[pjw] ACTION/INFO: Say no to more weapons for Saudi war on Yemen

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Fri May 26 13:20:52 EDT 2017

Sorry for the short notice here-- it's not clear from the email sent by 
our friends at Voices for Creative Nonviolence whether the vote on a 
resolution to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia is happening today, or 
whether they're just saying to call today before the Congressional recess.

Regardless, it's worth taking in this information and speaking out if you 
agree and if you have time.

VCNV grew out of the campaign Voices in the Wilderness, which helped bust 
Iraqi sanctions. They've since also turned their attention to Afghanistan, 
Palestine and, recently, Yemen.

dan h
peacea and justice works iraq affinity group

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 02:50:15 +0000
From: "Voices for Creative Nonviolence" <info at vcnv.org>
To: pjw at pjw.info
     Urgent -- Help Prevent Weapons Sale to Saudi Arabia

Dear friends,

Tomorrow (Friday) is the last day to phone your members of Congress before 
their weeklong recess, urging them to support House and Senate resolutions 
introduced today rejecting U.S. arms sales to the absolutist and warlike 
Saudi monarchy.

The Senate resolution was introduced by Sens. Chris Murphy [D-CT], Rand 
Paul [R-KY], and Al Franken [D-MN].  The House resolution [H.J. Res 102] 
was introduced by Reps. Justin Amash [R-MI], Mark Pocan [D-WI], Thomas 
Massie [R-KY], Barbara Lee [D-CA], Walter Jones [R-NC], and Jim McGovern 

In an email we share below, our friend Robert Naiman lays out several 
strong reasons to be optimistic about these particular votes.  The numbers 
may be right for an unprecedented success.  Victory here is important in 
deterring the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition from driving Yemen closer to 
conflict-driven famine.

Just Foreign Policy (http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/) 's Robert Naiman 

There's a big Congressional fight coming on Trump's Saudi arms deal.

Trump went to Saudi Arabia last weekend and announced a big arms deal. 
This deal is controversial with a bunch of Democrats and some Republicans 
in Congress because Saudi Arabia and the UAE are using U.S. weapons to 
kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure in Yemen, deliberately 
trying to create famine in Yemen 
; and the arms deal is widely seen 
as a U.S. seal of approval for continuation of the catastrophic Saudi-UAE 
war and blockade.

Under the Arms Export Control Act, Trump has to formally notify Congress 
of new arms deals. Congress then has 30 days to pass a resolution of 

Admin has sent notices on pieces of the deal, and the 30 day clock has 
started on those pieces. Opponents in both houses are currently crafting 
their resolutions of disapproval, corresponding to the notices.

To win on a resolution of disapproval in either house, we need almost all 
Democrats, plus a chunk of Republicans who don't like Saudi Arabia very 
much and don't care very much about crossing the Republican leadership.

Here's a rough template for victory in the House: the June 16, 2016 vote 
(http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2016/roll327.xml) on blocking the transfer of 
cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which we lost 204-216 
(http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2016/roll327.xml) . We had 90% of Ds, 20% of 
Rs. So, to win in the House, we have to make this be like the cluster bomb 
vote, and then do a little better than that - a few more Democrats and/or 
a few more Republicans.

On September 21 2016, there was a vote on a Saudi arms deal in the Senate. 
We lost 71-27 

However, there are a bunch of reasons to believe that most Senate 
Democrats can be with us this time. Trump has now approved weapons that 
Obama blocked in response to Saudi targeting of civilians and civilian 
infrastructure; Democratic opinion has shifted more generally against the 
Saudi-UAE war; specific Democratic Senators who voted against us in 
September have indicated publicly or privately that they are likely to be 
with us now; and of course, now voting against the deal is voting against 
Trump rather than voting against Obama. It's plausible that we could get 
almost all Senate Democrats to vote for a resolution of disapproval.

Rand Paul will lead 
the Senate resolution of disapproval. Mike Lee and Dean Heller voted with 
us in September. Todd Young, who wasn't in the Senate in September, has 
been a vocal critic of the Saudi-UAE war and is a co-sponsor of Murphy's 
bill to put new conditions on the transfer of air-to-ground munitions to 
Saudi Arabia. Maybe, if we could activate people in Maine and Alaska, 
Collins and/or Murkowski are possible pickups. So, if we can get most 
Senate Democrats, there are enough Republican votes to win.

In light of the fact that 1] the battle is imminent and 2] victory is 
possible, my hope is that a bunch of folks may be encouraged to engage...

In addition to phoning your elected representatives (the Capitol 
switchboard is 202-224-3121), please note Robert Naiman has a petition at 
urging broad co-sponsorship of these resolutions - which can be an 
excellent tool for involving people not ready to phone their 
congresspersons on this issue.

Kathy Kelly, Sabia Rigby, Brian Terrell, Laurie Hasbrook, Sean Reynolds, 
and all of us at Voices

Voices for Creative Nonviolence . 1249 W Argyle St . Chicago, IL 60640 . USA

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