Saudi Arabia

Urge Rules Cmte: Allow NDAA votes on restricting weapons transfers

The House Rules Committee is meeting Monday at 5 ET and Tuesday at 2 ET to decide which amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act will be allowed and which will be blocked from consideration by the full House.

Your Representative is a member of the House Rules Committee. Please call your Rep. now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a voice mail, you can say something like:

"As a constituent, I urge you to vote at the Rules Committee to allow the full House to consider whether to bar the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia and whether to end or limit the US supply of weapons to combatants in Syria."

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

Our action on barring the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia is here:

Support Conyers, Ban Cluster Bomb Transfers to Saudi Arabia

Our action on ending or limiting the US transfer of weapons to Syrian combatants is here:

Cut US Weapons to Syrian Combatants

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.

New York Times: Acknowledge U.S. Backing for Saudi War in Yemen

On February 5, the Huffington Post reported that Democratic Senator Chris Murphy had "called for the U.S. to cease military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen."

But according to a New York Times report on Feb. 22, what Senator Murphy called for ending doesn't exist. The Times reported: "Western intervention in Libya, led by France and Britain, has created only greater instability there, while the war in Yemen, waged by Middle Eastern proxies with no overt Western involvement, continues unabated, suggesting no easy answers anywhere in the region."

We've urged other Senators to join Senator Murphy in calling for the U.S. to end its involvement in the Saudi war in Yemen. It's sure not going to help our efforts if the New York Times won't even acknowledge that U.S. involvement exists.

Urge the New York Times to correct the record and to fully acknowledge the U.S. role in the Saudi war in Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/NYT-admit-US-role-Saudi-Yemen-war

Call-in: Urge your Senator to speak out about Saudi Arabia

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:

What I Learned in the Airport in Bahrain

Bahrain International Airport - When I came to Bahrain, it certainly wasn't with the intention of spending my whole time in the country in the airport. I wanted to see what was going on in the country, not to see what was going on in the airport.

 

But the Bahrain authorities would not let me enter the country. At this writing, it's 5 PM local time. My flight got in at 2:15 AM. I have been informed that the Director of Immigration has decided that I shall not have a visa to enter Bahrain - although in the past it was the practice of the Bahrain authorities to give visas to Americans in the airport pretty much automatically - so the authorities are saying that the only way I am leaving the airport is on a plane out of the country. At this writing, it looks like I could be in the airport for another 36 hours.

 

Other observers managed to get in, and you can see their reports at Witness Bahrain. [You can't see that website if you live in Bahrain though - it's blocked here by the Bahrain authorities.] But if you're in the U.S., you can read reports on Witness Bahrain on the protests marking the first anniversary of the uprising for democracy, and the Bahrain government's response to those protests. I won't be able to contribute to those reports, since, sitting in the airport, I won't be able to observe the protests and the government response.

 

However, I did learn something useful, sitting in the airport, waiting with a bunch of other foreigners for permission to enter the country.

 

I learned that the government of Bahrain is starting to pay a real price for its efforts to shield its actions towards peaceful protesters from international scrutiny.