Bin Salman Pursuing Policy of Collective Punishment to Starve Yemeni Civilians into Submission: Foreign Policy
Story Code : 967412
“This week, U.S. Sens. Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, Ron Wyden, and Mike Lee are expected to push for a vote on a motion disapproving of the Biden White House’s first major arms sale to Saudi Arabia—a $650 million deal to export 280 Raytheon-built missiles and 596 missile launchers. The showdown with the White House comes in the same week as an expected Senate vote on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to ban all U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen, including this proposed arms sale.”
“If the democratic will of U.S. citizens mattered, the resolution and amendment would pass easily because the American public has made clear that it opposes arms sales to Saudi Arabia. In a rare display of bipartisan unity, a united House and Senate, Republican and Democrat, recognized this when they voted to ban arms sales and end the U.S. role in the Yemen war not once, but four times in 2019 (the former topic saw three joint resolutions; the latter saw one). They were blocked only by former President Donald Trump’s vetoes.”
U.S. weapons and Washington’s ongoing support for the Saudi war effort have contributed to an unprecedented humanitarian disaster in Yemen, with millions of Yemenis near starvation and over 130,000 killed, residential areas and factories reduced to rubble, and the economy on the brink of collapse, the US magazine said.
“Within Saudi Arabia, there has been an unprecedented concentration of power eviscerating any checks and balances on King Salman’s and the crown prince’s decisions. They have brought the country’s traditional power centers—the extended royal family, business community, and religious establishment—to their knees. While the king can still dismiss Mohammad bin Salman as crown prince, no one else can get in his way.”
“Activists, writers, academics, religious scholars, and journalists—really anyone whom the crown prince perceives may be an independent voice—can be detained or disappeared, tried in kangaroo courts, and subject to long sentences. The country has become a giant prison, with thousands subject to arbitrary travel bans, unable to leave the country without government permission. Saudi authorities have detained, disappeared, or banned at least 89 U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents or visa holders, or their family members in 2021.”
“Notwithstanding the global outrage over the Saudi state’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi, failure to hold Mohammad bin Salman accountable has emboldened him to continue targeting and harassing critics abroad and retaliating against their family members in Saudi Arabia.”