The Crisis in Yemen: My Communication With Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

Got the return letter from Sen. Mike Crapo’s office – lots of data, lots of text. Impressed by the time it took to put together, if it was written just for me. Maybe it was. Nevertheless, the letter was a compilation of facts and views compiled to ignore the basis of my questioning. Hopefully I won’t be breaching a trust by reprinting my letter and Crapo’s but, to move forward, I’ll present both letters. I feel what I was going for in writing to him is an unachievable goal and that somehow discussing the letter of response will do some good. The moral questions I posed where not addressed.

My letter:

It has been argued that the United States’ sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia is a necessary part of satisfying our ally and, therewith, satisfying our strategic aims in the whole of the Middle East.

There was talk – in the form of Rand Paul’s S. J. Res. 39 – to slow the flow of certain materiel to the Kingdom – at least long enough to question the use of this weaponry in Yemen. You were against this. And now our practices are reaping misery on a broad scale in that country. The largest cholera outbreak in history (1,000,000 cases) is quite the feat. Cholera can be fought with having a supply of clean water and the US is at least seeking to ease the current blockade on this most basic human necessity.

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‘Make ‘Em Pay’? Trump Spends $5 Billion on Europe’s Defense

The “European Defense Initiative” was launched after the US-backed coup in Ukraine to counter Russian “aggression” in the region. Its budget has quintupled to nearly $5 billion next year. Hundreds of millions will be spent to rebuild military bases in eastern Europe. What happened to making the Europeans pay for their own defense? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Judge Napolitano Says the Bill of Rights Protections Are for Terrorists Too

Soon after word came out Monday that someone had detonated a bomb in a pedestrian tunnel of the New York City subway system, people were saying the alleged bomber should not be afforded respect for his constitutional rights and should be shipped off to the United States military’s Guantanamo prison in Cuba. Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano, however, argues in a new video commentary that it is important that the US government respect alleged bomber Akayed Ullah’s rights guaranteed under the US Constitution – including rights to be represented by a lawyer and to have a jury trial.

“We have hired a government to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution,” says Napolitano. “If it begins cutting corners for people it hates and fears,” he asks, “what will stop it from cutting corners for the rest of us?”

Watch Napolitano’s video commentary here:

Napolitano, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board, wrote in more detail about the matter in a Wednesday editorial.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Antiwar.com Celebrates 5th Year Accepting Digital Currency: Your Cryptocurrency Donations Will Be Matched!

You read that correctly. Antiwar.com was a very early adopter of stateless and decentralized currency opening their platform to Bitcoin on November 28th, 2012. Five years later, they are continuing enthusiastically to use digital currencies by expanding their donation platform to now include BitcoinCash, DASH, and ZCash. It is really gratifying to see the nonaggression principle come together with non-state based currency to help bring an end to war and inhumanity around the world. I recently did an interview with Crush the Street, a financial podcast to share some of the history behind bitcoin and share more about what a great addition it has been to Antiwar’s fundraising efforts.

Antiwar.com has announced that all cryptocurrency donations through 2017 will double their impact due to a $20K matching funds pledge from Bitcoin.com. So if your crypto holdings saw a pleasant value increase, please consider paying some of it forward to an organization that is all about ending State aggression and the military industrial complex. Do it now so your donation is doubled!

A Story of Two Blockades: New York City and Yemen

Marching up First Avenue
Marching up First Avenue

On December 11, in response to the growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, more than 50 concerned people including representatives of various peace, justice and human rights organizations and communities, gathered in New York City’s Ralph Bunche Park, across First Avenue from the United Nations. Our message, which was communicated on signs and banners and by speakers addressing the rally, was simple and direct: end the war crimes being committed by the military of the United States along with Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners abetted by the US and end the blockade of Yemeni ports.

For more than two years, Saudi/US bombing has targeted civilian infrastructure: Hospitals, schools, factories, markets, funerals, sea ports, electrical power stations and water treatment facilities. US drones strikes and incursions by US Special Forces into Yemen have killed civilians as well. Armed conflict has directly taken the lives of some 12,000 people, but that tragic number is greatly exceeded by the number of those who are dying from a combination of malnutrition and otherwise easily preventable ailments and diseases like respiratory infections, measles, and cholera, including more than 1,000 children each week. 20 million of Yemen’s population of 28 million people are food insecure and few have access to clean drinking water. More than half of the hospitals in the country are not functioning.

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