Monday, December 14, 2020

IPN Signs a Letter to the President Elect Joe Biden about War in Yemen



Below is a letter Iowa Peace Network signed earlier this month on divesting from investing in war on Yemen.  Codepink is collecting signers and sending to Biden soon. 


Dear President-Elect Joe Biden:

 Congratulations on winning the presidency. We know that you have an enormous task ahead of you and that there are a number of critical domestic and foreign policy issues that need to be addressed on day one of your term. As organizations representing millions of Americans concerned about the grave crisis in Yemen, we urgently ask that you include bringing an end to U.S. participation in the war in Yemen.

The U.S.-supported, Saudi/UAE-led war in Yemen, which began in March 2015, includes the blockade of Yemen’s ports, the bombing of funerals, weddings, hospitals, civilians in marketplaces, residential areas, and more. Under President Trump, war-related deaths have spiked. Despite this, the Trump administration issued an emergency declaration to push through billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE without congressional approval, vetoed a bi-partisan War Pow­ers Resolution passed by bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress to end unauthorized U.S. participation in the war, and cut USAID funding to Yemen right as COVID-19 hit the country.

Before coronavirus, Yemen was already experiencing the largest human­i­tar­i­an crisis on the planet. A 2018report from Save the Children estimated that 85,000 Yemeni children had starved to death and in October 2020, the UNreported that 100,000 children in southern Yemen alone could die of acute malnutrition if urgent humanitarian aid is not taken. Now COVID-19 is spreading virtually unchecked. The war has decimated Yemen's already vulnerable health care infrastructure and disrupted access to clean water, sanitary systems, sufficient nutrition and adequate shelter.

The Sau­di-led war in Yemen began during the Obama-Biden administration, but since then more than adozen senior Obama administration officials-- including Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes and Jake Sullivan -- have called for an end to U.S. participation in the war.  With President Trump departing the White House, the Biden-Harris administration has an historic opportunity to end U.S. complicity in this war the moment you come into office.

 We appreciate your consistent pledge to end unauthorized U.S. participation in the war, and we urge you to immediately inform the other members of the Saudi-led coalition that you will do so on day one of your presidency. To truly end U.S. participation and complicity in the war in Yemen, you should take the following measures:


-Heed the bipartisan votes of Congress indicating that the Executive Branch does not have  authorization -- as required by our Constitution and the War Powers Act of 1973 -- to participate in the Saudi war in Yemen, and commit to signing a new Yemen War Powers Resolution if it arrives at your desk;

            -End all war-related U.S. logistical support, targeting assistance, spare parts transfers, and intel                 to the Saudi-led coalition;

-Stop all sales of weapons to members of the Saudi-led coalition that could be used in the war and encourage US allies and other countries to do the same;

-Pressure the Saudi-led coalition to end their military actions in Yemen, lift the blockade of Yemen’s ports, allow entry of humanitarian aid and commercial imports, open Sana’a airport for civilian travel, and negotiate a nationwide ceasefire;

-Restore and expand USAID funding to all parts of Yemen and recommit U.S. financial support to UN, WHO, and WFP relief programs in Yemen. Work with the international community to pressure Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates  to meet and expand their funding pledges for humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction of the country.


 Ending U.S. participation in the war in Yemen and restoring vital humanitarian aid to address the war’s impact on the Yemeni people is a moral and legal obligation. It would be the first step in ending this catastrophe, caused in large part by actions of the Saudi-led coalition. Ending U.S participation would signal to millions of Yemenis living in Yemen and thousands of Yemeni-Americans who worry about their families in Yemen that weapon sales and geopolitical chess moves are not more important than their lives and the lives of their loved ones. It would be a monumental first achievement for your administration that would be praised by Americans across the ideological spectrum. It would also be an important sign that you will be an advocate for restraint, as you were during the Obama Administration when you opposed U.S. participation in the military intervention in Libya, the troop surge in Afghanistan, and other military-first approaches.

 As organizations that are deeply distressed about the U.S. role in perpetuating the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, we are counting on you to immediately fulfill your pledge to end U.S. military participation and weapon sales for the Saudi-led war. With countless new deaths from war and starvation every single day, the people of Yemen can’t afford to wait.


 [Signers as of November 25, 2020: (& Iowa Peace Network)]


Action Corps

American Friends Service Committee

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain


Beyond the Bomb

Brooklyn For Peace

Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security



Center for Economic and Policy Research

Center for International Policy

Chicago Area Peace Action


Daily Kos

Demand Progress

Democracy for America

Democracy for the Middle East Now (DAWN)

Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Fellowship of Reconciliation

First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI

Franciscan Action Network

Freedom Forward

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

Grassroots Global Justice

Health Alliance International

Historians for Peace and Democracy

Indiana Center for Middle East Peace

Institute for Policy Studies, National Priorities Project

Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project

Iowa Peace Network

Islamophobia Studies Center

Israel Palestine Mission Network PCUSA

Interfaith Community Sanctuary

Jetpac Resource Center

Jewish Voice for Peace Action

Just Foreign Policy

Justice Is Global

Kairos Center


Massachusetts Peace Action

MPower Change

Organization for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain

Our Revolution

Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace

PAX Christi USA

Peace Action


Presbyterian Church USA

Progressive Democrats of America

Project Blueprint

Raytheon anti-war Campaign

Rethinking Foreign Policy

Revolving Door Project

Saudi American Justice Project

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Justice Team

The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)

The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society

Tunisian United Network

United African Congress

United for Peace and Justice

U.S. Labor Against Racism and War

Veterans For Peace

WESPAC Foundation, Inc.

Western New York Peace Center

Win Without War

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-US

World BEYOND War

Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation

Yemeni Alliance Committee

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