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Robert Naiman is Senior Policy Analyst at Just Foreign Policy. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East. Naiman edits the Just Foreign Policy daily news summary and writes a blog on Huffington Post.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Does Hillary's Silence on Iran Deal Show Neocon Pull on Her Presidential Run? (1 comments)
Hillary's silence suggests that "her harder-line supporters" want to re-fight the battle over U.S. foreign policy that they lost when Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton, won the Democratic nomination in 2008, and see her potential victory in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary as the restoration of their dominion over Democratic Middle East policy, the second coming of Joe Lieberman.
Sunday, November 17, 2013 WikiLeaks and the Drone Strike Transparency Bill
We need to force the Administration onto the public record to document its claims. If the Administration wants to claim that civilian casualties from drone strikes have been extremely rare, and that those killed were mainly people trying to attack the U.S., make them show us their numbers, and how they arrived at them. Pass the drone strike transparency bill.
Thursday, August 22, 2013 President Obama, Commute Bradley Manning's Sentence to Time Served (1 comments)
A cynic might say: What's the point of asking President Obama for clemency, when he's in charge of the system that put Manning in prison? President Obama is indeed in charge of the system that put Manning in prison. That's why he's the correct address for the appeal for clemency.
Saturday, April 13, 2013 Cut Social Security & Veterans' Benefits? Cut the Pentagon Instead (1 comments)
The key takeaway from all these numbers is that compared to the bloated Pentagon budget, the proposed savings from whacking seniors, veterans, and the disabled are chump change, not worth bothering with. The crucial thing to remember in all this is that none of us needs to come up with a specific plan to replace cuts to Social Security and veterans benefits with Pentagon cuts.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 President Correa, Please Protect Julian Assange From My Government (3 comments)
If the U.S. government succeeds in prosecuting Assange under the Espionage Act for helping to disclose the WikiLeaks cables, it will make it harder to reform U.S. foreign policy in the future. That's why I'm urging Ecuador's President Rafael Correa to grant Julian Assange's request for political asylum.
Friday, March 2, 2012 On Iran Strike, Israelis Trust Obama Over Bibi (1 comments)
Saudi Arabia & neoconservative lunatics may be willing to fight a war with Iran "to the last American soldier" but the ordinary Israeli & American know exactly who really pays the price for all that warmongering.
Sunday, February 19, 2012 Does AIPAC want war? (26 comments)
If the experts and Western officials who believe that Iran already has "the knowledge and technology necessary to build a nuclear weapon" are right, then what that says is that Iran has already crossed the "red line" of the Lieberman bill. And therefore, the supporters of the Lieberman bill are saying that they are ready for war today.
Monday, January 9, 2012 The New York Times misleading public on Iran (6 comments)
It's deja vu all over again. AIPAC is trying to trick the United States into another catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of the Likud Party's colonial ambitions, and the New York Times is misleading the public with allegations that say that the country is developing "weapons of mass destruction."
Thursday, November 24, 2011 Dancing on the Super Committee's Grave, Singing Hallelujah (4 comments)
The "revealed preference" of Congress so far is this: there is no majority coalition in Congress which prefers cutting Social Security benefits, raising the Medicare retirement age and increasing taxes on rich people to cutting the projected Pentagon budget by 15% over 10 years.
Sunday, August 21, 2011 To live within our means, let's leave Iraq (5 comments)
Representative Barbara Lee has introduced legislation that would prevent the Pentagon from keeping thousands of US troops in Iraq by cutting off funds for the war after December 31, 2011. In other words, the bill would cut off funds for violating the agreement with Iraq to pull out troops by December. It would cut off funds for violating Obama's campaign promise to end the war.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 Kucinich Calls the Question on Libya War Powers (1 comments)
The House leadership has agreed to a vote on House Concurrent Resolution 51, introduced by Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, which would direct the President, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to remove U.S. armed forces from the Libya war. The vote could come as early as Wednesday afternoon.
Friday, May 27, 2011 Asserting War Powers, House Moves To End Afghanistan, Libya Wars (2 comments)
Twenty-six Republican Members of the House voted in favor of the McGovern-Amash amendment, roughly a 200% increase in the number of Republicans voting against open-ended continuation of the war from the nine Republicans who voted for the McGovern amendment on July 1, 2010.
Sunday, May 8, 2011 After OBL: McGovern/Jones Push for Real Withdrawal Plan
The bipartisan legislation is unique in that it carries with it the prospect of a roll call, in which every member of the House will have to choose a side: open-ended war in Afghanistan, or a clear plan for military withdrawal?
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 "Orderly Transition," or "Nothing Burger" Reforms? Benchmarks for US Policy in Egypt (3 comments)
So far the "reforms" and "concessions" that have been reported have been a "nothing burger" as far as the transition to democracy is concerned. If the US is serious about democracy, there must be benchmarks for US policy, including ending the detention and harassment of journalists and human rights activists, lifting the state of emergency, free electoral competition, and restoration of judicial supervision of elections.
Saturday, January 29, 2011 "Hand in Hand, the Army and the People Are One" (1 comments)
Eyes are on the Egyptian military now. What will they do? A week ago, it was said: Egypt is not Tunisia, and the Egyptian military is not the Tunisian military. A week ago, that was surely true. Today, it is not quite so obvious. What will be true tomorrow?
Friday, January 28, 2011 Mohamed ElBaradei: "If Not Now, When?" (1 comments)
What does it say that ElBaradei, a Nobel Prize winner, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister, not to mention a 68-year-old man -- is not allowed to peacefully raise his voice in protest against the Egyptian government?
Monday, January 24, 2011 Can US Support UN Resolution on Israeli Settlements? Yes We Can! (1 comments)
It's not an immutable law of the universe that the U.S. has to veto U.N. resolutions critical of Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Indeed, last year, the U.S. promised the Palestinians to "consider allowing UN Security Council condemnation of any significant new Israeli settlement activity," the Guardian reported.
Saturday, June 26, 2010 Speaker Pelosi, War Funding Next Week is No "Emergency" (1 comments)
There is no "emergency" requiring the House to throw another $33 billion into our increasingly bloody and pointless occupation of Afghanistan before we all go off to celebrate the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from foreign occupation.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 Oliver Stone's "Border" Shows Fall of South America's Berlin Wall
In April 2002, a coup against the Venezuelan government. The coup's failure showed limits to the U.S. ability to thwart democracy. Then several South American presidents were elected promising to reverse the disastrous economic policies promoted by Washington. This dramatic story has been largely untold in the U.S. But on Friday, Oliver Stone's documentary South of the Border opens in New York.
Saturday, June 19, 2010 Obey's Afghanistan: At Long Last, It's Guns vs. Butter (3 comments)
David Obey asks: what's more important, teachers' jobs, or killing in Afghanistan? This could end the Washington consensus that wars live on their own fiscal planet. Where's the Democratic constituency groups? It's not a question of missing an opportunity: there's a freight train coming called "deficit reduction," if cuts in military spending aren't on the train, the cargo will be cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Thursday, June 17, 2010 Guam: Self-Determination, or More U.S. Troops?
We rarely discuss the fact that there are places in the world that are actual U.S. colonies. A small corrective is being offered as part of Asian Pacific Heritage Month by PBS, which is webcasting Vanessa Warheit's documentary, The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands until next Sunday, June 20.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 Reset: Stephen Kinzer's Vision of a New U.S. Relationship with Turkey and Iran (2 comments)
Some Americans may be surprised to see Turkey playing a more independent role. Liz Cheney says Turkey is part of a new axis of evil that wants to destroy Israel. It's quite opportune that Stephen Kinzer has a new book out this week that argues the opposite case: Turkey's more independent policy is good for America.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 "Gooaal!" for Lula Against Western Push for Iran Sanctions (1 comments)
The main difference between the deal Iran has just agreed to and the UN-drafted version, AP reported, is that if Iran does not receive the fuel rods for its medical research reactor within a year, Turkey will be required to "quickly and unconditionally" return the uranium to Iran.
Saturday, May 8, 2010 Will Obama Say Yes to Afghan Peace Talks? (1 comments)
When Afghan President Karzai meets President Obama, Afghan government officials have said their top priority is to get Obama to agree the U.S. will fully back efforts of the Afghan government to reconcile with senior leaders of the Afghan Taliban insurgency in order to end the war. Saying yes to the Afghan government's request for US support for peace talks would seem like a no-brainer.
Friday, February 12, 2010 U.S. Poised to Commit War Crimes in Marjah
The United States and NATO are poised to launch a major assault in the Marjah district in southern Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians are in imminent peril. Will President Obama and Congress act to protect civilians in Marjah, in compliance with the obligations of the United States under the laws of war?
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 If Michael Moore Would Run for President (5 comments)
If Michael Moore would run for President in 2012, it could be a game-changer in American political life. For starters, it would likely shorten the war in Afghanistan by at least six months, and the American and Afghan lives that would be saved would alone justify the effort.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 Can Cheryle Jackson End the War in Afghanistan?
Add Illinois to Pennsylvania as states where there is a contested Senate primary in which the war in Afghanistan has become an issue. The Chicago Tribune reports that the two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination for Barack Obama's former seat in the Senate have staked out diametrically opposed positions. Cheryle Jackson wants to end the war, while Alexi Giannoulias supports it.
Monday, December 28, 2009 US Press Ignores Egyptian Suppression of Gaza Freedom March (2 comments)
Cairo - The government of Egypt is taking a spectacularly hard line against international solidarity efforts in support of civilians in Gaza on the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion. Meanwhile there is largely a U.S. press blackout of these striking developments.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 McChrystal's 40,000 Troop Hoax (3 comments)
Even if Obama were to approve General McChrystal's request, the 40,000 troops wouldn't arrive in time to significantly affect the 12-month window McChrystal says will be decisive. There is no emergency requiring President Obama to make a quick decision to send 40,000 more troops.
Thursday, August 20, 2009 By How Many Days Can We Shorten This War? (2 comments)
One result is clear from the Afghan election: the Afghan people are sick of war. Polls show Americans agree. But the U.S. Senate still refuses to debate an exit strategy.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 Rep. Grijalva Urges U.S. Pressure on Coup Regime in Honduras
It's been a month since Honduran President Zelaya was deposed in a military coup. The Administration still says it's working for President Zelaya's return, but it has not responded to the call from Hondurans for increased U.S. pressure on the coup regime. Rep. Grijalva is urging the Obama Administration to increase U.S. pressure on the coup regime by canceling U.S. visas and freezing bank accounts of coup leaders.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 IraqTortureGate: Powell Denies Knowing He Used Tortured Evidence for UN Case (1 comments)
The Senate Intelligence Committee knows that al-Libi's false, tortured
testimony linking Iraq to al-Qaida was part of Colin Powell's speech
to the UN. Human Rights Watch knows it. Lawrence Wilkerson knows it.
And you know it. But supposedly Colin Powell doesn't know it. Is this credible?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 Will Speaker Pelosi Stand Up to the IMF?
Congress has a unique opportunity this week to reform the policies of the International Monetary Fund. House and Senate leaders are meeting in a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the supplemental. The Senate bill is likely to include $100 billion for the IMF, but the House version didn't include IMF money. Concrete reforms of the IMF's policies should be part of any agreement.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 Stopping Pakistan Drone Strikes Suddenly Plausible (1 comments)
Until this week, it seemed like the conventional wisdom in Washington was that stopping U.S drone strikes in Pakistan was outside the bounds of respectable discussion. That just changed - or it should have. Counterinsurgency guru David Kilcullen has told Congress that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are backfiring and should be stopped.
Saturday, May 2, 2009 On Israeli Settlement Freeze, Public Has Obama's Back (4 comments)
There have been hints Obama has been considering conditioning U.S. aid to Israel on a real freeze of Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank. A new poll shows three-quarters of Americans oppose Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank. This is up 23 points from 2002. Even among respondents who say they sympathize with Israel more than the Palestinians, 64% say Israel should not build settlements in the West Bank.
Monday, April 27, 2009 Reform U.S. Foreign Policy. Pass the Employee Free Choice Act. (2 comments)
In the short run, we have to oppose war with whomever is available. In
the long run, we'll never get a foreign policy that truly reflects the
values and interests of the majority until working people in America
have more political power. That's why everyone who wants peace has a stake in the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.
Friday, March 13, 2009 Election Dirty Tricks Again in Washington and El Salvador
More than 30 Members of Congress joined Rep. Raul Grijalva in asking President Obama to affirm U.S. neutrality in El Salvador's Presidential election on Sunday, to stop the recycling in El Salvador of US threats when Salvadorans voted in 2004. But there has been as yet no high-level response from the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, Republican members of Congress are openly intervening in the election with new threats.
Monday, March 9, 2009 Can Congress Save Obama from Afghan Quagmire? (3 comments)
Members of Congress have initiated a letter to President Obama urging him to reconsider military escalation in Afghanistan. The letter argues military escalation may well be counterproductive towards the goal of creating a stable government that can control Afghanistan, noting that a Carnegie Endowment study concluded that "The presence of foreign troops is the most important element driving the resurgence of the Taliban."
Thursday, March 5, 2009 Can We "Reset" Relations with Colombia?
Our relations with Colombia also need to be reset. "Plan Colombia," which was supposedly going to cut the flow of Colombian cocaine into the U.S., doesn't work, neither to reduce the flow of illegal drugs, nor to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Colombia. Since Plan Colombia doesn't work, it should be cut.
Monday, March 2, 2009 Could Obama Say a Few Words for Democracy in El Salvador?
With El Salvador facing a watershed Presidential election March 15, Obama could do a lot for the people of El Salvador and U.S. relations with Latin America simply by saying something along the following lines:
"The United States government will remain neutral in El Salvador's March 15 presidential race, will respect the election results, and will work toward a positive relationship with whichever party is elected."
Sunday, February 22, 2009 Guadeloupe Strikes: A Warning to Obama? (11 comments)
DNI Blair said the global economic crisis was the most serious security challenge facing the US. A week later, France sent police to Guadeloupe after strikes and violent clashes over low pay. But Obama wants to cut the deficit by "scaling back" Obama's promise to double foreign aid. Rep. Frank wants to cut the military budget by 25%. A mere 4% cut in the military budget would pay for the increase in foreign aid Obama promised.
Monday, February 16, 2009 Conditioning Part of U.S. Aid to Israel on Implementation of U.S. Policy (4 comments)
The key question for Americans concerned about the Israel/Palestine conflict is whether it is possible to alter the de facto U.S. insurance policy that protect Israeli government leaders from the negative consequences of pursuing confrontation with the Palestinians. An important first step would be conditioning part of U.S. military aid on implementing stated US policy, such as freezing settlement expansion in the West Bank.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 Can Mitchell Succeed? Let Him Talk to Hamas
Mitchell needs more support because it's far from obvious Washington will let Mitchell be Mitchell. He's been praised for his work in the Northern Ireland peace process, but for all the difficulties Mitchell faced in Northern Ireland, there was one thing he could count on: no-one prevented him from talking to one of the key parties in the conflict: Sinn Fein. But today Mitchell's not yet allowed to talk to Hamas.
Monday, January 26, 2009 A Window for Israel/Palestine Peace? (9 comments)
With the Gaza ceasefire and the appointment of Mitchell as Obama's envoy, there's a window for Israel/Palestine peace. But an impartial mediator isn't enough: the boundaries of U.S. policy must change. Jewish Voice for Peace and Just Foreign Policy ask Americans to urge President Obama to end the Gaza blockade, talk to Hamas, stop Israeli settlements in the West Bank and hold Israel to account for its use of U.S. weapons.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 Kucinich to Introduce Gaza Ceasefire Resolution - Who Will Co-sponsor? (10 comments)
Kucinich plans to introduce a resolution calling for an immediate
ceasefire. Some fifty Members of Congress have indicated by past
action that they might well agree to co-sponsor. If fifty Members of
Congress co-sponsored the Kucinich resolution, it would send a very
different message to the Administration and to the world than the five people voting no on the AIPAC resolution endorsing the war.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009 Could Dennis Ross Set the Stage for Future War with Iran? (3 comments)
Actions setting the stage for the invasion of Iraq were taken long before. If we had a do-over, we'd scrutinize those actions more closely. Dennis Ross in charge of Iran diplomacy would be like Madoff in charge of the SEC. Ross' appointment is not a done deal; if Senators point out the contradiction between Ross' advocacy of military confrontation and the diplomatic engagement promised by Obama, it could tip the scales.
Thursday, January 8, 2009 Amnesty vs. AIPAC: Senate to Consider AIPAC Resolution Endorsing War in Gaza (35 comments)
The Senate could consider as early as today a resolution promoted by AIPAC intended to effectively endorse the continuation of the Israeli military assault in Gaza.
The resolution does not call for an "immediate ceasefire," but for a "durable and sustainable ceasefire," which is the Bush Administration's code for continuing the war.
Call your Senators now. Urge them to support an immediate ceasefire.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009 Can Congress Speak Out Against Gaza Violence? Yes, They Can! (28 comments)
Contrary to what some seem to believe, it is possible for Members of Congress to speak out against the violence in Gaza. If more people would call and write to Congress urging an immediate ceasefire and lifting the blockade, more Members of Congress would speak out.
Friday, January 2, 2009 Calling Out Bush's War in Gaza (1 comments)
It may well be that in denouncing "Israel's" attack on Gaza one, in an important way, unwittingly does a disservice to the cause of holding the Bush Administration accountable for its crimes.
Is there any doubt that the Bush Administration approved this assault, or that it could not have taken place without the Bush Administration's approval?
These observations are true in general; we have specific evidence in this case.
Monday, December 29, 2008 The Gaza War is Completely Stoppable (5 comments)
We've seen this movie before. In 2006, Israel invaded Lebanon. Much we have seen in the last few days is depressingly familiar. But there is a silver lining to the Lebanon precedent: international outrage forced the US to accept a ceasefire. International pressure will be effective now. The question is how long it will take, and how many people will needlessly die in the meantime.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 Take Concrete Steps to Engage Iran (1 comments)
President-elect Obama pledged he would engage with Iran without pre-conditions. Experts say direct, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations are most likely to succeed, and that we should adopt policies to facilitate contacts between scholars, professionals, religious leaders, lawmakers and ordinary citizens. The Obama Administration can take concrete steps immediately to facilitate these contacts.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 Kinzer: Surge Diplomacy, Not Troops, in Afghanistan
Gen. McKiernan has asked for more than 20,000 more US soldiers to deploy to Afghanistan. McKiernan says "It's not a temporary increase." In this 5 minute video, Stephen Kinzer argues that sending more U.S. troops is likely to be counterproductive. It would be better to surge diplomacy instead, reaching out to people who are now supporting the Taliban.
Friday, November 14, 2008 For Middle East Peace, Dennis Ross is Not the Change We Seek (2 comments)
Reports suggest former officials like Dennis Ross, who directed failed policies in the past, are angling for top positions supervising U.S. policies in the Middle East. Allowing such officials to direct U.S. policy could compromise U.S. efforts and send a signal to the region that U.S. policy is not going to change. A campaign by folks concerned about peace in the Middle East could help remove Dennis Ross from short lists.