Discussing Prospective US Relations with Yemen and Iran for the imminent Biden Administration

Hassan El-Tayyab, the lead lobbyist on Middle Eastern policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation will be joining us for a discussion on the prospects for U.S. relations with Iran and Yemen for the imminent Biden administration. The conversation will cover the following:

1. A brief history of U.S.-Iranian and U.S.-Yemeni relations
2. The current state of affairs
3. How these issues connect
4. Proposed policy recommendations
5. A discussion on how foreign policy relates to living in the state of RI

This event is intended to provide students with the tools needed to understand and influence foreign policy issues. To orient yourself on the topics we will be discussing, we recommend reading this op-ed written by Mr. El-Tayyab featured in Truthout.

Hassan El-Tayyab is FCNL’s (Friends Committee for National Legislation) lead lobbyist on Middle East policy. He is also responsible for representing FCNL with the various coalitions that work on these issues.

Prior to joining FCNL in August 2019, he was co-director of the national advocacy group Just Foreign Policy, where he led their lobbying work to advance a more progressive foreign policy in the Middle East and Latin America. He played a major role in the successful passage of the War Powers Resolution to end US military aid to the Saudi-UAE coalition’s war in Yemen.

His writings and commentaries have been featured in numerous news outlets, including BBC World News, The Hill, Al Jazeera, The Huffington Post, The Intercept, and more. Hassan holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island.

Please email us at brownwarwatch@brown.edu for a link to this virtual event on Tuesday January 19th at 7PM EST.

True Reform: Ending America’s Endless Wars & Investing in Our Communities.

Join us Tuesday January 12th from 7-8 pm

How do we transform US foreign policy so that it paves the way for less war abroad and greater social change and justice at home?

Brown War Watch, Brown’s peace/anti-war student group, invites you to join us for a discussion with Stephen Semler, Co-Founder of The Security Policy Reform Institute.

The SPRI is an independent, grassroots think tank that promotes a principled U.S. foreign policy that connects security practices abroad to Americans’ most pressing economic, social, and political needs at home: https://www.securityreform.org

After a short Q & A discussion with Brown War Watch, Stephen will answer your audience questions. We are looking forward to a rich and substantive discussion!

Please reach out to us at BrownWarWatch@brown.edu for a link to this virtual event.

Local Rhode Island Campaign in Support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Brown War Watch brings your attention to a promising campaign organized by local Rhode Island peace activists to build awareness around a groundbreaking UN Treaty that will come into force on January 22, 2021.

As ICAN notes on their website:

On October 24, 2020, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reached the required 50 states parties for its entry into force, after Honduras ratified just one day after Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications…the treaty will enter into force, cementing a categorical ban on nuclear weapons, 75 years after their first use.

Sadly the US has not ratified the treaty. Peace activists must now work tirelessly for US ratification so that we may take a bold step toward a future free from the horror of nuclear weapons. Imagine that!

The local campaign plans to place placards about the UN Treaty on local RIPTA buses, and they have created a Gofundme page to raise money for this important initiative: here.

In an announcement to local peace networks, Rhode Island Peace activists write:

We are seeking your support to place Nuclear Disarmament placards on RIPTA buses. On July 7, 2017,  the United Nations passed a landmark treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons worldwide. This Treaty will take effect on January 22, 2021. But unfortunately, the United States has not supported, promoted, or signed this nuclear disarmament treaty. In order to garner public support for the U.N. Treaty, a coalition of Rhode Island peace groups … wishes to place promotional placards on RIPTA buses. But first, we must raise the money to pay for the placards. Our goal is to raise $10,000 for this purpose on GoFundMe. …we are grateful for any and all donations to this critical cause. Any amount will help us to raise awareness about the most urgent existential threat that currently faces humankind. Video presentation:
Please click the “Read More” button in order to see/hear all the information on the video.

Please visit the site – and if you are able to – please make a donation.

Call to Action: Block the UAE Weapon Sale

This week the Senate will vote on four joint resolutions intended to block a $23 billion weapons sale to the UAE.

We urge you all to contact your senators in support of these resolutions.

The UAE, along with Saudi and US intervention was responsible for creating the worst humanitarian crises on the planet in Yemen, and furthermore this weapon deal is designed to increase pressure on Iran.

From Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement announcing his authorization of the sales:

“This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran”.


BWW Discussion Meeting: Tuesday December 1st 2020

Brown War Watch will have our final meeting of the semester Tuesday at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, and pathways to peace.

As a graduate student group at Brown University, and in order to comply with university policy, our official meetings will resume in the second week of January. That being said, war and peace and the efforts surrounding them don’t stop for the holidays. If you are curious to learn more about what we’re doing or what we’re talking about always feel free to reach out to us at brownwarwatch@brown.edu or through our facebook or twitter.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.


On Cuba and the US:
One of our members has graciously offered to present a bit on US-Cuba relations and History. Is Cuba a hapless country taken over by communists or an example of revolutionary resistance to American Imperialism? Through the presentation and following discussion we hope to all expand our understanding.

What does the Biden Cabinet mean for war and peace?
While there has been some criticism (Business InsiderJacobinScoopIn These Times) the worries of a hawkish cabinet are conspicuously absent from some US media (CNN [1,2], CNBC [1,2], Baltimore Sun). Is the incoming cabinet truly a return to an age of diplomacy that will make the world safer, or a harbinger of war and regime change to come?

Open floor – for any topic of discussion of concern or interest

BWW rewind: The Nuns, the Priests, and the Bomb

In February of last year Brown War Watch hosted a film screening of The Nuns, the Priests and the Bombs. This powerful documentary highlights the plowshares movement, and the daring group of Catholic anti-nuclear weapon activists that broke into a nuclear weapons facility in protest against these devastating weapons.

A description of the film from the website:

Are they criminals or prophets sending a wake-up call to the world?  

Since 1980, activists in lay and religious life have undertaken dramatic Plowshares protests, derived from the biblical injunction, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares,” incurring long prison sentences in an ongoing campaign to deter nuclear disaster.

A poster that advertised the event

Following the film screening was a panel featuring the film’s director, Helen Young, investigative journalist Alex Nunes, and activist Frida Berrigan. Check out the panel below:

Panel Following the film screening of The Nuns, the Priests, and the Bomb at Brown University in Feb 2019

Today, as we await the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to enter into force (after receiving the required number of ratifications in October), this film remains as relevant as ever. While the United States frequently flouts international weapons bans (such as the ban on cluster bombs) and international law (such as the repeated use of torture by the US on detained prisoners of war) this treaty provides a reminder of the horrors of nuclear warfare and an opportunity to highlight the moral arguments against their use.

BWW Discussion Meeting: Tuesday November 23rd 2020

Brown War Watch meets online every Tuesday at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.


The human costs of “the war on terror”
War crimes (WSJNBCNYT), civilian casualties (InterceptAirwars), and displaced peoples (NYT)

Discussion question: To what extent are we as citizens responsible for the war crimes committed by our governments, intelligence agencies, and militaries?

A Trump phenomenon or the status quo?
On the Trump administration relationship with Israel (NYTWashington Post) and Saudi Arabia (The NationPBS).
On the Obama administration relationship with Israel (Reuters) and Saudi Arabia (ReutersPolitico)

Discussion question: Is the portrayal of the uniqueness of Trump’s support for violent governments fact, fiction, or something in between?

Open floor – for any topic of discussion of concern or interest

BWW rewind: Minds not Missiles

What could be done if federal funds were diverted from the US war machine? About a year ago Brown War Watch along with the Watson institute at Brown hosted Co-chair of Massachusetts Peace action and MIT Molecular biology Professor Jonathan King to discuss exactly that. Check it out below:

BWW Discussion Meeting: Tuesday November 17th 2020

Brown War Watch meets online every Tuesday at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.



US Sanctions on Iran —   WSJMEE,  BBDN. And related: AXIOSNYTLWT


Other Key Issues in focus: Political Crisis in Peru, the alarming end to the Western Sahara Ceasefire , Armenia-Azerbaijan resolution – and more.

BWW Film Screening & Discussion: No Vietnamese Ever Called Me N***** (1968)

A discussion of the film No Vietnamese Ever Called Me N—–, (1968) with Brown University Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, Françoise Hamlin, hosted by Les Robinson, Brown War Watch Co-President and PhD Candidate in the Department of History at Brown.

While we are unable to include the movie here, an unrestored copy of the film can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoYLR…

Brown University students can access the film here: https://brown.hosted.panopto.com/Pano…

Time Stamps Intro: 00:0006:53

Discussion: 07:3042:51

Summary of film: The unflinching 1968 documentary follows 400,000 protesters along their march from Harlem to the United Nations building as part of the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam’s April 15, 1967, New York City march. Interwoven through the protest footage is an intimate interview with Black Vietnam war veterans that provides a radical perspective on the plight of returning Black G.I.s – disproportionately sent to fight the war overseas, returning home to a “Thank You” of continued racial and economic discrimination. Director David L. Weiss’ use of verité results in an electrifying portrait of Black anti-war protesters and veterans as they speak out about social protest, life in Harlem, and the connections between racism and war. The film captures the inextricable link between Black liberation and the anti-Vietnam war movement.