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How Many Iraqis Did We "Liberate" from Life on Earth?

Is there a man or woman in America today who is willing to stand at noon in the public square and claim that demands to bomb, invade, and occupy other people's countries have anything to do with human liberation?

If such people can be found, let them answer a few simple questions about the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

How many Iraqis did we "liberate" from the companionship of their loved ones?

How many Iraqis did we "liberate" from dwelling in the houses and towns and the country of their birth?

How many Iraqis did we "liberate" from life on Earth?

If any American who claims to believe that indefinite continuation of the war in Afghanistan - or a US/Israeli military attack on Iran - is justified by humanitarian concerns cannot give a fact-based and intellectually coherent answer to the question of how many Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, do not that person's claims for "humanitarian" war, bombing, and occupation deserve zero credence?

To state that we cannot know how many have died is outrageously false. It is vacuously true that we cannot know exactly how many have died. But in the diverse fields of human inquiry and endeavor, there are many large numbers that are important which we cannot know exactly. If understanding the magnitude of a number is important, we do not throw up our hands and say, "we can never know." Imagine a reference book that said, "we don't know how many humans are alive on Earth today, because no-one has counted them all."

If we want to understand the magnitude of a large number that we cannot count, we estimate it.

JFP 8/5: Obama Renews Offer of Engagement with Iran

Just Foreign Policy News
August 5, 2010

A Backdoor to U.S. War with Iran?
Some in Washington are trying to promote the "right" of Israel to strike Iran. But as Gareth Porter noted, the US could likely be drawn in to a military conflict between Israel and Iran, so legitimizing an Israeli strike could create a backdoor to a US war. Urge your Representative to oppose H. Res. 1553, which endorses the "right" of Israel to attack Iran.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/hres1553

Bacevich: Vietnam vs. Munich, and "Iraq/Afghanistan Syndrome"
Andrew Bacevich's new book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war, and to demand instead that America "come home," as Martin Luther King called for in 1967. Because of his personal background and establishment credentials, Bacevich may be able to move Americans now beyond the reach of the peace movement. A key task for ending our current wars and preventing future ones is to break the current near-monolithic support for permanent war among the dominant institutions of the Republican Party - a stance that effectively disenfranchises the substantial minority of Republican voters who oppose the permanent war.
http://www.truth-out.org/bacevich-vietnam-vs-munich-and-creating-iraqafghanistan-syndrome62036

Get the book, read it, give it to a Republican friend
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules

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JFP 8/4: Bacevich: Vietnam vs. Munich, and "Iraq/Afghanistan Syndrome"

Just Foreign Policy News
August 4, 2010

Bacevich: Vietnam vs. Munich, and Creating an "Iraq/Afghanistan Syndrome"
Campaigning for President, Senator Obama said: "I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place." But as Andrew Bacevich notes in his new book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," as President, Obama has done the opposite: he has promoted and acted on behalf of the mindset that leads to war. Bacevich's book is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war, global counterinsurgency and global military power projection, and to demand instead that America "come home," as Martin Luther King called for in 1967, and focus on resolving its own domestic problems rather than act as a self-appointed global police and occupation force. Because of his personal background and establishment credentials, Bacevich may be able to move Americans currently beyond the reach of the peace movement. This is important, because a key task for ending our current wars and preventing future ones is to break the current near-monolithic support for permanent war among the dominant institutions of the Republican Party - a stance that effectively disenfranchises the substantial minority of Republican voters who oppose the permanent war.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/bacevich-vietnam-vs-munic_b_669502.html

Get the book, read it, give it to a Republican friend
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules

September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich

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Bacevich: Vietnam vs. Munich, and Creating an "Iraq/Afghanistan Syndrome"

Campaigning for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008, Senator Barack Obama said: "I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place."

But as Andrew Bacevich notes in his new book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," as President, Barack Obama has done the opposite: he has promoted and acted on behalf of the mindset that leads to war.

Most prominently, President Obama has so far missed every major exit ramp for starting to get out of Afghanistan, instead escalating militarily and "doubling down" on "counterinsurgency" in Afghanistan - Vietnam 2.0 - even as the war has become increasingly unpopular in the United States - as it has been in Afghanistan and in the rest of the world. The majority of Americans, three-quarters of Democrats, and three-fifths of House Democrats want President Obama to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. But the White House so far refuses to even publicly discuss such a move, even as it claims to support "Afghan-led reconciliation" with leaders of the Afghan Taliban, which, if real, almost certainly would require a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces, a key demand of Afghan insurgents.

This is all the more striking as the Administration celebrates the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq, because the centerpiece of the present relationship between the U.S. government and the Iraqi government is an agreement stipulating the total withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country by the end of 2011. That which is now the centerpiece of U.S. relations with Iraq is still mostly taboo for discussion among the "national security elite" regarding Afghanistan: a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

JFP 8/2: US Military Aid Supports Colombian Death Squads

Just Foreign Policy News
August 2, 2010

Fellowship of Reconciliation: U.S. military aid to Colombia is having a negative effect on the human rights of Colombians
Though the US "Leahy Law" prohibits aid to military units that have committed gross violations, the US continues to support such units in Colombia. Areas where Colombian army units received the largest increases in U.S. assistance reported increased extrajudicial killings on average. [See also Global Post report, #4 below.]
http://forusa.org/content/report-military-assistance-human-rights-colombia-us-accountability-global-implications

South of the Border, scheduled screenings:
http://southoftheborderdoc.com/in-theatres/

August 8: Special giving opportunity
August 8 marks an important anniversary. It's the birthday of Just Foreign Policy's Policy Director Robert Naiman, who edits the Just Foreign Policy News. If you value the News, if you value the work of Just Foreign Policy, why not take this opportunity to make a donation to 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

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U.S./Top News

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JFP 7/28: Dems Split on War Money; Wikileaks on civilian deaths

Just Foreign Policy News
July 28, 2010

Roll Call on the War Supplemental
308-114; among Democrats, 148-102. 141 votes were needed to block a 2/3 majority (the vote was held under "suspension" rules.)
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll474.xml

Steve Niva: Olympia Food Co-op Boycotts Israeli Goods
Steve Niva, who teaches Middle East studies at Evergreen, argues that critics of Olympia Food Co-op's decision to some boycott Israeli goods should explain what their alternative strategy is for ending the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinians.
http://counterpunch.org/niva07262010.html

South of the Border, scheduled screenings:
http://southoftheborderdoc.com/in-theatres/

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

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U.S./Top News

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House Votes Today on Afghan, Pakistan Wars

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this afternoon on the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This morning, the Senate version of the Afghanistan war supplemental was brought up under "suspension" rules, which require a 2/3 majority to pass. This expedited procedure is generally used for measures considered "uncontroversial," which is odd, to say the least, since the war in Afghanistan is anything but uncontroversial, with the most recent evidence being the release by Wikileaks of secret documents on the war, which the New York Times reported "offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal."

House Appropriations Chair David Obey, who will vote no on the war supplemental, asked for a roll call, which is expected this afternoon, some time after 2pm Eastern.

On July 1, 162 Members of the House voted for the McGovern-Obey-Jones amendment that would have required President Obama to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the position of 54% of Americans, according to a recent CBS poll. The measure being voted on this afternoon contains no provision concerning a timetable for withdrawal. Nor does it include the money to prevent the layoffs of teachers that the House attached to the war supplemental on July 1.

If 90% of the Members who voted for the McGovern-Obey-Jones amendment on July 1 vote no this afternoon on the war supplemental, the measure will fail.

Defense News: War Supplemental Not Needed to Fund Troops

According to a plausible AP report last Thursday, heavy political pressure was expected on the House Democratic leadership this week to approve a war supplemental for Afghanistan that contains no money to avoid impending layoffs of school teachers and other public employees, nor any kind timetable for military drawdown from Afghanistan. No doubt many Republicans who support the endless and pointless war and who oppose spending to avoid layoffs of teachers and other public employees and to boost the domestic economy might be sorely tempted to try to bully House Democrats into quickly approving the war money by accusing them of "not supporting the troops" if they refuse to approve the money this week, trying to imply that if the war supplemental is not approved this week, pay or supplies for the troops might be endangered.

But this claim has been objectively refuted by Obama Administration officials. If the war supplemental is not approved this week, the troops will still be paid and the troops will still be fully supplied. There is no "emergency" requiring action this week; there plenty of time for the House Democratic leadership to insist on provisions in the war supplemental different from those preferred by the Senate, including money for teachers and some kind of timetable for military drawdown in Afghanistan.

Defense News reports:

 

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Will House Dems Oppose a Jobless War Supplemental?

The war supplemental for Afghanistan is expected to come back from the Senate to the House next week - without any kind of timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and without money to save teachers' jobs attached.

AP reports:

 

In a take-it-or-leave-it gesture, the Senate voted Thursday night to reject more than $20 billion in domestic spending the House had tacked on to its $60 billion bill to fund President Barack Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan.

[...]

The moves repel a long-shot bid by House Democrats earlier this month to resurrect their faltering jobs agenda with $10 billion in grants to school districts to avoid teacher layoffs, $5 billion for Pell Grants to low-income college students, $1 billion for a summer jobs program and $700 million to improve security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Labor unions had strongly backed the House Democratic effort to attach money to the supplemental to boost employment and avoid teacher layoffs. Will these unions now urge House Democrats to vote no on any jobless war supplemental?

Few expect that the House, in a freestanding vote next week, would reject the $33 billion request for the Afghanistan war, since until now there has been a solid block of more than 90% of House Republicans committed to voting yes on what they would consider a "relatively clean" war supplemental.

JFP 7/23: Teacherless War Supplemental Coming Back to the House

Just Foreign Policy News
July 23, 2010

KPFK Uprising: The U.S.-U.K. "Special Relationship" and Afghanistan
Just Foreign Policy talks with Sonali Kolhatkar and argues that the US-UK "special relationship," in which Britain is expected to collaborate with U.S. wars even when they are unpopular and illegal, is in the interest of the majority in neither country.
http://uprisingradio.org/home/?p=14541

Urge Your Rep. to Vote No on the War Supplemental
The war supplemental for Afghanistan is expected to come back to the House next week - without any kind of timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and without money to save teachers' jobs attached. Urge your Representative to vote no on the war supplemental. FCNL has established a toll-free number: 1-888-493-5443. If you use this number, it will add to FCNL's count of how many people called Congress against the war supplemental, so your call will make two marks.

Don't Let Petraeus Sabotage Afghan Peace Talks
54% of Americans want the U.S. to establish a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, CBS News reports. But if General Petraeus has his way, the U.S. will dig in deeper. Petraeus wants the State Department to designate part of the Afghan Taliban as a "foreign terrorist organization," which, as the New York Times noted, would undermine Afghan government efforts to end the war through political reconciliation with the Taliban - efforts that the U.S. claims that it supports [see e.g. Guardian story, below]. Urge your representatives in Congress to oppose Petraeus' "backdoor escalation" to prolong the war.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/petraeus

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