In a recent move, members of Congress are threatening to block US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, who is allied to Saudi Arabia according to a report:
After previously on Thursday the Senate killed a proposal by Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) to block $300 million in US arms sales to Bahrain — a key Saudi coalition ally in the Yemen war — Senators proposed another bill that would suspend all US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and block the refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen.
Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, led by Bob Menendez (R-New Jersey) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2018” — also with the sponsorship of three Democrats — to hold the Saudis accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Sen. Menendez had previously argued that Bahrain was a “critical ally” especially as the US Navy bases its Fifth Feel there, and that the missile systems the US provides the tiny GCC country had nothing to do with the military campaign in Yemen.
One of Sen. Paul’s supporters, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), argued that “It is long overdue that we end U.S. complicity in Saudi Arabia’s atrocities,” and said, “We must end all U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen now.” Paul’s resolution failed 77-21 as it faced a veto threat from the White House and as its opposition argued Bahrain is the wrong target and needed US missile and anti-tank systems to curtail the threat from Iran.
Menendez said the just announced sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals introduced by the White House were “not enough” in response to Khashoggi’s death to ensure Riyadh properly investigates and ends its criminal behavior. Menendez described his bill as “putting teeth behind these demands with regular oversight, sanctions and suspension of weapons sales and refueling support.”
And Graham said, “This legislation is an important way to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for various acts in Yemen as well as the death of Jamal Khashoggi.”
However, President Trump had previously dubbed talk of halting all weapons sales to the kingdom as “foolish” because it would result in massive American job loss and the Saudis would simply deal with other countries. The measure introduced later on Thursday would further require the president to sanction any person found responsible for Khashoggi’s death — which would become especially interesting if evidence were uncovered proving that crown prince MbS ordered the hit.
Meanwhile critics decried opponents of Sen. Paul’s original bill which sought to expand US punitive measures to Saudi Arabia’s regional allies as merely displaying symbolic outrage at the Saudis for the sake of PR damage control, and not actually interesting in permanently ending the Saudi coalition’s devastation of Yemen.
The fact also remains that the United States itself has for years played a lead role in executing the war on Yemen, which has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, according to U.N. estimates. (source, source)
Will this actually happen? Doubtful.
Remember, much of the arguing with Saudi Arabia is for the public to see for entertainment, not what is reality, which is the fact that the US and Saudi Arabia are deeply-rooted economic allies going back almost a century over oil. The US protects the Saudis and sells them cheap weapons and cheap food, the Saudis sell cheap oil to the US and do what she wants for her geopolitical ends.
Actions speak louder than words. Saudi Arabia is deathly afraid of being khazouked by Turkey, and she is not going to do something that will anger the US unnecessarily. It is worth watching, however, because the US does hold the geopolitical advantage, and she could switch alliances as she wills if it is in her interest. She could change, theoretically speaking, but the likelihood is very low because there is nothing to clearly indicate a US need to do this at the current moment. Since America has a history of acting in a darwinian manner out of clear-self-interest and she has constructed her foreign policy around this approach, anything to suggest a radical departure from it is not merely speculation, but baseless speculation no different than daydreaming.
Even there, if arms sales were cut off to Saudi Arabia, which is what the story focuses on, what is to stop Saudi Arabia from receiving weapons from the US via another nation or conduit, such as Pakistan, with US knowledge? It would only serve to give a political victory by providing the impression that change has happened when the fundamental status has remained the same between the two nations.
For the meantime, it is better just to get a bucket of popcorn, a soda, and some candy and watch the show because whatever moves are done by the US will be with one purpose, and that is to realizing her military objectives that are tied to those of Israel and the destruction of Russia and her reduction to that of a vassal state.