Rand Paul: 'Counterproductive' to back Saudi arms deal if supporting Israel

Jeannette Daniel
June 14, 2017

The $510 million sale of precision-guided munitions, or PGMs, is part of the $110 billion arms agreement Trump announced during his visit to Saudi Arabia last month.

Another major motivation for Paul's resolution was concerns over whether Saudi Arabia is "dependable in not giving arms to terrorists".

Today, shamefully, the US Senate voted 53 to 47 to approve the Trump administration's plan to sell precision-guided munitions to the Saudi regime, munitions that will be used to bomb innocent civilians in neighboring Yemen, as the Saudis have been doing for over two years now. Most of that sale still has to be finalized, which means Congress will have a chance to vote on many future arms sales to Saudi Arabia, too.

"I can list 20 reasons why I'm very concerned about giving them weapons, but one of those things also coming up this week is we're unhappy with Iran for developing ballistic missiles".

Paul cited a recent YouGov poll, which showed just 10 percent of Americans view Saudi Arabia as a friendly country.

Franken, a co-sponsor of the resolution, cited Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, which he called "a tragedy that we can not continue to support". The Saudi-led coalition, which is supported by the United States, has been carrying out airstrikes in Yemen since March 2015, and thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting, according to the U.N.

May heads for crunch meeting with party lawmakers
The hung parliament meant Mrs May had to seek an agreement with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party , which gained ten seats.

"The United States must also take into full consideration whether providing more arms to Saudi Arabia is beneficial to our ally in the region - Israel", Paul wrote.

"We need to send a message to both the Trump Administration and the Saudis to work much harder to avoid civilian casualties, expedite humanitarian relief, and push for a peaceful end to the war through a negotiated political settlement", Cardin said. Chris Murphy of CT and Al Franken of Minnesota to block the sale of $510 million of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia. We must also pause and ask ourselves, does providing additional weapons to the Saudis make Israel safer or more risky in the long run?

"Seventeen million people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation", Paul said.

The resolution's Democratic co-sponsors, Senators Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Al Franken of Minnesota and Jeff Merkley of OR, framed it as a condemnation of Saudi attacks on civilians. "They are the greatest purveyor of hatred for Christianity and Judaism in the world...we should not be selling arms to Saudi Arabia".

"This is one of those things, you're cutting your nose off to spite your face, and there are some, not all, who are using this to get a piece of the Trump administration's hide", Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a supporter of the sale, said ahead of the vote.

"The flaws of the Saudi government are real", said Sen.

Other reports by My Hot News

Discuss This Article