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Helicopters for War, But Not Flood Relief?

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel said, correctly, in November 2008, referring to the economic crisis, and that fact that it created political opportunities to advance long-needed reforms.

But if the White House does not prominently, quickly and decisively bring all assets to bear in response to the flood crisis in Pakistan, it will be letting a serious crisis go to waste. It will be passing up an opportunity to show the Muslim world that the United States cares more about saving Muslim lives than taking them away. It will be passing up a unique opportunity to reframe and de-escalate the conflict in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported ("Fearing unrest, Pakistan seeks more U.S. flood aid"):

 

Pakistan wants the United States to supply immediately dozens more helicopters and significantly more money and supplies to help deal with the widespread flooding that has affected at least 14 million people there, senior Pakistani officials said Monday.

The U.S. has helicopters in the region. But:

 

A senior U.S. military official said transfer of additional helicopters, which are in short supply in Afghanistan, would require a political decision in Washington. "Do they exist in the region? Yes," he said. "Are they available? No."

A "political decision in Washington" means a decision by President Obama. That senior U.S. military official is exactly right. The decision to allocate more resources to flood relief isn't a decision for the military, and it would be absurd to blame the military for whatever decisions are made, because they are political decisions by the White House.

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JFP 8/10: Afghan Deaths Increase; Pakistan Pleads for US Helicopters for Flood Relief

Just Foreign Policy News
August 10, 2010

Obama vs. Obama on Endless Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
A video produced by Ben Craw of Huffington Post juxtaposes Senator Obama and President Obama on the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/10/obama-vs-obama-on-afghani_n_676836.html

Bacevich: Washington Rules
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."

Get the book
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules

September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/bacevichtalk

Oliver Stone's "South of the Border," scheduled screenings:
http://southoftheborderdoc.com/in-theatres/

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JFP 8/9: 43% say Afghan war was a mistake; TIRC countries resist anti-Iran front

Just Foreign Policy News
August 9, 2010

How Many Iraqis Did We "Liberate" from Life on Earth?
Attempts to estimate the Iraqi death toll from the U.S. invasion support the conclusion that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died as a result of the war, which we can now state with high confidence. This suggests a test for anyone who claims that demands for occupying Afghanistan or bombing Iran have anything to do with human liberation: if they can't be bothered to know or won't acknowledge that the war killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, their claims of "humanitarian" motivation should be ignored.
http://www.truth-out.org/how-many-iraqis-did-we-liberate-from-life-earth62112

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

Help Support Our Work
Your donation helps us educate Americans and create opportunities to advocate for a just foreign policy.
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U.S./Top News
1) 43% of Americans say it was a mistake to go to war in Afghanistan, USA Today reports.

2) Venezuela says it won't accept Larry Palmer as US Ambassador following reports of his criticisms of the Venezuelan government and military, Christopher Toothaker reports for AP. [Toothaker downplays what Palmer said, but notes that the criticism was unusually strong for an ambassador assigned to Venezuela - JFP.] The Senate has not yet acted to confirm Palmer for the post.

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JFP 8/6: How Many Iraqis Did We "Liberate" from Life on Earth?

Just Foreign Policy News
August 6, 2010

How Many Iraqis Did We "Liberate" from Life on Earth?
Attempts to estimate the Iraqi death toll from the U.S. invasion support the conclusion that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died as a result of the war, which we can now state with high confidence. This suggests a test for anyone who claims that demands for occupying Afghanistan or bombing Iran have anything to do with human liberation: if they can't be bothered to know or won't acknowledge that the war killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, their claims of "humanitarian" motivation should be ignored.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/how-many-iraqis-did-we-li_b_673683.html

A Backdoor to U.S. War with Iran?

Some in Washington are trying to promote the "right" of Israel to strike Iran. 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

NATO Forces in Afghanistan Can't Deny They Killed Civilians in Sangin
Interviews by Rethink Afghanistan confirm what NATO denied: U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan killed dozens of people in the Sangin District of Helmand Province July 23.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/derrick-crowe/us-and-allied-forced-kill_b_672987.html

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

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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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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.
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