Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – In a rare bipartisan move, the divided U.S. Senate approved a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels in the internecine Yemen Civil war. They also promised to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia in early 2019.
The move to advance the war powers resolution in the Republican-led chamber was affirmed by 60 senators, including 11 Republicans. Senators are incensed the Saudi-led war continues to inflict horrendous casualties on civilians, many of whom are dying from hunger, as the Saudi coalition has shown a murderous determination to starve the rebels and their civilian supporters into surrender.
The war has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, many of them young children. It’s also left millions more civilians at risk of starvation and death by disease.
The bipartisan resolution, however, was largely symbolic because the House of Representatives is not expected to take the matter up this year. Trump, who has refused to take any action against Saudi Arabia, has threatened to veto the Senate’s resolution.
Supporters of the resolution, however, said it sends an important message that the Senate is unhappy with the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. They’re also incenseds about the absence of a strong U.S. response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.
Republicans and Democrats vowed to keep pushing a condemnation of Saudi Arabia and its coalition after the new Congress take office in January for. They also want to pass legislation to impose human rights sanctions and oppose new weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.
“If you want to buy our weapons, there are certain things you have to accept. How you use them matters,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
“The individual, the crown prince, is so toxic, so tainted, so flawed, that I can’t ever see myself doing business with Saudi Arabia unless there’s a change there.”
The Trump administration is goading Congress into not opposing U.S. fueling Saudi warplanes on missions to bomb targets in Yemen.
Trump condemned the murder but keeps suporting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “He’s the leader of Saudi Arabia. They’ve been a very good ally,” said Trump told.
On the other hand, the Central Intelligence Agency is convinced the Crown Prince is behind Khashoggi’s murder. After a classified briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, House members said they had not heard anything to change their minds about Khashoggi’s death or bin Salman’s role in masterminding it.
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