- Middle East & Iran
What We're Reading on Yemen
Lawmakers and advocates call to stop US arms sales to end devastating Yemen war
On the eve on President Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia, voices opposed to US complicity in the Saudi war in Yemen are multiplying. Sens. Todd Young and Chris Murphy spoke out on the Senate floor, Rep. Pocan spoke up in the pages of the Washington Post, and numerous experts published articles opposing the Saudi arms deals.
Trump may be helping to create a famine in Yemen. Congress could stop him., Congressman Mark Pocan, The Washington Post
"Trump has an opportunity to save millions of innocent lives — this may be the most consequential deal he has ever negotiated — and there’s every reason to worry that he’ll botch it by handing away billions of dollars in arms without extracting any concessions from the Saudis... If Trump’s deal with the Saudis ignores the suffering of millions of Yemenis on the brink of starvation, I can assure you that members of Congress will act swiftly, using every tool at our disposal — from blocking weapons shipments to forcing a debate and vote on U.S. military involvement in Yemen — to end this incomprehensible tragedy."
Block This Arms Sale, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, U.S. News and World Report
"Under bipartisan resolutions recently introduced, the Senate and the House have an opportunity to block the sale to Saudi Arabia of precision-guided munitions, which otherwise likely would be used to attack targets in Yemen, including perhaps Hodeida port. Saudi Arabia has disregarded earlier U.S. efforts to minimize civilian casualties in its bombing campaign in Yemen, and has repeatedly used these so-called "smart bombs" to hit civilian targets."
Trump’s $110 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia May Be Illegal, Akbar Shahid Ahmed, Huffington Post
"The human rights arm of the American Bar Association has sent the Senate a legal analysis saying that President Donald Trump’s plan for an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100 billion would be illegal because of the Saudis’ role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen. ... [Michael] Newton, in his 23-page opinion, said the strikes have continued “even after Saudi units received training and equipment to reduce civilian casualties. Continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia ― and specifically of arms used in airstrikes ― should not be presumed to be permissible” under the two statutes covering most sales of military equipment by the U.S government to foreign nations, he said."
Congress: Stop the Sale of American Weapons of Mass Starvation, Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America
"Yet, selling these bombs will push Yemen closer to famine even if they are not used against civilian targets. Yemen’s food and health crisis can only be truly addressed when the parties agree to a political settlement, and right now none of them have an incentive to compromise. Just a month ago, Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman noted that “a long war is in our interest,” citing support from the U.S. and other international partners. The Kingdom is reluctant to end the conflict with anything but a clear win, no matter how many Yemenis die. Selling precision-guided bombs doesn’t just signal unconditional support for this reckless strategy; it puts an American stamp on starvation in Yemen."
What Trump should not do when he meets Saudis, William Hartung, CNN
"No good can come from a greater US role in the Yemen war. If President Trump wants to promote security in Yemen and the region, he should hold back on the sale of laser-guided bombs that can be used in the Saudi bombing campaign, as members of Congress led by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, have suggested. And he should push for a cease-fire that restrains the UAE from going ahead with its proposed attack on the port of Hodeida. As Nadwa al-Dawsari of the Project on Middle East Democracy has noted, a successful peace agreement in Yemen will ultimately depend on bringing in other parties beyond the Houthi and Saudi coalitions. But a cease-fire and a suspension of US support for the Saudi bombing campaign are the most urgent priorities."
"Sen. Young confirmed that the Saudi-led coalition continues to be responsible for an average of approximately two weeks of additional delays to humanitarian shipments into the port of Hudaydah after vessels are cleared by the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) for Yemen. Sen. Young said during his remarks: 'Think of it: Your children are starving to death. Perhaps your entire village is starving to death. And, you have a delay of an additional 16 days in humanitarian shipments. Think of the impact that has on security in the region as desperate people are forced to take desperate measures to associate themselves with bad actors in the area. It's certainly troubling to me.'"
Tell Congress: Block Weapons of Mass Starvation
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