Mark Ruffalo, a progressive Hollywood actor, has joined Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—an independent progressive who caucuses with Democrats—in a bipartisan anti-establishment effort to stop illegal U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.
Ruffalo says in a video published on his various social media accounts on Wednesday evening:
For three years, the United States and Saudi Arabia have been waging a secretive war triggering the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Saudi Arabia is deliberately using starvation as a weapon of war in Yemen putting 8 million people a step away from famine. Not only does our government provide the Saudis with fighter planes, missiles, and training for this conflict, the U.S. actively assists with target selection for Saudi airstrikes and delivers fuel for Saudi jets in mid-air as they conduct bombings. This is a U.S. war in Yemen, yet it’s never had any legal justification, it’s never been authorized by Congress, it has nothing to do with fighting Al Qaeda or ISIS. In fact, it’s making them stronger—and now that’s why Vermont Progressive Bernie Sanders has partnered with Constitutional Conservative Mike Lee of Utah to invoke the War Powers Resolution to remove U.S. forces from this illegal war. That law guarantees a vote on the Senate floor within 10 days. I believe that when the American people are presented with the facts, we will act to stop our tax dollars from being used to bomb and starve innocent Yemenis simply to advance the Saudi dictatorship’s military ambitions. Nowhere else on earth today is there a catastrophe so profound, harming so many lives, that is so easy to resolve. Please call 1-833-STOP-WAR to urge your senator to vote for the Sanders-Lee Resolution to end the unauthorized U.S. war in Yemen. We can stop the bombing and let food and medicine into Yemen so that millions may live.
Ruffalo posted the video to his various social media accounts:
A Washington crime and cover-up has triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Call 1-833-786-7927 to tell your Senator to join @SenSanders & @SenMikeLee to end a secretive, unconstitutional U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen. Together, we can help save millions of lives. #StopTheWar pic.twitter.com/EPijIY4GDq
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) February 28, 2018
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A Washington crime and cover-up has triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Call 1-833-786-7927 to tell your Senator to join @berniesanders & @senmikelee to end a secretive, unconstitutional U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen. Together, we can help save millions of lives. #StopTheWar #SandersLeeYemen #YemenCantWait
It directs people to a phone number–1-833-STOP-WAR–which connects them to their senators to push them to oppose the Saudi Arabian lobbying interests and back the Sanders-Lee resolution.
The effort from Lee and Sanders was rolled out at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon with broad bipartisan grassroots support from anti-establishment leaders on both sides of the aisle. The effort, as Breitbart News reported, already has nearly enough support to pass the Senate, so just a few more senators getting on board would get it across the finish line. Since the United States is financing, and providing weapons and logistics for, Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen—for which there has never been a congressional authorization—this Sanders-Lee bipartisan resolution would roll back U.S. involvement and force the Pentagon to get congressional authorization for the use of military force if it intends to continue involvement.
The actions by the United States military were started by former President Barack Obama and have been continued by President Donald Trump. If Trump signs on with the bipartisan effort, he could fulfill a major campaign pledge to end U.S. involvement in foreign wars for which there is no U.S. interest—like Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.
While the forces on the side of this resolution are bipartisan, they are grassroots and anti-establishment—something that the other side is not. The other side of this fight, the people who vote against the Sanders-Lee resolution and those pushing against it, are generally backed by Saudi Arabia lobbyist influence and do not represent a grassroots way of thinking.
Saudi Arabia has been steadily increasing its influence efforts here in the United States, sending materials to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and announcing a plan to increase humanitarian aid to Yemen. But Saudi Arabia’s actions are in defiance of President Trump’s call for them to end the crisis, as they are nothing more than a fig leaf that does not solve the larger problem.
Ruffalo plays Bruce Banner, who transforms into The Hulk, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With him backing this broad anti-establishment coalition with support on both the left and the right, this issue is likely to get lots of public attention.
Ruffalo just appeared in the wildly successful Thor: Ragnarok as Banner and will appear as Banner again later this year in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film. Thor: Ragnarok, released in late 2017, grossed more than $850 million at the box office against a budget of $180 million. Avengers: Infinity War is the next major film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is expected to be released in early 2018 in the United States.