Call Congress often:
Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121
For nearly two decades, the United States has been in a perpetual state of war. Following the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used nearly 40 times to justify U.S. military actions in 14 countries. Intended as an authorization for force against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, the overly vague authorization, with no geographic limits or expiration date, has been stretched beyond belief. It is the reason an entire generation has grown up not knowing a time without war. That’s why repealing the 2001 AUMF has been and remains a top priority for Peace Action.
Our longest war is only getting longer.
What began in 2001 as an effort to target al Qaeda evolved into a struggle against the Taliban, and if 16 years of war there has taught us anything, it’s that the conflict has no military solution. By 2010, the U.S. had about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. Since then, Peace Action has worked with allies in Congress like Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to draw down our presence to fewer than 10,000 troops. Unfortunately, President Obama reversed his decision to continue that draw down, leaving the future of the war in the hands of President Trump.
Since taking office, Trump has decided to allow the Pentagon to set troop levels in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and has escalated the U.S. air war by dropping the so-called Mother of All Bombs, the largest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, in Afghanistan.
Peace Action maintains that only a political settlement can end the war in Afghanistan, and that further escalations of U.S. military force only serve to undermine prospects of such a solution. Rather than doubling down on a failed military approach, the U.S. should withdraw its forces and focus on facilitating a diplomatic solution.
Iraq and Syria
Peace Action has long advocated alternatives to war for addressing conflict and the threat of terrorism. In the 21st century, U.S. militarism has done more to fuel terrorism than to suppress it, bolstering the recruitment narratives of extremist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda, and contributing to the economic and political instability that allows these groups to flourish. While the U.S. military campaign against ISIS has had battlefield successes, it has also killed thousands of civilians, destroyed civilian infrastructure, and increased the risk of conflict with other nations.
In Iraq, the U.S. invasion created a power vacuum and widespread resentment of the U.S., creating the conditions that allowed ISIS to rise to power. While some have credited the withdrawal of our forces from Iraq in 2011 as the main factor in allowing ISIS to spread, the initial decision to invade, along with our insufficient focus on political reconciliation after the war, are largely to blame.
In Syria, the Obama administration argued that operations against ISIS were covered under the 2001 war authorization, a dubious assertion at best given that the authorization was supposed to be about bringing justice to those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. But President Trump’s attacks against Syrian government forces and their allies since taking office have no basis in U.S. or international law. As ISIS is pushed from its strongholds in Syria, the U.S. is increasingly at odds with a multitude of forces and nations with conflicting interests. Along with ramping up airstrikes and loosening the rules of engagement, leading to a sharp rise in civilian casualties, the Trump administration has been stumbling into a larger conflict in Syria that could lead to all out war with the Syrian government, as well as conflict with Iran and Russia.
Like the other U.S. conflicts in the Middle East, diplomacy is the only path to sustainable peace in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. should recommit itself to diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian civil war and reach a political solution to return stability to the war-torn country. We should also work to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need, and plan to invest in rebuilding Iraq and Syria’s devastated infrastructure.
Since March 2015, the U.S. has been supporting a Saudi-led coalition in its brutal intervention into Yemen’s civil war. The coalition’s indiscriminate bombing campaign has bombed schools, hospitals, marketplaces, and mosques, killing thousands of civilians in the process. The coalition’s naval blockade, along with it’s bombing of civilian infrastructure, has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. Roughly 20 million people are at risk of starvation. Lack of food, fuel, and medical supplies has also led to an outbreak of cholera that has killed thousands. Human rights groups and the United Nations have accused the coalition of war crimes.
The U.S. has been refueling the coalition’s warplanes, participating in the naval blockade, and has sold the coalition tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons since the start of the intervention. Fragments of U.S.-made bombs found in the rubble make U.S. complicity in Yemen’s suffering abundantly clear to the people of Yemen.
Peace Action has been building awareness of this grossly underreported war, and building opposition in Congress to ongoing U.S. support for the coalition. We’ve also been lobbying against further arms sales to Saudi Arabia, helping to bring 27 Senators on board with blocking an arms sale in September 2016, and helping push that number to 47 Senators in June 2017. At the same time, we’ve been pushing the administration to focus on facilitating a diplomatic solution to Yemen’s civil war, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the millions of Yemenis who could die without it. As long as the U.S. continues supporting the Saudi-led coalition, Peace Action will continue pushing back, demanding an end to U.S. complicity and promoting the diplomatic and humanitarian strategies needed to end Yemen’s suffering.
War with Iran Would Be a Disaster
CALL CONGRESS A LOT "The squeaky wheel gets the oil"
Bill to prevent U.S. from striking first with nuclear weapons
Paul Sonne reporting at WaPo https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/top-democrats-introduce-bill-to-prevent-us-from-striking-first-with-nuclear-weapons/2019/01/30/a5959ee6-24bc-11e9-ba08-caf4ff5a3433_story.html (also attached in case you hit a paywall)
MARYLAND SENATORS BENJAMIN CARDIN and CHRIS VAN HOLLEN at (202) 224-3121.
There is a growing risk that nuclear weapons will be used. Far from taking steps to fulfill its long-standing nuclear disarmament obligation, our government is upgrading its arsenal, developing new nuclear weapons and making them easier to use. It is shocking to think that the president can launch nuclear weapons without Congressional approval.
We are asking you to support the following initiatives:
ICAN Parliamentarian Pledge to support the Nuclear Ban Treaty;
S.272 - A bill to establish the policy of the United States regarding the no-first-use of nuclear weapons;
S.200 - Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2019;
S.401 - A bill to prohibit the research and development, production, and deployment of the Trident D5 low-yield nuclear warhead, and for other purposes; and
S.312 - Prevention of Arms Race Act of 2019.
The government plans to spend 49 billion dollars yearly to “modernize” nuclear weapons, which would make them more usable.
Ask them to support:
S.2016 introduced by Ed Markey "No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act."
S.2047 by Chris Murphy to prevent kinetic military operations in North Korea.
S.J.Res.40 by Chris Murphy to limit air-to-ground munitions sales to Saudi Arabia
S.200 by Markey "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act."
S.1235 by Markey to reduce spending from the $1.7 trillion nuclear arsenal expansion.
Also, here are the main House bills we are supporting, with lists of co-sponsors:
H Res 152 - Calling for a Formal End to the Korean War introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (CA)
HR 1771 - Divided Families Reunification Act introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (NY)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVES FROM MARYLAND at (202) 224-3121.
Ask them to support:
* H.R. 921 A bill to establish the policy of the United States regarding the no-first-use of nuclear weapons;
H.R.4837 introduced by Ro Khanna "No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea”
H.R.1473 by Barbara Lee to prevent US troop deployments to Syria.
H.Con.Res.81 by Khanna, Thomas Massie, Mark Pocan, and Walter Jones to end support in unauthorized activities in Yemen (aka U.S. Saudi coalition support).
H.R.669 by Ted Lieu "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act"
H.R.4415 by Adam Smith about establishing a no nuclear first use policy.
H.R.2668 by Earl Blumenauer to reduce spending from the $1.7 trillion nuclear arsenal expansion plan.
Cardin, Hoyer and Ruppersberger have already told us “I believe in a strong military” when we complained about the bloated $717 Billion military budget. We believe it could be cut in half without sacrificing national defense. This budget is obviously for unnecessary military aggression for war profits.
What terrific news, that North and South Korea are trying diplomacy!
But we are still far from being out of the woods with respect to the danger of a nuclear first strike by our own government--on Korea, or maybe on Iran. The "command and control" of nuclear weapons remains in Doctor Strangelove mode.
Korea needs peace, and the world needs Korea to achieve peace.
Here are the critical steps that are needed.
In addition, U.S. residents should click here to send an email that will go to your Representative and Senators, asking them to cosponsor and promote H.Res.152 (and parallel legislation in the Senate) calling for a formal end of the Korean war, and H.R.1771 (and the same in the Senate) directing that efforts be undertaken to reunite Korean Americans with their family members in North Korea, as well as asking them to dissolve the United Nations Command in South Korea.
Please forward this email to everyone who cares about peace.
Please read and share this PDF flyer with "talking points" from Korea Peace Now.
World BEYOND War is a global network of volunteers, activists, and allied organizations advocating for the abolition of the very institution of war. Our success is driven by a people-powered movement –
support our work for a culture of peace.
World BEYOND War 513 E Main St #1484 Charlottesville, VA 22902 USA
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In 1967, Israel annexed the Golan Heights and has occupied the territory ever since. Since that time, Israel has steadily depopulated the area by demolishing village after village, killing and displacing the local inhabitants and replacing them with Israeli settlers. These actions are in violation of international law, not accepted by the international community, and contradictory to American values.
Two new bills, recently introduced, H.R.1372, and S.567, seek to recognize the Golan Heights as officially belonging to Israel. This would set a dangerous precedent and indicate to the West Bank and Gaza that they too may soon suffer a similar fate. This will only increase overall tensions in the region, leading to further suffering and loss of life.
Please oppose these bills! Thank you.
“The Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” would prohibit U.S. foreign aid from contributing to “the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of children in violation of international humanitarian law.” Additionally, it would authorize $19 million dollars annually to fund NGOs monitoring human rights abuses associated with the military detention of children and provide physical and mental health services to children who have been victims of military detention, abuse, and torture.
The Bill was introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum from Minnesota,and has found co-sponsors...BUT NOT IN MARYLAND. What if Maryland had some women in its delegation? And, right now with the vacant seat following Rep.Cummings' death, don't hesitate to call another office and ask that your voice be heard.
Main switchboard 202- 225-2131 and transfer to any of the following Maryland Representatives:
Brown, Harris, Hoyer, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Trone