President Donald Trump’s policy in Saudi Arabia has the potential to do the country great harm in the long run.
In his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, he closed the biggest arms sales deal in the history of the republic. However, Trump — who registered eight companies in the country in the campaign — ignored the catastrophe of Saudi Arabian involvement in Yemen’s civil war. As Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) has pointed out, Trump is making Yemen’s situation worse. Saudi Arabia is using planes made in the United States to blockade food to Yemen. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres has suggested a plan — “the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid by air, sea and land” into Yemen where 17 million people suffer from food insecurity. As Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) pointed out, “the Saudis are deliberately trying to create a famine inside Yemen in order to essentially starve the Yemenis to the negotiating table” — and “the United States is participating.”
Some have registered opposition. Murphy, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced a joint resolution of disapproval to force the U.S. Senate to vote on a resolution blocking a portion of new weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. President Trump should pressure Saudi Arabia into ending the blockade and allow the U.N. to broker a settlement and administer relief.
The mess in Yemen provides fertile ground for ISIL to recruit terrorists. Let’s counter the terrorist message with another message rooted in democracy and not Trump-type plutocracy!
Jason Sibert, Peace Economy Project, St Louis