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

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Wed Mar 21 18:55:06 EDT 2018

Hello again

Well... apparently the debate on SJR54 was happening in the Senate _while 
I was sending this action alert out yesterday_ about ending the war in 
Yemen. Apparently, at 4:34 PM Eastern Time (so, 1:34 here, 17 minutes 
after I sent the email) the Senate took a vote about whether to "table" 
(in America, this means set aside, while in the UK it means to consider) 
the Resolution. Because the vote was on whether to table, the roll call is 
backward to what you'd think-- in other words, we wanted more "Nay" votes 
than "Yeas," but it came out 44 Senators wanted to proceed to a vote and 
55 wanted to "table" it. This is a very close margin, as was pointed out 
by Win Without War (thanks to Thomas for sending along their note about 

Here's a link to the roll call-- as you can see we in Oregon did our due 
diligence, as Merkley did join Wyden in voting "no."


If you have friends in Tennessee, Wyoming, Missouri*, Arkansas, North 
Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Delaware*, Texas, Nevada, 
Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Arizona*, Utah*, North Dakota, Oklahoma, 
Georgia, Wisconsin*, Alabama, Kentucky*, New Jersey*, Alaska, Ohio*, Rhode 
Island, South Dakota, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado*, Kansas*, or 
Pennsylvania*, tell them to get their acts together and have their 
Senators demand a debate on whether the President gets to declare war on 
his own. (That's 33 states!!)

By the way, of the 44 in favor of debating or shutting down the Yemen war, 
37 were Democrats (of 47 in the Senate) 5 were Republicans (of 50 who 
voted), and two Independents.

The 10 Democrats voting to let the war keep going were:

Coons (D-DE), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Donnelly (D-IN), Heitkamp (D-ND), Jones 
(D-AL), Manchin (D-WV), Menendez (D-NJ), Nelson (D-FL), Reed (D-RI), and 
Whitehouse (D-RI).

Win Without War also points out that the Saudi Crown Prince is currently 
in the US lobbying people to support the war on Yemen.

Thanks to anyone who contacted Merkley yesterday. If you were planning to 
do so now, thank him for his vote and ask that he help push for another 
chance to get the resolution on the floor.

dan h
pjw iraq affinity group

*-only one of the 2 senators voted "yea"

On Tue, 20 Mar 2018, Peace and Justice Works wrote:

> 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:
> https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/54
> 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.
> http://winwithoutwar.org/35-national-security-constitutional-experts-urge-senate-leadership-support-s-j-res-54/
> 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
> 503-326-3386
> https://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact
> --dan h
> peace and justice works iraq affinity group
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> http://winwithoutwar.org/55-orgs-call-senators-support-s-j-res-54-end-americas-shameful-role-yemen-war/
> 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
>    (S.J.Res.54).
>    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.
>   Sincerely,
>    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)
>    Antiwar.com
>    Arabian Rights Watch Association
>    Avaaz
>    Campaign for Liberty
>    Center for International Policy
>    Center for Peace Education, Philippines
>    Churches for Middle East Peace
>    Come Home America
>    Common Defense
>    CREDO
>    Daily Kos
>    Demand Progress Action
>    Democracy for America
>    Foreign Policy for America
>    Freedom Forward
>    FreedomWorks
>    Friends Committee on National Legislation
>    Herd on the Hill
>    Indivisible
>    Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
>    Just Foreign Policy
>    Military Families Speak Out
>    Minnesota Peace Project
>    MoveOn.org
>    MPower Change
>    Our Revolution
>    Peace Action
>    People Demanding Action
>    Popular Resistance
>    Presbyterian Church (USA)
>    Progressive Congress Action Fund
>    RootsAction.org
>    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
>    VoteVets
>    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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