On Friday, March 10, Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations’ under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, addressed the United Nations Security Council about what must happen to avert the threat of famine in Yemen. He said: "only a combined response with the private sector can stem a famine: commercial imports must be allowed to resume through all entry points in Yemen, including and especially Hudaydah port, which must be kept open and expanded." Sacha Llorenti, Bolivia's Ambassador to the UN said: "Restrictions have to be lifted at the port of Hodeidah to allow access to humanitarian aid."
On Thursday, March 9, 53 House Democrats wrote to Secretary of State Tillerson, urging him 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 UN and the Red Cross say Yemen is on the brink of famine, with hundreds of thousands of children at risk of starvation if Yemen's Hodeida port is not quickly opened to international humanitarian aid.
Rep. Ted Lieu and Rep. John Conyers are circulating a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson, urging him to use all U.S. diplomatic tools to help open Hodeida port to international humanitarian aid to avert famine.
Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
"Please sign the Lieu-Conyers letter to help avert famine in Yemen. Help open Hodeida port to international humanitarian aid."
When you've made your call, please report it below.
And if you haven't yet signed our petition urging House Members to sign the Lieu-Conyers letter, you can do that here.
The Trump Administration is considering deploying U.S. ground troops to Syria, something that the Obama Administration opposed, along with most Democrats and war-skeptic Republicans. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said, "It would be a really rotten, no good, bad idea to have ground troops in Syria." Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said, "Sending combat troops into Syria would make the unforced errors of the first four weeks look like child's play." California Representative Ted Lieu said, "As Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee, I want to say that sending ground troops to Syria is a VERY BAD IDEA."
Urge Congressional candidates Jon Ossoff & Karen Handel to publicly oppose the deployment of ground troops to Syria by signing our petition at MoveOn.
On March 2, 2016, environmental activist Berta Caceres was assassinated in Honduras. Leaked court documents suggest Berta's murder was planned by military intelligence specialists linked to the country’s U.S.–trained special forces. Global Witness calls Honduras the deadliest country in the world for environmental activism.
Today, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA) re-introduced the Berta Caceres Human Rights In Honduras Act, calling for the suspension of U.S. military and police aid to Honduras until human rights violations committed by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice.
Urge House Members to co-sponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights In Honduras Act by signing our petition at MoveOn.
"Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children languishing in refugee camps and remote villages are nearing starvation," the Washington Post reports. Airstrikes near the port of Hodeida - main entry point for food, medicine and humanitarian aid into northern Yemen - have slowed the delivery of supplies. Half a million children are severely acutely malnourished. The UN says Yemen is “on the brink of famine.”
U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes have destroyed roads and bridges across Hodeida province. Unexploded rockets have landed inside the port, further reducing imports and the number of ships willing to come to Yemen. The Saudis are enforcing a blockade that is restricting food imports, and have told humanitarian agencies to redirect shipments to Aden. That would mean vital food and medicine would need to be trucked from Aden through war zones to reach the millions at risk of starvation in the north.
To save hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children from starvation, someone must stop the U.S.-backed Saudi attacks on Hodeida. Sadly, so far Washington has turned a deaf ear to the cries of Yemeni children. But any member of the UN Security Council can demand a meeting to discuss action to save Yemeni children from starvation. Of the fifteen current members of the Security Council, Bolivia and Russia are the most independent of the U.S.-Saudi alliance that is pushing Yemen into famine. A vigorous Security Council debate would put pressure on the U.S. to stop supporting the Saudi assault on Hodeida.
United Nations and other international aid officials have been warning that Yemen is on the brink of famine. "Donald Trump’s Shift On Yemen Risks Plunging The Country Into Famine," the Huffington Post reports, warning that the Trump Administration may be giving Saudi Arabia a green light to attack and close the critical port of Hodeidah, blocking Yemen's food imports. "Yemen war causing world's worst food crisis," Vatican Radio reports. "'Time running out': 1.4 million children could die from famine in Africa & Yemen, says UNICEF," RT reports.
But a search of recent stories on the New York Times' website only turns up wire stories, not a regular New York Times article. 
Press NYT editors for prominent coverage of the UN's famine warning for Yemen by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.
President Trump's ramped-up support of Saudi Arabia's war may cause a famine in Yemen, the Huffington Post reports. Aid workers fear Saudi Arabia is planning to attack and close the critical port of Hodeidah on Yemen’s west coast, where most of the country's food has come in. The Obama Administration had opposed such an attack, but the Trump Administration may be encouraging it. Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has been dependent on the U.S. for military support and diplomatic cover. “If there were a serious disruption to that port, that would, I think, be sufficient to tip the country into famine,” said a former U.S. aid official.
Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, notes that Saudi Arabia's diversion of aid ships from Hodeidah is already raising the risk of mass starvation. Using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war is a grave violation of international law.
Press President Trump and Congress to stop Saudi Arabia from causing a famine in Yemen by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.
Iraq war architect and Iran war advocate John Bolton is reportedly one of four candidates being interviewed for National Security Adviser. CNN says there are "signs of strong support inside and outside the administration for Bolton."
Urge your representatives to oppose the nomination of John Bolton to be National Security Adviser by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Foreign Service veteran Greg Thielmann calls Bolton a "prime mover of the Iraq WMD fiasco." Senator Rand Paul calls Bolton a "bad choice" who contradicts Trump's criticisms of the Iraq war, noting that "Bolton still believes the Iraq War was a good idea, he still believes regime change is a good idea." J Street says Bolton is a "completely inappropriate choice" for "any role related to America’s relations with the rest of the world."
Urge President Trump and Congress to oppose the nomination of John Bolton to be National Security Adviser by signing and sharing our petition.
Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to initiate the use of force if the U.S. is not under armed attack. But during the Cold War, a bizarre exception to this basic idea of our democracy was introduced and tolerated: the President could start a nuclear war on his own say-so. It was a horrible policy then. There's certainly no excuse for it now. Right now, President Trump could launch thousands of nuclear weapons on his own say-so.
Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have introduced legislation – the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act – that would limit the ability of Trump - or any President - to launch nuclear weapons without Congressional action. The Act would require congressional authorization in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack.
Urge Congress to support the Markey-Lieu bill by signing our joint petition with Win Without War and Daily Kos.
CNN has reported that the Defense Department "might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time," and that the move would "significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks." CNN says "one goal of their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara's interests." "Reassuring Turkey" a terrible reason to deploy U.S. troops to danger in Syria.
Urge your Reps. to say sending ground troops to Syria is a terrible idea by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says, "It would be a really rotten, no good, bad idea to have ground troops in Syria." Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says, "Sending combat troops into Syria would make the unforced errors of the first four weeks look like child's play." California Representative Ted Lieu says, "As Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee, I want to say that sending ground troops to Syria is a VERY BAD IDEA."
Urge your Senators and Representative to join Chris Murphy, Rand Paul, and Ted Lieu in denouncing the idea of sending U.S. ground troops to Syria by signing and sharing our petition.