Lieu-Yoho-Conyers-Mulvaney letter: Let Congress Debate New Weapons Sale to Saudi Arabia

[Rep. Ted Lieu [D-CA], Rep. Ted Yoho [R-FL], Rep. John Conyers [D-MI], and Rep. Mick Mulvaney [R-SC] are circulating the following letter asking President Obama to postpone the planned arms sale to Saudi Arabia so that Congress can meaningfully debate it.]

Dear President Obama,

On August 8, your administration notified Congress of intent to sell $1.15 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, including tanks which would replace tanks destroyed in Saudi Arabia's war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

We respectfully urge you to postpone this plan and withdraw the notification for the following reasons.

Past Congressional concerns about Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen have not been addressed. In October, Members of Congress wrote to you urging greater efforts to avoid civilian casualties in Yemen and achieve a diplomatic solution to the conflict. In June, 204 Members of the House, including 40 Republicans and all but 16 Democrats, voted to block the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia after reports of their use in civilian areas in Yemen. Yet, just in the last several days, a Saudi airstrike on a school in Yemen killed 10 children – some as young as 6-years-old – and a Saudi airstrike on an MSF hospital in Yemen killed 11 people

Indeed, Amnesty International has documented at least 33 unlawful airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition across Yemen that appear to have deliberately targeted civilians and civilian facilities, such as hospitals, schools, markets, and places of worship.  These attacks may amount to war crimes.   

This military campaign has had a deeply troubling impact on civilians. According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 3,704 civilians, including 1,121 children have been killed during the conflict. 2.8 million Yemenis have been internally displaced by the fighting, with 83% of the population now dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival. Any decision to sell more arms to  Saudi Arabia should be given adequate time for full deliberation by Congress.

We are concerned, however, that the timing of this notification during the August Congressional recess could be interpreted to mean that Congress has little time to consider the arms deal when it returns from recess within the 30 day window established by law. We are not aware of any compelling reason why Congressional approval of the sale could not be postponed to allow for meaningful Congressional debate on this issue that has major implications for both civilians in Yemen as well as our national security.

In announcing your decision to seek Congressional authorization for the use of force against the Syrian government in 2013, you stated that: "I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people." We strongly agree. We urge you to delay this proposed arms deal so that the people's representatives in Congress can give these issues the full deliberation that they deserve.

Thank you kindly for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

[Members of Congress]

Saudi Arabia is at best a duplicitous ally, encouraged especially by its ability to keep Family Bush flush with big greasy chips, in return for which it was allowed to get all of its nationals out of the U.S. after their rich S O BinLaden attacked US. A "Manhattan Project" for GREEN ENERGY right here in the U.S. would serve our interests MUCH more than shipping more guns under the table to the Saudis.

Stop US arms sales to one of the most oppressive and dictatorial regimes in the Middle East- Saudi Arabia.

The citizens of this country do not approve of the USA's arms deals with many nations. Saudi Arabia's history of human rights violations should be the first reason we shouldn't supply weapons to them. Stop trying to make money by selling weapons of war to criminals and human rights violators!

Limit diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia until the money and weapons sent to ISIS and militant imamams is stopped

Please read this letter.

Please, diplomacy, not war!

The Saudi Royalty has oppressed women since the beginning of time. I have NO idea why America is friends with this hideous regime, except that they're not our major enemy. But remember it was 19 Saudis that brought down our Twin Towers!!
Now we want to ARM THEM????? Give me a break! This shocks and surprises me. It's not as if they're broke??!! If they want weapons, let them spend the money to make them.

YES... DIPLOMACY, NOT WAR!

Saudis are born again BUTCHERS under Salman the terrible.

No More Weapons to Saudi Arabia!

The unrest in the Middle East will never end if we do not shut off weapons...

Capital punishment for teen-aged poets? This is one of the most brutal and unacceptable regimes on the planet, one that actually would profit the world if regime-changed. Yemen has many cultural resources that are threatened, such as earth-building techniques that were amazing. Please do allow arms to documented human-rights violators like the Saudi regime.

My tax dollars would be better used saving lives than contributing to war and enriching arms manufacturers.

It is time to stop the all the wars in the Middle East and to recognize that Saudi Arabia is not our ally, that it arms the factions that form ISI, and that it has an abominable record on human rights. No more arms: no more wars.

I stand with this letter. Do not support human rights violators!!!

Stop selling Bombs for profit... corporation's bottom lines are not reasons to kill people... the Saudis are committing human rights violation daily... And The USA is complicit in all the death and destruction they are unleashing on Yemen.... As well as all the other Terror they cause in Saudi Arabia on their own citizens ...Stop using my tax dollars for this amoral activity...

The U.S. is complicit in this war on Yemen. Please help stop it and our participation in it by stopping our supply of weapons to the Saudis.

Please stop the U.S. complicity in the war on Yemen. Stop the supply of U.S. weapons to the Saudis.

History proves that the United States does not understand the Middle East and this is likely just one more blunder in the making. Please reconsider.

President Obama,
Please make your legacy for peace not war!

The war in Yemen is disastrous. Please delay the Saudi arms deal.

We can be sure that the 1.15 billion dollars won't be funding our desperate need to fix and update the nation's eviscerated infrastructure, crap health care, embarrassingly flawed and militarized education, profound need for 'alternative' energy, etc. While poverty in the US expands like a virus and militarism prevails, US imperialist need to occupy and control the entire globe fuels our being the largest terrorist organization in the world. Only psychopaths and sadists consider war mongering, refugees, devastated environments and mass deaths of innocents worthy of pursuit. Obama and his cartel of killers should be imprisoned for the vicious policies they promote under the stupid guise of 'spreading democracy'. NOT IN OUR NAME!

We must insure that American weapons are not used to spread death and destruction throughout the world. It is time to halt the shipment of arms to Saudi Arabia, and other countries, when those arms are used to either kill foreign civilians or to control dissent within the recipient's country.

As an activist citizen I would like you to know that we need to have a fair, open and complete discussion of any policy as it might relate to Saudi Arabia so long as that nation is involved with military action in Yemen.

This war has been waged with US supplies, munitions and more.

We, the people, need to have our say and weigh in on this issue.

I stand with this letter and do not support further arms sales to these oppressors. This regime is not about democracy and never had been!

We already have enough enemies in the world. Stop supplying military weapons to aggressive nations NOW.

Please find some PEACEFUL solution to the problems in the Middle East. War is really HORRIBLE!!! We should bend over backwards to avoid getting mixed up in any military solution to any problem. PLEASE find a way to fight climate change instead.. We can spend plenty of money like a couple of trillion dollars a year to at least stop provoking climate change.

Please stop warfare. I pay taxes to benefit our nation and those in need. Not destroy our world, planet and fellow mankind. The military mindset must be put aside and make room for efforts to live lives with the brains God gave us. Stop. Please. Respectfully. I cannot continue to pay taxes that are used to murder our planet and it's occupants.

Please, President Obama, do not move forward with this proposed arms deal with Saudi Arabia. I am a clergyman with the United Church of Christ, USA, and find it sickening, and antithetical to the
tenants of my faith and the best of our country's ethical foundations to support a regime that
knowingly kills civilians, including children, in the name of justice and peace. How can we claim to
be a caring and humanitarian people while supporting such a policy!? I have supported you strongly in your presidency because I thought your instincts and compassion ranked high in your
decisions both domestically and internationally, but this support make me have doubts. Do not
go out of office with this terrible action on your legacy.

Please, President Obama, do not move forward with this proposed arms deal with Saudi Arabia. I am a clergyman with the United Church of Christ, USA, and find it sickening, and antithetical to the
tenants of my faith and the best of our country's ethical foundations to support a regime that
knowingly kills civilians, including children, in the name of justice and peace. How can we claim to
be a caring and humanitarian people while supporting such a policy!? I have supported you strongly in your presidency because I thought your instincts and compassion ranked high in your
decisions both domestically and internationally, but this support make me have doubts. Do not
go out of office with this terrible action on your legacy.

Strongly agree with what you have wisely said here! Obama and Kerry were trying to mollify Saudi Arabia post Iran agreement, which the Saudis opposed, by giving the Saudi's all these weapons. It was a terrible idea on Obama and Kerry's part, as there has been massive killing of civilians and children as a result. This must stop immediately, instead of voting MORE money for weapons for the Saudis! Lee Evans

Let's also have a discussion about ending military aid to Israel and Egypt. This a one-time sale to Saudi Arabia. Israel receives twice the amount ($3 billion) every year. Egypt receives $1.3 billion every year. Seventy-five percent of U.S. military aid goes to these two countries.

I want all that weaponry money to go to feeding, housing and educating the millions displaced by our ongoing warfare.
Let the USA come to stand for outstanding care for the poor and needy all over the worls

STOP supplying Saudi Arabia with arms. We are stuck with the biggest, out-of-control DOD and munitions corporations in the entire world.

GET A GRIP ON THE PENTAGON and the DOD. Find the trillions "missing" (read: stolen) from the Army's budget and the pentagon.

STOP selling arms to the aggressors abroad. Yemen has been destroyed FOR NO REASON.

President Obama, We need to stop supplying arms to oppressive regimes; we need to stop being the number one supplier of war weapons worldwide. Our military industrial complex is radically out of hand. Please stand up and do what is right for the American people and start supporting peaceful efforts.

STOP! Let's put an end to war on all continents

Let's put an end to war, no matter where it is.

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