“As ranking minority member on the Armed Services Committee, Senator Reed can play an integral part in putting important elements of the House military authorization into the Senate version, including stopping United States support for the Saudi coalition’s genocidal war on the Yemeni people, arms sales to the Saudis, and preventing Trump from taking disastrous war actions against Iran without Congressional approval.”
The pro-peace, anti-militarism movement is possibly getting bolder. It is a mark of success already that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has not been quickly reconciled. This is due to the differences between the House and Senate versions. Usually this is boiler plate type stuff in a Washington DC that is typically beholden to the military corporations. Military contractors get theirs, and there is no reining in of our imperialistic instincts…
Maybe we see there is angst by officials like Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative James Langevin in whether and how much Textron, Lockhead Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics can be told “No.” The Movement is looking for real genuine success, raising expectation that the two below referenced amendments – Yemen and Iran – will be included in the final version.The No Endless War or Excessive Militarism effort has been meeting, in small gatherings, outside Senator Reed’s Providence office in the Federal Building across from Kennedy Plaza. We have been handing out information to passersby on the sidewalks, and walking Kennedy Plaza itself, passing out flyers, building awareness and generating calls into Senator Reed’s office. This is happening at this crucial time where the NDAA negotiations are ongoing. Peace and anti-war activists continue to compel Senator Jack Reed to hold firm to his commitment to end the United States’ role in supporting Saudi Arabia‘s War on the Yemeni people. The House and Senate subcommittees work to reconcile the differences between their respective NDAA proposals. In addition to the concern with the Saudis and Yemen, we’d also like to see Reed make a concrete effort to block trump from being able to militarily strike Iran without Congressional approval. This issue is of extreme importance right now.
While there has been a very fragile and oft-broken cease fire, innocent Yemenis continue to get blown up and murdered. From school buses, to dentition centers, to hospitals, to weddings and other gatherings of family and celebrations. The Saudis have relentlessly attacked and killed so many Yemeni people and have put half of Yemen’s population on the brink of survival. The ripple effects will be with this country for generations to come.
As ranking minority member on the Armed Services Committee, Senator Reed can play an integral part in putting important elements of the House military authorization into the Senate version, including stopping United States support for the Saudi coalition’s genocidal war on the Yemeni people, arms sales to the Saudis, and preventing Trump from taking disastrous war actions against Iran without Congressional approval.
Actioncorps and Just Foreign Policy had reached out to the Rhode Island peace community asking us to join in noontime rallies in August to get Senators to put the resolutions on Yemen the House put into the National Defense Authorization Act into the Senate’s reconciliation bill. This effort continues. Reed has gotten a ton of national pressure, as well as from his constituents, and is using more of the right words. His actions will tell the true tale though of his commitment to finding a new and better way forward. He is up for re-election in 2020. A call into his office confirmed the NDAA is still in conference and further updates of any potential progress were not forthcoming. Important Reed sees and hear from his constituents that we are holding these issues close to us and are prioritizing them.
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If you can’t make these events, or if you haven’t called within the last couple of weeks, please call Senator Reed’s office at 401-528-5200 or 401-943-3100 and after giving your name and your home town so Reed’s office knows you are a constituent, make the following request:
That the Senator honor his commitment to use his influence to shape the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to include amendments that will:
- Prevent further US assistance including arms sales to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen
- Prevent use of military force in Iran without Congressional approval
Should the final version of the NDAA not include these amendments, we look for Senator Reed to vote against it.
Note that Senator Reed already voted for the measure limiting President Donald Trump from going to war with Iran without Congressional assent. That amendment was voted on after the original NDAA was voted on so it needed 60 votes to pass. It received a majority but not 60 votes, with four Republicans voting for it along with all Democrats. (One was absent but is for it.) As such, he should be willing to go to bat for these two issues at this time.
As always, we work on focusing toward a world not driven by war, hate, xenophobia, violence, and militarism. We envision and look to a world more driven by common values of people’s lives and rights, lifting up those most in need, a more just and peaceful world. We look for victory of human rights and justice for the Yemeni people, and the start of a new template around mitigating war and our militaristic economy and society.