The US should end its complicity in the war and...
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”.
Just a day before the pace day more than 50 anti-war groups have urged US lawmakers to use the annual defence policy bill to end American support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.
In a letter sent on Monday, the organisations - including Codepink, Democracy for the Arab World Now and the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft - called on lawmakers to use the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to "legislate an end to ongoing US complicity in the war and blockade in Yemen". "By suspending the sale of arms and ending US participation in the Saudi coalition's war and blockade, Congress can prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from spiralling further out of control as it reasserts its constitutional authority on matters of war and peace," the 56 organisations said.
The push comes just days before the House is expected to consider an amendment to the bill filed by Congressman Ro Khanna. A leader in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Khanna has been an outspoken critic of the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the kingdom's notorious human rights abuses.
The amendment would terminate US logistical support and the transfer of spare parts to Saudi warplanes conducting aerial strikes. It would also enshrine into law the Biden administration's decision to end intelligence sharing that enable offensive strikes and end any US effort to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of or accompany Saudi-led coalition forces in the war.
"With the help of US logistical and maintenance support, Saudi Arabia's blockade of Yemen has created untold suffering for tens of millions of people and contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths," Said Hassan El-Tayyab, legislative director for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, one of the letter's organisers.
"Members of Congress have two choices: vote for this amendment, or vote for an active US role in crimes against humanity for millions of people, including children," Tayyab added. The protracted conflict has seen more than 230,000 people killed, an estimated four million displaced, and has left 80 percent of the country's 29 million people dependent on aid for survival. The UN has declared it the "world's worst humanitarian crisis", as heavy artillery and air strikes have hampered access to health care and increased pressure on the few facilities that are still functioning.