Trump Admin Approves $1BN Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia, Including 6,700 Missiles

After welcoming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the White House for a series of meetings earlier this week (which provoked a mini-scandal when the New York Times reported that there were no women in the room) the Associated Press and Bloomberg reported that the Trump administration has officially approved a $1 billion arms sale to the Kingdom - complete with 6,700 Raytheon anti-tank missiles worth $670 million.

Saudi

The approval came just hours after former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered his farewell remarks.

Today's deal should not come as a surprise: during his trip to the Kingdom last year, President Trump touted business deals that he claimed to help facilitate - including the largest US arms-sale agreement ever, worth some $350 billion. Furthermore, over the past year Trump has repeatedly voiced his desire to consummate major arms deals with any willing buyer of US equipment, even Ukraine recently, a move which is sure to provoke escalation in hostilities between Ukraine and Russia.

And since the missiles in today's arms sale will almost certainly be used by the Saudi government to support the government of Yemen, which is embroiled in a brutal years-long civil war with Houthi rebels aligned with Iran, the surest trade for the foreseeable future will be going short the lifespan of Yemen residents. Again.


Ironically, the latest US arms sale to Riyadh happens a day after the Senate voted to kill a bipartisan bill intended to limit the scope of US support for the Saudi proxy war in Yemen as the situation there has snowballed into a devastating humanitarian crisis. Here's Al-Monitor with more:

By a vote of 55-44, the Senate voted to kill a bipartisan effort to end US support for an aerial campaign that has killed thousands of civilians over the past three years. While proponents of the measure decried the humanitarian toll and lack of congressional oversight, the specter of Iran loomed over the debate.

"The Trump administration has tried to justify our involvement in the Yemen war as necessary to push back on Iran," bill sponsor Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said ahead of the vote. "While Iran’s support for Houthi insurgents is of serious concern for all of us, the truth is that this war has increased, not decreased, the opportunities for Iranian interference."

Others sharply disagreed.

"As it has done in political vacuums throughout the region, Iran will continue to expand its proxy power," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Through its Revolutionary Guard, Iran will continue shipping weapons to the Houthis."

It's worth noting that the US isn't alone among its "democratic, humanitarian" allies in supporting the Saudi war effort. Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended the previous administration's decision to sell more than 900 armored vehicles to the Saudis, per the Guardian.  Trudeau, one of the world's most prominent progressive leaders, defended the deal, saying his government had little choice but to honor it - to the consternation of some of his fellow liberal lawmakers.

"So I am asking the prime minister, what does he think about Canada potentially being complicit in international human rights violations?" Laverdière asked. "How can we say Canada’s foreign policy is progressive and feminist when we continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia?"

Trudeau responded by arguing that his government had little choice but to respect the contract signed by the previous government. "Permits are only approved if the exports are consistent with our foreign and defence policies, including human rights,” said Trudeau. “Our approach fully meets our national obligations and Canadian laws.”

Cesar Jaramillo of Project Ploughshares, a Canadian disarmament group, described Trudeau’s response as "flawed logic", as it is up to his government to set out the parameters of Canada’s foreign and defence policy.

"We also think it flies in the face of this feminist agenda of the Canadian government, which is now being sold as the centrepiece of Canadian foreign policy. Yet at exactly the same time we are arming one of the most repressive regimes on the planet for women," said Jaramillo. "So I think there’s a clear gap between the rhetoric and the action of the Canadian government."

Just minutes after news of the arms sale broke, reporters spotted John Bolton, the infamous Iran hawk and rumored to be a contender to succeed HR McMaster as Trump's National Security Advisor, entering the White House.

The very lucrative US support for Saudi Arabia over the past three years has come at a staggering human cost, with over 10,000 civilians dead during the Yemeni civil war, while more than 3 million have been replaced. Earlier today, the Houthis fired a missile at an Aramco facility near the border, however it appears to have missed: Aramco told Bloomberg that all oil, natural gas and refining facilities were safe and operating normally following the attack.

According to the AP, the State Department says the administration told Congress on Thursday that it plans to approve the sale. Lawmakers will have 30 days to act if they want to try to stop it.

Finally, for those who claim that this is a partisan issue, don't: we pulled a random headline from the recent past - Obama To Sell $10 Billion In Weapons To Israel, Saudi Arabia And The UAE - to demonstrate that when it comes to collecting Saudi blood money, Democrats and Republicans will do so with identical enthusiasm.

Comments

J S Bach nope-1004 Thu, 03/22/2018 - 19:01 Permalink

Still making deals with the devil. Next to Israel, their kinsmen, the Saudis, are the greatest violators of human rights on the planet.  Yet, Agent Orange feels the need to arm them further.  This is evidence to me that Trump is not trustworthy.  He stated during the campaign that the Saudis were complicit in 9/11 (along with the (((REAL perps))) to their east), and he continues to feed the beast.

In reply to by nope-1004

LetThemEatRand J S Bach Thu, 03/22/2018 - 19:20 Permalink

It's bad enough when your typical politician approves deals like this, but to see a guy do it who called out SA for 9/11 as you point out, is worse.  Similar to how he ran advertisements against Hillary with grainy pictures of Lloyd Blankfein to impress upon voters that he knew we were sick of the bankers running the country, only to hire Blankfein's buddy Cohn right out of the box.  Trump's campaign was a carefully and brilliantly constructed marketing effort that was false from start to finish.  That so many voters still support him is a testament to how fucked we are as a country.

In reply to by J S Bach

D.T.Barnum LetThemEatRand Thu, 03/22/2018 - 19:42 Permalink

I've typed this a few times, so sorry to repeat:

Throughout history, the masses have required stories and legends of heroes to help give them hope, if not just a momentary distraction, from this cold and dark world.  Hillary got Trump over as the hero, so now, it almost doesn't matter what he does.  People will cling to the positive and sweep the negative under the rug, forgetting it was even there in the first place.

My advice to anyone reading is to not look for heroes on the TV or computer screen.  Looks for heroes in your everyday life, good fathers, good workers, trustworthy friends etc.  It's a cheesey cliche but it's true.  Or, watch the Lord of the Rings, or something.  I don't know what to tell you.  As LTER said, Candidate/President Trump's persona is a fantasy.  Please don't entangle your fantasy with reality- it's not going to help any of us.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

Uchtdorf D.T.Barnum Thu, 03/22/2018 - 19:55 Permalink

Trump is exactly the person the Deep State wanted running against Hillary. That's why they gave him so much free time on TV. The MAGA-ites who just want to watch football on the weekend needed a tough-talking fantasy hero that would beat Hillary so they could go back to chewing their cud and Super-Sizing their trucks and Happy Meals.

In reply to by D.T.Barnum

veritas semper… BennyBoy Thu, 03/22/2018 - 22:36 Permalink

The Donald = war criminal . Like his predecessors:

-slick pedophile Willie and Yugoslavia crimes + the creation of Kosovo Moslem enclave in the heart of Orthodox Serbia ,with Bondsteel , The NATO base used for weapons,organs,drugs ,children trafficking.

-Poppy Bush with first Gulf wars (remember babies in incubators?)

-Bush the Moron ,with the biggest false flag on US soil ,911 ,the new Pearl Harbor to justify the PNAC project (see Bolton's nomination today by the Donald) ;then Iraq ,no WMD ,wars ; and Afghanistan war (unclear why , except heroin, counter China/Iran,create havoc on China/Russia's doors

-the Foggot ,who extended the Moron's wars from 2 to 7; and the Libtards loved him for this"cause he was not Bush"; he even got the Oscar for politicians =the Nobel peace price

-and now,the Donald,who campaigned on an anti ward/good relations with Russia a.and delivered the opposite ; see his war cabinet : the biggest zionist scums ,Pentagram criminals and Banksters crooks

He will be a one term president ,not because US sheeple will not vote for him,but because I don't think US will survive 'til new presidential elections

In reply to by BennyBoy

BanksterMind Thu, 03/22/2018 - 19:26 Permalink

My money is on Trump to become the first Trillionaire in history.

(if you don't count the Rothschilds & co.)

 

 

 

All the stuff they won't teach at school:   Entrepreneurship for kids.  (age 8 to 88)
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