President Donald Trump has already been rebuked by the United States Senate once before when the body passed a bipartisan resolution calling for him to withdraw American forces from Yemen. Now the Senate has voted to block his arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
After the Saudis were outed for sanctioning the brutal torture and murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, lawmakers called for ending support of their proxy war with Yemen. The Senate voted to end support but Trump vetoed the resolution.
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He then escalated his relationship with Saudi Arabia by pursuing an arms deal worth $8 billion. The deal includes bombs and other weapons tech that will likely be used against Yemeni civilians.
Once again, lawmakers objected, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). But Trump used an “emergency” provision of the Arms Export Control Act to avoid giving Congress notification 30 days prior to the pending sale.
Trump is literally handing weapons technology to the nation that attacked us on 9/11, and a nation that has perpetrated human rights violations against journalists and civilians.
“For months upon months, this administration has failed to demonstrate how equipping the Saudis with more weapons would improve the Saudis’ respect for human rights in Yemen or advance America’s own values and national security interests,” Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said.
“If we don’t take a positive vote here, we are giving away this priority potentially forever, because you know this emergency in the Middle East is not a new emergency,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) added.
Graham told the New York Times that “now is not the time to do business as usual with Saudi Arabia. I am also very concerned about the precedent these arms sales would set by having the administration go around legitimate concerns of the Congress.”
If Trump is able to get away with this arms sale, he could sell arms to any nation he wants to for his own benefit even if such a sale is against America’s best interests.
On Thursday, Graham joined several of his fellow Republicans and Democrats to vote against the arms sale, passing the resolution 53-45.
It will undoubtedly be passed in the House, but the White House says Trump will veto it because stopping the sale “would send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at the very moment when threats to them are increasing.”
Trump is the one who has been escalating tensions in the Middle East by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. Plus, the United States should not be supporting a war that has become a full-blown humanitarian crisis.
But as usual, Republicans don’t care enough to override his veto, and the march toward another major war that will result in the loss of American blood continues.
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