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U.S. Military Still Lying About Special Forces Night Raid in Afghanistan

U.S. officials are "probing a possible attempted coverup" in the deaths of five Afghan civilians in February in a raid carried out by U.S. Special Forces accompanied by Afghan troops, the Los Angeles Times reports. Among the charges is that the bodies were tampered with by U.S. forces to conceal the cause of death.

But even as the U.S. is supposedly investigating, U.S. officials say allegations that bullets were dug out of the bodies as part of a coverup are baseless, the LAT says.

Jerome Starkey had reported in the Times of London that Afghan investigators said U.S. Special Forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims' bodies. But U.S. Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, General McChrystal's spokesman, said no forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony had been presented to support that account, the LAT says.

Admiral's Smith's statements appear to be a classic non-denial denial. Apparently no-one outside the U.S.

JFP 4/8: Florida Rep. Calls Out Red Cross on Haiti; Red Cross Responds

Just Foreign Policy News
April 8, 2010

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Urge Congress to Oppose U.S. Killing of Afghan Civilians
In the next several weeks, Congress is expected to be asked to approve $33 billion more for war and occupation in Afghanistan. Urge your representatives in Congress to oppose the killings of Afghan civilians by the U.S. military.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/civilians

Call Congress Monday Against the War in Afghanistan
Groups are collaborating in generating calls to Congress against the war, urging: opposition to the war supplemental, support for a military withdrawal timetable, support for a public exit strategy and support for peace negotiations. Mark your calendar..

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

Beverly Bell: There are no "natural disasters"
For those in Haiti's middle- and upper-income strata, before-the-earthquake privileges are returning. For most, though, post-earthquake "normalization" means adaptation to even higher levels of social and economic precariousness.
http://www.truthout.org/social-fault-lines-the-disaster-poverty-haiti-part-158359

Summary:
U.S./Top News

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JFP 4/7: Feingold/McGovern to Introduce Afghan Withdrawal Bill

Just Foreign Policy News
April 7, 2010

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Real News: U.S. covering up reality in Honduras
State Department campaign denies the systemic repression that continues nine months after coup.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4C6RqYTAZI&

Congressional Pressure Can End the War, Saving Many Lives
The fight over the war supplemental is tremendously important, because Congressional pressure can move Administration policy, even when critics of Administration policy don't command a majority of votes. This is especially true when, as in this case, critics are in the majority in the President's own party, and when, as in this case, the policy under pressure is an international policy which is also under significant international pressure.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/537

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

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JFP 4/6: Congressional Pressure Can End the War, Saving Many Lives

Just Foreign Policy News
April 6, 2010

Support the work of Just Foreign Policy:
Please donate what you can to support our work.
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Congressional Pressure Can End the War, Saving Many Lives
The fight over the war supplemental is tremendously important, because Congressional pressure can move Administration policy, even when critics of Administration policy don't command a majority of votes. This is especially true when, as in this case, critics are in the majority in the President's own party, and when, as in this case, the policy under pressure is an international policy which is also under significant international pressure.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/537

Progressive Democrats of America: Brown Bag Vigils at Congressional Offices
Highlighting the cost of the wars. Check to see if one is scheduled in your community.
https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/309/mtglist.asp?formid=meet&eventtypename=Brown%20Bag%20Lunch%20Vigil

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

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Congressional Pressure Can Help End the War, Saving Many Lives

In the next several weeks, Congress is likely to be asked to approve $33 billion more for the war in Afghanistan, mainly to pay for the current military escalation, whose focus is the planned assault on the Afghan city of Kandahar.

Some Members of Congress will vote no on the funding. A larger group of Members is likely to support efforts to pass language which would require an exit strategy or timetable for ending the war.

Barring some unforeseen event - like Afghan President Karzai joining the Taliban - an extrapolation from the recent past would suggest that neither efforts to block the funding, nor efforts to constrain it with real conditions, are likely to be narrowly "successful" in the short-run: extrapolating from the past, the most likely short-run legislative outcome is that the war money will be approved without conditions attached that would significantly constrain the war. This is especially true if 95% of Congressional Republicans continue to vote as a bloc to support the war.

Nonetheless, the fight over the war supplemental is tremendously important, because Congressional pressure can move Administration policy, even when critics of Administration policy don't command a majority of votes. This is especially true when, as in this case, critics are in the majority in the President's own party, and when, as in this case, the policy under pressure is an international policy which is also under significant international pressure.

JFP 4/5: US govt lies about civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan exposed

Just Foreign Policy News
April 5, 2010

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Wikileaks video shows US officials lied about killing of journalists in Iraq
WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff. Since "the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own 'Rules of Engagement,'" this is highly relevant to the question of whether the U.S. military should be believed when it claims it is acting to minimize civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
http://collateralmurder.com/

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
Groups are collaborating in generating calls to Congress against the war, urging: opposition to the war supplemental, support for a military withdrawal timetable, support for a public exit strategy and support for peace negotiations. Spread the word.

IJDH: Aid Groups Can Do Better in Haiti

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JFP 4/2: Obama to trade China currency designation for Iran sanctions?

Just Foreign Policy News
April 2, 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 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
Groups are collaborating in generating calls to Congress against the war, urging: opposition to the war supplemental, support for a military withdrawal timetable, support for a public exit strategy and support for peace negotiations. Spread the word.

PBS Frontline: The Quake
What can be done now - and who will do it?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/haiti/

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

Highlights of the Afghanistan Debate

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

Just Foreign Policy News
April 1, 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 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

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 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.