call-in

WaPo: Foreign policy elite hates Obama for blocking new Syria war

The Washington Post reports that Washington's bipartisan foreign policy elite is united in their passion for a new war in Syria, and is looking forward eagerly to Obama's departure from office, because they see the Obama Administration as the key obstacle to their plans for a new war in Syria.

Reality-based comments like this from Obama Administration officials drive the bipartisan foreign policy elite up the wall:

“You can’t pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against the Russians,” said a senior administration official who is involved in Middle East policy and was granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

New York Representative Eliot Engel, who voted for the Iraq war and opposed the Iran nuclear deal is trying to promote a new war in Syria and undermine U.S. diplomacy with a bill that calls for the U.S. to impose a "no fly zone" against Russian and Syrian planes. Engel's bill also attacks the Iran nuclear deal by re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted in the deal.

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 oppose Engel's bill HR 5732. This bill promotes a new war in Syria, undermines U.S. diplomacy, and undermines the Iran nuclear deal."

9/11 Families Deserve Their Day in Court Against Saudi Arabia

This week the House and Senate are expected to vote on whether to override the President's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act ["JASTA"]. JASTA would allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia over allegations Saudi officials were linked to the 9/11 attacks. The bill makes no judgment about Saudi Arabia's responsibility for the attacks. It just removes Saudi Arabia's immunity from lawsuit over support for terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both support the bill.

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 the override the President's veto of the Saudi 9/11 bill so the 9/11 families can have their day in court."

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

Under current U.S. law, Americans can sue Iran for terrorism in U.S. courts, but they can't sue Saudi Arabia for terrorism in U.S. courts, because Iran is on the State Department's "state sponsor of terror" list and Saudi Arabia is not. The State Department is allowed to take "broader U.S. foreign policy interests" besides concern about support for terrorism into account in forming its list - like the Saudi government's cozy relationship with the C.I.A.

In January, the New York Times reported that:

Vote expected Tuesday on Saudi arms deal - call your Senator!

You can never be sure what the Senate will vote on and when they will vote on it. But currently, a vote on the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution to disapprove the Saudi arms deal is expected Tuesday.

Call your Senator 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 SJ Res 39, the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution to disapprove the Saudi arms deal."

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

Human Rights Watch says hundreds of civilians—including at least 200 children—have been killed so far in U.S.-enabled unlawful Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. But despite extensive documentation by Human Rights Watch of these violations, the US continues to fuel the conflict. After selling over $20 billion dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia in 2015, some in Washington want to add another $1.15 billion dollars in arms sales.

That why Human Rights Watch is calling on the Senate to pass the Paul-Murphy-Lee-Franken resolution. Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121 now. Report your call below.

Thank your Rep. on Syria - and ask them to do more

Your Representative in Congress was one of 27 Members who signed a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him to maintain his opposition to sending MANPADs to Syrian insurgents.

Please call your Representative at (202) 224-3121 and say thank you - and ask them to take another step to limit military escalation.

When you reach a staffer, you can say something like,

"As your constituent, I thank you for your leadership in signing the Conyers-Yoho letter against sending MANPADs to Syrian insurgents. I urge you to co-sponsor the Lieu-Yoho bill, HJR 90, to condition US military support for Saudi Arabia on Saudi cooperation against terrorism and protection of civilians in Yemen."

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

And if you haven't signed our petition in support of the Lieu-Yoho bill, 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.

Call-in: Urge your Rep. to back Lieu-Yoho bill on Saudi Arabia

Reps. Ted Lieu [D-CA] and Ted Yoho [R-FL] have introduced legislation in the House (H.J.R. 90) that would restrict U.S. weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia. Just like the companion Murphy-Paul bill in the Senate, it would require the President to certify that Saudi Arabia is limiting civilian casualties in its war in Yemen and cooperating with the U.S. against ISIS and Al Qaeda before U.S. weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia could go forward.

Please call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to co-sponsor the Lieu-Yoho bill. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"As a constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor the Lieu-Yoho bill, HJR 90. It's time for greater Congressional oversight of U.S. weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia."

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

And if you haven't signed our petition urging Congress to support the Lieu-Yoho bill yet, please do that here.

Call-in: Tell your Senator to Set New Conditions on Military Aid to Saudi Arabia

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced legislation to prevent the U.S. from continuing to support Saudi-led military campaigns in places like Yemen where Saudi Arabia's year-long campaign has led to a devastating humanitarian crisis and a security vacuum that has empowered our terrorist enemies al Qaeda and ISIS. The Murphy-Paul bipartisan legislation will require the President to formally certify that the government of Saudi Arabia is demonstrating an ongoing effort to target terrorist groupsminimize harm to civilians, and facilitate humanitarian assistance before Congress can consider the sale or transfer of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia. 

Urge your Senator to co-sponsor the Murphy-Paul bill by calling their office now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

"The civil war we've supplied in Yemen is prolonging human suffering in Yemen and aiding groups that are intent on attacking us. I urge you to support the Murphy-Paul bill to place new conditions on U.S. military aid to Saudi Arabia." 

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

And if you haven't signed our petition at MoveOn yet, you can do that here.

Stand with Rep. Ellison, Probe Assassination of Berta Cáceres

Please call (202) 224-3121 now and ask your Representative to sign the Ellison-Johnson-Kaptur letter urging Secretary of State Kerry to support an independent international investigation into the assassination of Berta Cáceres.

When you reach a staffer (or leave a message on a machine) you can say something like:

"I urge Rep. _______ to sign the Ellison-Johnson-Kaptur letter asking Secretary of State Kerry to support an independent international investigation into the assassination of Berta Cáceres."

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

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) are circulating a sign-on "Dear Colleague" letter in the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of State Kerry urging him to support an independent international investigation into the murder of Berta Cáceres. The letter also calls him to support protection for other Hondurans receiving threats, review U.S. support for loans to Honduras, and stop all aid to Honduran security forces. Like Senator Leahy, the letter urges that the Honduran government stop the Agua Zarca dam - the cause for which Berta gave her life.

Please call (202) 224-3121 now and ask your Representative to sign the Ellison-Johnson-Kaptur letter urging Secretary of State Kerry to support an independent international investigation into the assassination of Berta Cáceres.

President Obama: Take Action to Shine Light on "Dark Money"

Tremendous news: President Obama is seriously considering signing an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending.

It's about time. Limiting federal contractors' influence to elect the politicians that award contracts worth millions of taxpayer dollars to those same companies seems like an obvious move to eliminate corruption or potential corruption. Moreover, so long as there are companies that profit from the U.S. waging endless war, companies that the government pays to build bombs or rebuild countries, it is crucial to championing a diplomacy-first, law-abiding, peace-centered foreign policy that these companies disclose which candidates they are propelling to public office.

Tell the President not to waste another minute and sign an executive order requiring federal contractors' disclosure of political spending. Call the White House NOW at 1-888-894-6720. You can say something like:

“I urge President Obama to end “dark money” by immediately signing an executive order mandating that publicly report their contributions to groups that spend money to influence campaigns.”

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

Call-in: Tell your Rep. to oppose anti-refugee riders to Omnibus bill.

The U.S. has a moral obligation, as well as an obligation under international law, to welcome refugees fleeing war and persecution.

Despite this obligation, reports suggest Republicans may attach provisions blocking refugee resettlement to the “must-pass” year-end spending legislation (a.k.a. Omnibus) in order to try to force President Obama to sign them into law. [1]

Rep. Jared Polis is circulating a letter among his colleagues urging Speaker Paul Ryan to reject amendments to the Omnibus bill that would block refugee resettlement. The letter also states that funds for refugee vetting and resettlement should be increased so as to “ensure a thorough and expeditious process.”

Several Democrats who earlier voted for a bill to block refugee resettlement have already signed Rep. Polis' letter. Your representative is a Democrat that has not signed the letter, but voted for the earlier bill. Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121. You can say something like,

“We have a moral obligation to aid the Syrian and Iraqi refugees. I urge you to sign Rep. Jared Polis' letter calling for rejection of riders to the Omnibus spending bill that would block refugee resettlement.”

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