Petition statement to be delivered to Editor, New York Times, Public Editor, New York Times, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

@nytimes: Don't Make Yemen's Houthi Rebels' Actions a "Casus Belli" With Iran

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@nytimes: Don't Make Yemen's Houthi Rebels' Actions a "Casus Belli" With Iran

To be delivered to Editor, New York Times, Public Editor, New York Times, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Petition Statement

Don't promote U.S. military confrontation with Iran by characterizing Houthi rebels in Yemen as proxies for Iran.
There are currently 7,660 signatures. NEW goal - We need 10,000 signatures!

Petition Background

As Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has warned, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn promoted dangerous escalation when he suggested that attacks by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Saudi forces could lead to war between the United States and Iran. As Sen. Murphy noted, Iran does not command nor control Houthi rebels fighting against U.S.-backed Saudi forces in Yemen. [1]

Unfortunately, the New York Times editorial board has supported Flynn's dangerous claim that Houthi rebels in Yemen are Iran's proxies. "Flynn was right," the NYT said, "in highlighting Iran’s troubling behavior, including the recent attack on a Saudi Navy patrol boat by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen." [2]

By characterizing the Houthi attack as "Iran's behavior," the NYT promoted the dangerous claim that Iran was responsible for the Houthis' action as if it were settled fact, while providing no evidence for the claim. By this standard of evidence, if the Houthis' intent were to attack a U.S. ship, as Fox News reported - or misreported - that the Pentagon believed [3], then it was Iran's intent to attack a U.S. ship. It's not wildly implausible that the Houthis might intend to attack a U.S. ship - it has happened before [4], and unlike Iran, the U.S. is a direct participant in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, even though U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has never been authorized by Congress [5], contrary to the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. [6]

Urge the New York Times to correct the record and urge the Times and Members of Congress to refrain from characterizing Yemen's Houthis as Iran's proxies in the future by signing our petition.

References:
1. Sen. Chris Murphy, "A Reckless Slide Toward War With Iran," http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5893ce89e4b02bbb1816b8d3
2.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/opinion/new-tensions-with-iran.html
3. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/02/press-secretary-sean-spicer-falsely-accuses-iran-of-attacking-u-s-navy-vessel-an-act-of-war/
4. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-usa-ship-idUSKCN12A082
5. http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/08/16/senator-chris-murphy-on-yemen-saudi-arabia-conflict-the-lead-jake-tapper-interview.cnn; http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/21/politics/senate-arms-sale-saudi-arabia/
6. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/warpower.asp

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