Just Foreign Policy

56,819 supporters

Just Foreign Policy is an independent and non-partisan mass membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy through coordinating the broad majority of Americans to advocate their interests and values.

Although just foreign policy will focus exclusively on foreign policy, we appeal directly to Americans for whom foreign policy is not a primary concern.

We have seen through the Iraq war that unnecessary military actions can undermine civil liberties and democracy at home, and can be used to remove pressing domestic issues from the political agenda to the detriment of the great majority.

During the Cold War, the United States spent trillions of dollars on an arms race with the USSR, as well as wars such as Korea and Vietnam. Yet we were able to create Medicare, Medicaid, and enact large enough increases in Social Security to drive the poverty rate among the elderly down from 35 percent in 1959 to less than 12 percent by the end of the era. But for a number of reasons-fiscal, economic, and political-our current circumstances are very different.

For example, at the height of the Vietnam War in 1968, the U.S. gross federal debt was 43.5 percent of our economy and falling. Today it is over 67 percent and rising. Maintaining our current foreign and military policy and possible large increases in military spending (for example if we have an arms race with China, whose economy will be larger than ours within a decade) will lead to serious declines in U.S. living standards.

U.S. foreign policy therefore threatens to impede-perhaps as never before-the country's economic and social progress. It has become extremely important to the lives of all Americans, and we cannot afford to leave it in the hands of the "experts" without influence from the public.

Eventually the United States must move towards a more multilateral approach to foreign relations-one that relies less on raw U.S. military and economic power and more on international law and treaties, co-operation, and diplomacy. Our goal is to accelerate this transition through education, organization, and mobilization of concerned citizens.

Started 10 petitions

Petitioning New York Times

@NyTimes: Tell us where “Super PAC” @DemMaj4Israel gets $$$ for Iowa attack ads

On January 28, the New York Times reported that a “super PAC” that calls itself “Democratic Majority for Israel” was airing attack ads in Iowa against a frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. DMFI was launched last year to counter the progress activists have made within the Democratic Party in challenging U.S. support for Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian civilians.   But the Times didn’t tell readers anything about where DMFI gets its money for these attack ads. The Times article extensively quoted Mark Mellman, who was identified as “the president of Democratic Majority for Israel and a longtime Democratic pollster.” But previous reporting and its own website strongly suggest that Wall Street oligarch Todd Richman, “co-chair” of DMFI, is a key money man behind this effort to combat human rights advocates in the Democratic Party. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency describes Richman as "a J.P. Morgan executive who is also a major donor to the party”, and his J.P. Morgan bio says he specializes in managing money for “high-net-worth individuals”. On his bio on his blog at the Times of Israel defending AIPAC from criticism for hosting Trump, Richman is described as “a financial advisor and managing director with a firm based in New York City … active in several pro-Israel and Jewish organizations most notably AIPAC … He previously worked as a non-profit executive for such organizations as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the American Jewish Congress." His bio at DMFI describes him as "a top Democratic fundraiser raising money for several Members of the House leadership and several US Senators including; Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin, and Jeanne Shaheen… Richman has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and was a John Kerry Trustee in his 2004 bid for the Presidency. He has also led and participated in several missions to Israel with elected officials."    At a time when big money interests are attempting to buy our democracy, readers deserve to know who is funding the efforts to sway public opinion. Urge the New York Times to tell its readers where “Democratic Majority for Israel” gets its money for attack ads in Iowa by signing our petition. 

Just Foreign Policy
2,226 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate

Senate: Back @RoKhanna or @TulsiGabbard for SecDef to #EndEndlessWar

The tireless efforts of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to escalate conflict with Iran remind us that “personnel is policy” on war and peace even more than it is in domestic policy. On domestic policy, Congress and the courts provide a counterweight to the President. But on war and peace, Congress has failed to enforce its constitutional war powers, and the courts have refused to intervene. That makes presidential appointments to “national security positions” like Defense, State, and CIA even more important. Presidential candidates have been asked to say they’d end endless war. But they haven’t committed to appointing national security officials who have a track record of seeking to end endless war.Presidential nominations to national security positions are often drawn from people who advised the presidential campaign on foreign policy. Worryingly, a new analysis found that many of the foreign policy advisers for a major presidential candidate are either veterans of the Obama Administration -- which launched unconstitutional wars in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and assisted the coup d’etat in Honduras -- or alumni of pro-war think tanks in DC like the Center for American Progress.California Rep. Ro Khanna and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard are two Members of Congress with national security experience who have consistently advocated for ending wars and preventing new ones. Khanna has led opposition to unconstitutional U.S. participation in the genocidal Saudi war in Yemen and led efforts to end the seven-decade-long Korean War. Gabbard has called for ending wars for regime change, like the unconstitutional wars in Libya and Syria, and has been vocal in her opposition to a new Cold War and nuclear arms race with Russia and China. Every Senator gets to vote on appointments to Defense, State, and CIA. Urge your Senators to support nominees to these positions who will end endless war by signing our petition. 

Just Foreign Policy
2,069 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Congress: Invoke the War Powers Resolution to stop Trump’s war on Iran

In violation of the Article I of the U.S. Constitution, Trump has assassinated a senior Iranian official in Iraq. Congress never authorized this action, which Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called a “dangerous escalation” that “brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East.” In October 2002, Congress authorized military action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, acting on the Bush Administration’s false claim that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States. In 2014, the Obama Administration sent U.S. forces back to Iraq to fight ISIS, claiming this was authorized by the 2001 AUMF passed by Congress against Al Qaeda after the September 11 attacks. Congress has never authorized the use of military force against Iran in Iraq or anywhere else.  Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, any Representative or Senator can introduce a privileged resolution to force a floor vote on the removal of U.S. forces from hostilities that Congress has not authorized. This is how we forced Congress to vote on unauthorized U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen, even though Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Nancy Pelosi didn’t want Congress to vote on it. It was exactly in anticipation of this situation – the President is conducting an unauthorized war, and the Congressional leadership doesn’t want Congress to vote on it – that Congress in 1973 added this provision to allow any Member of Congress to force a vote on an unauthorized war. As Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar said: “Real question is, will those with congressional authority step in and stop him? I know I will.” It’s not too late to stop this escalation. But Members of Congress need to act now. Urge your Representative and Senators to invoke the War Powers Resolution to force floor votes on stopping unauthorized war with Iran by signing our petition.

Just Foreign Policy
6,452 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Congress: Condemn the military coup in Bolivia

Evo Morales -- the first indigenous president in the history of majority-indigenous Bolivia -- was forced to resign by the head of the country's armed forces in what is plainly a military coup.  His resignation came amid widespread reports that his supporters were targeted for attacks and their homes were ransacked.  Meanwhile, the Organization of American States and the Trump Administration have repeatedly claimed that Evo Morales' election victory margin of over 10 percent was a result of fraud, but independent analysis of the OAS audit cast serious doubt on its findings. The governments of Mexico, Uruguay, and president-elect of Argentina have all condemned the military coup, as has the leader of Britain’s Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, and former OAS Secretary General Miguel Insulza.In the United States, Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have publicly condemned the coup. There's a word for the President of a country being pushed out by the military. It’s called a coup. We must unequivocally oppose political violence in Bolivia. Bolivians deserve free and fair elections. Sign our petition to ask Members of Congress to:  (1) publicly condemn the coup and call on the U.S. Administration to suspend all assistance to the Bolivian government as required by the Foreign Assistance Act.   (2) demand that the post-coup regime respect fundamental human rights; and (3) call for an independent review of the work of the problematic OAS electoral monitoring mission whose claims were used as a pretext for the coup.

Just Foreign Policy
6,585 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

@SpeakerPelosi: Commit to a clean floor vote on the Syria War Powers Resolution

President Trump said on October 27 that he is leaving U.S. soldiers in Syria “to secure the oil.” He added, “Now, we may have to fight for the oil. That’s OK. Maybe somebody else wants the oil, in which case they have a hell of a fight.” And that “it can help us, because we should be able to take some also. And what I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with an ExxonMobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly. Right now it’s not big. It’s big oil underground but it’s not big oil up top.” This mission for U.S. troops is unconstitutional, because Congress never authorized it. Under Article I of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the President uses military force in another country only after Congress specifically authorizes it. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 has a mechanism to allow any Member of Congress to force a floor vote on ending an unauthorized war. Use of this mechanism is how we forced Congress to vote on ending unconstitutional U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen. On October 31, Representative Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bill invoking this mechanism to force a floor vote. If the War Powers Resolution now works as Congress in 1973 intended it to work, the House must now vote on whether to end the unconstitutional deployment of U.S. troops in Syria. Unfortunately, in the last Congress, former House Speaker Paul Ryan set a terrible precedent when he used parliamentary tricks to block the implementation of this constitutionally vital law, preventing the Yemen War Powers Resolution from coming to a floor vote. Speaker Pelosi may now face pressure from special interests in Washington who support endless war to use similar tricks to prevent the Syria War Powers Resolution from coming to a clean vote on the floor. Speaker Pelosi can pre-empt any such pressure by stating publicly now that the Syria War Powers Resolution will receive a clean vote on the House floor. Urge Speaker Pelosi to publicly affirm that the Syria War Powers Resolution will receive a clean vote on the House floor by signing our petition.

Just Foreign Policy
3,832 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Congress: Say that deploying troops in Syria to “protect oil” is unconstitutional

President Trump now claims that his “justification” for keeping U.S. troops at the al-Tanf base in southern Syria – where they will be protecting zero Kurdish civilians, who live in northern Syria – is to “protect oil.” This is unconstitutional, because Congress never authorized it. Under Article I of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the President uses military force in another country after Congress specifically authorizes it. In response to Trump’s announcement, Senator Bernie Sanders said: “President Trump announced he will keep troops in Syria to protect oil fields. Last I checked, Congress never authorized U.S. forces to be deployed to secure Syria’s economic resources. Putting U.S. forces in harm’s way for this purpose is illegal and unconstitutional.” The Congressional Progressive Caucus said: “Congress has never authorized deploying troops in Syria to protect their oil fields. This is dangerous and unconstitutional.” The International Crisis Group says the base at al-Tanf “has no obvious military purpose.” The Foreign Policy Research Institute says it’s a “dumb waste of resources.” As we have seen with efforts to end unconstitutional U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen, the first step to stopping Trump from endangering U.S. soldiers at al-Tanf for no reason is to get Members of Congress to say that it’s unconstitutional.   Urge Members of Congress to say that keeping U.S. troops at al-Tanf is unconstitutional by signing our petition.

Just Foreign Policy
4,510 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives

Block Trump from Arming Saudi Starvation of Yemeni Kids

The U.S. Senate is expected to have an opportunity to vote soon against a U.S.-Saudi arms deal. This is a chance for the Senate to reject continued unconstitutional U.S. participation in the catastrophic Saudi war and blockade in Yemen, which has created the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world, deliberately starving millions of human beings. It’s an opportunity for Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris to lead. Feinstein is seen as a leader among Democrats on foreign policy. Harris is expected to be a leading candidate for the next President of the United States. In March, 44 Senators, including Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris, voted in favor of the Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill to end U.S. participation in the war. Last June, 47 Senators, including Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris, voted to oppose a Saudi arms deal, widely seen as a vote on U.S. participation in the war. On May 3, the New York Times reported that Pentagon officials lied to Senators ahead of the March vote on the Sanders-Lee-Murphy bill, concealing key information about U.S. participation in the war. A New York Times editorial the same day called for Congress to cut off military aid to Saudi Arabia and end U.S. participation in the war. On April 22, a Saudi airstrike on a wedding in Yemen killed more than 20 people, further exposing the bankruptcy of Pentagon claims that the Pentagon is doing something to stop Saudi Arabia from bombing Yemeni civilians. Some Senators who voted to continue arming the war in June 2017 voted against participating in the war in March. If we could get all the Senators who voted against the war in March or June to vote against it now, we could stop the war. Early leadership from Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris would be a key signal to other Senators and help us win the vote. Urge Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris to lead in ending this catastrophic war by signing our petition.

Just Foreign Policy
15,256 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Make Opposition to Unconstitutional War a Litmus Test for Washington

To end the persistence of unconstitutional war, we must make it a prerequisite of being President of the United States or a Member of Congress that one has to regularly swear unbreakable allegiance to the Constitutional idea that Congress, not the President, decides when to use military force. The best way to prepare for this task is to do it, and to keep doing it, continuously, through the 2018 primaries, through the 2018 general election, through the 2020 primaries, through the 2020 general election. Every candidate for President, every candidate for Senate, every candidate for the House, must pledge allegiance to the Constitutional idea that Congress, not the President, decides when to use military force. Many things divide Americans. But we all share the Constitution. There isn’t one Constitution for red states and another one for blue states. There’s just one Constitution for all of us. A key way to make sitting Members of Congress pledge allegiance to opposing unconstitutional war is to make them vote on it, including by invoking the War Powers Resolution to force votes on unconstitutional wars. Whether we’re talking about unconstitutional war in Yemen, or in Syria, or in Ukraine, a fundamental idea is that opposition to unconstitutional war is a litmus test. Members of Congress who pass the test with their votes, their signatures, and their statements will be praised and supported. Members of Congress who fail the test with their votes and with their silence will be sanctioned and have support withdrawn. When 44 Senators voted in March to end unconstitutional U.S. participation in the catastrophic Saudi war in Yemen, it was the first time in three years either house had voted up or down on that war. It was also the first time in three years that either house voted up or down on any current war, Constitutional or not. Ending unconstitutional war would not end all war. But it would end a lot of war. It would save a lot of lives. It would stop the diversion of a lot of resources to war. We have to start somewhere. Let’s start with the wars that are indisputably unconstitutional.  According to Section 2c of the War Powers Resolution, which is the law of the land, “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” Urge your Senators and Representative to do all they can to make opposition to unconstitutional war a litmus test for Washington by signing our petition.

Just Foreign Policy
4,354 supporters