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Sponsors of House Resolution Against U.S. Role in Saudi War on Yemen: ‘Stop the Unconstitutional War in Yemen!’

Oct. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—In an opinion piece published in the Oct. 10 The New York Times, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) denounced the United States’ role in providing arms and warplanes to Saudi Arabia in the latter’s genocidal war against Yemen, and urge support for their bipartisan resolution, H.Con. Res 81, which would halt this action. The names of the bill’s other two co-sponsors, Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), don’t appear on the op-ed.

The authors argue that the Congress hasn’t authorized such U.S. military assistance to the Saudis, and thus it constitutes a violation of the Constitution. They warn that by providing missiles, assisting in selecting aerial bombing targets, and providing midair refueling for Saudi and United Arab Emirates jets, the United States is complicit in thousands of Yemeni deaths from indiscriminate airstrikes, as well as the "horrifying" starvation of millions.

They also point out that the Houthis, whom the Saudis are attempting to exterminate, are in no way connected to the Sunni extremists of Al Qaeda or the Islamic State which the U.S. has pursued under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). "American participation in the war in Yemen is not covered by that authorization," they state.

Moreover, since Al Qaeda has been called a de facto ally of the Saudis in their war against the Houthis, "whom are we actually supporting in Yemen?" the authors ask. They note a State Department report indicating that the Saudi war against the Houthis has allowed Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Yemeni branch of the Islamic State "to deepen their inroads across much of the country."

Jones and Khanna assert that the 1973 War Powers Resolution affords their bill "privileged" status, guaranteeing a full floor vote to stop unauthorized U.S. aid to the Saudi war effort.

"In so doing, we aim to reassert Congress’s sole constitutional authority to debate and declare war... We believe that the American people, if presented with the facts of this conflict, will oppose the use of their tax dollars to bomb and starve civilians to further the Saudi monarchy’s goals."

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