cluster bombs

Sen. Reed: Renounce Your Support of Cluster Bombs

On June 16, the House of Representatives narrowly failed to approve an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Conyers [D-MI] that would have blocked the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used U.S. cluster bombs in civilian areas in Yemen, in defiance of U.S. law.

Textron, based in Providence, Rhode Island, is the last North American producer of cluster bombs, and has the contract to supply cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. Some opponents of the amendment cited this as a reason for their opposition - banning the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia might hurt the profits of a U.S. company. Rhode Island's Representatives in the House, David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, rejected this argument - they did the right thing and voted yes on the Conyers amendment.

But Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed is leading the charge to keep the flow of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia going. Textron has been one of Reed's top campaign contributors.

Urge Jack Reed to do the right thing and renounce his support of cluster bombs by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Ask yr Rep: Why'd you vote for sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia?

16 House Democrats voted no on Rep. Conyers' amendment barring the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. 164 Democrats voted yes, along with 40 Republicans. The amendment was defeated 204-216. A switch of seven votes would have passed the amendment.

If your Representative is one of the 16, call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I'm very disappointed by Rep. _______'s vote to continue sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. I would like to know the justification for this vote. I would like a written response."

Leave your contact information so they can send a written response. If you receive a written response, please forward it to info@justforeignpolicy.org.

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

Catholic bishops support Conyers amendment to ban transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia

Text of statement of the Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Office of International Justice and Peace

3211 FOURTH STREET NE • WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 • 202-541-3160 WEBSITE: WWW.USCCB.ORG/JPHD • FAX 202-541-3339

HR 5293 — Conyers Amendment on Blocking of Funds Related to Transfer of Cluster Munitions

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urges support for the Conyers amendment blocking funds from being used to transfer or authorize the transfer of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia.

(The PDF is here.)

House to Vote on Saudi Cluster Bomb Ban - Call Your Rep. Now!

On Tuesday the House Rules Committee agreed that the Conyers amendment permanently banning the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia will be voted on by the full House.

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 vote yes on the Conyers amendment to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia."

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

Don't assume your Representative is a lost cause on this. There's a new bipartisan skepticism towards Saudi Arabia in Congress. We've never had a vote like this before, and we don't know how it will go.

Please call your Representative now and urge them to support the Conyers amendment to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.

And if you haven't signed our petition urging Congress to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, you can do that here.

Urge Sen. Baldwin: No Cluster Bombs to Saudi Arabia

Tomorrow JFP's Robert Naiman going to deliver petitions to Senator Tammy Baldwin's office in Milwaukee, urging her to oppose the U.S. transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. These anti-personnel weapons are loathed around the world for the extreme risk they pose to civilians - but Saudi Arabia has used them in its war in Yemen.

Please help Naiman deliver this message by calling Senator Baldwin's office in Milwaukee now at (414) 297-4451. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

"I urge Senator Baldwin to introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would bar the U.S. transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia."

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

And if you haven't yet signed our petition to Senator Baldwin urging her to oppose the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, you can do that here.

President Obama, Commute Manning's Sentence to Time Served

On August 21, U.S. citizen Bradley Manning - now known as Chelsea Manning -was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information to the public about the killing of civilians in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; drone strikes in Yemen; torture in Guantanamo, Iraq, and Egypt; the coup in Honduras; corruption in Tunisia, the U.S. use of cluster bombs, and the blockade of Gaza, among many other issues of public concern about U.S. foreign policy.

As Amnesty International noted, Manning has already served more than three years in pre-trial detention, including 11 months in conditions described by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture as cruel and inhumane. Amnesty is calling on President Obama to commute Manning's sentence to time served.

Ban Cluster Bombs? Yes, We Can!

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are getting big praise around the world for their new Charm Offensive. As far as I’m concerned, the praise is justified. I heard our Secretary of State interviewed on the BBC a few weeks ago about our diplomatic outreach to Iran on Afghanistan. And the BBC was all, what makes you think Iran is going to help you on Afghanistan? And Hillary was all, you know, actually Iran helped us tremendously in Afghanistan after 2001. Our Ambassador in Afghanistan and the Iranian Ambassador were meeting practically every day. I just about fell off my chair. You’d have thought Hillary was applying for a job at the National Iranian American Council.

But at some point nice words about international cooperation have to be matched by deeds, the kind of concrete, bite down on, facts on the ground deeds you can wave around while saying, “see, there really is change,” without fear of plausible contradiction.

A big step would be for the United States to formally join the international consensus on cluster bombs: these weapons are inherently anti-civilian and should be totally banned from the face of the earth. On Monday, March 30, US groups campaigning for the cluster bomb ban are asking Americans to call their Senators, urging them to support the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S. 416). Mark your calendar.