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:
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:
The human costs of the war in Syria are staggering: hundreds of thousands have lost their lives ; over 4 million Syrians have been forced to flee their country as refugees; and 7.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes, but remain within Syria.  To resolve the refugee crisis and prevent further killing, the U.S. should use all diplomatic tools to press for a negotiated end to the Syrian civil war. Fortunately, we have a rare opportunity now to pressure Congress to support a diplomatic end to the conflict.
Rep. Jim Himes [D-CT] is circulating a Congressional letter to President Obama in support of international negotiations to end the conflict, stabilize the country, allow refugees to return home, transition to an accountable government and defeat ISIL.
Your Representative voted to support diplomacy and block a path to war by supporting the Iran deal so they it’s likely they will consider signing Rep. Himes' letter – if they hear from constituents urging them to do so.
The letter's deadline for signatures is Tuesday at noon ET so it is crucial that you call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say,
“I urge you to sign the Himes letter to President Obama in support of international negotiations to end the Syrian civil war.”
When you're done, please report your call below:
And if you haven’t signed our petition encouraging members of Congress to sign the letter, you can do that here:
Bogus attacks against the Iran deal continue to rage, both in the media and in Congress. Claims about the effect on Israel range from the misleading, such as a New York Times op-ed that claimed that “barely any” Israelis support the deal, to the grossly inappropriate, such as presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s comment that graphically invoked the Holocaust. Meanwhile, the Right continues to senselessly attack administration officials and the deal while attempting to recruit Democrats to join them.
But most Americans want their reps to support the deal. A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans — including 79% of Democrats — want their representatives in Congress to vote for the deal.
Yet, we hear that Congressional offices have been receiving more calls against the deal than for it. That’s why it’s imperative that those who support the deal but haven’t called their reps do so NOW!
Call your Rep NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say
"I urge Rep. ______ to publicly support the Iran nuclear agreement and to oppose Republican efforts to attack the deal."
When you're done, report your call using the form below.
The deal on curbing Iran's nuclear program and lifting sanctions is done.
[This piece originally appeared at Huffington Post.]
Exciting news from Switzerland: the US, our international partners, and Iran have agreed on a framework for an Iran nuclear deal!
This latest development proves that diplomacy is working. But even with this landmark success, Republicans in Congress will continue to try to derail a final deal. In particular, two pieces of legislation Republicans are trying to push through the Senate—the Kirk-Menendez sanctions bill (S. 269) and the Corker-Menendez bill (S. 615)—will likely be considered shortly after Congress returns to DC on April 14. (Check to see whether your Senators are co-sponsors by following the appropriate links.)
But Republicans can’t kill an Iran deal without help from Democrats. In order to secure a veto-proof majority, Republicans in the Senate need to recruit at least 13 Democrats to support their anti-diplomacy bills.
Republicans are trying to recruit your Dem Senator to help them kill the deal—which means they need to hear from you.
Call your Senator NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say:
The US, our international partners, and Iran have agreed on a framework for an Iran nuclear deal. Diplomacy is working. I urge Sen. _____ to OPPOSE the Kirk-Menendez bill (S. 269), the Corker-Menendez bill (S. 615), and consideration of any other legislation that could compromise a deal until after the June 30 deadline. I also urge Sen. _____ to speak out in support of the framework agreed upon in Switzerland.
When you’re done, report your call using the form below.
Latest Update: March 3 12:30 AM
If your rep is undeclared or on the fence, give them a call at 1-202-224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:
I urge Rep./Sen. ___________ to join 60 other Democrats in skipping Netanyahu's March 3 speech. Please stand with Democrats who support President Obama's Iran diplomacy, not with Republicans who want to tear President Obama down.
Find out where your reps stand below.
Skipping (61—Includes 1 Republican)
Bass, Karen (CA-37) — “My support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship has been consistent during my entire time in elected office, and that support will only continue in the years to come. Support for Israel has traditionally been a non-partisan issue, and I want it to remain so,” she said. "Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner mishandled inviting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is now marred with controversy. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been provided with other options to talk with members of Congress, but he has turned them down to do the public speech. It is truly sad that Speaker Boehner and Prime Minister Netanyahu have chosen to play partisan and divisive politics.”
Blumenauer, Earl (OR-03): Wrote a Jan. 29 column in The Huffington Post explaining his decision, saying the Constitution “vests the responsibility for foreign affairs in the president.”
Brown, Corrine (FL-05)
Butterfield, G.K. (NC-01): The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) focused on Boehner undermining Obama in a statement and emphasized he's not urging a boycott.
Capps, Lois (CA-24)
Carson, Andre (IN-07)
Castro, Joaquin (TX-20)
Clark, Katherine (MA-05): http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/massachusetts_democra...
Clay, William Lacy (MO-01)
We have a historic opportunity right now to help change the game in Washington on U.S. policy towards Israel.
Controversy is spreading around Speaker Boehner’s decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3, where Netanyahu is expected to trash Obama’s Iran diplomacy and try to persuade Congress to pass new sanctions. J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren have called for Netanyahu’s talk to be postponed. Netanyahu’s political opposition in Israel is also denouncing his plan to speak to Congress only weeks before the Israeli election.
Now, Reps. Keith Ellison, Steve Cohen, and Maxine Waters are circulating a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to postpone the invitation until after Congress has considered the issue of Iran sanctions.
Call your Rep NOW at 1-202-224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:
I urge you to sign the Ellison letter calling on Speaker Boehner to postpone the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress until after Congress has concluded its consideration of new Iran sanctions.
UPDATE: The Ellison letter is now closed. The sample script now calls to skip the speech:
I urge Rep. ___________ to join Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, and 30 other Democrats in skipping Netanyahu's March 3 speech. Please stand with Democrats who support President Obama's Iran diplomacy, not with Republicans who want to tear President Obama down.
Report your call below.
Just Foreign Policy welcomes the call of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee to postpone enacting new sanctions legislation against Iran.
As the CPC notes, enacting new sanctions on Iran now would undermine U.S. diplomats, derail U.S.-Iran talks and put the U.S. on a path towards war.
It’s become more obvious than ever in recent days that Republican efforts in Congress to undermine diplomacy cannot succeed without significant Democratic support. We particularly urge Senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, and Elliot Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to heed the CPC call.