Blind American support for the policies of its close allies is nothing new. For decades, human rights abuses in allied countries have been willfully ignored, America’s veto has been used to prevent allies from being censored by the United Nations, and arms sales have proceeded despite the weapons being used in what human rights organizations have deemed to be war crimes. And all along, you as an American tax payer have financed these policies.
What is new is that some members of Congress are trying to put a stop to at least one of these horrors: Saudi Arabia’s indiscriminate bombings of Yemen. Human Rights Watch call them “war crimes” while Amnesty International has pushed for the UK to end its arms sales to Saudi.
The Middle East is not suffering from an arms deficit, it’s suffering from an arms surplus and diplomacy deficit
Yesterday, Congressmen Ro Khanna, Thomas Massie and Walter Jones introduced a privileged bipartisan resolution to end the U.S.’s participation in the Saudi war in Yemen. The progressive group Just Foreign Policy writes that “without U.S. participation, the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen would not be possible.” The Khanna-Massie-Pocan-Jones bill forces a roll call floor vote on ending U.S. participation in the war.
This is literally unheard of. Even if it doesn’t pass, this is an important step by Congress to begin shifting U.S. foreign policy away from militancy and towards diplomacy.
The Middle East is not suffering from an arms deficit, it’s suffering from an arms surplus and diplomacy deficit. And unfortunately, smaller and weaker states have become playgrounds for a vicious rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Syria is a case in point, where the horrific civil war has been prolonged by the intervention of all outside actors – primarily Iran, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi, the EU, the US and Russia.
Similarly, Yemen is suffering from not just the Saudi bombings, but the military resources outside actors are pouring into the country.
Congressman Ro Khanna’s resolution will not fix all of those problems, but if it passes, it can at least take a first step towards ending the bloodshed in Yemen.
If you don’t want your tax money to go towards the killing of Yemeni civilians, you can contact your lawmaker via Just Foreign Policy’s alert.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Iranian American Council.
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