Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tax-Day Actions | Petraeus-Crocker | Kennedy-Biden Report on Iraqi Refugees | Lessons Learned

New links for next week’s tax-day actions and call in - please take a moment to share with friends and family. You should also take a look at the report back slideshow; it begins with a beautiful shot of the light installation in San Francisco. Regarding the Petraeus-Crocker hearings. Phyllis Bennis has talking points and Juan Cole looks at the role of foreign military occupations in retarding national reconciliation. There is also a copy of the report issued yesterday by Senators Kennedy and Biden on Iraqi refugees. Zia Mian also has an interesting article on intervention and lessons learned.

Iraq Update 9 April 2008: Making a Difference for Iraqis
Action: Tax-Day Call In
Background Resources: Tax-Day Call In
Report Back: Slideshow on Commemorating the Human Cost of War
Updated Resource Page: Learn About Iraq

Petraeus-Crocker Hearings: Political Theater on Message
By Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies, 8 April 2008

A critical review of the four themes advocated by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker in their testimony before Congress. The themes should be understood as a continued framework for occupation.

Iran is the Problem in Iraq
The "Surge" Stopped the Violence
Keep the Troops in Iraq
Support the $110 billion Supplemental Funding Bill for Iraq War

* Also Distributed as UFPJ Talking Points #57: Petraeus-Crocker hearings target Iran, justify the "surge," and defend permanent occupation.

Petraeus, Iraq and the Lebanon Analogy

Juan Cole expands the scope of the hearings and asks what reconciliation might look like if the US Military was not supporting one side. Following an analogy with Lebanon, he suggests that maybe the US in Iraq is not the little boy with his finger in the dyke. Maybe we are workers with jackhammers instructed to make the hole in the dyke much more huge.

Managing Chaos – The Iraqi Refugees of Jordan and Syria and Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq. Senators Kennedy, Biden Release Report On Iraqi Refugees


April 8, 2008

“[The] findings suggest a startling lack of American leadership in a crisis that much of the international community considers a result of our intervention in Iraq. Acknowledging that the war in Iraq has resulted in one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the post-Cold War era is a bitter pill to swallow. Ensuring that this refugee population receives the humanitarian treatment and dignity that it deserves requires American leadership of a kind not seen to this point.

We believe that more must be done by the United States to deal with this crisis. An appropriate action by President Bush at this time would be to appoint a senior official in the White House to coordinate our overall policy on the Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons. As President Ford stated in appointing the late Julia Taft to be Director of the Interagency Task Force on Indochina Refugees, our country’s response to the refugee crisis caused by the Vietnam War was “a reaffirmation of American awareness of the roots and ideals of our society.”


Recommendation number two on funding gives you a sense to what degree the US Government has failed to provide any meaningful support to international agencies and States supporting Iraqi refugees.

The United States should fund fifty percent of all United Nations’ and other international organizations’ appeals for Iraqi refugees, internally displaced persons, and for other vulnerable Iraqis.

· In 2008, a 50% commitment would amount to approximately $500 million, somewhat less than one-half of one percent of the costs of annual U.S. military operations in Iraq.[25] Providing this level of assistance on an ongoing basis would match our resources with our moral obligation to assist those suffering and relieve the burden on host governments.

Click here for the report.
AFSC Page in the Iraqi Refugee Crisis

Costs of War
Zia Mian, Foreign Policy in Focus

Excerpt : The Iraq war has broken the Bush presidency, cost the Republicans control of Congress, and may lose them the White House. The growing sentiment among Americans that the United States should mind its own business and not try to manage the affairs of the rest of the world may be enough to restrain future leaders from a similar illegal assault on another nation.

But we have been here before. It is worth remembering that thirty years ago many believed the painful lessons of the Vietnam War and American defeat would restrain American interventions overseas. But it took right-wing politicians, led notably by Ronald Reagan, barely five years to begin rallying the public to overturn the “Vietnam Syndrome” and demand that America show it had “the means and the determination to prevail.” They prevailed. The challenge after Iraq will be to make sure this does not happen again.

No comments: