Congressmen Increasingly Critical of US Support for Saudi War in Yemen

Senators Aim to Stop Major New Arms Sales to Saudis

by Jason Ditz, August 21, 2016

With the leadership in both parties have long been reluctant to seriously criticize the Saudi government, growing war crimes in Yemen and fear of a backlash has a number of Congressmen increasingly critical of the US support for the bombing campaign.

“In Yemen, this is not seen as a Saudi bombing campaign,” warned Sen. Chris Murphy (D – CT). “This is seen as a US bombing campaign.” Murphy and Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) are leading efforts in the Senate to stop, or at least severely limit, planned US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D – CA) is among those in the House who are opposed to the US involvement in the war, calling it “a moral abomination.” He unsuccessfully attempted to ban US cluster bomb sales to the Saudis back in June, but noted it was a close vote with a lot of bipartisan support.

Close a couple of months ago could be even closer now, as every school or hospital the Saudis bomb in the Shi’ite part of Yemen adds to the number of Congressmen disillusioned with the blanket US support for the war, and sick of empty Saudi promises to do better in the future.

That said, there is little sign either party’s leadership is changing their minds on the Saudis or the war, and the State Department continues to be reluctant to offer any more than tepid criticism for major civilian death tolls in Saudi airstrikes, with even that coming with an assurance it won’t impact US support for the war.

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