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Can the U.S. Negotiate Peace in Afghanistan?

A major contribution of the "inside experts" Afghanistan Study Group report (read here ; send to your reps in Congress here), released last week to spur Washington debate towards de-escalating the war at the next fork in the road is that its very first recommendation is this:

1. Emphasize power-sharing and political inclusion.
The U.S. should fast-track a peace process designed to decentralize power within Afghanistan and encourage a power-sharing balance among the principal parties.

Predictably, there appear to have been two principal objections so far to this proposal:

1. Oh my God. How dare you suggest that the U.S. should support a peace deal with the Afghan insurgency. You must be some kind of amoral monster.

2. Ho hum. Nothing new here. Everyone already knows this. Why do you tax our patience by stating the obvious as if it were a profound revelation? This is already Administration policy. Move along, nothing to see here.

It should go without saying that these two objections are, as a matter of logic, mutually exclusive. A real peace process leading to a new political dispensation in Afghanistan that ends the civil war could be the worst idea in human history, or it could be a commonplace that everyone already knows and is already Administration policy. But it cannot be both.

JFP 9/16: 54% of Americans think the U.S. "should not be involved in Afghanistan"

Just Foreign Policy News
September 16, 2010

Send the Afghanistan Study Group report to your reps in Congress
It's short. It's accessible. Implementing its recommendations would help end the war. Your representatives in Congress - and their staffs - should read it. Send them the report.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/afghanistanstudygroup

WMNF radio (Tampa): "Two views on the Middle East peace talks"

Just Foreign Policy vs. the Israeli Consul General in Miami.
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/two-views-on-the-middle-east-peace-talks

Military Prosecution Demands More Than Two Years Imprisonment for Bil'in's Abdallah Abu Rahmah
"The prosecution demanded Abu Rahmah will be sent to prison for a period exceeding two years, saying that as an organizer, a harsh sentence is required to serve as a deterrence not only for Abu Rahmah himself, but to others who may follow in his footsteps as well. This statement by the prosecution affirms the political motivation behind the indictment, and the concern raised by EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, that 'the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahma is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner.'"
http://www.popularstruggle.org/content/military-prosecution-demands-more-two-years-imprisonment-bilins-abdallah-abu-rahmah

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JFP 9/15: In Defense of the Afghanistan Study Group

Just Foreign Policy News
September 15, 2010

Urge the State Department to Work to Free Abdullah Abu Rahmah
Palestinian nonviolence advocate Abdullah Abu Rahmah faces two years in prison for organizing protests in Bilin. The sentencing portion of the trial was scheduled to begin today.
You can ask Secretary of State Clinton to speak out, as Europe's Catherine Ashton has, by calling the State Department's comment line at 202-647-6575 and pressing 1.
Or you can send a letter through the State Department's website, by following the instructions here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/palestinian-gandhi-convic_b_696884.html
or here:
http://popularstruggle.org/content/ask-hillary-clinton-act-abdallah-abu-rahmahs-release

Why Peaceniks Should Care About the Afghanistan Study Group Report
Experts who crafted the Afghanistan Study Group report have a strategy to move Washington towards ending the war. If their recommendations are followed, fewer Americans and Afghans will be killed.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert - naiman/why - peaceniks - should - care_b_712333.html
The report, which is short and accessible, can be found here:
http://www.afghanistanstudygroup.org/

Jon Stewart: Islamophobiapalooza
"Squirrel!" Jon Stewart mocks the TV media obsession with a Florida pastor.

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JFP 9/14: "Palestinian Gandhi" Faces Sentencing for Organizing Protests

Just Foreign Policy News
September 14, 2010

Why Peaceniks Should Care About the Afghanistan Study Group Report
Experts who crafted the Afghanistan Study Group report have a strategy to move Washington towards ending the war. If their recommendations are followed, fewer Americans and Afghans will be killed.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert - naiman/why - peaceniks - should - care_b_712333.html

The report, which is short and accessible, can be found here:
http://www.afghanistanstudygroup.org/

Bacevich: Washington Rules
Andrew Bacevich's book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war.
September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/bacevichtalk
Get the book
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules

Help Support Our Work
Your donation helps us educate Americans and create opportunities to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

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U.S./Top News

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JFP 9/13: Foreign Policy Elite Defecting from Afghan War

Just Foreign Policy News
September 13, 2010

Al Jazeera video: What Turks Approved in the Constitutional Referendum
Immunity removed for officers involved in the 1980 coup; rights of workers to organize expanded; military officers can be tried in civilian courts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcYG7vg6tvE

Why Peaceniks Should Care About the Afghanistan Study Group Report
Experts who crafted the Afghanistan Study Group report have a strategy to move Washington towards ending the war. If their recommendations are followed, fewer Americans and Afghans will be killed.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert - naiman/why - peaceniks - should - care_b_712333.html

Bacevich: Washington Rules
Andrew Bacevich's book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war.
September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/bacevichtalk
Get the book
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules

Help Support Our Work
Your donation helps us educate Americans and create opportunities to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

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U.S./Top News

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JFP 9/10: Why Peaceniks Should Care About the Afghan Study Group Report

Just Foreign Policy News
September 10, 2010

Why Peaceniks Should Care About the Afghanistan Study Group Report
The inside experts who crafted the Afghanistan Study Group report have a strategy to move Washington towards ending the war. If their recommendations are followed, fewer Americans and Afghans will be killed. It's in the interests of peace for as many Americans as possible to read and digest this short and accessible report, which calls for a negotiated political settlement to end the war.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert - naiman/why - peaceniks - should - care_b_712333.html

AP Video: Angelina Jolie Meets Flood Victims in Pakistan

UNHCR ambassador Angelina Jolie visited northwest Pakistan to meet victims of the flooding. Jolie appealed to the international community to provide aid and help Pakistan recover. The quickest way to donate $10 to UNHCR's relief effort is to text "swat" to 50555 from your cell phone.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaY0S09qNFQ

Bacevich: Washington Rules
Andrew Bacevich's book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war.
NYT review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/books/review/Bass - t.html
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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Why Peaceniks Should Care About the Afghanistan Study Group Report

There is a tradition among some peace activists of striking a pose of annoyed indifference to the question of how to get out of an unpopular war. "There are three ways to get out," goes one waggish response. "Air, land, and sea."

This is funny and emotionally satisfying, and also represents a truth for peace activists: ending the war is a first principle, not something contingent on whether a particular means of doing so satisfies someone else's notion of what is practical.

On the other hand, peace activists can't be satisfied with being right; they also are morally compelled to try to be effective. And part of being effective is giving consideration to, and seeking to publicize, arguments are likely to end the war sooner rather than later. It's not likely, for example, that discussing ways in which the war might be useful for the long-term maintenance of the "capitalist world system" will turn the Washington debate against war in the short run. If, on the other hand, central to the official story is a claim that the war is a war against Al Qaeda, but senior U.S. officials publicly concede that there is no significant Al Qaeda presence today in Afghanistan, that is certainly a fact worth knowing and spreading.

JFP 9/9: Kabul Bank Crisis Sours Afghans on US; CA's Prop 19 Could Free Mexico from Drug War

Just Foreign Policy News
September 9, 2010

International Days of Action Against the War in Afghanistan, October 7-10
Peace groups around the world have called for local actions marking the ninth anniversary of the US invasion.
http://www.endafghanistanwar.com/

Juan Cole: US TV Failure to Report on Pakistani Flood Threatens Americans' Security
Juan Cole reviews US TV coverage of the flood disaster in Pakistan and finds it sorely wanting.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175292/

Bacevich: Washington Rules
Andrew Bacevich's book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war.
NYT review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/books/review/Bass-t.html
Get the book
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules
September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/bacevichtalk

Help Support Our Work
Your donation helps us educate Americans and create opportunities to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP 9/8: vanden Heuvel on Afg Study Group; US Actors Back Israeli Boycott of Ariel

Just Foreign Policy News
September 8, 2010

October 2: One Nation for Peace
On October 2, peace voices from across the country will be converging in Washington, as part of the One Nation Working Together mobilization, to call for the wars to end.
Here is a spreadsheet that lists local organizing groups:
http://bit.ly/bUlUbD
No group yet in your community? Help getting started can be found at the "Peace Table"
http://bit.ly/buThrE

Jewish Voice for Peace: Support Israeli Artists Who Say NO to Normalizing Settlements
Jewish Voice for Peace is organizing a campaign of support for Israeli actors who have refused to perform at Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The campaign has picked up support from many prominent US actors, writers, and directors, including Wallace Shawn, Cynthia Nixon, Theodore Bikel, Eve Ensler, and Ed Asner (see Ha'aretz article, #8 below.) A fuller list of signatories is here:
http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/campaigns/making-history-support-israeli-artists-who-say-no-normalizing-settlements-4

Bacevich: Washington Rules
Andrew Bacevich's book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war.
NYT review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/books/review/Bass-t.html
Get the book
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules
September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich

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JFP 9/7: US withholds drug war funds from Mexico over human rights

Just Foreign Policy News
September 7, 2010

"A New Way Forward: Rethinking U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan"
Report of the "Afghanistan Study Group" initiated by Steve Clemons and directed by Matthew Hoh.
http://www.afghanistanstudygroup.org/

AP editor: 'Combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is'
AP standards editor Tom Kent cautions reporters not to parrot "combat is over."
http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=190064

Reuters Video: Afghans protest Koran burning
Protesters stage an anti-U.S. rally in Kabul after an American church says it will burn the Holy Koran on the September 11 anniversary.
http://www.reuters.com/news/video/story?videoId=152558173&videoChannel=1

Beverly Bell: For Partners in Health, Good Health Means Justice and Rights
Beverly Bell interviews Loune Viaud of Partners in Health's Haiti program.
http://www.truth-out.org/for-partners-health-good-health-means-justice-and-rights62702

Bacevich: Washington Rules
Andrew Bacevich's book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War," is a call for Americans to reject the Washington consensus for permanent war.
Get the book
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/buywashingtonrules
September 24th: JFP "Virtual Brown Bag" with Andrew Bacevich

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