Campaign Escalates to Block Obama’s New Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
Aug. 23, 2016 (EIRNS)—California Congressman Ted Lieu, a colonel in the Air Force Reserves, along with CodePink and other activists, are leading an "eleventh-hour" mobilization to block the unconscionable $1.15 billon arms sale to Saudi Arabia to feed Saudi’s genocidal war against Yemen, which President Obama’s regime announced on Aug. 9—right when Congress was out of session. Congress has a 30-day period after that announcement to block the sale, but it doesn’t return to session until Sept. 5.
"I taught the law of war when I was on active duty," Rep. Lieu told The Intercept yesterday.
"You can’t kill children, newlyweds, doctors and patients—those are exempt targets under the law of war, and the coalition has been repeatedly striking civilians,"
he said. "So it is very disturbing to me. It is even worse that the U.S. is aiding this coalition.... By assisting Saudi Arabia, the United States is aiding and abetting what appears to be war crimes in Yemen. The administration must stop enabling this madness now."
Democrat Lieu is the co-sponsor, along with Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fl), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), of H.J.Res. 90, a bill that would bar the transfer of air-to-ground munitions from the United States to Saudi Arabia. The Common Dreams website reported today that those four congressmen will be sending a letter on Thursday to the Obama administration, calling for a delay in the sale, citing the latest bombings of hospitals, schools, and residential areas in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition. Codepink, the Yemen Peace Project, RootsAction.org, and other activists are circulating a petition calling for other Congressional Representatives to sign on to the bill, according to Common Dreams.
A companion bill, S.J. Res. 32, was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rand Paul( R-Ky.).
CodePink head Medea Benjamin has folded the campaign for Congress to block the sale into her national tour to promote her new book exposing Saudi Arabia, titled "Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S-Saudi Connection." Benjamin’s op-ed was published in The Hill on August 19, titled
"Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia," which is now being published by other media. She calls it "a moral imperative" that Congress block the sale, given that the Saudi agression against Yemen—which has led to more than 3,000 civilian deaths and left more than 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance by its destruction of infrastructure—could not be carried out without U.S. This, when the Saudi role in 9/11 has just been exposed in the declassified "28 pages,"