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Is David Petraeus a 'Lying Liar' About the Drawdown?

"Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" was former non-Senator Al Franken's 2003 examination of the lies and distortions of right-wing pundits and politicians.

Such a book, if it were written today, should certainly include a fair and balanced look at some of the lying liars still running our foreign policy: in particular, at Mr. David Petraeus. (Mr. Franken might not be the best candidate for writing such a book today, given that he voted recently against Senator Feingold's amendment requiring the President to establish a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, even as Democratic leaders like Senator Durbin supported Feingold's amendment.)

Harsh words about Mr. Petraeus? Yes. Justified? Absolutely.

Consider: Mr. Petraeus has been leading a campaign of "domestic information operations" to browbeat Congress and the American people to accept limiting the size of, and possibly even a delay of, the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan in July 2011that President Obama promised when he acceded to the military's demand for a "surge" of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan last fall.

In a recent interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Petraeus implied that he might recommend against any withdrawal of US forces next summer, causing the White House to reaffirm its commitment to the July 2012 deadline in response, saying, "The date is not negotiable."

 

JFP 8/18: Colombia base agreement ruled unconstitutional

Just Foreign Policy News
August 18, 2010

Spread the News About the US Death Toll in Afghanistan
This week, the number of US deaths in the war since Obama took office exceeded the death toll under Bush. Spread the news to build pressure for ending the war.
Send a letter to your local newspaper:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/obamavsbush
Post our new web counter:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/obamavsbush

FAIR action alert - Tell NBC: Sunday Morning Needs a Real War Debate
On NBC's Meet the Press, the opportunity to engage in a robust debate about the war has taken a back seat to promoting the views of the military and supporters of Obama's Afghanistan policies.
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4137

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
(The book may also be available in your local bookstore or public library.)
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 8/17: White House reaffirms date to begin drawdown; new Obama v. Bush death counter

Just Foreign Policy News
August 17, 2010

By U.S. Deaths, Afghanistan is Now Obama's War
According to the data tallied by the website icasualties.org, which is regularly cited in the news media, as of Monday 575 U.S. soldiers had died in the Afghanistan war since Obama took office - the same number that died in the war under President Bush. News media often report on such landmarks; they should report on this one, and press secretary Robert Gibbs should be asked to comment on it.
Update: as of today, it's Obama 577, Bush 575.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/by-us-deaths-as-of-today_b_683441.html

New counter: US Deaths in Afghanistan, Obama vs. Bush
Just Foreign Policy has created a web counter to allow easy comparison of the U.S. deaths in Afghanistan under President Obama to the U.S. deaths in Afghanistan under President Bush.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/obamavsbush

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
(The book may also be available in your local bookstore or public library.)
September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/bacevichtalk

Oliver Stone's "South of the Border," scheduled screenings:

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JFP 8/16: US Afghan war deaths under Obama now equal to those under Bush

Just Foreign Policy News
August 16, 2010

Today, By U.S. Deaths, Afghanistan is Obama's War
According to the data tallied by the website icasualties.org, which is regularly cited in the news media, as of today 575 U.S. soldiers had died in the Afghanistan war since Obama took office - the same number that died in the war under President Bush. News media often report on such landmarks; they should report on this one, and press secretary Robert Gibbs should be asked to comment on it.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/by-us-deaths-as-of-today_b_683441.html

Academics, authors and analysts urge France to repay debt to Haiti
In an open letter published today in the French national newspaper Libération, more than 90 leading academics, authors and other prominent figures from around the world are publicly calling on the French government to reimburse the 90 million gold francs France extorted from Haitians following Haiti's independence.
http://www.diplomatiegov.info/openletter.en.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

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Today, U.S. Afghan War Deaths Under Obama Same as Bush

575: That's how many U.S. soldiers have lost their lives in the Afghanistan war since Barack Obama became President at noon on January 20, 2009, according to the icasualties.org website, which tracks U.S. soldiers' deaths using reports received from the Department of Defense - and which is widely cited in the media as a source of information on U.S. deaths.

According to the same website, 575 is also the number of U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in the Afghanistan war during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Therefore, total U.S. deaths in Afghanistan have doubled in Afghanistan under President Obama, and when the next U.S. soldier is reported dead, the majority of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan will have occurred under President Obama.

This grim landmark should be reported in the media, and White House reporters should ask Robert Gibbs to comment on it. It is quite relevant to Gibbs' implicit attempt to marginalize critics of the war in Afghanistan by claiming that they wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than the abolition of the Pentagon. The majority of Americans - including the overwhelming majority of Democrats, and at least 60% of House Democrats - are deeply skeptical of the Administration's Afghanistan policy not because they are knee-jerk pacifists - obviously they are not - but because the human and financial cost of the war is rising, we have nothing to show for the increased cost, and the Administration has not articulated a clear plan to reach the endgame; indeed, Administration officials, led by General Petraeus, have just launched a public relations campaign to undermine the substantial drawdown in troops next summer that Democratic leaders in Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said that they expect.

U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan, 2001-2010 (table as web page)

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US Deaths in Afghanistan, 2001-2010

This table(view as web page) (download excel spreadsheet) shows deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan by year and month since 2001, according to the icasualties.org website, as of Monday, August 16, 2010. The table also shows that as of August 16, 2010, 575 US deaths have been recorded since President Obama took office, equal to the 575 that were recorded under President Bush.

JFP 8/13: UN Appeals for Pakistan Aid; India faces Kashmir "Intifada"

Just Foreign Policy News
August 13, 2010

Obama: Prioritize Pakistan Flood Relief Over Afghan War
The government of Pakistan has urgently asked the U.S. and other supplies to rescue victims of the catastrophic floods in Pakistan. U.S. military officials say there is a trade-off: we have helicopters, but they are busy fighting the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. is providing some supplies, but Pakistan is facing catastrophe. Urge President Obama to prioritize Pakistan flood relief over escalating the war in Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/pakistanfloods

Background: Helicopters for War, But Not Flood Relief?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/obamas-pakistan-katrina-h_b_678755.html

Oxfam America: Flood Relief and Recovery Efforts in Pakistan
Oxfam USA is taking donations for Pakistan flood relief.
http://bit.ly/99t99n

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

Mark Weisbrot: Rohter Strikes Out Yet Again on South of the Border

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JFP 8/12: Pakistan flood aid not enough; officials try to minimize Afghan drawdown

Just Foreign Policy News
August 12, 2010

Obama: Prioritize Pakistan Flood Relief Over Afghan War
The government of Pakistan has urgently asked the U.S. and other supplies to rescue victims of the catastrophic floods in Pakistan. U.S. military officials say there is a trade-off: we have helicopters, but they are busy fighting the war in Afghanistan. Urge President Obama to prioritize Pakistan flood relief over escalating the war in Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/pakistanfloods

Background: Helicopters for War, But Not Flood Relief?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/obamas-pakistan-katrina-h_b_678755.html

National Education Association Protests IMF Pressure on Teachers in Jamaica
The National Education Association (3.2 million members) sent a letter of protest to the U.S. Treasury Department over reports pressure from the International Monetary Fund was causing the Jamaican government to violate contracts with Jamaican teachers.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/671

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

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National Education Association Protests IMF Pressure on Teachers in Jamaica

The National Education Association (3.2 million members) sent a letter of protest to the U.S. Treasury Department over reports pressure from the International Monetary Fund was causing the Jamaican government to violate contracts with Jamaican teachers. Text below; the PDF is here.

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August 10, 2010

 

Timothy F. Geithner

Secretary, Department of the Treasury 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20220

 

Re: IMF and Jamaican Teachers Association

 

 

Dear Secretary Geithner:

 

 

The National Education Association (NEA) would like to express our

concern about reports that pressure from the International Monetary

Fund (IMF) is causing violations of fairly negotiated agreements

between Jamaican Teachers Association and the Government of Jamaica.

We respectfully request that you look into this matter.

 

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Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
2001 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 3 7
2002 10 1 9 4 1