Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too.

Some critics have knocked President Trump for making “too many concessions” to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the historic Singapore Summit – the first-ever meeting between a U.S. president and North Korean leader.

Trump’s foreign policy instincts have had me white-knuckled for the past year and a half. But against a backdrop of possible nuclear war, it would be overly cynical not to recognize the meeting’s potential for good.

At best, the meeting set the stage for North Korea’s denuclearization – and possibly even an end to the nearly 70-year-old, stalemated Korean War. If you’re against war, this is a good development.

Continue reading “Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too.”

Bipartisan Letter Calling on Pentagon to Withhold US Support for Disastrous Assault on Yemen’s Major Port

WASHINGTON, DC (June 13, 2018) US Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), Justin Amash (R-MI), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) this week led a bipartisan letter calling on Secretary of Defense James Mattis to stop a disastrous military assault by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Hodeida, Yemen’s major port city. In the letter, Members called for the US to reject providing logistical, military, and diplomatic support for the Saudi-led coalition’s operation, as well as disclose the full scope of the US involvement in the Saudi-led war.

“We urge you to use all available means to avert a catastrophic military assault on Yemen’s major port city of Hodeida by the Saudi-led coalition, and to present Congress with immediate clarification regarding the full scope of US military involvement in that conflict,” wrote the Members. “We remind you that three years into the conflict, active US participation in Saudi-led hostilities against Yemen’s Houthis has never been authorized by Congress, in violation of the Constitution.”

“We are concerned that in the midst of a Senate effort to exercise its constitutional authority to end unauthorized hostilities – including US targeting and refueling assistance for Saudi-led airstrikes against Yemen’s Houthis – the Pentagon may have concealed key information from members of Congress regarding the full extent of on-the-ground US military participation in the Saudi coalition-led war,” continued the Members.

Continue reading “Bipartisan Letter Calling on Pentagon to Withhold US Support for Disastrous Assault on Yemen’s Major Port”

Ron Paul asks: Who Won at the Summit? Trump or Kim?

Yesterday’s meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was history in the making. By all accounts the meeting went well. Trump looks like a peacemaker and Kim looks to have delivered security to his people while continuing the process toward peace with his southern neighbor. Neocons and political opponents of Trump in the US are furious. Who wins from the meeting? Join us for today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

The Saudi Coalition Bombed a Cholera Treatment Center in Yemen

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Yemen reported that the Saudi coalition bombed one of the cholera treatment centers earlier today:

Yemenis have been suffering from the world’s largest modern cholera epidemic for more than a year, and there have been over one million cases since April of last year. Medical facilities such as this one are never to be targeted in time of war, and attacks on medical facilities constitute war crimes. The Saudi coalition has routinely struck hospitals and clinics throughout their three-year war on Yemen, and they have destroyed MSF-supported facilities on many occasions. The coalition bombing campaign has wrecked the infrastructure and destroyed many of the country’s medical facilities, the blockade has created a fuel crisis that makes it difficult to run generators to pump clean drinking water, and coalition forces have even struck at water and sewage treatment plants. They have created the conditions for the extensive spread of cholera, a normally preventable disease, and they even bomb the treatment centers that are set up to cope with the epidemic their policies helped to cause.

Sen. Chris Murphy condemned the attack:

US support for the bombing campaign enables the frequent bombing of medical facilities and other civilian targets. The coalition governments are not trying to limit the harm they do to the civilian population, and the US should not be aiding and abetting their war crimes.

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at The American Conservative, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and is a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas. Follow him on Twitter. This article is reprinted from The American Conservative with permission.

The Trump Administration Is Backing the Saudi Coalition Attack on Hodeidah

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

The UAE-led attack on the port of Hodeidah in Yemen appears to going ahead, and the U.S. isn’t trying to prevent it and is going to support it:

The Trump administration is now reluctantly getting behind the U.A.E.’s military moves, but top US officials are encouraging their Emirati allies to do all that they can to prevent a humanitarian crisis and to limit the impact on U.N. diplomatic efforts, people familiar with the matter said.

One US official characterized the administration as giving the U.A.E. a “blinking yellow light” for the operation, not a green or red one.

As I feared, the US won’t oppose an attack that the UN estimates could cause 250,000 deaths and lead to full-blown famine in Yemen that threatens the lives of millions more. Signing off on this offensive while pretending to care about the humanitarian consequences is a bad joke. If the administration didn’t want to make Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe worse, it would firmly oppose this attack and penalize the governments involved in it. As usual, the administration’s concern for Yemeni civilians is empty and counts for nothing.

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CALL TO ACTION: Congress Must Take Action Now To Prevent a Disaster in Hudaydah

From The Yemen Peace Project

We urge you to contact your senators and representatives and tell them the time is now to introduce legislation curtailing assistance to the Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led coalition’s military campaign in Yemen, the one message that may successfully deter the UAE and Saudi Arabia from leading a catastrophic attack on Hudaydah city and port.

Yesterday the UAE gave the UN and foreign NGOs three days to leave Hudaydah before the Emirates and their allies launch an all-out attack on the city. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an attack could cost as many as 250,000 people “everything – even their lives,” and humanitarian organizations have warned that damage to the port, which accounts for the vast majority of the country’s food and fuel imports, could tip Yemen into a long-warned-of famine. Moreover, an attack would sink the negotiations currently being brokered by the new, US-supported UN Special Envoy to Yemen. Though the US government has rhetorically opposed an offensive, the administration appears to be washing its hands of the UAE’s actions and will do nothing to intervene.

Congress can still take action to discourage US allies from going forward with their assault. This offensive directly undermines stated US government policy of preventing an attack on Hudaydah, supporting peace negotiations, and working to alleviate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. If the administration is too weak or too compromised to uphold its own Yemen policy, then Congress must step in to avert the immediate deaths of tens of thousands and the precipitation of a man-made famine. To pressure them into taking this stand, you can:

  1. Click the “start writing” button to automatically send an email to your senators and representatives.

  2. To make sure that you’re heard, call the congressional switchboard at (202)-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your senator or representative, and say:

My name is ____________ and I live in ___________. I’m appalled that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, using US weapons, fuel, and targeting assistance, are about to conduct an assault on the Yemeni city of Hudaydah and cause a full-scale famine. I urge you to speak out publicly against the offensive and warn our allies that Congress will introduce legislation to end US assistance for their campaign should they move ahead with an attack.

Hundreds of thousands could lose everything if we don’t take action right now.