Rand Paul Calls for Blocking Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia; Sen. Murphy Blames Obama for Saudi Crimes
Aug. 15, 2016 (EIRNS)—Members of the House and the Senate are putting the blame on British puppet Obama for Saudi war crimes in Yemen, and are threatening to block the $1.15 billion arms sales to the terrorist-supporting Kingdom that Obama approved last week. Reports from Doctors without Borders in Yemen over the weekend are that Saudi airstrikes killed 21 civilians, including 10 children, when bombs hit a school in the northern village of Sa’dah, reported antiwar.com today. Another 19 children were injured in the attack.
Congress has 30 days after reconvening, following the summer recess, to block the sale that was announced last week. The weapons deal includes up to 153 Abrams tanks, 20 Hercules armored vehicles, and some 500 machine guns.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that he will work to block the deal in the Senate.
“I will work with a bipartisan coalition to explore forcing a vote on blocking this sale," he said in a statement emailed to Foreign Policy.
"Saudi Arabia is an unreliable ally with a poor human rights record. We should not rush to sell them advanced arms and promote an arms race in the Middle East.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member with Paul on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was quoted today in the Guardian from a June statement on Capitol Hill.
“If you talk to Yemeni Americans, they will tell you in Yemen this isn’t a Saudi bombing campaign, it’s a US bombing campaign,” Murphy said. “Every single civilian death inside Yemen in attributable to the United States. We accept that as a consequence of our participation.”
In the House, opposition to the Saudi arms deal is also strong, reported US News on Aug. 12th.
“I believe the Saudi military’s operational conduct in Yemen and the killing of civilians with U.S.-made weapons have harmed our national security interests, and I will continue to oppose any arms sale that contributes to its operations in that arena,”
says Rep. Ted Lieu, (D-Calif.).
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) similarly told the media, “This approved sale deserves to be scrutinized by Congress rather than rubber-stamped.” He added,
“Saudi Arabia’s dangerous and reckless use of cluster munitions and other weapons has already harmed and killed countless innocent civilians. The last thing the United States should do is sell them more than a billion dollars’ worth of additional arms and military equipment.... America has a solemn responsibility to stand up for human rights and help protect the lives of innocent civilians."
In June, Congressional opposition to the Saudis’ genocidal war surged after a UN report said that in 2015 the Saudi-led coalition had killed 510 children and wounded 667 others in Yemen.
Last week the hyper-defensive Saudis "hijacked" Sen. Paul’s Twitter account when he launched a poll in which he asked readers to vote yes or no on the question, should the United States sell arms to Saudi Arabia? According to the Washington Examiner, dozens of Saudi twitterers swarmed the poll, tilting the unofficial results to 73,000 "for," and 27,000 "against," and leaving all kinds of threatening comments. The Saudi reaction shows how paranoid Riyadh is now, after the release of the 28 pages.