GPAX Statement on US/UK Military Action Against Yemen – 1/20/2024

The Green Party US Peace Action Committee (GPAX) unequivocally opposes the most recent US/UK military action against Yemen in response to Yemen’s blockade against ships bound to Israel through the Red Sea.

The blockade implemented by Yemen was originally designed to prevent only those ships going to Israel from reaching their destination. Their rationale is straightforward. Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Therefore, one way to put the brakes on that effort is to affect Israel economically.  This isn’t a random blockade, nor is it a total blockade. After the US and the UK launched a military action against Yemen on January 11th, the blockade extended to include ships from the US and the UK.

Unfortunately, it seems that the US/UK would rather resort to an escalation of the violence in the region rather than to take action to de-escalate the violence. Certainly, it would be less costly in terms of death and destruction as evidenced immediately. Yemen’s blockade had yielded no deaths and no injuries. The US/UK reaction resulted in the deaths of 6 civilians and heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

Once again, the actions of President Biden and his administration can be considered unconstitutional. Once again, President Biden has ignored the US Congress in deciding when and if to go to war. Once again, President Biden has ignored calls for a ceasefire.

Article I, Section VIII grants the power to declare war solely in the hands of the U.S. Congress. However, in the event that a president feels compelled to act unilaterally as Commander-in-chief the War Powers Act of 1973 requires that the president report to the US Congress about the action within 48 hours. Congress has a right to put conditions on the action and in no scenario allow the action to continue for more than 60 days.

The Yemenis have indicated that they will not stop their efforts to block ships headed to Israel using the Red Sea, until and unless the genocide of the Palestinians ends. The irony of this is that Israel’s blockade of Gaza has existed for 16 years with little to no outcry from the international community and Yemen itself was the victim of a US/Saudi blockade at the Port of Hodeida from 2017 to at least 2021. This blockade brought many in Yemen to the brink of starvation. It was called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the UN through March 2023, and probably now is only surpassed by the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. So Yemen knows all too well the problems of displacement and starvation.

The US public is tired of war. The US public is tired of leaders that do not provide an opportunity for the people’s voices to be heard. And hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in the US, while 1 million have protested in London, calling for a cease fire and a stop to the genocide in Gaza. It’s time that President Biden and the British leaders listen to the people and stop using military action as their answer to any international conflict.

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