Win Without War – 2018-10-02 23:57:20
ACTION ALERT Tell Congress: Stop Fueling War in Yemen
Children Dying While Raytheon and other US Arms Makers Profit
Win Without War
(October 2, 2018) — Did you know that every ten minutes, a Yemeni child under 5 years old passes away from preventable causes, like starvation or disease? Repeat: Every ten minutes, a child dies in Yemen — and the US government is directly complicit. This nauseating fact doesn’t make sense to me.
More facts: The US provides Saudi and UAE jets with weapons, mid-air refueling, airstrike intelligence — all to bomb hospitals, schools, farms, funerals and school-buses.
A final fact: Congress. Never. Voted. For. This. War. And. Famine. That. The. US. Is. Literally. Fueling.
Just because this is the way things are does not mean this is the way things have to be. And today, we have another shot at demanding a world where Congress’ refusal to do their job does not determine whether Yemeni children live or die.
Rep. Ro Khanna introduced a War Powers Resolution that would end US involvement in the Saudi and UAE-led war in Yemen. Win Without War is joining our progressive partners to drive massive grassroots support for this bill. We have a chance to tell our representatives to pass the resolution, and withdraw the US from fueling the war in Yemen. We must take it. Now.
The US has been unconstitutionally fueling the Saudi and UAE-led war in Yemen for over three years. And for over three years, Win Without War activists have been tirelessly resisting this war.
It’s past time for Congress to end US involvement in this Saudi and UAE war effort, and stop fueling this massive humanitarian catastrophe. But it’s clear that Trump and his war cabinet — who just went so far as to lie to Congress to keep fueling atrocities in Yemen — won’t help end the war. [See story below — EAW.]
The last time we had a bill like this in Congress, we almost won. And this time around, we have powerful representatives — including members of Democratic leadership — throwing their weight behind this bill for the first time. This gives us a HUGE chance to prove that people power can change our foreign policy and help end the war in Yemen.
Rep. Khanna already has 33 co-sponsors on the Yemen War Powers Resolution. But we need to build more power behind Khanna’s bill now to demand a vote to stop fueling war in Yemen for good.
Every day, Win Without War activists push to change the belief that war and militarism must remain the status quo. We know that a world is possible where civilian mass murder is not inevitable. And we are closer than ever to ending the US role in fueling the war in Yemen. Let’s win this time.
Thank you for working for peace,
Kate, Tara, Sunjeev, and the Win Without War team.
State Department Team Led By Former Raytheon Lobbyist Pushed Mike Pompeo To Support Yemen War Because Of Arms Sales
Lee Fang and Alex Emmons / The Intercept
Concerns over civilian deaths were overruled
after the State Department’s legislative affairs team
warned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that
restricting US support for the Saudi invasion
would endanger billions of dollars in future weapons sales,
including a massive sale of munitions
from the US weapons manufacturer Raytheon.
(September 22, 2018) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced internal opposition to US support for the war in Yemen from State Department staff, according to a recent report. The staffers had become concerned by the rising civilian death toll in the war being carried out by Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — not only owing to bombings of densely populated areas, but also a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the fighting, with up to 8.4 million people at risk of starvation.
Those concerns, however, were overruled after Pompeo discussed the matter with the State Department’s legislative affairs team. The legislative affairs staff, according to the Wall Street Journal, argued that restricting US support would endanger billions of dollars in future weapons sales, including a massive sale of precision-guided munitions between Raytheon, a US weapons manufacturer, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
That staff — the legislative affairs team at the State Department — is led by a former Raytheon lobbyist.
Before his presidential appointment last June, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Charles Faulkner was paid handsomely by Raytheon to lobby lawmakers on defense procurement issues, ethics records show.
Debate broke out in the State Department around a congressionally mandated deadline for Pompeo to certify that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were taking steps to reduce civilian casualties in the Yemen war.
The failure to certify would have immediately banned US refueling efforts to bolster the Gulf monarchies’ war, but, according to the Wall Street Journal, the legislative affairs desk argued that “lack of certification will negatively impact pending arms transfers.” The office also warned that future weapons sales could be jeopardized — and Pompeo ended up issuing the certification.
The main pending sale is a $2 billion deal to give Saudi Arabia and the UAE air-to-ground munitions produced by Raytheon. The Trump administration began moving forward with the sale in the spring, briefing the chair and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Under US law, the Senate can block arms sales and the sale is currently being held up by Sen. Bob Menendez, D.-N.J., the top Democrat on the committee, over human rights concerns.
In a statement to The Intercept, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “Mr. Faulkner has extensive experience working with Capitol Hill. His previous positions, however, have no bearing on the final certification decision.”
Lobbying for War
Faulkner’s work lobbying on behalf of Raytheon was carried out from his perch at BGR Group, a firm that has extensive contracts with foreign governments and defense contractors. Faulkner was individually registered to lobby on behalf of several defense contractors, including Airbus, Huntington Ingalls, and Raytheon. His former employer has also been a registered agent for the Saudi Arabian government since 2016, according to Justice Department records.
Now, leading the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs, Faulkner oversees a team of 30 foreign affairs officers “responsible for the Department’s day-to-day relationship with Congress on legislation, budget and appropriations, and foreign policy,” according to the agency website.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have long used military contracts with US and other Western corporations as a financial inducement for influencing American policy in the region. The war in Yemen has required a constant supply of American-made munitions and other military contracts, fueling a lobbying bonanza that ensures support for the war from the defense industry.
The US has provided logistical support to the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition since March 2015, when the Gulf countries began their intervention in Yemen. In addition to the weapons and refueling support, the US provides the coalition with targeting intelligence. The continued support has come despite the coalition’s repeated bombings of civilians, including a wedding in April and a school bus carrying children last month.
Last year, Faulkner was part of the Trump administration push to broadly define the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force as a legal authority to pursue military engagements across the Middle East, including in Syria. A letter authored by Faulkner and sent to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, argued that military action in Syria is “consistent with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense.”
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