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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/

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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.

JFP 7/9: Peace Activists Protest DNC Attack on Steele Over Afghanistan

Just Foreign Policy News
July 9, 2010

On Afghanistan, Michael Steele Speaks for Me
When DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse accused RNC chair Michael Steele of "betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan" after Steele criticized the Afghanistan war, Woodhouse was attacking every American who is against the war. Enforcing Republican Party discipline on Republicans to support the war in Afghanistan is not in the interest of the majority of Americans and the super-majority of Democrats who oppose the war. If a third, instead of 5%, of the Republicans in the House had supported the McGovern-Obey-Jones amendment, reflecting the third of Republicans in the country at large who do not support the war, the McGovern-Obey-Jones amendment requiring a timetable for withdrawal would have passed the House. With his attack on Steele, Woodhouse made it less likely that House Republicans will join House Democrats in trying to end the war sooner rather than later.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/on-afghanistan-michael-st_b_640976.html

This afternoon, leaders of several peace groups wrote to the DNC, protesting the attack on Steele, and urging the DNC not to engage in such attacks in the future, nor to present support of the war as the position of Democrats:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/643

FAIR/Peter Hart: What Gets You Fired From CNN

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Peace Activists Protest DNC Attack on Steele Over Afghanistan

The following letter was sent to the Democratic National Committee this afternoon:

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Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director, Democratic National Committee
Tim Kaine, National Chair, Democratic National Committee

cc:
Mike Honda, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Linda Chavez-Thompson, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Donna Brazile, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Raymond Buckley, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee

430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C., 20003

Dear Mr. Woodhouse and Governor Kaine,

As Americans working to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan, we write to express our deep disappointment and concern at the recent attack by Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse on Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele in response to Mr. Steele's criticism of the war in Afghanistan.

We have three concerns.

First, in supporting the war in Afghanistan, and portraying this as a Democratic position, Mr. Woodhouse was not representing the majority of Democrats in the United States, who oppose the war. Two-thirds of Democrats think the war is not worth the cost, the Washington Post reported in June. [1] Shortly before Mr. Woodhouse made his statement attacking Mr. Steele, three-fifths of the Democrats in the House, including Speaker Pelosi, Representative Honda, and Representative Wasserman Schultz, voted for an amendment introduced by Representative Jim McGovern, Representative David Obey, and Representative Walter Jones that would have required President Obama to establish a timetable for U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. [2]

Ashrawi: Pressure without Progress Could Lead to the Political Suicide of the Palestinian National Leadership

Ashrawi: Pressure without Progress Could Lead to the Political Suicide of the Palestinian National Leadership
James Zogby, July 9

[Jim Zogby is president of the Arab American Institute.] 

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On Afghanistan, Michael Steele Speaks for Me

My friend David told me once that growing up in the South he had the experience of people saying to him, "Jews are greedy," before "correcting" themselves by "reassuring" him that: "Of course, we don't mean you, David. We know you're not like that." To which my friend David said he would respond, "Well, if 'Jews' are greedy, then I must be greedy, because I'm Jewish. So in the future, instead of saying, 'Jews are greedy,' you should just say, 'Dave is greedy,' because when you say it about 'Jews,' you say it about me."

I was reminded of this because when Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse accused Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele of "betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan" after Steele criticized the Afghanistan war, Woodhouse wasn't just attacking Michael Steele; Woodhouse was attacking me and every American who is against the war.

That would be wrong, even if there were only five of us. But, in fact, there are many of us, and Brad Woodhouse has wronged us all.

In June, the Washington Post reported that 53 percent of Americans say that the war in Afghanistan is not worth its costs; 41 percent feel that way strongly. Two-thirds of Democrats, 53 percent of independents, and 35 percent of Republicans say the war is not worth its costs.

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