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JFP 4/1: McChrystal's Escalation of Night Raids Belies "Hearts and Minds"

Just Foreign Policy News
April 1, 2010

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Urge Congress to Talk About the Human Cost of War
In the next few weeks, Congress is expected to be asked to approve $33 billion more for war and occupation in Afghanistan. Urge your representatives in Congress to use this opportunity to shine a spotlight on the human cost of continuing war and occupation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/humancost

Call Congress the Week of April 12 Against the War in Afghanistan
In the run-up to Congressional consideration of the war supplemental, many peace advocacy groups, including Just Foreign Policy and Peace Action (list in formation) are collaborating in generating calls to Congress against the war, urging: opposition to the supplemental, support for a military withdrawal timetable, support for a public exit strategy and support for peace negotiations. Mark your calendar and spread the word.

IJDH: Aid Groups Can Do Better in Haiti
With video and a petition, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti reaches out to the big aid groups, urging them to do better.
http://www.change.org/petitions/view/we_can_do_better_for_haiti_demand_transparency_and_improved_aid_distribution

Did Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Steal the 2009 Iran Election?
Attorney Eric Brill (Harvard Law, '74) reviews the "evidence" that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "stole" the 2009 presidential election in Iran and finds it nonexistent.

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JFP 3/31: Half a Million U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Treated in the VA

Just Foreign Policy News
March 31, 2010

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Urge Congress to Talk About the Human Cost of War
In the next few weeks, Congress is expected to be asked to approve $33 billion more for war and occupation in Afghanistan. Urge your representatives in Congress to use this opportunity to shine a spotlight on the human cost of continuing war and occupation.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/humancost

How Many Vets Have Been "Wounded" in Iraq and Afghanistan?
According to Department of Defense statistics cited in press reports, 36,904 U.S. soldiers have been "wounded" in Iraq and Afghanistan. But according to information obtained by Veterans for Common Sense from the VA under FOIA, 508,152 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been patients at the VA, and there have been 442,412 disability claims.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/532

Jewish Voice for Peace: Stand Up for Divestment
The president of UC Berkeley's student senate vetoed a historic 16 to 4 vote calling for divestment from General Electric and United Technologies because of their involvement in Israel's illegal occupation and the bombing of Gaza. But the veto can be overturned with just 14 senate votes.
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2747

Institute for Public Accuracy: "Energy Independence" is "Ludicrous"

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How Many Vets Have Been "Wounded" in Iraq and Afghanistan?

During the House debate over the Kucinich resolution calling for a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, Rep. Bob Filner, chair of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, pointed out that hundreds of thousands of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have gone to the VA for service-related injuries.

The video of Filner's statement is here.

A March 13 fact sheet from Veterans for Common Sense gives a more precise figure: they reported that 508,152 Iraq and Afghanistan veteran patients had been treated at the VA. This figure is from VA documents obtained by VCS under FOIA, and appears to be current through the end of FY 2009, i.e. through September 30, 2009.

The VCS fact sheet is here.

Note that these figures are very different from the official DoD statistics for "wounded" at icasualties.org, often cited in press reports. The total U.S. wounded figure given there for "Operation Enduring Freedom," which is mainly but not exclusively Afghanistan, is 5188 through March 2010, while the total US wounded figure for "Operation Iraqi Freedom" through March 2010 is 31716. That suggests the total U.S. "wounded" from the two wars is 36904, about 7.3% of the VA figure, which covers a slightly shorter period.

If for comparison to the VA figures, we just take the icasualties.org figures through September 30, 2009, that gives 31513 wounded for Iraq, 4174 wounded for OEF, for a total of 35687 wounded. 35687 is 7.02% of the VA figure of 508,152. So it appears that the DoD "wounded" figure is about 7% of the figure of vets who have been treated at the VA.

JFP 3/30: US Media Blows Coverage of Iraqi Election

Just Foreign Policy News
March 30, 2010

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What do Iraqi Election Results Mean for Country's Future?
Just Foreign Policy talks with Sonali Kolhatkar of KPFK's "Uprising," explaining that "pro-US candidate" Iyad Allawi did not "win" the Iraqi election, contrary to the credulous reports of US news media, who apparently don't understand how parliamentary elections work.
http://uprisingradio.org/home/?p=12893

Here's the math:
325-member Iraqi parliament; 163 seats are a majority.
The Iraqiya list of Iyad Allawi got 91 seats, 28%; al-Maliki's State of Law coalition got 89 seats, 27.4%
The "Shiite fundamentalist" Iraqi National Alliance got 70 seats, 22%; the largest bloc within the Iraqi National Alliance is the Sadrists, 38 seats.
It's about a thousand times more likely that the Iraqi National Alliance will ally with the Maliki forces than that they will ally with the Allawi forces.
89 + 70 = 159, or 49.4%, four short of a majority.
Who is likely to form the next government? [Thanks to Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog for providing the numbers: http://www.juancole.com/2010/03/chalabi-moves-to-disqualify-6-elected.html]

New page: Highlights of the Afghanistan Debate
With video, we summarize the case made by Members of Congress for a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Rep. Alan Grayson: "You can't even call it a war, it's a foreign occupation."

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JFP 3/29: Afghans Still Being Shot at US Checkpoints

Just Foreign Policy News
March 29, 2010

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Protect Obama from AIPAC on Israeli Settlement Expansion
AIPAC lobbyists are demanding that Congress pressure Obama back down from his opposition to Israeli settlement expansion. Urge your representatives in Congress to support President Obama's opposition to Israeli settlement expansion.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/settlements

JFP video: Highlights of the Afghanistan Debate
With this video, we summarize the case made by Members of Congress for a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endthewar

Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) US and NATO troops firing from passing convoys and military checkpoints have killed 30 Afghans and wounded 80 others since last summer, but in no instance did the victims prove to be a danger to troops, the New York Times reports. "We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat," said Gen. McChrystal. Such shootings have not dropped off, despite new rules from McChrystal intended to reduce them. The persistence of the shootings has led to growing resentment among Afghans angry at the impunity with which the troops operate - a friction that has turned villages firmly against the occupation, the Times says.

JFP 3/26: US Military Withdrawals Weaken Taliban

Just Foreign Policy News
March 26, 2010

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Protect Obama from AIPAC on Israeli Settlement Expansion
AIPAC lobbyists are demanding that Congress pressure Obama back down from his opposition to Israeli settlement expansion. Urge your representatives in Congress to support President Obama's opposition to Israeli settlement expansion.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/settlements

JFP video: Highlights of the Afghanistan Debate
With this video, we summarize the case made by Members of Congress for a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endthewar

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP 3/25: Pentagon Contractors Spied on Taliban Reconciliation Talks

Just Foreign Policy News
March 25, 2010

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Protect Obama from AIPAC on Israeli Settlement Expansion
AIPAC lobbyists are demanding that Congress pressure Obama back down from his opposition to Israeli settlement expansion. Urge your representatives in Congress to support President Obama's opposition to Israeli settlement expansion.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/settlements

Video: Why Are We in Afghanistan?
From the Center for Study of Working Class Life at Stony Brook, a short film that looks at domestic pressures and geo-strategic interests that keep the U.S. in the region. An educational resource for communities, unions, veterans and active duty military, classes, and anyone who wonders why we are in Afghanistan, and what to do about it.
http://www.whyareweinafghanistan.org

JFP video: Highlights of the Afghanistan Debate
With this video, we summarize the case made by Members of Congress for a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endthewar

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP 3/24: Afghan Insurgents Present Formal Peace Plan

Just Foreign Policy News
March 24, 2010

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Protect Obama from AIPAC on Israeli Settlement Expansion
AIPAC lobbyists are demanding that Congress pressure Obama back down from his opposition to Israeli settlement expansion. Urge your representatives in Congress to support President Obama's opposition to Israeli settlement expansion.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/settlements

Al Jazeera Video: Live Israeli gunfire suspected in Palestinian deaths
Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinian youths on Saturday during a demonstration in their village, Iraq Burin. The Israeli army issued a statement alleging its soldiers only used rubber-coated steel bullets in the village. Doctors and human rights organisations say their evidence disproves this account. Al Jazeera obtained video with the clear sound of gunfire, taken by an activist who was at the incident.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwAb-VxlV-I

JFP video: Highlights of the Afghanistan Debate
With this video, we summarize the case made by Members of Congress for a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endthewar

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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YouGovPolimetrix poll: Americans Support Obama's Pressure on Netanyahu

52% of Americans support, and 31% oppose, the Obama administration’s demand that Israel stop all settlement-building, Avaaz reports:

Summary results of YouGovPolimetrix poll of 1000 US citizens, surveyed on 20-21 March for Avaaz:

Most Americans back President Barack Obama’s Mideast strategy to stop Israeli settlement-building, lead negotiations for a two-state peace and get tough with both sides if necessary, according to a poll released today on the eve of a critical meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The poll was conducted for the global advocacy network Avaaz by YouGovPolimetrix.

62% of those polled said the growth of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory will only lead to greater hostilities. 52% of respondents support, and 31% oppose, the Obama administration’s demand that Israel stop all settlement-building. 53% thought the US should be ready to get tough with both sides in peace negotiations if necessary, while only 33% disagreed.

61% of respondents supported the Obama administration’s plan to lead negotiations to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians during the coming months, with only 25% opposing that approach. The US goal of a two-state peace agreement between Israel and an independent Palestine is supported by 64% of the US public, according to the poll.

[This information can be found on Avaaz' web site here. Search on the page for the text, "Polimetrix."]

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JFP 3/23: Jews Want Obama to Pressure Israel for Peace

Just Foreign Policy News
March 23, 2010

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PJEP Video: March 2010 Protests Against the Wars
There was a protest or demonstration in over US 150 cities the week of March 20th. This video shows video and photos of twenty events across the country.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85FX1rgaxQk

JFP video: Highlights of the Afghanistan Debate
With this video, we summarize the case made by Members of Congress for a timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/endthewar

Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) By a 71-29 percent margin, American Jews support the US "exerting pressure" on both the Israelis and the Arabs to make the necessary compromises to achieve peace, J Street reports. 55 percent say the US was right to strongly criticize the Israeli announcement of new housing in East Jerusalem during Vice President Biden's visit.

2) Secretary of State Clinton told AIPAC new Israeli settlements in occupied Arab lands not only hurt US standing in the peace process, but also complicate the US bid to win additional sanctions against Iran, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

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