Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517, [email protected]
Jodie Evans, 310-621-5635, [email protected]
Today, shamefully, the US Senate voted 53 to 47 to approve the Trump administration’s plan to sell precision-guided munitions to the Saudi regime, munitions that will be used to bomb innocent civilians in neighboring Yemen, as the Saudis have been doing for over two years now.
“Continuing to arm the regime most responsible for the spread of extremism and the regime that is wreaking such devastation on the Yemeni people is unconscionable,” said Medea Benjamin, author of the book Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection. “The vote is a mind-bending example of the utter subservience of our elected officials to the military-industrial complex and the lobbyists of the reprehensible Saudi regime.”
CODEPINK thanks Senators Murphy, Rand and Franken for sponsoring Resolution 42 and for speaking out forcefully against the weapons sale. We also thank the other Senators who voted for the Resolution, although we had hoped more of them would have come out publicly before the vote, which would have given more momentum for passing the Resolution and allowed us to better target our efforts.
We also thank the many thousands of Americans who emailed, called and visited their Senators urging them to vote yes. It is thanks to their efforts that we achieved this unprecedented level of opposition in the Senate, which will certainly send an important message to the Saudis.
While we are heartened that so many Senators voted against the sale, it is not enough. Every single member of the Senate should have voted for the Resolution. It should have passed by consensus. “For those Senators who voted for the sale, we say: You have the blood of the Yemeni people on your hands,” said diplomat and retired Army Colonel Ann Wright. “These weapons will just add to the death, destruction, hunger and cholera that the poor Yemeni people are suffering.”
“Voting for the weapons sale, these Senators showed that they value the war profiteers more than lives of Yemenis and more than US national security,” said CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans. “If they truly cared about national security, would they vote to arm the regime most responsible for the spread of the Wahhabist ideology that forms the underpinnings of terrorist groups from Al Qaeda to ISIS? Would they vote to arm the regime that has funded and supported these terrorist groups?”
CODEPINK will now focus on trying to pass the companion House Resolution 102.