February 2017

Demand UN Security Council Save Yemeni Children From Starvation

"Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children languishing in refugee camps and remote villages are nearing starvation," the Washington Post reports. Airstrikes near the port of Hodeida - main entry point for food, medicine and humanitarian aid into northern Yemen - have slowed the delivery of supplies. Half a million children are severely acutely malnourished. The UN says Yemen is “on the brink of famine.”

U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes have destroyed roads and bridges across Hodeida province. Unexploded rockets have landed inside the port, further reducing imports and the number of ships willing to come to Yemen. The Saudis are enforcing a blockade that is restricting food imports, and have told humanitarian agencies to redirect shipments to Aden. That would mean vital food and medicine would need to be trucked from Aden through war zones to reach the millions at risk of starvation in the north.

To save hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children from starvation, someone must stop the U.S.-backed Saudi attacks on Hodeida. Sadly, so far Washington has turned a deaf ear to the cries of Yemeni children. But any member of the UN Security Council can demand a meeting to discuss action to save Yemeni children from starvation. Of the fifteen current members of the Security Council, Bolivia and Russia are the most independent of the U.S.-Saudi alliance that is pushing Yemen into famine. A vigorous Security Council debate would put pressure on the U.S. to stop supporting the Saudi assault on Hodeida.

New York Times: Report the UN's Famine Warning for Yemen

United Nations and other international aid officials have been warning that Yemen is on the brink of famine. "Donald Trump’s Shift On Yemen Risks Plunging The Country Into Famine," the Huffington Post reports, warning that the Trump Administration may be giving Saudi Arabia a green light to attack and close the critical port of Hodeidah, blocking Yemen's food imports. "Yemen war causing world's worst food crisis," Vatican Radio reports. "'Time running out': 1.4 million children could die from famine in Africa & Yemen, says UNICEF," RT reports.

But a search of recent stories on the New York Times' website only turns up wire stories, not a regular New York Times article. [4]

Press NYT editors for prominent coverage of the UN's famine warning for Yemen by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.

Don't Help Saudi Arabia Cause Famine in Yemen

President Trump's ramped-up support of Saudi Arabia's war may cause a famine in Yemen, the Huffington Post reports. Aid workers fear Saudi Arabia is planning to attack and close the critical port of Hodeidah on Yemen’s west coast, where most of the country's food has come in. The Obama Administration had opposed such an attack, but the Trump Administration may be encouraging it. Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has been dependent on the U.S. for military support and diplomatic cover. “If there were a serious disruption to that port, that would, I think, be sufficient to tip the country into famine,” said a former U.S. aid official.

Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, notes that Saudi Arabia's diversion of aid ships from Hodeidah is already raising the risk of mass starvation. Using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war is a grave violation of international law.

Press President Trump and Congress to stop Saudi Arabia from causing a famine in Yemen by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.

Oppose Iraq War Architect John Bolton as National Security Adviser

Iraq war architect and Iran war advocate John Bolton is reportedly one of four candidates being interviewed for National Security Adviser. CNN says there are "signs of strong support inside and outside the administration for Bolton."

Urge your representatives to oppose the nomination of John Bolton to be National Security Adviser by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Foreign Service veteran Greg Thielmann calls Bolton a "prime mover of the Iraq WMD fiasco." Senator Rand Paul calls Bolton a "bad choice" who contradicts Trump's criticisms of the Iraq war, noting that "Bolton still believes the Iraq War was a good idea, he still believes regime change is a good idea." J Street says Bolton is a "completely inappropriate choice" for "any role related to America’s relations with the rest of the world."

Urge President Trump and Congress to oppose the nomination of John Bolton to be National Security Adviser by signing and sharing our petition.

Should we give one man the power to start a nuclear war?

Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to initiate the use of force if the U.S. is not under armed attack. But during the Cold War, a bizarre exception to this basic idea of our democracy was introduced and tolerated: the President could start a nuclear war on his own say-so. It was a horrible policy then. There's certainly no excuse for it now. Right now, President Trump could launch thousands of nuclear weapons on his own say-so.

Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have introduced legislation – the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act – that would limit the ability of Trump - or any President - to launch nuclear weapons without Congressional action. The Act would require congressional authorization in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack.

Urge Congress to support the Markey-Lieu bill by signing our joint petition with Win Without War and Daily Kos.

No to U.S. Ground Troops in Syria!

CNN has reported that the Defense Department "might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time," and that the move would "significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks." CNN says "one goal of their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara's interests." "Reassuring Turkey" a terrible reason to deploy U.S. troops to danger in Syria.

Urge your Reps. to say sending ground troops to Syria is a terrible idea by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says, "It would be a really rotten, no good, bad idea to have ground troops in Syria." Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says, "Sending combat troops into Syria would make the unforced errors of the first four weeks look like child's play." California Representative Ted Lieu says, "As Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee, I want to say that sending ground troops to Syria is a VERY BAD IDEA."

Urge your Senators and Representative to join Chris Murphy, Rand Paul, and Ted Lieu in denouncing the idea of sending U.S. ground troops to Syria by signing and sharing our petition.

Tell your Senator to Oppose Private Property Thief David Friedman's Nomination

An apartment building in a West Bank settlement was funded by an organization headed by David Friedman, Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel. The building is financed by American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which Friedman chairs. American Friends of Beit El Institutions raised almost $667,000 for its Israeli counterpart, the Organization for the Sukkat Ovadia Yeshiva of Beit El. The Israeli organization funded construction projects on private Palestinian land. The projects were illegal under Israeli law. The planned apartment building is also to be built on private Palestinian land. True conservatives oppose the government theft of private property.

Your Senator is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which means they decide whether to send Friedman's nomination to the Senate for a confirmation vote. Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, say something like:

"I urge Senator _____ to vote no on David Friedman's nomination to ambassador of Israel. David Friedman chairs an organization that has participated in the theft of private Palestinian land. Senators should not endorse a private property thief to represent the United States."

When you have made your call, please report it below.

TODAY: Help me press Durbin, Duckworth in Chicago on Saudi-Yemen war powers

President Trump has already "increased logistical support" for the Saudi bombing of Houthis in Yemen. Trump Administration officials are threatening to conduct drone strikes against the Houthis. But Congress never authorized this war. Under the War Powers Resolution, a single Member of Congress could force a debate and vote on what Trump is doing. Unfortunately, we haven't got a single Member of Congress to agree to do this yet.

That’s why I'm going to visit the offices of Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth in Chicago today (February 7th, 2017). I'm going to deliver the Illinois signatures on this petition, urging Durbin and Duckworth to stand up on Saudi-Yemen war powers before Trump can further escalate the war.

Here's how you can help:

1. Call Durbin's Chicago office at 312-353-4952 and/or Duckworth's Chicago office at (312) 886-3506. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say:

"I urge Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth to invoke the War Powers Resolution to force Congressional debate on Trump's escalation of the Saudi war in Yemen."

When you've made your call(s), please report that below.

2. Sign and share our petition if you haven't already. If you already signed and shared, please share it again.

TODAY 6pm: Use Ted Lieu phone-in "town hall" to oppose Trump's Yemen war!

President Trump has threatened to escalate U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen by conducting drone strikes on Shia Houthi rebels. U.S. military action against Shia Houthi rebels has never been authorized by Congress. That means that under the War Powers Resolution, a single Member of Congress can introduce a privileged resolution to force a debate and vote on U.S. participation in the war before Trump carries out his threat.

LA Rep. Ted Lieu would be the natural person to do this: he's been a leader in Congress on criticizing U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen. But, many Members of Congress see invoking the War Powers Resolution as a dramatic step. We need to show Rep. Lieu that people in Los Angeles want him to do this, that if Rep. Lieu takes this step, people in Los Angeles will have his back.

Today Rep. Lieu is hosting a phone-in "town hall." This gives us an opportunity to engage Rep. Lieu directly.

Just before 6pm Pacific Time, call: 877-353-4701 [toll free.] If you get to ask a question, you can say something like:

"I'm concerned by Trump's threat to escalate the Saudi war in Yemen by conducting drone strikes against the Houthis. This has never been authorized by Congress. I urge you to invoke the War Powers Resolution to challenge U.S. participation in the Saudi war before Trump can carry out his threat."

If you're able to call in, please report your call below, even if you don't get to ask a question. We'll report to Rep. Lieu's office how many people called in to ask for the invocation of Congressional war powers against Trump's threat to escalate in Yemen.

TRUMP THREATENS IRAN - CALL YOUR REP!

Roll Call reports:

the Trump administration escalated its sudden sabre-rattling toward Iran when President Donald Trump directly criticized Tehran in a series of tweets ... Hours after his top national security adviser put Iran “on notice” and other senior administration officials refused to rule out U.S. military action against the Islamic Republic, Trump himself appeared to threaten the Middle Eastern power in a series of tweets — and the words of U.S. presidents carry far more weight than career bureaucrats briefing behind the veil of anonymity

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

I urge you to invoke Congressional war powers before President Trump attacks Iran. Congress must debate and vote.

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

And if you haven't signed our petition to Congress yet, please do that here.