[pjw] ACTION: Get Senator Merkley to support end to Yemen war

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Tue Mar 20 16:17:02 EDT 2018

Friends for peace
Below is an action alert from Win Without War asking people to contact 
Senators to support Senate Joint Resolution 54. That resolution, 
introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders along with Republican Mike Lee and 
Democrat Chris Murphy, calls on the President to remove troops from Yemen 
since deployment of troops has not be authorized by Congress. There has, 
of course, been no declaration of war as required by the Constitution, but 
this resolution relies on the War Powers Resolution which prohibits 
deployment of troops for over 30 days into "hostilities" without 
Congressional authority. That law is what led to the still endless 
Authorizations for Use of Military Force in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 
and 2002.

It's not clear to me from poking around what the status is of this 
resolution-- when it was introduced on February 28 various people said it 
had to be heard on the Senate floor within 10 days. It has not. Senator 
Wyden signed on as a co-sponsor on the 13th, with two more senators 
signing on just yesterday, as you can see on the official Congress 
website here:


There have been numerous efforts to block this maneuver, including 
pressure from the Pentagon. Win Without War also posted a letter from over 
35 prominent experts supporting the resolution.


So, if you have time to contact Sen. Merkley to ask him to sign on to SJR 
54 that would be a good step toward peace-- though as we've pointed out a 
few times, most every Congressional action to stop supporting the civil 
war excludes ongoing US drone warfare and actions under the guise of the 
2001 Authorization ("War on Terror" don't you know).

Sen. Jeff Merkley

--dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

---------- Forwarded message ----------
55 Orgs Call on Senators to Support S.J.Res.54 and End America's Shameful
Role in Yemen War

    Win Without War and FreedomWorks, along with a coalition of
    organizations across the political spectrum which collectively
    represent millions of Americans, sent a letter to U.S. Senators urging
    support for the Sanders-Lee war powers resolution on Yemen

    This important resolution, which is expected to receive a vote on the
    Senate floor next week, represents a first step Congress can take to
    reassert its Article I power to rein in executive war making, and to
    resolve the moral and legal questions raised by unauthorized U.S.
    participation in Yemen's civil war that has created the largest
    humanitarian crisis in the world.

    You can read the full letter below. Read more about the letter and
    participating organizations here.

    Dear Senator,

    We, the undersigned organizations, strongly urge you to support
    S.J.Res. 54, introduced by Senators Lee (R-UT) and Sanders (I-VT),
    along with Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rand Paul (R-KY). This
    important legislation invokes section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution
    of 1973 to require a debate and vote on ending unauthorized U.S.
    military involvement in Yemen's civil war. U.S. participation in the
    Saudi and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-led coalition's military
    operations in Yemen has not been authorized by either a congressional
    declaration of war nor a specific statute. Further, by providing
    technical, logistical and other military support for the Saudi and
    UAE-led coalition in Yemen, the U.S. has facilitated numerous
    violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen and the creation
    of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. It is imperative that
    the Senate reasserts Congress' constitutional authority as the sole
    body that can declare war by passing S.J.Res. 54.

    Since March 2015, the U.S. has provided the Saudi and UAE-led coalition
    in Yemen with political and military support, including targeting
    intelligence, mid-air refueling, and other logistical support. U.S.
    personnel reportedly work alongside Saudi and other counterparts in the
    coalition's joint command center for targeting assistance and other
    purposes. CENTCOM has publicly confirmed that the U.S. continues to
    provide mid-air refueling to the coalition, despite having no
    information on the objectives, flight plans, or targets of the refueled
    missions and no way to verify whether such missions comport with the
    laws of armed conflict or U.S. national security objectives. U.S.
    weapons sold to Saudi Arabia have been misused repeatedly in airstrikes
    on civilians and civilian objects, which are the leading cause of
    civilian casualties in the conflict and have destroyedYemen's vital
    infrastructure. This destruction of infrastructure has exacerbated the
    world's largest hunger crisis in which 8.4 million civilians are on the
    brink of starvation and created the conditions necessary for the
    largest cholera outbreak ever documented in modern history.

    Yet despite the fact that the U.S. is actively aiding and abetting
    coalition abuses, U.S. military involvement in the disastrous conflict
    in Yemen has never been publicly debated by the Senate. This war of
    attrition has been waged using U.S. weapons, military support, and
    personnel without consent of Congress for far too long. Congress has a
    constitutional and ethical duty to ensure any and all U.S. military
    operations comply with domestic and international law, and U.S.
    participation in the civil war in Yemen raises numerous legal and moral
    questions that must be resolved by Congress. With S.J.Res. 54, the
    Senate must send a clear signal that without congressional
    authorization, U.S. military involvement in Yemen's civil war violates
    the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

    Section 8 (c) of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 defines the
    introduction of armed forces as the "the assignment of members of such
    armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or
    accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign
    country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there
    exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in
    hostilities." U.S. mid-air refueling of coalition warplanes carrying
    out airstrikes against the Houthis clearly constitutes participation in
    the movement of Saudi-led military forces as well as accompanying them
    in active hostilities in Yemen. It is clear that U.S. logistical and
    targeting assistance for coalition airstrikes constitutes coordination
    of Saudi-led military forces engaged in hostilities against the Houthis
    in Yemen.

    The president is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, but his
    legal authority to deploy and commit U.S. troops to foreign conflicts
    is extremely limited. Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the
    Constitution gives Congress the exclusive power to declare war. Section
    2(c) of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires a specific statutory
    authorization for any military involvement in armed conflicts other
    than in cases of self-defense. As Houthi/Saleh forces in Yemen are not
    in any way associated with Al Qaeda and do not pose an imminent threat
    to the United States, there is simply no existing statutory authority
    for the U.S. involvement in this conflict. S.J.Res. 54 provides a
    unique opportunity for Congress to reassert its constitutional duty as
    the sole body that can declare war. We urge you to take the first step
    in reasserting Congress' authority over declaring war by co-sponsoring
    the resolution and voting for it when it comes to the Senate floor.


    About Face: Veterans Against the War
    Action Corps
    African Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL)
    American Friends Service Committee
    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
    Arabian Rights Watch Association
    Campaign for Liberty
    Center for International Policy
    Center for Peace Education, Philippines
    Churches for Middle East Peace
    Come Home America
    Common Defense
    Daily Kos
    Demand Progress Action
    Democracy for America
    Foreign Policy for America
    Freedom Forward
    Friends Committee on National Legislation
    Herd on the Hill
    Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
    Just Foreign Policy
    Military Families Speak Out
    Minnesota Peace Project
    MPower Change
    Our Revolution
    Peace Action
    People Demanding Action
    Popular Resistance
    Presbyterian Church (USA)
    Progressive Congress Action Fund
    September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
    STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities
    The Nation
    The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice
    UndocuBlack Network
    United for Peace and Justice
    United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
    US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
    Vet Voice Foundation
    Veterans for Peace 115
    War Resisters League
    Win Without War
    Women's Action for New Directions
    World Beyond War
    World Peace Foundation
    Yemen Peace Project
    March 9, 2018

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