News Release

Will Congress Take Action Against Saudi Arabia, or Is It Just Rhetoric?

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI, aladeimi at msu.edu, @shireen818
Originally from Yemen, Al-Adeimi is an assistant professor of education at Michigan State University. Available for a limited number of interviews, she just wrote the piece “Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance has Accomplished What 50,000 Yemeni Deaths Could Not” for NBC News, which states: “Though long overdue, these condemnations of the Saudi government are welcome. Saudi Arabia has been a close U.S. ally for decades, but during that time it has engaged in numerous violations of human rights, including creating what is currently the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. For over three-and-a-half years, Saudi Arabia has been waging a brutal attack on its poorest neighbor, Yemen, causing the killings of as many as 50,000 people and the silent deaths of an estimated 113,000 children who have perished from malnutrition and preventable diseases like cholera. By using starvation as a weapon and causing the collapse of the Yemeni economy, health care and educational systems, Mohammed bin Salman has proven himself to be a ruthless monarch, and not the progressive reformer that many in the Western press have, until very recently, been happy to paint him as. …

“Despite warning that Saudi should expect ‘severe punishment’ if they are found responsible, Trump reiterated in a ’60 Minutes’ interview that halting weapons sales is out of the question.”In stark contrast, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took a much harder line, declaring: “There’s not enough money in the world to buy back our credibility on human rights if we do not move forward and take swift action.” And yet, Rubio’s concern for human rights was absent when, earlier this year, he joined 54 mostly Republican colleagues in killing a bill that called for an end to the U.S. role in Yemen altogether.”

HASSAN EL-TAYYAB, hassan@chipeaceaction.org, @justfp

El-Tayyab is policy and organizing director at Chicago Area Peace Action and policy and government affairs fellow at Just Foreign Policy.

He recently wrote the piece “Khashoggi Disappearance Is an Opening for Referendum on U.S.-Saudi Alliance,” which states: “With no leadership coming from the White House, the onus falls on Congress to impose swift and concrete consequences on the Saudis. Luckily, it already has a clear path for doing so in pending legislation H.Con.Res. 138, a new bipartisan war powers resolution introduced in the House to end U.S. military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen, introduced by Reps. Khanna, Jones, Massie, Pocan, and Smith last month. …

“If passed, H.Con.Res. 138 will direct the president to stop the fueling of Saudi warplanes and cut off targeting assistance for the war in Yemen. This would send a clear and indelible signal that the U.S. will no longer give a blank check to bad actions by the Saudis, whether it be in their brutal bombing of civilians in Yemen, or the apparent murder of a U.S.-based journalist.”