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: 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:

Call-in: Your Rep. should sign Dingell-Ellison and support diplomacy in Yemen

The US-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen has killed thousands of civilians – including Americans trapped in Yemen – while Congress has been mostly silent. Now, at long last, we have an opportunity to something about it: Reps. Debbie Dingell & Keith Ellison are circulating a letter [1] to President Obama pressing for the US to take responsibility for protecting civilians from US airstrikes and urging greater diplomatic efforts to end the war, including engagement with Iran.

Please call your Representative today at (202) 224-3121, urging them to join efforts to protect civilians in Yemen and push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. When you reach a staffer you can say something like:

“Please sign the Dingell-Ellison letter urging protection of civilians in Yemen from US-assisted airstrikes and engagement with Iran to end the war.”

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

According to Amnesty International, more than 2,100 civilians, including at least 400 children, have been killed in the war, with the “vast majority” of civilian deaths and injuries attributed to attacks by the Saudi-led coalition. [2] More than 1.4 million people have been displaced; 12.9 million are considered food insecure; more than 1.2 million children are suffering from serious malnutrition. Your representative can only sign on until Friday, so please call today. When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for an “end to bombings” in Yemen and has said there is no military solution to this conflict. Diplomatic action, including sustained engagement with Iran, is the only way to end the hostilities, reverse the humanitarian crisis on the ground, and protect more innocent lives from reckless airstrikes.

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.

Hunger Striker Near Death? Set Timetable to Transfer Yemeni Detainees

On Wednesday, I met with family members of Yemenis detained at Guantanamo.

Personally, I think U.S. officials are working to try to repatriate the fifty-six Yemenis in Guantanamo who have been cleared for transfer.

But after President Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo didn’t come true, after waiting so long with little information, the families don’t know what to believe.

At this writing, Yemenis who have been cleared for transfer are on hunger strike.

Yemen’s human rights minister says that one of the Yemeni hunger strikers is near death.

It is a plausible danger that one of the Yemenis cleared for release will die on hunger strike, having lost faith that the U.S. will transfer him to Yemen any time in the near future.

If that happens, it would be a tragedy that could have been avoided.

That’s why we want President Obama to establish a public timetable for the transfer of the Yemenis cleared for release back to Yemen. The U.S. needs to communicate to the prisoners’ families that there is a clear horizon for sending their relatives home.

Will you join us in calling on President Obama to establish—and Members of Congress to support—a public timetable for the transfer of the Yemeni detainees cleared for release? You can sign our petition here:

We're Delivering Signatures Against Drone Strikes in Yemen Next Week-Sign Today!

Next week, I'm heading to Yemen on a delegation of US peace advocates, where we'll be meeting Gerald Feierstein, the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen. We'll urge Ambassador Feierstein to use his influence to end U.S. drone strikes in Yemen—especially "signature strikes" in which the US doesn't even know who it is targeting—and to ensure that Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo who the US government has cleared for release are sent home without delay.

Add your voice! Sign our petition and I'll hand-deliver it—with your signature—to Ambassador Feierstein:

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

Help support my trip to Yemen! Our delegation will help draw the media spotlight to the US's ongoing drone war in Yemen and put further pressure on the Administration to reform US drone strike policy.

In Next Debate, Let's Get a Question on Drones

During the last two presidential debates, the foreign policy discussion—what little there has been—has largely centered around the murder of four members of the US embassy staff in Benghazi. But while these four deaths were certainly grievous, the killing of hundreds of civilians in Pakistan from US drone strikes has so far been ignored—and that's outrageous.

But we may be able to change that. Next Monday, October 22, President Obama and Mitt Romney will face off in the final debate before election day—and the entire debate will be dedicated to foreign policy issues. Drones deserve a place in the discussion.

Tell moderator Bob Schieffer to ask a question on drones during Monday's presidential debate on foreign policy.

In the last four years, the use of unmanned drones to engage in so-called “targeted killing” has escalated dramatically. In Pakistan alone, US drone strikes have increased five fold during the Obama administration. Drone campaigns have also expanded in other countries, such as Yemen and Somalia, and recent reports suggest that the administration is considering further expanding the CIA drone fleet and using drones to hunt down the terrorists involved in last month's Benghazi attack.

Yet, the Obama administration has failed to engage substantively on the morality, efficacy, and accuracy of US drone strikes.