April 2017

Join 9 Senators to Tell Saudi Arabia: "Hodeida Must Be Spared"!

On Thursday April 27, a bipartisan group of nine U.S. Senators wrote to the ambassador of Saudi Arabia demanding that Saudi Arabia spare the Yemeni port city of Hodeida from military assault to avoid pushing Yemen into famine. The nine Senators were: Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Christopher Coons (D-DL) and Ed Markey (D-MA).

Urge your representatives to stand with the nine Senators demanding that "Hodeida must be spared" by signing our petition at MoveOn.

The nine Senators made five demands to help “Prevent Millions of Innocent Yemenis From Starving to Death":

- Lend full support to Secretary Mattis’ call for a political settlement in Yemen.
- Refrain from bombing the port of Hodeida and call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire around the port.
- Reform the inspection regime at the port of Hodeida to eliminate unnecessary delays in the delivery of severely needed humanitarian and commercial supplies.
- Facilitate the delivery of cranes to the port of Hodeida to increase humanitarian aid and commercial capacity.
- Redouble efforts to ensure airstrikes do not hit key economic facilities and civilian infrastructure.

Urge your representatives to join the nine Senators in telling Saudi Arabia "Hodeida must be spared" by signing and sharing our petition.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/join-9-senators-to-tell?r_by=1135580

Saudis to use Janjaweed to hit Hodeida; Aid groups warn of "near certain famine"

Planes of the "Saudi-led coalition" have dropped leaflets on Hodeida warning of an imminent attack. IRIN reports that a Saudi attack on Hodeida will likely include Sudan's "Janjaweed" militia, with their "long history of abuse against civilians." Aid groups warn of "near certain famine" if Hodeida is attacked.

This atrocity can't happen without U.S. aid and support. Members of Congress could try to stop that aid and support, by forcing a debate and vote.

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 invoke the War Powers Resolution to force a debate and vote before the U.S. helps Saudi Arabia push Yemen into famine."

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

And if you haven't signed our petition calling for debate and vote before Hodeida is attacked, please do that here.

Aid Groups' Statement Against Attack on Hodeida Warns of "Near Certain Famine"


[A PDF is
here and here.

 

Action Against Hunger * Médecins du Monde * Norwegian Refugee Council * Saferworld * Save the Children * Tearfund * War Child


Hudaydah Port, Yemen: Humanitarian joint statement, 25 April 2017 

As humanitarian organisations operating in Yemen, we are gravely concerned by reports of a possible attack by the Saudi-led coalition on the critical port of Hudaydah. Such an attack risks tipping a country starved by two years of war into near certain famine, risking the lives of millions. The crisis in Yemen cannot be addressed with a military solution. Rather than fuelling more conflict, we urge the US and the UK, as key supporters of the Saudi-led coalition, to use their influence to urge all parties to the conflict to re-double their efforts to forge a political solution and take immediate steps to address the humanitarian crisis.

 

Senate: Don't Imitate "Catch-22." Don't Arm People We're Bombing in Yemen

General Mattis wants to increase U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen, which has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, including by selling Saudi Arabia even more weapons. In addition to producing humanitarian catastrophe, Saudi Arabia's war is helping Al Qaeda in Yemen. Imitating war profiteer Milo Minderbender in Joseph Heller's Catch-22, who fights on both sides and bombs his own squadron to increase his profits, by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, we indirectly arm Al Qaeda in Yemen, who we're also bombing.

Urge the Senate to address Saudi-Al Qaeda ties before selling more weapons by signing our petition at MoveOn.

"In their fight against Yemen’s Houthi rebels," Just Security reports, "the government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and its Saudi backers, have worked with local actors with suspected ties to al-Qaeda. Sometimes this means the targets being tracked by the US are actually cutting deals and getting their hands on weapons thanks to connections they have with the Hadi government and the Saudi-led coalition, to which the US provides support. Laying bare these thorny battlefield alliances in Yemen is crucial as the Trump administration considers stepping up US military involvement in the country."

Urge "French Bernie Sanders" to Challenge Trump Plan to Push Yemen Into Famine

Progressive French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon - the "French Bernie Sanders" - is now a "frontrunner" in the first round of the French presidential election. That is giving him an unprecedented platform in global media, which he has used, among other things, to challenge Trump's military attack on Syria. When he addressed tens of thousands of people in Toulouse Sunday, the crowd roared when Mélenchon slammed Trump over Trump's illegal attack on Syria. "No Frenchman can accept a global gendarme who decided all by himself the good and the bad," Mélenchon said.

Urge Mélenchon to challenge Trump's support for Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.

As a leader of what will soon be the only EU country with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Mélenchon has a unique ability to serve as a "check and balance" on Trump's global warmongering. It was France that led the global opposition to Bush's illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. If Mélenchon can stand up to Trump on Syria, he can stand up to Trump on Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen, which the Trump Administration wants to escalate. Trump Administration officials want to help Saudi Arabia and the UAE attack the Yemeni port of Hodeida, which the UN, aid groups, former US officials, and 55 Members of the House have warned would likely push Yemen into famine.

Urge Mélenchon to challenge Trump's support for Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen by signing and sharing our petition.

Join Rep. Lofgren: Trump Must Come to Congress Before Hitting Syria

On April 6, President Trump attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. On April 8, he said he would take additional action as he deemed necessary. He has not yet agreed to seek Congressional authorization before further military action.

Representative Zoe Lofgren [CA-19] is circulating a bipartisan letter to President Trump, demanding that he seek Congressional authorization before further military action in Syria. The Lofgren letter echoes a bipartisan 2013 letter led by then-Republican Representative Scott Rigell to then-President Obama, pressing him to come to Congress before U.S. military action in Syria. [1]

Urge your Representative to support the Lofgren letter by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Congress: Explicitly Prohibit Syria & Yemen Escalation on April 25

On April 10, 55 Members of the House sent a bipartisan letter to President Trump and Attorney General Sessions demanding that President Trump seek authorization from Congress before escalating militarily in Yemen. Rep. Mark Pocan said, “Administration officials have proposed the U.S. participate directly in an attack on Yemen's major port. Such an attack could push the country into full-blown famine...this letter is a first step in reasserting our Constitutional check on presidential powers. I am committed to pursuing all tools at our disposal to ensure President Trump abides by our Constitution before possibly plunging our country into another senseless conflict.” Rep. Ted Lieu said, “President Trump does not have the authority to send U.S. forces to battle the Houthis in Yemen, period."

Press your representatives to pledge to invoke the War Powers Resolution when they return from recess to explicitly prohibit military escalation in Syria and Yemen by signing our petition on MoveOn.

On April 6, President Trump attacked Syria without congressional authorization. Many Members of Congress have said that President Trump did not have authority for this attack and that the President must seek authorization from Congress before any further military action.

Join Murphy, Paul, Durbin & Franken: Block Selling Arms to Saudis to Kill Civilians

Saudi Arabia's war and blockade have pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. But the Trump Administration wants to sell Saudi Arabia even more weapons. Under U.S. law, weapons exports are supposed to be conditioned on requirements that civilians be protected from their use. Unfortunately, Congressional "oversight" of U.S. weapons exports has often been virtually absent, particularly for countries like Saudi Arabia that have bought a lot of influence in Washington.

Senators Murphy, Paul, Durbin and Franken have now introduced Senate Joint Resolution 40, which would tighten these requirements in the case of Saudi Arabia. Under SJRes40, the Administration would have to publicly certify that Saudi Arabia is complying with international humanitarian law in Yemen and facilitating the flow of aid into Yemen in order for arms sales to proceed.

On September 21, 27 Senators voted against arming Saudi Arabia. The more Senators co-sponsor SJRes40, the more Senate support we have for blocking the sale of weapons if Saudi Arabia doesn't change its behavior in Yemen.

Urge Senators to co-sponsor SJRes40 by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Tell Trump: he has 48 hours to report on his unauthorized Syria strike

On Thursday, April 6, President Trump attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.

Following Nixon's unauthorized escalations of the Vietnam War, the Congressional Framers of the War Powers Resolution knew that it was likely that future Presidents would try to use military force without Congressional authorization. That's why they put multiple mechanisms in the WPR to help future Congresses defend their war powers.

One of those mechanisms was the requirement that the President report in writing to Congress within 48 hours of using military force without a declaration of war, stating: "(A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces; (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and (C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement."

On April 7, Reps. Peter DeFazio [OR-], Mark Pocan [WI-2], Barbara Lee [CA-13], and James McGovern [MA-2] sent a letter to Trump reminding him that under the War Powers Resolution, he has 48 hours to report to Congress on his unauthorized strike.

Add your voice to those of DeFazio, Pocan, Lee and McGovern by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Congress: Oppose Illegal War in Syria

President Trump has attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the U.S. Constitution. Congress must assert its war powers, invoking the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.

Congress must insist that no further attacks take place without Congressional authorization and that U.S. forces be withdrawn from unauthorized conflict. Congress must invoke the War Powers Resolution to debate and vote on a privileged resolution for the withdrawal of U.S. forces if President Trump refuses to remove U.S. forces from the conflict.

Urge your representatives to invoke the War Powers Resolution to withdraw U.S. forces from unauthorized conflict by signing our petition at MoveOn.