Wed 4/3: Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, and House GOP are playing games. Call now!

Quote from Washington Post article here. CNN here. BBC here.

Action – Ask our legislators to vote “NO” against any “motion to recommit” and vote “YES” on a clean H.R.Res.37.

1. Has Trump turned America into one never-ending civics class? Answer: “Yes.”

2. What the heck is a “motion to recommit” (MTR)?  Short answer: It’s a last chance for the minority party, in this case, the GOP, to stop or amend a bill before it’s voted on. Longer answer here.

3. Why the heck are we STILL IN YEMEN?

  • First, the House voted “YES” on H.J.Res.37 but the House GOP’s (“We be all about the babies!) thought it would be fun to add an MTR with completely unrelated anti-Semitism language to the bill, hoping to split up Democratic votes and possibly kill the resolution, along with more Yemeni babies. The Dems should have voted together to reject the GOP’s bad faith MTR, but instead, they mostly stuck together and voted the whole thing through.
  • However, the MTR was a problem for the Senate to pass without getting McConnell’s approval, so they stripped it out. Then, miracle of miracles, the Senate voted “YES” on a clean S.J.Res.7!
  • So now the House and Senate versions don’t match, thanks to the malicious GOP members who deliberately tried to kill this bill, so the House needs to re-vote on the clean version they should have had in the first place. Thanks, GOP, for playing games with kids’ lives!

Minimal Script for representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to vote in favor of the bipartisan resolution H.J.Res.37 to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led Yemen war, and to REJECT any “motion to recommit” when this bill moves to the floor.

Continue reading “Wed 4/3: Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, and House GOP are playing games. Call now!”

Wed – 2/27: Congress – take your power back now!

Quote from this great essay by Captain John Byron, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Action: Block Trump’s Ability to Unilaterally Wage War in Venezuela, Iran and Yemen, and anywhere else…

In the nationwide daily Civics 101 class we now live in, it took the border wall debacle to remind Congress that they are in charge of the nation’s purse. It’s also time for them to take back their power of declaring war, both to halt our current 18-year run of continuous undeclared combat, and to stop Trump’s plans to distract us from Cohen and Mueller with new armed traumas against Venezuela, Iran and Yemen. Rep. Barbara Lee came so close in 2017 to stopping this runaway executive-branch war machine, only to have her legislation stripped from the Defense Department spending bill by now mercifully former-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. Let’s help her out now.

Continue reading “Wed – 2/27: Congress – take your power back now!”

Wed 2/13: Barr and Yemen. Time to call again.

Today, we’re re-visiting some older actions…Partial good news on Action #1.

Action #1 –  Is there a minimum quota of deaths for war crimes? Asking for a friend…

Before the Nazi death camps were revealed to the American public, there were sporatic public protests to legislators to help Jews in Germany.

Historians agree on factual explanations why most American protests against Nazism in 1933 died down within a few months…. Isolationism, economic concerns, racism, and antisemitism all led most Americans to focus on domestic problems rather than international ones. Reflecting the mood and situation of the country, State Department officers interpreted America’s restrictive immigration laws even more stringently, leaving the quotas far from filled. Nazi Germany owed American banks billions of dollars, and the Roosevelt administration was unwilling to issue a protest, in part because of the risk that Hitler would cancel his country’s debts. Nazi Germany was a sovereign nation, and most Americans did not consider intervention in Germany’s treatment of its own citizens the role of the United States.

We can, with our modern technology, now watch a country’s people being annihilated in real time. Nearly 76% of the population of Yemen is in need of humanitarian aid. Food. Clean water. Medical care and supplies. Men are dying. Women. Children. Babies. The immigration issue of 1933 – we now have a similar travel ban stopping Yemenis from coming here, dividing families. Those already here under TPS status are now on an 18 month countdown until they are thrown back into hell.

Continue reading “Wed 2/13: Barr and Yemen. Time to call again.”

Wed. – 11/21: Tell Congress to do its damn job!

Action – Stop this road trip to infamy. Tell Congress to hold Saudi Arabia accountable. 

Checks and balances are meaningless if Congress doesn’t exercise them. They are supposed to be in charge of authorizing war, not the President, not foreign leaders, and not Boeing or Lockheed. The U.S. must pull back from unconditional support for Saudi Arabia, and the best way is for Congress to tell the Saudis (and  Trump) that the U.S. will no longer be complicit in Saudi crimes, including the starvation and disease decimating the population in Yemen. The sponsors of the House resolution recently tried to force a floor vote, but Paul Ryan and the House GOP blocked them. The Senate is expected to take a vote on their resolution soon after Thanksgiving. Continue reading “Wed. – 11/21: Tell Congress to do its damn job!”

Thurs – 8/16: A “war economy” is a “system of producing, mobilizing and allocating resources to sustain the violence.”

– Quote by Philippe Le Billon.
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”  – Major General Smedley Butler

We last published an action on Yemen on 3/15/18. Back then, Trump had just tweet-fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and proposed CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Tea-Party conservative, torture-supporter and relentless anti-Muslim bigot, in his place, and Yemenis were starving and dying of cholera. (Background from that column included at the bottom.) That’s still happening.

This is where we are now:

  • Children were targeted: Last Thursday, a U.S.-backed Saudi airstrike killed 44 children. In a school bus. On the way home from field trip.
  • Business as usual: This was just one of more than 50 airstrikes THIS YEAR. The Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) has only admitted Saudi error in 2 of 75 incidents involving civilian casualties.
  • Hitting civilians is a feature, not a bug…: Strike rates on civilian, non-military targets average 33%.
  • Hey, we better go check on this: US Defense secretary, James Matti sent a US 3-star general to inspect the bus bombing because…
  • It’s now the law…: The defense spending bill Trump just signed includes a clause that Pompeo must certify that Saudi Arabia and UAE aren’t targeting civilians or lose our help refueling their warplanes. Trump has raised objections to 52 provisions of the new law, including that measure. 
  • Too late, we’re already complicit in war crimes!: Specifically Article 14 of Additional Protocol II and customary international laws that prohibit warring parties from attacking indispensable civilian resources and/or using starvation as a weapon of war. Also from hindering humanitarian aid and workers.
  • Nothing to see here: Trump hasn’t mentioned this attack, nor has Pompeo after talking to the Saudi crown prince.
  • Nothing to see here – part 2: Saudi Arabia is the biggest single buyer of arms from the US and the UK. Raytheon is currently lobbying to sell 60,000 precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia in a multi-billion dollar deal. Maybe that’ll help them get ALL the kids next time.
  • Making new friends everywhere we go!: Said the father of one of the survivors who escaped with a broken leg. “America is the head of evil, as well as the Saudi regime and the mercenaries of the Saudi regime.”
  • Update 8/17/18: It is confirmed. It was our bomb, made by Lockheed Martin. It was similar to the one used in the funeral hall bombing in October 2016 that led President Obama to ban selling the Saudis precision-guided military technology. Trump overturned the ban in March 2017.

Action  – Do what we did before, but LOUDER!

Continue reading “Thurs – 8/16: A “war economy” is a “system of producing, mobilizing and allocating resources to sustain the violence.””

3/15 – We helped cause this…

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”  – Major General Smedley Butler

While our kids are working on the war against their rights to survive childhood, another war is threatening children by the millions…And the US has been helping it happen. We, the voters, need to step up now.

With a recent personnel change, this problem has just split into two parts.

Part 1 – Mike Pompeo

Trump just tweet-fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and proposed CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Tea-Party conservative, torture-supporter and relentless anti-Muslim bigot, in his place. Pompeo is an ally of Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy, who has argued that adherence to Islamic law—far from being protected by the First Amendment—should be considered “an impermissible act of sedition, which has to be prosecuted.”

Taking a small historical sidestep for a moment…
A post by James H. Hutson, chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, described how our Founding Fathers in 1780 made sure that the Constitution afforded “the most ample liberty of conscience … to Deists, Mahometans, Jews and Christians’.” Thomas Jefferson campaigned for recognition of the religious rights of the “Mahamdan,” the Jew and the “pagan.” George Washington said he would welcome Muslims to Mount Vernon (his home) “if they were ‘good workmen.” and  “suggested a way for (them) to ‘obtain proper relief’ from a proposed tax levy to aid Christian worship.

We’re back…
Along with anti-muslim sentiments and sub-optimal comprehension of our history and constitutional rights, neither Pompeo nor Trump are big supporters of diplomacy.  Instead of acting like the adult-in-the-room we keep hoping for, Pompeo will act as an enabler of Trump’s worst ideas, like destroying the Iran agreement. A Trump/Pompeo mix is like setting a fire in our California backcountry… unpredictable, lethal and hugely destructive and the wrong choice to help us solve the Yemen problem.

Action for Part #1 – Call your senators!

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen. [___] to vote “NO” on the confirmation of Mike Pompeo as our new Secretary of State.

(Contact information at bottom.)

Part 2 – Yemen

Continue reading “3/15 – We helped cause this…”