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JFP 11/5: Did Voters Give Republicans a Mandate for More War?

Just Foreign Policy News
November 5, 2010

Did Voters Give Republicans a Mandate for More War?
Senator John McCain is apparently trying to claim that the election is a mandate to postpone the withdrawal of U.S. from Afghanistan. Fortunately, this claim is a proposition that can be tested. We examine the evidence, and find it wanting.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/did-voters-give-republica_b_779661.html

WBAI Wake-Up Call: What do US election results mean for US policy in Latin America?
WBAI talks with Ecuador's Ambassador to the UN, Laura Carlsen of CIP, and Just Foreign Policy.
http://archive.wbai.org/files/mp3/101105_070001wuc.MP3

Sarah Lazare: AWOL Soldier Refusing Deployment Because of Severe PTSD
Jeff Hanks, an active duty US Army infantryman who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, refused to redeploy to Afghanistan, saying he is in no state to deploy and needs treatment. Hanks has since been diagnosed by two civilian psychiatric professionals as having severe PTSD. "If you have trouble controlling your anger at home, what are you going to do when you are in a situation holding a loaded weapon?" He plans to turn himself in on Veterans Day.
http://www.truth-out.org/awol-soldier-refusing-deployment-because-severe-ptsd64831

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Did Voters Give Republicans a Mandate for More War?

Everybody knows that the recent election was all about the economy, right?


Nobody would claim that American voters just gave Republicans a mandate for more war, would they?

Here we go:

 

Republican Senator John McCain said on Tuesday in the wake of big Republican victories in Congress that he hopes President Barack Obama will take a fresh look at U.S. war policy in Afghanistan. McCain won re-election to his Arizona Senate seat by a large margin, ensuring he will retain have a strong voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee as its ranking Republican member.

In an interview, McCain told Reuters he was looking forward to a December review the Obama administration is preparing to give an update on the U.S. troop increase Obama ordered a year ago to try to repulse a strengthened Taliban.

McCain, who is expected to visit Afghanistan soon, said he would like to see a change in Obama's decision to begin withdrawing some U.S. troops from Afghanistan next August.

The world would be a better place if one could just ignore things like this. But as Reuters points out, McCain is ranking member on Senate Armed Services, in addition to being the 2008 Republican presidential nominee. Two axioms of politics in America are: 1) you can't ignore a dangerous political claim, just because it's nonsensical, and 2) you can't wait for a nonsensical and dangerous political claim to gain momentum before moving to quash it, because it's like a highly infectious disease: you have to stamp it out immediately before it takes root in the population.

JFP 11/4: UN Soldiers Suspected in Haiti Cholera Outbreak

Just Foreign Policy News
November 4, 2010

US: We're Through Palling Around With Iranian Terrorists
On Wednesday - burying the news in the post-election media frenzy - the State Department, at long last, announced its formal designation of the Iranian terrorist organization Jundallah as a "foreign terrorist organization."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/us-were-through-palling-a_b_778959.html

G-20: Take Action on Financial Transaction Taxes
183 civil society organizations from 42 countries collectively representing over 200 million people urge G-20 leaders to make concrete progress towards the introduction of an internationally coordinated financial transactions tax (FTT) at the upcoming summit in Seoul.
http://bit.ly/99zjfD

The Best Government Money Can Buy
A recent film by Francis Megahy sounds the alarm about corporate control of Washington through the current system of campaign finance and lobbying by the suppliers of campaign finance, as well as the bind that reform of the system ultimately has to be enacted by incumbents that have been produced by the current system, and the need for outside agitation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/bestgovernment

South of the Border on DVD
Oliver Stone's documentary South of the Border was released on DVD last week. Why did the center-left cruise to victory in Brazil? You can get the DVD here.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/southoftheborder

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US: We're Through Palling Around With Iranian Terrorists

As you may have noticed in 2007 - timetable for Iraq withdrawal, anyone? - in our system of government as it is presently constituted, the executive branch has a tiny modicum of autonomy from the legislative branch, particularly with respect to foreign policy.


On Wednesday - burying the news in the post-election media frenzy - the State Department gave us a little taste of what the executive branch can do without waiting for Congress to say, "Simon Says." At long last, the State Department formally designated the Iranian terrorist organization Jundallah as a "foreign terrorist organization."

CNN reports:

 

The United States has officially designated Iranian extremist group Jundallah as a foreign terrorist organization, the State Department said Wednesday.

Jundallah, also known as the People's Resistance Movement of Iran, operates primarily in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan, which borders Pakistan.

The State Department said Jundallah "has engaged in numerous attacks resulting in the death and maiming of scores of Iranian civilians and government officials. Jundallah uses a variety of terrorist tactics, including suicide bombings, ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations."

Most recently, the Sunni group claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in July at the Zahedan Grand Mosque. The attacks targeting Shiite worshipers killed 27 people. Iranian leaders said the United States was behind the attacks.

[...]

JFP 11/3: McCain: Election Result Means Afghan Withdrawal Should Be Delayed

Just Foreign Policy News
November 3, 2010

A Progressive Primary to Push for Jobs and End the Wars
Historical trends suggest that the main story of the election was the failure to restore economic growth, accounting for the loss of 40 Democratic seats alone. Current economic trends suggest 2012 is unlikely to be different, in the absence of decisive federal action. A dramatic political intervention is needed to change the national debate. A 2012 progressive presidential primary could be such an intervention, keeping the need for federal action to boost employment at the center of debate. If organized correctly, a primary would build progressive power rather than be divisive, would register and educate voters, would encourage and boost progressive candidates for Congress, and would strengthen the base of organizations that do progressive electoral work. It would also be a powerful counterweight to Washington voices who want to extend the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and to cut Social Security benefits.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/a-progressive-primary-to_b_778447.html

The Best Government Money Can Buy
A recent film by Francis Megahy sounds the alarm about corporate control of Washington through the current system of campaign finance and lobbying by the suppliers of campaign finance, as well as the bind that reform of the system ultimately has to be enacted by incumbents that have been produced by the current system, and the need for outside agitation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/bestgovernment

South of the Border on DVD

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A Progressive Primary to Push for Jobs and End the Wars

It's bad enough that we lost progressive champions like Russ Feingold, and that the leadership and committees of the House will be taken over by advocates of domestic austerity and endless war. In addition, the airwaves and print media will now be filled with pundits saying that the lesson of the election is that Obama must move to the right and cut the budget, except the military. But the worst thing we must now face is that the 2010 election is likely a preview of 2012, unless at least one of two things happen: decisive federal action to boost economic growth and employment, now much more difficult to achieve than before, and some dramatic new element is introduced into our national politics that changes the character of national debate.


Jonathan Chait pointed out last week that based on the state of the economy, historical trends predicted a Democratic loss of more than 40 seats, enough for Republicans to take the House. In other words, on average, based on historical trends, the fate of the election was sealed when the Obama Administration proposed and Congress enacted an economic stimulus package that was much too small to counter the fall in domestic demand resulting from the collapse of the housing bubble. Everything else that happened in the election has to be judged according to the baseline expectation of the Democrats losing at least 40 seats - enough to lose the House - due to the failure to restore economic growth and employment with a sufficient stimulus to counteract the fall in private economic demand.

JFP 11/1: JFP announces "Fox on 15th" campaign against Washington Post

Just Foreign Policy News
November 1, 2010

*Action - Human Rights First: Ask Obama to support election monitors for Egypt
Egypt will hold parliamentary elections on November 28. The Egyptian government is refusing to allow international election monitors into the country, cracking down on opposition voices, and muzzling the independent press. Ask President Obama to urge President Mubarak to accept international election monitors - something he said at the UN every member state should do.
http://bit.ly/bldTdi

Just Foreign Policy announces WaPo "Fox on 15th" campaign
In response to David Broder's op-ed in the Washington Post calling for President Obama to orchestrate a war fever against Iran as a way of stimulating the US economy, (see Dean Baker, #1 below) Just Foreign Policy announces its "Fox on 15th" Campaign.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/749

South of the Border on DVD
Oliver Stone's documentary South of the Border was released on DVD this week. Why is the center-left cruising to victory in Brazil? You can get the DVD here.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/southoftheborder

Help Support Our Work
Your donation helps us educate Americans and create opportunities to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

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Just Foreign Policy Announces "Fox on 15th" Campaign Against the Washington Post

In response to David Broder's op-ed in the Washington Post calling for
President Obama to orchestrate a war fever against Iran as a way of
stimulating the US economy, Just Foreign Policy formally announces its
"Fox on 15th" Campaign.

The purpose of the campaign is to delegitimize the Washington Post by
constantly reminding people how on a range of issues, from war to
torture to Social Security, the Washington Post, editorially, is
politically indistinguishable from Fox News.

How to participate: if you have a blog, anytime you take the
Washington Post to task for a pro-war editorial or op-ed, give it the
tag, "foxon15th," in addition to any other tags.

And when you post such a blog to twitter, or comment on such an
editorial or op-ed on twitter, use the hashtag #foxon15th, in addition
to any other hashtags.

Dean Baker on Broder's call for Iran war to boost economy

Dean Baker responds to Washington Post columnist David Broder's op-ed calling for a drive towards military confrontation with Iran as a way to boost the economy:

David Broder Calls for War With Iran to Boost the Economy

JFP 10/29: US v. Brazil: A Tale of Two Elections

Just Foreign Policy News
October 29, 2010

US v. Brazil: A Tale of Two Elections
Lula "brought home the bacon" for the Workers Party base.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/us-v-brazil-lula-brought_b_776120.html

Is the Pentagon Deliberately "Degrading" Afghanistan's Capacity for Peace?
According to the US government's assessments, US military escalation has failed. Yet no change is expected from the December policy review. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is killing low-level fighters and commanders who are being replaced by younger militants less inclined to compromise or follow the Taliban leadership, making a peace agreement more difficult to attain. Is the Pentagon deliberately making peace more difficult to achieve in Afghanistan, so it won't have to accept a timetable for US withdrawal?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/is-the-pentagon-deliberat_b_775353.html

Video: Anthropologist Scott Atran tells MSNBC US should work with the Taliban

Scott Atran, promoting his book, "Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists," says the US should work with the Taliban.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/taliban-us-afghanistan_n_774677.html

Graphic: Cost of the Afghanistan War
A new graphic compares the cost to previous wars - and to domestic needs that could have been funded instead.
http://www.onlineschooling.net/afghanistan-war-cost

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