Today, Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Justin Amash (R-MI) led a letter to Defense Secretary Mattis warning him against attacking the Yemeni port of Hodeida.
A PDF of the letter is here.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Some in the Trump Administration want to get the U.S. directly involved in Saudi Arabia's war in and blockade of Yemen. U.S. participation in this war has never been authorized by Congress. The Houthi Shia adversaries of the Saudi war aren't "associated forces" of Al Qaeda. On the contrary: Al Qaeda has fought alongside Saudi Arabia against the Houthis, and Saudi Arabia's war against the Houthis has strengthened Al Qaeda. Since Congress has never authorized this war, direct U.S. participation would violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Reps. Mark Pocan [D-WI], Justin Amash [R-MI], Ted Lieu [D-CA], and Walter Jones [R-NC] are leading a bipartisan letter challenging the Administration to show its legal justification for direct participation in the Saudi war.
Call your Rep. now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
"As a constituent, I urge you to sign the the Pocan-Amash-Lieu-Jones letter pressing the Trump Administration to show its legal justification for direct U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen."
When you've made your call, please report it below.
U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war and blockade in Yemen has brought Yemen to the brink of famine, with hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children facing starvation. Instead of ending the carnage, some in the Trump Administration want to get the U.S. directly involved in Saudi Arabia's war. But this war has never been authorized by Congress. The Houthi Shia targets of the Saudi war aren't "associated forces" of Al Qaeda. On the contrary: Al Qaeda has fought alongside Saudi Arabia against the Houthis, and Saudi Arabia's war against the Houthis has strengthened Al Qaeda. Since Congress has never authorized this war, direct U.S. participation would violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.
Now Reps. Mark Pocan [D-WI], Justin Amash [R-MI], Ted Lieu [D-CA], and Walter Jones [R-NC] are leading a bipartisan letter challenging the Administration to show its legal justification for direct participation in the Saudi war against the Houthis without Congressional authorization. Building support for this letter is a step towards invoking the War Powers Resolution to compel the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the conflict.
Urge your Representative to sign the Pocan-Amash-Lieu-Jones letter by signing our petition at MoveOn.
The United Nations has warned that Yemen is on the brink of famine. The primary cause of the impending famine is Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. This war is supported by the United States - not only with U.S. weapons, but with direct U.S. military participation, including refueling of Saudi warplanes that are bombing Yemen. In particular, the U.S. is perceived to support the Saudi blockade of the Yemeni port of Hodeida, which has been the primary entry point for food, medicine, and humanitarian aid to northern Yemen. Stephen O'Brien, the UN's humanitarian aid coordinator and 53 Members of the House of Representatives have called for the port of Hodeida to be re-opened to humanitarian aid.
Urge NPR to fully report the UN's famine warning for Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.
While President Trump has lunch with Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman, children in Yemen are starving to death. Stephen O'Brien, the United Nations top aid official, has demanded that Yemen's Hodeida port, currently blockaded and attacked by Saudi Arabia, be opened to food imports to avert famine. 53 Members of the House have urged Secretary of State Tillerson to "use all U.S. diplomatic tools to help open the Yemeni port of Hodeida to international aid humanitarian aid organizations to allow them to import food, fuel, and medicine into northern Yemen and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children who face starvation."
The Trump Administration wants to sell Saudi Arabia weapons that were put on hold by President Obama. Senator Rand Paul [R-KY] and Senator Chris Murphy [D-CT] oppose the sale. "I don't know why we would give them precision-guided munitions that allow them to target civilians more efficiently,” Senator Murphy said.
Urge your Representative and Senators to oppose the Saudi arms deal by signing our petition at MoveOn.