Stop the sale of American weapons to Saudi Arabia the United Arab Emirates
Earlier this month, the Senate passed an unprecedented resolution calling on Donald Trump to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen. Fifty six senators voted the right way, showing real momentum to end the United States' role in this devastating war.1
We can't let Trump's shutdown slow down this momentum. We have to build massive opposition to Trump's multi-billion dollar arms deal with the Saudi and United Arab Emirates regimes, which are responsible not only for the crisis in Yemen, but also for brutal human rights violations against their own citizens, including Saudi Arabia's gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.2,3
Sen. Robert Menendez is temporarily holding up this deal, but Congress can take more concrete next steps to stop the United States from arming Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the next session.4 We must build on the current momentum to ensure that Congress stops the deal.
Tell Congress: Stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest U.S. weapons buyer, accounting for 18 percent of total U.S. arms sales between 2013-2017 and the United Arab Emirates is close behind.5 Prioritizing profits over people in an attempt to ignore the Saudi and Emiratis' slaughter of civilians in Yemen, Trump continues to lie about the benefits of selling more weapons to these countries to win public favor.6 But Sen. Menendez is holding up the Trump-backed weapons deal until at least January and publicly questioning the assertion that the Saudis the Emiratis will not use the precision-guided munitions in their brutal attacks in Yemen.7
The truth is that Congress must not put the interests of dictators and defense contractors over human rights.
Killing Khashoggi may be the Saudi's most publicly decried atrocity, but Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – for nearly four years now – have waged a war in Yemen that helped create the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth, killing more than 85,000 children and putting 14 million on the brink of starvation.8,9
Since 2015, the United States has provided the Saudi and UAE-led coalition with weapons and logistical and intelligence support and helped refuel coalition jets as they dropped bombs on Yemeni civilians. In one such attack in August, coalition forces dropped an American-made bomb on a school bus, killing at least 40 children.10,11 The strike was just one in a long string of coalition attacks on civilians.
Calling for an end to U.S. support for this heartbreaking war is an important step, but if Congress is serious about ending the violence, it must do everything it can to stop the sale of U.S. weapons to the Saudi and Emirati governments.
Tell Congress: Stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia the United Arab Emirates.
Thank you for standing up for peace,
- Scott Anderson, "The Senate Acts on Yemen," Lawfare, Dec. 14, 2018.
- Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, "Yemen on the brink: how the UAE is profiting from the chaos of civil war," The Guardian, Dec. 21, 2018.
- Peter Holley, Felicia Sonmez and Karoun Demirjian, "Bipartisan calls for Saudi Arabia to face repercussions mount in wake of Khashoggi killing," The Washington Post, Oct. 21, 2018
- Joe Gould, "Key US Democrat holds back support for Gulf munitions sales over Yemen," Defense News, July 3, 2018.
- Amanda Macias, "Saudi Arabia is the top US weapons buyer – but it doesn't spend as much as Trump boasts," CNBC, Oct. 15, 2018.
- Gould, "Key US Democrat holds back support for Gulf munitions sales over Yemen."
- Mohamad Bazzi, "The United States Could End the War in Yemen If It Wanted To," The Atlantic, Sept. 30, 2018.
- Palko Karasz, "85,000 Children in Yemen May Have Died of Starvation," The New York Times, Nov. 21, 2018.
- Nima Elbagir et al., "Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen was supplied by the US," CNN, Aug. 17, 2018.
- Hakim Almasmari, Sarah El Sirgany and Tamara Qiblawi, "Saudi-led strike kills dozens of children on school field trip in Yemen," CNN, Aug. 10, 2018.
Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images