January 2016

Congress: Debate and Vote Before New Libya War

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to significantly escalate U.S. military action in Libya. Administration officials say the campaign in Libya could begin in a matter of weeks.

Urge Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibility to debate and vote before U.S. military escalation in Libya by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/congress-debate-vote-before-new-libya-war

This escalation is being planned without a meaningful debate in Congress about the merits and risks of a military campaign, the New York Times notes. Pentagon officials have not made a case that the proposed military action has achievable goals, and airstrikes could lead to a ground war.

If Congress takes no action, endless war will likely be extended to a new country, without time limit, without restrictions on the use of U.S. ground troops, and without any limit on who can be targeted, even if they have never attacked the United States nor shown any public inclination to do so.

Urge Congress to exercise its responsibilities under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution by debating and voting on U.S. military escalation in Libya before it happens by signing and sharing our petition:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/congress-debate-vote-before-new-libya-war

TPP: No To Post-Election "Etch-a-Sketch"

In an interview from Davos with Bloomberg TV on January 20, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, a top lobbyist for the pro-corporate-power Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] agreement, assured viewers that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidential election, she will support the TPP, even though she opposes it now.

Urge Members of Congress to take a stand now on the TPP and pledge to keep the same position after the election by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/tpp-no-post-election-etch-a-sketch

Inside U.S. Trade reported: "The Chamber president said he expected Hillary Clinton would ultimately support the TPP if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president and is elected. He argued that she has publicly opposed the deal chiefly because her main challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has also done so. 'If she were to get nominated, if she were to be elected, I have a hunch that what runs in the family is you get a little practical if you ever get the job,' he said."

Donohue also said TPP will not be voted on prior to the election because Senate Republicans do not want to do anything that could jeopardize Republican Senators in close races. But he said he believed there was a 75 percent chance that TPP would get done in the lame-duck session after the election.

Iraq WMD Claims: What did they Know & When?

A declassified Joint Chiefs of Staff [JCS] report shows that in September 2002, senior officials of the Bush Administration, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Air Force General Richard Myers, and Air Force Maj. Gen. Glen Shaffer, knew that the Bush Administration's public case for war did not match U.S. intelligence knowledge.

Urge the New York Times to examine who knew the case for war was bogus and when they knew it by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/iraq-wmd-claims-what-they-knew-when

Politico notes that several Iraq war architects are now advising Republican presidential candidates. Then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, whose military assistant was copied on the JCS report, is one of Jeb Bush’s foreign policy experts. John Bolton is advising Ted Cruz. Elliott Abrams and William Kristol are supporting Marco Rubio.

Senator Dick Durbin, who voted against the war, said on the Senate floor in April 2007 that as a member of the Senate intelligence committee, he had known in 2002 that U.S. intelligence knowledge did not match the Bush Administration's public case for war. “The information we had in the intelligence committee was not the same information being given to the American people. I couldn’t believe it,” Durbin said.

Tell Your Senator: Oppose H.R. 4038 Banning Syrian Refugees

On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to vote on H.R. 4038, the SAFE Act, which the House passed in November and which would have the practical effect of ending resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the United States.

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

"I support the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States. I urge you to vote NO on H.R. 4038."

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

Call-in: Urge your Senator to speak out about Saudi Arabia

Following Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shia dissident, its ending of the ceasefire in Yemen, and its attempts to sabotage the Syria peace talks, relations between the US and Saudi Arabia have reached an unprecedented state of crisis. But Washington still hasn't had a serious public discussion about how to say no to Saudi Arabia. In Germany and the UK, there is a debate in the government about how to say no to Saudi Arabia; but in the US, while there is a debate in the media, there is still no real debate in the government.

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

"I urge Senator ______ to make a public statement calling for Saudi Arabia to end its gross abuses of human rights and cooperate fully with international efforts to end the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and calling on the Obama Administration to enact real pressure on Saudi Arabia to change its behavior."

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

And if you haven't signed our petition urging President Obama to call out Saudi Arabia during the State of the Union address, you can do that here: