The DSA Anti-War Think Tank is a new national initiative authorized by the NPC and tasked with bringing together veterans, journalists, and activists to address questions of war and empire. It is a project committed to prioritizing principled opposition to imperialism as a key part of the struggle for socialism.
To that end, we call for an immediate end to the U.S. war on Yemen, which has created the largest humanitarian catastrophe on Earth, devastated the poorest country in the Middle East, and fueled misery and destruction for millions of Yemenis.
We therefore unequivocally support and endorse Senate Joint Resolution 54, which would cease the U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen by invoking the War Powers Resolution of 1973. This bipartisan bill has been sponsored by Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy.
Supporting this legislation is a simple way DSA can help undermine this foreign military aggression. Time is of the essence, because a competing watered-down “compromise” bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Todd Young and Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, was introduced on March 8th. We must make it clear that only Senate Joint Resolution 54 is acceptable.
You can call your elected officials and agitate for this resolution, as Metro DC has done, or go to their offices and public events to demand their support.
We also emphasize that supporting this legislation is the floor, not the ceiling, of potential action against this monstrous war; it is the minimum we can do. Resistance must go beyond mere legislative action.
It is crucial to amplify the work of and support the grassroots movement of activists who have for nearly three years been tirelessly organizing against the joint U.S.-Saudi war on Yemen. We express solidarity with those both inside and outside the country who have been resisting it.
The U.S.-Saudi Alliance
The United States has long supported the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its belligerent exploits. Since the mutual defense agreement of 1951, this alliance has been one long procession of war profiteering at the expense of the innocent. Throughout the Cold War and since its end, Saudi Arabia has served as a key U.S. proxy, supporting right-wing, reactionary movements in order to undermine progressive, secular forces in the region.
Beginning in March 2015, the Saudi monarchy’s intervention in Yemen has been made possible by the material, diplomatic, and intelligence support of the United States. Saudi Arabia has carried out tens of thousands of airstrikes with direct U.S. assistance, including billions of dollars worth of weapons, in-air refueling, and targeting help. A naval blockade in support of the Saudi position has further compounded the disaster.
This nearly three-year war has unleashed what the United Nations says is the biggest humanitarian crisis on the planet. The U.S.-backed conflict has wrought incalculable misery on the people of Yemen, who now suffer widespread famine, displacement, and disease. It is reported that every 10 minutes a Yemeni child under age 5 dies from disease or starvation as a direct result of the war. The tragic human toll of this imperial conflict lays bare the horrors of capitalism. It must be stopped.
Should it pass, Senate Joint Resolution 54 would not only be a major blow to the Saudi and U.S. war effort, but it would also signal an historic challenge to the unchecked power of the executive branch to wage war without debate. Senator Sanders’ office emphasized that this landmark legislation would force the “first-ever vote in the Senate to withdraw US armed forces from an unauthorized war.”
Even if the bill does not pass, the struggle against the war on Yemen and U.S. military aggression overall must continue.
By joining the campaign against joint U.S.-Saudi military aggression in Yemen, DSA can challenge not just the war machine, but also the bipartisan orthodoxy in Washington that fuels these global disasters. This war began under a Democratic administration, that of Barack Obama, and has escalated under a Republican one, led by Donald Trump. Today, U.S. imperialism is in crisis, and there is a growing rupture within the political class over wars like this one. Public pressure can tip the scales in these conditions, and DSA must be a leading force in such an effort.
- You can call the toll-free number 833.786.7927 and follow the prompts to be connected with your senators, courtesy of the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
- You can bring Senate Joint Resolution 54 to the local office of your Senator. Use this guide provided by Indivisible for tips on locating your senator’s office and how to successfully perform an office visit.
- You can join the campaign to demand an end to U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, along with anti-war groups like CODEPINK.
- You can organize protests against the U.S. war and against meetings between U.S. and Saudi officials, joining the efforts of organizations such as Just Foreign Policy, World Beyond War, the War Resisters League, and Action Corps NYC.
DSA Anti-War Think Tank
R.L. Stephens, Director