October 2015

Call-in: Tell your Senator the U.S. should do more to help Syrian Refugees

At last, the plain fact that U.S. can do much more to aid the millions of Syrian refugees has led to a Congressional bipartisan effort to do just that. But while it is the first chance for substantive additional aid, it may also be the last of its kind for two years.

Millions of families have fled terrorism and their government's bombs and, with refugee aid programs remaining underfunded, most of those families must seek asylum elsewhere. At present, the United States only plans to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees next year whereas Germany is accepting 800,000 refugees this year and is willing to accept 500,000 more each year for the next few years.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have proposed emergency funding to help resettle tens of thousands more refugees in the U.S. and give a lifeline to refugees in camps. If we want to help more Syrian families, we need to make sure Congress knows the public cares about this, and we need to do it now.

Call your Senator NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say,

“The U.S. needs to do more to help Syrian refugees. I urge you to co-sponsor Senate Bill 2145, the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act."

When you're done, please report your call below.

Call-in: Tell your Rep. to sign Ellison-McGovern-Lee-Grijalva for #IndependentInvestigation

The October 3 US military bombing of a Doctors Without Borders [MSF] hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan killed twelve humanitarians and ten patients, including three children.

The Pentagon claims the bombing was a mistake, but the Associated Press reported US special operations analysts had been investigating the hospital prior to the attack. If the gunship was aware of this or if commanding officers intentionally withheld the information from the gunship, the incident could qualify as a "war crime."

As MSF has said, "it is impossible to expect parties involved in the conflict to carry out independent and impartial investigations of military actions in which they are themselves implicated."

Reps. Ellison, McGovern, Barbara Lee, and Grijalva are circulating a letter to their colleagues backing calls for a civilian-led, independent investigation of this atrocity. Your Representative should join them in supporting an independent investigation.

Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say,

"I urge you to sign the Ellison-McGovern-Lee-Grijalva letter calling for an independent investigation of the Doctors Without Borders hospital bombing."

When you're done, please report your call below.

And if you haven't signed our petition asking members of Congress to sign the letter, you can do that here:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/independent-investigation-MSF-bombing

Call-in: Your Rep. should sign Dingell-Ellison and support diplomacy in Yemen

The US-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen has killed thousands of civilians – including Americans trapped in Yemen – while Congress has been mostly silent. Now, at long last, we have an opportunity to something about it: Reps. Debbie Dingell & Keith Ellison are circulating a letter [1] to President Obama pressing for the US to take responsibility for protecting civilians from US airstrikes and urging greater diplomatic efforts to end the war, including engagement with Iran.

Please call your Representative today at (202) 224-3121, urging them to join efforts to protect civilians in Yemen and push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. When you reach a staffer you can say something like:

“Please sign the Dingell-Ellison letter urging protection of civilians in Yemen from US-assisted airstrikes and engagement with Iran to end the war.”

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

According to Amnesty International, more than 2,100 civilians, including at least 400 children, have been killed in the war, with the “vast majority” of civilian deaths and injuries attributed to attacks by the Saudi-led coalition. [2] More than 1.4 million people have been displaced; 12.9 million are considered food insecure; more than 1.2 million children are suffering from serious malnutrition. Your representative can only sign on until Friday, so please call today. When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for an “end to bombings” in Yemen and has said there is no military solution to this conflict. Diplomatic action, including sustained engagement with Iran, is the only way to end the hostilities, reverse the humanitarian crisis on the ground, and protect more innocent lives from reckless airstrikes.

Call-in: Tell your Senator a “No Fly Zone” = Dangerous Military Escalation

It’s magical thinking to claim that US air power is the solution to Syria’s problems. People who claim that US air power can magically “protect civilians” in Syria should explain why US air power just blew up a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. But Washington never seems to tire of the fairy tale that US military power is a magic solution to the world’s problems.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for the U.S. to impose a “no fly zone” to prevent Russia from attacking CIA-backed forces fighting the Syrian government. These calls for a “no fly zone” are demands for dangerous U.S. military escalation against Russia and the Syrian government – imposing a “no fly zone” would mean bombing Syria and attacking Russian and Syrian aircraft. Unfortunately, Hillary’s stand is encouraging other Democrats to call for military escalation.

This is how US wars often start, with breathless claims of an emergency requiring US military bombing to “protect civilians.” How exactly US bombing will “protect civilians” is never explained. If escalation is achieved nobody will check whether civilians were protected or not.

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

“I urge you to reject calls for US military escalation against Russia in Syria, including calls for a ‘no fly zone.’”

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

President Obama has rightly called Republican proposals for a “no fly zone” in Syria “half baked” “mumbo jumbo.” Senator Bernie Sanders is standing with President Obama and against Hillary Clinton in opposition to these “half baked” proposals for military escalation.

If you haven’t signed our petition against military escalation in Syria yet, you can do that here: