Doorgaan naar hoofdcontent

Saudi's Out

Senators Challenge US Military Aid to Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00 By Robert Naiman, Truthout | Op-Ed
Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 9, 2014. (Doug Mills / The New York Times) Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 9, 2014. Blumenthal recently spoke out critically about US-Saudi relations. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times) 
Until recently, the US relationship to Saudi Arabia has been one of those things that we're not allowed to do anything about. There's death and taxes, and the US is joined at the hip to Saudi Arabia. There's nothing to do.
But the world has changed. We're at a discontinuity now, and nobody knows what's on the other side of the discontinuity. President Obama slams Saudi Arabia in an interview in the Atlantic. A big bipartisan group of senators is poised to pass legislation that would limit the sovereign immunity of the Saudi government from lawsuits over the 9/11 attacks. Here's Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, describing how the world has changed:
'Very bluntly, they no longer have us in an energy straight jacket,' said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, referring to growing domestic oil production that has made the United States less reliant on the Saudis. He added that the American government now knows more about Saudi Arabia's historical funding of extremist groups and that 'Americans are also increasingly concerned about Saudi Arabia's human rights record.'
And now, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have introduced a bipartisan bill that would place new conditions on US military aid to Saudi Arabia. Like so many Washington initiatives, the actual text of the bill is not revolutionary. It doesn't say you can't transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia anymore. It just adds a step to the existing notification process. The new step is the president has to certify that Saudi Arabia is acting to protect civilians from its military actions -- for example, in Yemen -- as it is required to do under international law and US law anyway -- and the president has to certify that Saudi Arabia is cooperating with the US against ISIS/Al Qaeda terrorism.
What's revolutionary is that Murphy and Paul are formally challenging the taboo against publicly asking questions about the US military relationship to Saudi Arabia and inviting other senators to join them.
The Murphy-Paul bill is supported by the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Peace Action and Just Foreign Policy. You can email your Senators here and call them here.
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission of the author.

ROBERT NAIMAN

Robert Naiman is policy director at Just Foreign Policy and president of Truthout's board of directors. 


    Reacties

    Populaire posts van deze blog

    Geert Mak Pleit Nu Voor Vriendschap met Rusland

    Ik kwam zojuist mijn oude vriend, de bestseller-auteur en mainstream-opiniemaker Geert Mak in de regen op straat tegen. Na elkaar te hebben begroet, vertelde Geert mij dat hij van oordeel is dat Europa zo snel mogelijk met Rusland om de tafel moet gaan zitten, om de opgelopen spanningen te deëscaleren. De VS heeft heel andere belangen dan 'wij,' aldus Mak, die benadrukte dat de macht van 'onze' Atlantische bondgenoot ingrijpend aan het afnemen is. Kortom, ik hoorde wat ikzelf al enige jaren op mijn weblog schrijf. Opvallend hoe een Nederlandse opiniemaker binnen zo'n betrekkelijk korte tijd zo wezenlijk van oordeel kan veranderen.  Immers, Mak’s gevaarlijke anti-Rusland hetze was een treffend voorbeeld van zijn opportunisme. Mei 2014 beweerde op de Hilversumse televisie de zogeheten ‘chroniqueur van Amsterdam, Nederland, Europa en de VS,’ dat er sprake was van een 'Russische gevaar,’ aangezien ‘meneer Poetin’ aan ‘landjepik’ deed en dat de Russische president d…

    America Has Been at War 93% of the Time Since 1776

    America Has Been at War 93% of the Time – 222 out of 239 Years – Since 1776 By Washington's Blog Global Research, December 26, 2017 Washington's Blog 20 February 2015 Region:  Theme: 

    Native American Rape Survivors

    A sign marks the entrance to White Earth Indian Reservation in Mahnomen County, Minn. (J. Stephen Conn / CC 2.0) WHITE EARTH RESERVATION, Minn.—Candice (not her real name) awoke with a start. Someone was pulling down her sweatpants. It was a male friend. “Stop!” she shouted. He kept groping her. She kicked him and he fell off the bed. She dashed out of the bedroom, tripping and tumbling down the stairs. Gripped with fear, she heard his footsteps behind her in the dark and forced herself to stand upright as she staggered out to the porch. Candice was still intoxicated. She got into her car and drove into a ditch. A white police officer pulled up. She struggled to hold back tears as she told him about the attempted rape. All the officer saw was a drunk and disorderly Native American woman. He dismissed Candice’s report of sexual assault as a lie she had made up to avoid getting a DUI. He did not take her to the hospital for a forensic exam. The sexual assault was not recorded in his pol…