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JFP 7/21: Congress doubts war strategy; White House backs talks with senior Taliban

Just Foreign Policy News
July 21, 2010

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

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

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JFP 7/20 - Diplomat: Kandahar offensive "particularly foolish" since Taliban will get it anyway

Just Foreign Policy News
July 20, 2010

Groups urge State Dept. to denounce human rights violations in Honduras
In a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, 26 religious and human rights organizations urge the State Department to publicly denounce human rights violations in Honduras. The letter points to systematic violations of human rights directed against human rights defenders, activists and journalists in Honduras that have taken place since the inauguration of Lobo on January 27. The signers ask the Obama Administration to condition U.S. assistance on concrete actions that demonstrate a commitment by the Honduran government to uphold the rule of law and to support the establishment of an office of the UN Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras.
http://bit.ly/9jDbSX

Vote: Dumbest Mistake in a "South of the Border" Review!
A host of reviews of "South of the Border" get countries and presidents mixed up with each other, confuse democratic elections with coups d'etat, and other errors. What do you think is the dumbest mistake in a "Border" review so far? Vote in the poll.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/7/13/154938/096

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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JFP 7/19: Haass: Decentralize in Afghanistan; US activists launch campaign for Gaza boat

Just Foreign Policy News
July 19, 2010

Iara Lee: Slandering the Good Guys: Some Basic Facts About IHH
Filmmaker Iara Lee, who was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, responds to attacks on the Turkish humanitarian NGO IHH.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iara-lee/slandering-the-good-guys_b_649604.html

WaPo: "A hidden world, growing beyond control"

A Washington Post investigation looks at the explosion of the "national security state" since September 11, 2001. An accompanying map documents "secret facilities" around the country.
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/a-hidden-world-growing-beyond-control/

Vote: Dumbest Mistake in a "South of the Border" Review!
A host of reviews of "South of the Border" get countries and presidents mixed up with each other, confuse democratic elections with coups d'etat, and other errors. What do you think is the dumbest mistake in a "Border" review so far? Vote in the poll.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/7/13/154938/096

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.

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JFP 7/16: Mark Weisbrot on South of the Border; U.S. Wounded, Suicides Breaking Records

Just Foreign Policy News
July 16, 2010

FAIR/CounterSpin: Mark Weisbrot on South of the Border
Oliver Stone's film South of the Border looks at the leftward shift in Latin America. The film attempts to correct for what it argues is a skewed presentation in the U.S. media of these developments. So what kind of reaction has the film received so far? CounterSpin talks to Mark Weisbrot, president of Just Foreign Policy and a co-writer of the film.
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4115

54% Want Afghan Exit, but Petraeus Could Nix Peace Talks with Terror Naming

54% of Americans want the U.S. to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, CBS reports. But if General Petraeus has his way, the State Department will designate part of the Afghan Taliban a terrorist organization. That would undermine peace moves, the New York Times reports - peace moves the Administration says it supports. Petraeus' move would undermine not only a timetable for withdrawal, but the "serious drawdown" in July 2011 that Vice President Biden told Newsweek we can "bet on" and Speaker Pelosi told the Huffington Post she expects.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/54-want-afghan-exit-but-p_b_647626.html

Vote: Dumbest Mistake in a "South of the Border" Review!
A host of reviews of "South of the Border" get countries and presidents mixed up with each other, confuse democratic elections with coups d'etat, and other errors. What do you think is the dumbest mistake in a "Border" review so far? Vote in the poll!

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JFP 7/15: 54% Want Afghan Exit, but Petraeus Could Nix Peace Talks with Terror Naming

Just Foreign Policy News
July 15, 2010

54% Want Afghan Exit, but Petraeus Could Nix Peace Talks with Terror Naming
The majority of Americans want the U.S. to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, CBS News reports. But if General Petraeus has his way, the State Department will designate part of the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization. That would undermine peace moves in Afghanistan, the New York Times reports - peace moves that the Administration told Newsweek that it supports. Petraeus' move would undermine not only a timetable for withdrawal, but the "serious drawdown" in July 2011 that Vice President Biden told Newsweek we can "bet on" and Speaker Pelosi told the Huffington Post she expects.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/54-want-afghan-exit-but-p_b_647626.html

J Street Calls for Treasury Investigation Into Settlement Charities
J Street is calling on the U.S. Treasury Department to launch an investigation into whether American charities that fund Israeli settlement activity have broken the law. These tax-exempt organizations are working to undermine a two-state solution by deepening the occupation. Some even fund settlement outposts that the Israeli government considers illegal.
http://jstreet.org/campaigns/j-street-calls-treasury-investigation-into-settlement-charities

Vote: Dumbest Mistake in a "South of the Border" Review!

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54% for Afghan Exit, but Petraeus Move Could Nix Peace Talks with Terror Naming

The majority of Americans want the Obama Administration to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, CBS News reports. 54% think the U.S. should set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, with 41% opposed. Among Democrats, 73% think the U.S. should set a timetable, with 21% opposed; among independents, 54% support a withdrawal timetable, with 40% opposed; among Republicans, 32% support a withdrawal timetable, with 66% opposed.

Two weeks ago today, Members of the House of Representatives were polled on a similar proposition, when the House voted on an amendment introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern [D-MA], Rep. David Obey [D-WI], and Rep. Walter Jones [R-NC] that would have required the President to establish a timetable for the redeployment of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. That amendment failed, with 153 Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, voting yes, and 98 Democrats voting no; while 9 Republicans voted yes and 162 Republicans voted no. So in the McGovern-Obey-Jones "poll," Democrats in the House were 60%-38% in favor of a withdrawal timetable, while House Republicans were 91%-5% against.

If Democratic and Republican voters in the CBS poll had been allowed to stand in for Democrats and Republicans in the House two weeks ago (ignoring independents, also pro-timetable), the McGovern amendment would have passed 243-171, with 186 Democrats and 57 Republicans voting yes, and 54 Democrats and 117 Republicans voting no.

JFP 7/14 - CBS News: Most Americans Want Timetable for Afghan Withdrawal

Just Foreign Policy News
July 14, 2010

Vote: Dumbest Mistake in a "South of the Border" Review!
The Oliver Stone documentary, "South of the Border" takes aim at the media for its misinformed and misleading coverage of Latin America. The film includes clips from CNN, network news programs, the New York Times, Fox News, and other media to demonstrate just how bad the coverage can be. But a host of reviews of "South of the Border" serve as additional examples, getting countries and presidents mixed up with each other, confusing democratic elections with coups d'etat, and other errors. What do you think is the dumbest mistake in a "Border" review so far? Vote in the poll!
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/7/13/154938/096

New York Times Video: Growing Up in Gaza
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/07/14/world/middleeast/1247468440263/growing-up-in-gaza.html


South of the Border, scheduled screenings:

Oliver Stone's documentary shows you the South America the New York Times doesn't want you to see.
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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JFP 7/13: Vote for Dumbest Mistake in a "South of the Border" Review!

Just Foreign Policy News
July 13, 2010

Vote for Dumbest Mistake in a "South of the Border" Review! 
The Oliver Stone documentary, "South of the Border" takes aim at the media for its misinformed and misleading coverage of Latin America. The film includes clips from CNN, network news programs, the New York Times, Fox News, and other media to demonstrate just how bad the coverage can be. But a host of reviews of "South of the Border" serve as additional examples, getting countries and presidents mixed up with each other, confusing democratic elections with coups d'etat, and other errors. What do you think is the dumbest mistake in a "Border" review so far? Vote in the poll!
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/7/13/154938/096

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JFP 7/12: Could a "Great Negotiation" End the War in Afghanistan?

Just Foreign Policy News
July 12, 2010

Could a "Great Negotiation" End the War in Afghanistan?
A key obstacle to moving the debate on negotiations to end the war in Afghanistan is that most Americans don't know much diplomatic history. This ignorance makes us vulnerable to facile slogans: for the neocons, it's a noun, a verb, and Neville Chamberlain. But Fredrik Stanton has published a corrective: "Great Negotiations: Agreements that Changed the Modern World" shows how U.S. leaders entered successful negotiations with realistic goals for their adversaries. If Obama engages Taliban leaders as Kennedy engaged Khrushchev, we could end the war.
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/12-7

Beverly Bell: There is No Plan For Permanently Housing the 1.9 Million Haitians Who Lost Their Homes in the Quake

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/12/beverly_bell_there_is_no_plan

Dean Baker: The IMF Is Coming for Your Social Security

Last week, the IMF told the United States that it needs to start getting its budget deficit down. It put cutting Social Security at the top of the steps that the country should take to achieve deficit reduction.
http://www.truth-out.org/the-attack-real-black-helicopter-gang-the-imf-is-coming-your-social-security61291

South of the Border, scheduled screenings:

Oliver Stone's documentary shows you the South America the New York Times doesn't want you to see.
http://southoftheborderdoc.com/in-theatres/

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Could a "Great Negotiation" End the War in Afghanistan?

A commonly proffered argument against negotiations to end the war in Afghanistan has been: "why should the Afghan Taliban negotiate, when they think they are winning?" For many months, this argument was offered by Administration officials to explain why they would not yet pursue serious negotiations with senior leaders of the Afghan Taliban.

More recently, Administration officials are saying that they have moved significantly.

Newsweek reports:

 

Washington is eager to make [peace negotiations with high-ranking insurgents] happen - perhaps more eager than most Americans realize. "There was a major policy shift that went completely unreported in the last three months," a senior administration official tells Newsweek..."We're going to support Afghan-led reconciliation [with the Taliban]." U.S. officials have quietly dropped the Bush administration's resistance to talks with senior Taliban and are doing whatever they can to help Karzai open talks with the insurgents, although they still say any Taliban willing to negotiate must renounce violence, reject Al Qaeda, and accept the Afghan Constitution. (Some observers predict that those preconditions may eventually be fudged into goals.)

The Administration's shift - if real - is tremendously good news for ending the war. But even if this accurately reflects the intentions of the Administration, the arguments made earlier against serious negotiations are still politically powerful, in part because the Administration made them, and will likely be thrown back in the Administration's face by some of its Republican critics if efforts at a negotiated settlement begin to bear fruit. Therefore, these arguments still need to be countered, even if the Administration is no longer making them.