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Questions about Honduras for candidates for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Given that U.S. policy at the international financial institutions reports to the Secretary of the Treasury, Just Foreign Policy asked U.S. advocates concerned with U.S. policy in Honduras: what questions would you like to ask candidates for Secretary of the Treasury concerning U.S. policy in Honduras?

 What follows is a lightly edited compilation of the responses we received.

 1. Will you oppose funding of Agua Zarca and other harmful dam projects planned over the objections of local communities?

 2. Will you ensure that international law is upheld and that local indigenous communities are properly consulted regarding any planned development projects before IFI support is approved for such projects?

 3. Given that senior Honduran government officials have been involved in planning so-called "Employment and Economic Development Zones," in which several articles of the Honduran constitution, as well as international laws regarding labor and other human rights would not apply, will you oppose any IFI support for such zones, or for projects in them?

WaPo: Foreign policy elite hates Obama for blocking new Syria war

The Washington Post reports that Washington's bipartisan foreign policy elite is united in their passion for a new war in Syria, and is looking forward eagerly to Obama's departure from office, because they see the Obama Administration as the key obstacle to their plans for a new war in Syria.

Reality-based comments like this from Obama Administration officials drive the bipartisan foreign policy elite up the wall:

“You can’t pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against the Russians,” said a senior administration official who is involved in Middle East policy and was granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

New York Representative Eliot Engel, who voted for the Iraq war and opposed the Iran nuclear deal is trying to promote a new war in Syria and undermine U.S. diplomacy with a bill that calls for the U.S. to impose a "no fly zone" against Russian and Syrian planes. Engel's bill also attacks the Iran nuclear deal by re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted in the deal.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to oppose Engel's bill HR 5732. This bill promotes a new war in Syria, undermines U.S. diplomacy, and undermines the Iran nuclear deal."

Use War Powers to Remove U.S. Forces from Saudi Bombing of Yemen

As Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has noted, U.S. participation in the Saudi bombing of Yemen has never been authorized by Congress.

Urge your reps. to use their war powers to force a vote on removing U.S. forces from the Saudi bombing of Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Saudi Arabia's conduct is now coming under unprecedented scrutiny. New evidence has recently emerged that the U.S. intelligence community believes that the government of Saudi Arabia has been supporting ISIS. But Congress has never voted on whether the U.S. should be refueling Saudi planes that are bombing Yemen, even though U.S. officials have warned that the U.S. could be implicated in war crimes for supporting the Saudi bombing of Yemen.

Under section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, "at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution."

Urge your reps. to use their war powers to force a vote on removing U.S. forces from the Saudi bombing of Yemen by signing and sharing our petition.

Senate to Vote Wednesday on Saudi 9/11 Bill Veto Override

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on overriding the President's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act [JASTA]. This bill would remove Saudi Arabia's immunity from lawsuits brought by 9/11 families over the alleged responsibility of Saudi officials for the 9/11 attacks. Override of the President's veto would be a historic repudiation of the previously unaccountable U.S.-Saudi relationship, which has been a root cause of many terribly destructive wars in the region, including the war in Yemen and the war in Syria.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to vote to override the veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act, so 9/11 families can have their day in court against the Saudi government."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Then call your other Senator at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to vote to override the veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act, so 9/11 families can have their day in court against the Saudi government."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven't signed our petition to Congress yet urging that the veto of JASTA be overridden, you can do that here.

9/11 Families Deserve Their Day in Court Against Saudi Arabia

This week the House and Senate are expected to vote on whether to override the President's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act ["JASTA"]. JASTA would allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia over allegations Saudi officials were linked to the 9/11 attacks. The bill makes no judgment about Saudi Arabia's responsibility for the attacks. It just removes Saudi Arabia's immunity from lawsuit over support for terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both support the bill.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to vote the override the President's veto of the Saudi 9/11 bill so the 9/11 families can have their day in court."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Under current U.S. law, Americans can sue Iran for terrorism in U.S. courts, but they can't sue Saudi Arabia for terrorism in U.S. courts, because Iran is on the State Department's "state sponsor of terror" list and Saudi Arabia is not. The State Department is allowed to take "broader U.S. foreign policy interests" besides concern about support for terrorism into account in forming its list - like the Saudi government's cozy relationship with the C.I.A.

In January, the New York Times reported that:

27 Senators who voted to stop the US arms sale to Saudi Arabia

The following Senators voted against tabling a motion to stop the sale of $1.15 billion in tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia. Effectively, these Senators were voicing opposition to the sale.

Baldwin
Blumenthal
Booker
Boxer
Cantwell
Durbin
Franken
Gillibrand
Heinrich
Heller
Hirono
Kirk
Klobuchar
Leahy
Lee
Markey
Murphy
Murray
Paul
Reid
Sanders
Schatz
Stabenow
Tester
Udall
Warren
Wyden

Vote expected Tuesday on Saudi arms deal - call your Senator!

You can never be sure what the Senate will vote on and when they will vote on it. But currently, a vote on the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution to disapprove the Saudi arms deal is expected Tuesday.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like,

"I urge you to vote YES on SJ Res 39, the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution to disapprove the Saudi arms deal."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Human Rights Watch says hundreds of civilians—including at least 200 children—have been killed so far in U.S.-enabled unlawful Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. But despite extensive documentation by Human Rights Watch of these violations, the US continues to fuel the conflict. After selling over $20 billion dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia in 2015, some in Washington want to add another $1.15 billion dollars in arms sales.

That why Human Rights Watch is calling on the Senate to pass the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution. Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121 now. Report your call below.

TODAY: Call Your Rep. Against the TPP!

The fate of the corporate-rigged Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being decided right now. Dozens of organizations are working together to make TODAY a nationwide TPP Call-In Day to press our Representatives to publicly announce their opposition to the TPP before the election.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to make a public statement in opposition to the TPP now, before the election."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

TPP backers are working now to generate enough congressional support to pass the deal in a lame-duck session of Congress, after the election. We can foil their plan if we force members of Congress to take a public position against the agreement now, before Election Day.

The TPP would grant corporations new rights to sue the U.S. and other governments before a panel of corporate lawyers that can award unlimited sums, including for loss of future expected profits, to be paid by taxpayers when corporations claim government policies violate the new entitlements the TPP would promise them. In practice, the U.S. is likely to change its policies rather than pay TPP claims, and for poorer countries, it's not even a realistic choice. Even the threat of a TPP lawsuit is likely to deter a poorer country from exercising its rights.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121 to urge them to issue a public statement opposing the TPP.

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Sign a Petition Directed To Your Senator Against the Saudi Arms Deal

We've made petitions localized to each state where we have a plausible story that there's a Senator there who could be an early co-sponsor of the resolution against the Saudi arms deal - if they heard a groundswell from constituents.

If your state is on the following list, please click the state's link to sign and share the petition for your state, directed to your Senator(s).