Come to Washington, D.C. on January 11 to speak out against the ignoble U.S. role in the assault of Yemen. We live in a country that is heavily involved in death and destruction in one of the poorest countries in the world. As citizens, we are just as responsible as the Trump administration unless we speak out.
Please note that on Thursday, January 11 the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance will organize a visit to the office of Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, 1705 Longworth House Office Building, WDC 20515 to Say No US Support for Saudi Arabia’s Assault on Yemen. He is a supporter of Saudi Arabia and a long-time friend of weapons contractors profiting from the war on Yemen.
We will first gather at 11:30 AM at the White House to join Witness Against Torture in calling for the closing of the prison at Guantanamo. At 1:30 PM, we will gather in the Longworth Cafeteria. After that meeting, we will deliver a letter to Hoyer’s office and demand that the Minority Whip call for an end to U.S. involvement in Yemen. Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net if you want to sign the letter. Please supply your name, organization and hometown.
On Fri., Jan. 12 at 11 AM, we will deliver a Healthcare not Warfare petition to Captain Mark A. Kobelja, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 4494 North Palmer Road, Bethesda 20889. We are still gathering signatures on our petition. If you want to sign it, please provide name, organization and hometown to Max. RSVP to Max if you can join NCNR on Jan. 11, Jan. 12 or both days.
January 8, 2017
Petition from the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
Representative Steny Hoyer
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Hoyer:
As members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], we are petitioning you on behalf of the people of Yemen. The situation in Yemen is dire. So we are appealing to you, as Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, that you must speak out against Saudi Arabian war crimes, condemn any further arms sales to the Desert Kingdom and help bring to a vote House Concurrent Resolution 81 [https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/81]. This resolution’s title is "Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to remove United States Armed Forces from unauthorized hostilities in the Republic of Yemen."
We are prepared to discuss in detail our petition on January 11. As you know, the U.S. government is abetting Saudi Arabia in waging war on the people of Yemen. We find this situation unconscionable that our government is using U.S. taxpayer dollars to support a country, well-known for violating human rights and most responsible for the death and destruction taking place in one of the poorest countries in the world.
Please examine the Amnesty International report Saudi Arabia 2016/2017 [https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/saudi-arabia/report-saudi-arabia/.] This is a passage: “The authorities severely curtailed the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, detaining and imprisoning critics, human rights defenders and minority rights activists on vaguely worded charges. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained common, particularly during interrogation, and courts continued to accept torture-tainted “confessions” to convict defendants in unfair trials. Women faced discrimination in both law and practice and were inadequately protected against sexual and other violence. The authorities continued to arrest, detain and deport irregular migrants. Courts imposed many death sentences, including for non-violent crimes and against juvenile offenders; scores of executions were carried out. Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia committed serious violations of international law, including war crimes, in Yemen.”
Also note what Sherine Tadros, head of the UN office for Amnesty International in New York, said on October 6, 2017: “World powers should do everything possible to keep the pressure on states that blatantly disregard children’s lives. The USA and other states that supply arms for use by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen must stop doing so and the United Nations Security Council should impose an arms embargo to bring an end to such horrific abuses.”
In a December 20, 2017 press release [see https://www.unicef.org/media/media_102348.html], this was reported: “A UNICEF-chartered plane landed today in Sana’a and delivered nearly 6 million doses of essential vaccines to protect millions of children at risk of preventable diseases, including the current diphtheria outbreak that has reportedly infected over 300 people and killed 35. Most diphtheria cases and deaths are among children.” The release added this: “Nearly 1,000 days since the conflict escalated in Yemen, the country is in the grips of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with restrictions on fuel and food imports further complicating emergency response. The restrictions add to the misery of children in Yemen who already face the triple threat of diseases, malnutrition and violence.”
This is from a report by Save the Children [https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/over-1000-days-suffering-yemen-s-children] published December 20, 2017: “Today marks 1,000 days since the international escalation of the conflict in Yemen. In these past 1,000 days, there have been over 1,500 airstrikes which have led to the deaths of thousands of children from violence, hunger, and disease. An estimated 1,900 hospitals and health facilities have been destroyed, there are nearly one million cases of cholera and 462,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Since March 26 2015, the situation in Yemen – already the poorest country in the Middle East even before the war – has deteriorated into a living nightmare where children starve to death every day and are shelled and bombed in their homes and schools.”
Kathy Kelly, who co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, wrote an article Let Yemenis Live, which was published by Common Dreams on December 23. She also recognizes U.S. complicity in the devastation of Yemen: “Despite the recent publicity for stern words from Donald Trump and Theresa May, urging Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade of Yemen, both countries continue to pocket billions of dollars selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. President Trump swiftly condemned the Houthi fighters for firing several rockets at Saudi Arabia and the UAE. But the Houthis could claim to be using these weapons in self-defense after Saudi and UAE jets have dropped tons of bombs, purchased from the U.S. and the UK, on Yemeni cities and civilians. Observers say if the U.S. stopped its midair refueling of Saudi bomber planes, the war would end shortly thereafter.”
And note Ms. Kelly’s affinity with the children: “Like the children of Iraq who perished by the hundreds of thousands during U.S. led economic war against Iraq, these little ones in Yemen mean harm to no one. They’ve done nothing to deserve punishment. Yet, they will pay the price for abysmally failed policies. The food and clean water they hunger and thirst for could reach them, but not if powerful elites decide it’s acceptable to blockade Yemen’s ports, bomb roadways, destroy sewage and sanitation systems, attack fishermen and farmers, and even kill participants at a wedding celebration.”
Why does our government support Saudi Arabia while it engages in war crimes? Why allow sales of U.S. weapons to a government that routinely commits human rights abuses? Why not end U.S. culpability in terrorizing the children of Yemen? We would like to seek answers from you on January 11. Please let us know your availability? If you are unavailable, could someone from your staff meet with us on this extremely urgent matter?
We are ordinary people who have a responsibility as U.S. citizens to speak out against our government’s involvement in this vicious war against the people of Yemen. We see this as our Nuremberg responsibility and look forward to our dialogue on January 11.
Joy First, Malachy Kilbride, Max Obuszewski and Janice Sevre-Duszynska
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