Donald Trump, US Senate and Saudi war on Yemen


This video from the USA says about itself:

Will Congress Affirm its Constitutional Power to Stop the War in Yemen?

19 March 2018

This week Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman heads to Washington to lobby support for the war in Yemen. However, the Constitution and the War Powers Act are very clear that only Congress has the power to authorize war, says Col. Larry Wilkerson.

By Alexander Bolton in the USA – 03/20/18 06:00 AM EDT:

Senate, Trump clash over Saudi Arabia

The Senate is headed for a clash with the Trump administration over Saudi Arabia this week.

The chamber is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution directing the U.S. military to stop cooperating with Saudi bombing operations in Yemen, an action the administration strongly opposes.

The vote comes at an awkward time, as President Trump is meeting Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his first trip to Washington since becoming next in line to the throne.

Supporters of the bipartisan Senate resolution, which has the backing of conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), are pressing hard for a debate.

As civilian deaths mount in Yemen, where an estimated 10,000 people

an extremely conservative estimate

have died in a years-long civil war, these senators say it’s time for Congress to claw back some of its warmaking authority from the executive branch.

“The Constitution is pretty clear on this point. It says that Congress shall have the power to declare war. Congress — not the president, not the Pentagon, but Congress”, Lee said on the floor last week.

U.S. military advisers are helping Saudi forces target enemies in Yemen for attack and U.S. planes are refueling Saudi-led bombers on combat missions.

“The War Powers Resolution was designed to stop secret, unauthorized military activities such as these. So Congress is well within its right to vote on whether these activities should continue”, Lee said.

Republican leaders are trying to postpone action on the resolution until after Salman’s visit by sending it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. …

Salman has been a leading proponent of the kingdom’s military effort to push Shiite rebels known as the Houthis out of power in Yemen. …

Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a letter last week that cutting off U.S. support for the military operation in Yemen would be a mistake. …

The Yemen War Powers Resolution is privileged and guaranteed to get a vote on the floor at some point, but leaders could delay action by filing cloture motions on other Senate business.

Lee, Sanders and Murphy, however, have leverage — GOP leaders need unanimous consent to pass an anti-sex trafficking bill and an omnibus spending package before a two-week congressional recess scheduled to begin Saturday.

The tensions come amidst growing criticism in Congress of Saudi Arabia, a longtime U.S. ally, over its human rights record and links to terrorist organizations.

Complicating matters is a $110 billion arms deal that Trump is trying to finalize with Saudi Arabia and several other Middle Eastern countries despite some reservations on Capitol Hill.

There are also significant U.S. commercial interests at stake.

Defense contractor Raytheon is pressing for a green light to go ahead with the sale of 60,000 smart bombs to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is also participating in the bombing of targets in Yemen.

[Republican] Corker criticized Saudi Arabia last year for not doing more to crack down on financing of terrorists, and put a hold on the arms deal, which he just recently lifted.

In July, he charged that significantly more support for terrorist groups is coming from Saudi Arabia than from Qatar, which Trump accused last year of being a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Trump administration took Saudi Arabia’s side in the dispute last year, just as it has in the current debate over whether to continue U.S. military support of Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen.

Senate sources are split over what chance the bill would have of passing. Because it is a privileged resolution, it only needs a simple majority to pass.

Two Senate aides said it has a good shot of rounding up 51 votes, but Murphy, one of the original sponsors, cautioned that success is far from a sure thing.

He said votes on the Democratic side of the aisle are “fluid”, and the administration is going all-out to persuade Republicans to vote against it.

“I think a lot of members on our side are tying to figure out what a ‘yes’ vote means, what a ‘no’ vote means”, Murphy said. “The administration is spending a lot of energy trying to spin the rationale for this war. I would expect that most Republicans would oppose it.”

SAUDI PRINCE BOASTED HE HAD JARED KUSHNER ‘IN HIS POCKET’ “Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince.” [The Intercept]

8 thoughts on “Donald Trump, US Senate and Saudi war on Yemen

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