR. More information, and a place to report your call, here:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sres65-call-in

Introducing "Gaza's Ark"

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Call Your Senators This Week And Tell Them: Don't Iraq Iran!

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Yet, it seems that a majority of the Senate hasn't learned its lesson: S. Res. 65, AIPAC/Lindsey Graham's "backdoor to war" with Iran bill, now has 65 co-sponsors. [1] Even Senators who opposed the Iraq war, such as Sens. Boxer and Durbin, have signed on to the bill.

But allies are popping up in unexpected places. The New York Times recently came out in support of negotiations—and slammed S. Res. 65. [2]

We've defeated AIPAC before—and with enough pressure, we can do it again. Over 20,000 Just Foreign Policy members have emailed their Senators on S. Res. 65. But AIPAC supporters have been working hard as well. That's why we need to scale up our opposition.

This week, Just Foreign Policy is joining with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the National Iranian American Council, and Peace Action West for a national call-in to the Senate opposing Graham's "backdoor to war" with Iran bill. Could you follow up your email with a phone call to your Senator? Here's what you do:

  1. Check to see if your Senator has co-sponsored the bill here:
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sres65-call-in
  2. Call the Capital Switchboard using this toll-free number provided by FCNL: 1-855-68-NO WAR (1-855-686-6927)
  3. Ask to be connected to your Senator's office.
  4. When you are connected to your Senator's office:
    1. If your Senator hasn't co-sponsored the bill, thank them for staying off, and urge them to resist pressure to sign the bill, noting that the bill
      1. tries to "pre-approve" US participation in an Israeli attack on Iran; and
      2. tries to move up the "red line" for war

JFP 3/14: Obama Disses Dem Sens on Drone Memos; "Aiding the Enemy" Charge Hit

Just Foreign Policy News, March 14, 2013
Obama Disses Dem Sens on Drone Memos; "Aiding the Enemy" Charge Hit

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OCO Should Be Eliminated; War Spending Should Be Included in the Base Pentagon Budget

As the war in Afghanistan is being wound down, there is less and less justification for having an account for "Overseas and Contingency Operations" separate from the base Pentagon budget.

1. War spending is predictable - as predictable as other spending - and is becoming more so. The main cost in OCO currently is deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to Afghanistan. It's possible for the Administration and Congress to plan for how many U.S. troops - if any - will be deployed to Afghanistan until 2014 and beyond, and the cost of this should be transparently accounted for.

2. There is no clear line that distinguishes "war costs" from costs in the base Pentagon budget.

3. The fact that there is no clear line that distinguishes war costs from costs in the base Pentagon budget, the fact that OCO was not capped by the Budget Control Act, and the fact that the initial outyear numbers for OCO have been fake, together have been an invitation for abuse. As the fake initial OCO numbers have been replaced by real numbers in recent years, defense appropriators have used the fake savings to protect the base Pentagon budget from agreed cuts by moving expenditures from the base Pentagon budget into the OCO budget.

JFP 3/12: CPCers demand drone answers; Cruz, Paul intro ban of drone strikes in US

Just Foreign Policy News, March 12, 2013
CPCers demand drone answers; Cruz, Paul intro ban of US drone strikes

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Senate: No Backdoor to Iran War
Sign our petition to the Senate against S. Res. 65 at SignOn.
http://signon.org/sign/senate-no-backdoor-to?source=c.url&r_by=1135580

Here Comes AIPAC, Lobbying for War
Over 19,000 people have taken action on our alert to Congress, urging Congress to oppose AIPAC's bills for war with Iran. We've modified our alert so it now sends the New York Times editorial and the APN statements against the Senate and House bills.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/aipac-2013

If you've written Congress, please call.
FCNL has offered the use of its toll free number, 1-855-68-NO WAR. Urge your Senators and Representative not to cosponsor AIPAC's bills for war with Iran. Mention the New York Times editorial and the APN statements. More information, and a place to report your call, here:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sres65-call-in

What Rand Paul & Ted Cruz Exposed About the Drone Strikes
Rand Paul and Ted Cruz's questioning about what the Administration claims would be legal in the U.S. brings public attention to the extraordinary claims of the Administration about what it is legal to do in other people's countries.

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JFP 3/11: NYT, APN slam AIPAC's "Back Door to War"

Just Foreign Policy News, March 11, 2013
NYT, APN slam AIPAC's "Back Door to War"

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

Here Comes AIPAC, Lobbying for War
Over 17,000 people have taken action on our alert to Congress, urging Congress to oppose AIPAC's bills for war with Iran. We've modified our alert so it now sends the New York Times editorial (#1 below) and the APN statements on the Senate and House bills (#2 and #3 below.)
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/aipac-2013

If you've written Congress, please call.
FCNL has offered the use of its toll free number, 1-855-68-NO WAR. Urge your Senators and Representative not to cosponsor AIPAC's bills for war with Iran. Mention the New York Times editorial and the APN statements (#1-3 below.) More information, and a place to report your call, here:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sres65-call-in

What Rand Paul & Ted Cruz Exposed About the Drone Strikes
Rand Paul and Ted Cruz's questioning about what the Administration claims would be legal in the U.S. brings public attention to the extraordinary claims of the Administration about what it is legal to do in other people's countries.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/what-rand-paul-ted-cruz-e_b_2828517.html

Why Do Senators Boxer and Wyden Want to Bomb Iran?

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New York Times Calls Out AIPAC Warmongering, Slams Graham's S. Res. 65, House's H.R. 850

The New York Times editorial board has come a long way since its days of upholding the false dichotomy of sanctions versus war as the only options for US-Iran relations. It was less than two years ago that the Times published an editorial assessing the potential paths for addressing the US-Iran impasse—and completely neglected to mention diplomacy or negotiations.

But a Saturday editorial shows that the Times's vocabulary and outlook on the subject has since undergone a significant expansion:

If there is any hope for a peaceful resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran, President Obama needs Congress to support negotiations. But negotiations and compromise are largely anathema in Washington, with many lawmakers insisting that any deal with Iran would be unacceptable — a stance that would make military action by Israel and the United States far more likely.

Not only did the editorial board recognize that "the best way to avert military conflict is by negotiating a credible, verifiable agreement," but it also slammed two new AIPAC-sponsored Congressional initiatives aimed at sabotaging negotiations. On Sens. Lindsay Graham and Robert Menendez's "backdoor to war" resolution, S. Res. 65, the Times wrote that

Call Your Senators on S. Res. 65!

Call your Senators today to express your opposition to S. Res. 65, the AIPAC/Lindsey Graham bill that tries to "pre-approve" US participation in an Israeli attack on Iran and tries to move the "red line" for war from "preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon" to "preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability"—whatever that means.

Here's what you do:

  1. Check whether your Senator is a co-sponsor. Below is a list of current co-signers and the date that they co-signed:

    Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Barrasso, John [WY] - 3/6/2013
    Sen Baucus, Max [MT] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Begich, Mark [AK] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Boozman, John [AR] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Burr, Richard [NC] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 3/18/2013
    Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] - 3/18/2013
    Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] - 3/12/2013
    Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] - 3/18/2013
    Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] - 3/6/2013
    Sen Cornyn, John [TX] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Crapo, Mike [ID] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Cruz, Ted [TX] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Donnelly, Joe [IN] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 3/13/2013
    Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 3/12/2013
    Sen Fischer, Deb [NE] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Flake, Jeff [AZ] - 3/11/2013
    Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] - 3/14/2013
    Sen Heitkamp, Heidi [ND] - 3/11/2013
    Sen Heller, Dean [NV] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Hirono, Mazie K. [HI] - 3/5/2013
    Sen Hoeven, John [ND] - 2/28/2013
    Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] - 3/6/2013
    Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] - 3/5/2013

Tell Your Senator to Question Eric Holder on Drones!

As US Attorney General, Eric Holder has been instrumental in keeping the Justice Department's drone memos detailing the legal justification for US drone strikes a secret from the public—and from Congress.

But on Wednesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will have the opportunity to question Holder on anything related to his role at the Department of Justice.

If you live in AL, AZ, CA, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, MN, NY, RI, SC, TX, or VT, you have a Senator on the Judiciary Committee. That means you can have an influence on what Holder is asked. Don't you think Holder should have to face some questions on drones?

If so, write to your Senator today to tell him/her to demand the release of the secret drone memos and to question Holder on drones!

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/holder-hearing

Here are some questions we think members of the Senate Judiciary Committee should ask Attorney General Holder:

  1. Will you release the Justice Department drone memos detailing the legal justification for US drone killings? If not, why?
  2. What are the mechanisms in place for the investigation of unlawful killings during a drone strike? What are the mechanisms for redress of such killings?
  3. Has the Justice Department investigated allegations of secondary drone strikes targeting civilian first responders and other extrajudicial killings, such as that of 16 year-old US citizen Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki? If not, why?
  4. What is the Justice Department's definition of “imminent threat”?
  5. Is it true that the CIA is counting every “military age male” killed in a US drone strike as a “militant”? What would this imply about CIA claims that civilian casualties have been “exceedingly rare”?

If you think Holder should have to face these questions and others, let your Senator know.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/holder-hearing

Here Comes AIPAC, Lobbying For War

On Tuesday, after overcoming months of smears, hysterical rhetoric, and procedural obstruction, Chuck Hagel was confirmed as our next Secretary of Defense. We hope Secretary Hagel will help speed the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan, help avoid war with Iran, and help cut the Pentagon budget, as groups who supported his nomination expect.

But one thing is in the bag: we showed that in Congress we could beat the Likud Lobby—the group of people in Washington that drove the opposition to Hagel's nomination. [1] This faction says that "unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel," as Barack Obama characterized their claims in 2008. [2]

Now the Likud Lobby is pressing the Senate to endorse an Israeli military attack on Iran. If the U.S. were to support such an attack, it would likely draw us into war.

If we could beat the Likud Lobby on Hagel, we can beat them on this.

Urge your Senators to oppose the AIPAC "backdoor to war" bill and to take steps towards peace with Iran and Palestine.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/aipac-2013

AIPAC is holding its annual policy conference next week, during which hundreds of pro-Likud activists will descend on Congress to push your representatives to support war with Iran and a continuation of the status-quo between Israel and Palestine. Here are three things you can ask your reps to do to promote peace instead:

  1. Urge your Senators to oppose the Graham bill endorsing an Israeli attack on Iran. Senator Lindsey Graham is introducing a bill that says that if Israel attacks Iran, the U.S. should support Israel militarily and diplomatically. [3] JTA reports that winning Congressional support for this bill will be a focus of AIPAC's policy conference next week. [4] Urge your Senators to oppose this bill and to insist that the language endorsing an Israeli attack on Iran be removed.