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A Year of War Would Pay for Local Jobs Bill

Sometime between now and Memorial Day, the House is expected to consider $33 billion more for war in Afghanistan. This "war supplemental" is largely intended to plug the hole in Afghanistan war spending for the current fiscal year caused by the ongoing addition of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, whose purpose is largely to conduct a military offensive in Kandahar that 94% of the people there say they don't want, preferring peace negotiations with the Taliban instead.

Of course, by itself the number $33 billion is totally meaningless. To make it meaningful, we need to compare it to something - what else could we do with $33 billion?

A recent missive from the AFL-CIO gives a compelling answer: we could use $33 billion to put America back to work:

 

If the Local Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4812) becomes law, it will create or save more than 675,000 local community jobs and more than 250,000 education jobs, according to the latest estimates from the House Education and Labor Committee.

According to the House Education and Labor Committee, the bill includes $75 billion over two years for local communities to hold off planned cuts or to hire back workers for local services who have been laid-off because of tight budgets. The bill also includes $24 billion, already approved by the House in December, to help states support 250,000 education jobs, put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat, and retain, rehire, and hire firefighters.

JFP 4/22: Grayson Backs McGovern on Withdrawal; NATO Recants on Civilian Deaths

Just Foreign Policy News
April 22, 2010

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Please donate what you can to support our work.
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Urge Congress to End the War in Afghanistan
Urge your representatives to support the Feingold-McGovern-Jones bill for a timetable for military withdrawal.
If we can get 100 co-sponsors in the House in the next few weeks, we may able to get on a vote on a withdrawal timetable when the House considers the supplemental.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/feingold-mcgovern

New co-sponsors as of 4/22: Costello; Grayson.
Previous co-sponsors in the House: Capuano; Conyers; DeFazio; Delahunt; Duncan; Farr; Harman; Hirono; Johnson, Timothy; Jones, Walter; Kucinich; Lee, Barbara; Lujan, Ben Ray; Moran, James; Nadler; Pingree; Schrader; Serrano; Slaughter; Welch; Woolsey; Michaud; Filner; Oberstar; Moore, Gwen; Grijalva; Honda.
Current total: 29
Current co-sponsors in the Senate: none. [!]

Rethink Afghanistan: "Don't Let Them Get Away With Murder"
Rethink Afghanistan interviews a survivor of the Feb. 12 Gardez US Special Forces night raid massacre and calls for a UN investigation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUxx1qgWGQ4

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Rep. Michael Honda Backs Afghanistan Military Withdrawal Timetable

On Tuesday, Rep. Michael Honda signed his name to legislation put forward by Sen. Russ Feingold, Rep. Jim McGovern and Rep. Walter Jones that would require the President to establish a timetable for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

This is potentially a bellwether event, because Rep. Honda - together with Rep. Grijalva, who also signed his name to the McGovern bill on Tuesday - has been a leader on Afghanistan in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including chairing the CPC Afghanistan task force. Rep. Honda has been very critical of the war, but he has not been an automatic supporter of anti-war legislative initiatives.

If the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" in Washington gets onto the McGovern bill in the next few weeks, the political space to be a "liberal" in Washington who supports an open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan will have largely evaporated when the House considers $33 billion more for war in Afghanistan between now and Memorial Day. Progressives in the House may be able to extract from the leadership a vote on a timetable for withdrawal when the House considers the war supplemental.

JFP 4/21: Honda, Grijalva Back McGovern's Afghan Withdrawal Timetable

Just Foreign Policy News
April 21, 2010

Support the work of Just Foreign Policy:
Please donate what you can to support our work.
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Urge Congress to End the War in Afghanistan
Urge your representatives to support the Feingold-McGovern-Jones bill for a timetable for military withdrawal.
If we can get 100 co-sponsors in the House in the next few weeks, we may able to get a vote on a withdrawal timetable when the House considers the supplemental.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/feingold-mcgovern

New co-sponsors as of 4/21: Michaud; Filner; Oberstar; Moore, Gwen; Grijalva; Honda.
Previous co-sponsors in the House: Capuano; Conyers; DeFazio; Delahunt; Duncan; Farr; Harman; Hirono; Johnson, Timothy; Jones, Walter; Kucinich; Lee, Barbara; Lujan, Ben Ray; Moran, James; Nadler; Pingree; Schrader; Serrano; Slaughter; Welch; Woolsey.
Current total: 27
Current co-sponsors in the Senate: none. [!]

Highlights of the House Afghanistan Debate
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/video/housedebate

IJDH: Help Haitian Women Fight Against Rape
The Institute for Justice And Democracy in Haiti calls on the UN to step up its efforts to establish security for women in the camps.
http://www.change.org/haitijustice/petitions/view/help_haitian_women_fight_against_rape

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JFP 4/20: 100 co-sponsors needed for Feingold-McGovern

Just Foreign Policy News
April 20, 2010

Support the work of Just Foreign Policy:
Please donate what you can to support our work.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Urge Congress to End the War in Afghanistan
Urge your representatives to support the Feingold-McGovern-Jones bill for a timetable for military withdrawal.
If we can get 100 co-sponsors in the House in the next few weeks, we may able to get a vote on a withdrawal timetable when the House considers the war supplemental.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/feingold-mcgovern

Current co-sponsors in the House: Capuano; Conyers; DeFazio; Delahunt; Duncan; Farr; Harman; Hirono; Johnson, Timothy; Jones, Walter; Kucinich; Lee, Barbara; Lujan, Ben Ray; Moran, James; Nadler, Jerrold; Pingree, Chellie; Schrader, Kurt; Serrano, Jose; Slaughter, Louise; Welch; Woolsey.
Current co-sponsors in the Senate: none. [!]

Peace Action: Talk with Rep. McGovern about ending the war in Afghanistan
You're invited to talk with Rep. Jim McGovern, Wednesday, April 21, 8:00 - 9:00 PM Eastern.
http://www.Peace-Action.org/mcgovern

Highlights of the House Afghanistan Debate
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/video/housedebate

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP 4/16: Do "Liberals" Support the War in Afghanistan?

Just Foreign Policy News
April 16, 2010

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Do "Liberals" Support the War in Afghanistan?
A poll posted yesterday on the liberal web site Daily Kos asked respondents about the Feingold-McGovern bill, which would require the President to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Here is the result:
Poll: "I would like my Representative and Senators to co-sponsor the Feingold-McGovern-Jones bill."
Yes 90% 613 votes
No 9% 66 votes
Total: 679 votes
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/15/857508/-Feingold,-McGovern-Introduce-Bill-to-End-Afghanistan-War

Urge Congress to End the War in Afghanistan
Urge your representatives to: oppose the war supplemental, support the Feingold-McGovern-Jones bill for a timetable for military withdrawal, and support peace negotiations.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/civilians

Highlights of the House Afghanistan Debate
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/video/housedebate

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP 4/15: U.S. Clarifies Local Support Not Necessary for Kandahar Offensive

Just Foreign Policy News
April 15, 2010

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Feingold, McGovern Introduce Bill to End Afghanistan War
The key idea of the bill is straightforward. By January 1 - or within 3 months of the enactment of the bill, if that is earlier - the President is required to submit to Congress a plan for the redeployment of the U.S. military from Afghanistan, with a timetable for doing so. After submitting the plan, the President has to update Congress every 90 days on how the implementation of the plan is going. The importance of establishing a timetable for military withdrawal cannot be overstated.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/15/857508/-Feingold,-McGovern-Introduce-Bill-to-End-Afghanistan-War

Call Congress Against the War in Afghanistan
Urge your representatives to: oppose the war supplemental, support the Feingold-McGovern-Jones bill for a timetable for military withdrawal, and support peace negotiations. The Congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121. When you've completed your call, you can report the result by following this link:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/543

If you can't get to a phone during business hours, you can write here:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/civilians

Highlights of the House Afghanistan Debate
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/video/housedebate

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Feingold, McGovern, Jones Introduce Bill to End the War in Afghanistan

Yesterday, Senator Russ Feingold, Representative Jim McGovern, and Representative Walter Jones announced the introduction of legislation that - if it attracts enough support - could end the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan, and bring the troops home.

The key idea of the bill is straightforward. By January 1 - or within 3 months of the enactment of the bill, if that is earlier - the President is required to submit to Congress a plan for the redeployment of the U.S. military from Afghanistan, with a timetable for doing so. After submitting the plan, the President has to update Congress every 90 days on how the implementation of the plan is going.

The bill allows Members of Congress to sign their names in favor of the all-important policy of having a timetable for military withdrawal, without everyone having to agree on a specific proposal for what the end date should be. Instead, it instructs President Obama to tell us what he thinks the plan should be.

The importance of establishing a timetable for military withdrawal cannot be overstated.

If you want to figure out how we are going to get the hell out of Afghanistan, the most obvious precedent to look at is: how are we getting the hell out of Iraq? And the answer is: with a timetable for military withdrawal, which is now the basis of a signed agreement between the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

U.S. officials have repeatedly conceded that the endgame in Afghanistan includes a negotiated political settlement between the Afghan government and the main insurgent groups in Afghanistan. Such a settlement will only be possible if it is supported by the United States, and the key chip that only the United States can bring to the negotiating table is willingness to agree to a timetable for military withdrawal. So long as the United States refuses to agree to a timetable for withdrawal of U.S.

Feingold, McGovern Introduce Bill Requiring Timetable for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Senator Feingold, Representative McGovern and Representative Walter Jones have announced the introduction of legislation that would require the President to establish a timetable for the redeployment of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

In the Senate, S. 3197; in the House, H.R. 5015.

Feingold's announcement is here.

The bill can be read here.

You can ask your Representative and Senators to co-sponsor it here.

JFP 4/14: Historic Feingold-McGovern Bill Introduced for Afghanistan Withdrawal

Just Foreign Policy News
April 14, 2010

Support the work of Just Foreign Policy:
Please donate what you can to support our work.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Call Congress Against the War in Afghanistan
Urge your Representative to: oppose the war supplemental, support a military withdrawal timetable (i.e. the Feingold-McGovern bill), and support peace negotiations. The Congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121. When you've completed your call, you can report the result by following this link:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/543

If you can't get to a phone during business hours, you can write here:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/civilians

Feingold-McGovern-Jones Afghanistan Withdrawal Bill Introduced
Requires the President to present Congress with a timetable for the redeployment of U.S forces from Afghanistan. In the Senate, S. 3197; in the House, H.R. 5015.
http://feingold.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=323809

Rethink Afghanistan: General McChrystal's Plan for Kandahar, Afghanistan, Collides With Reality
General McChrystal claimed that the U.S. offensive in Kandahar would have the support of the local population. But reality is the opposite: shockingly, Afghan civilians don't want to be shot by U.S. soldiers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxcKxvVBOSw

Kucinich Voices Concern Over Futenma Base Relocation

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