US Congresswoman to Trump: Stop Being 'Saudi Arabia’s Bitch'

Gabbard previously clashed with former President Barack Obama on Syrian policy, commenting that the United States was hastily pushing for change in the country but ignoring the potential consequences.

Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has been criticized for opposing U.S. interference in Syria, had harsh words for President Donald Trump, regarding Washington’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. 

RELATED: Khashoggi Killing: Trump Will Remain Saudi Arabia 'Partner'

Gabbard tweeted that the U.S. president was “Saudi Arabia’s bitch,” after Trump said Washington will remain allies with Riyadh regardless of the Kingdom being implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - who was killed on the Saudi consulate in Turkey.  

Trump doubled down, saying the United States Government will not dissolve any partnership with Saudi Arabia despite a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) investigation concluding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi's killing.

“...we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi... the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region."

On Tuesday, Trump highlighted that Saudi Arabia was a key ally against Iran as well as an important oil supplier. The U.S. president added that, though Khashoggi’s murder was an “unacceptable and horrible crime” and “it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event,” Washington will not sever ties with the middle eastern country.

“I’m not going to destroy the world economy, and I’m not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia,” Trump told reporters. "If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a terrible mistake."  

Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower! 

Similarly, Gabbard, who is a two-tour veteran, previously clashed with former President Barack Obama on Syrian policy, commenting that the United States was hastily pushing for change in the country but ignoring the potential consequences of that action, and hitting out against Washington arming anti-government fighters in Syria.

Republican senators Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham have both made remarks against Trump’s stance on the Saudi Kingdom. Paul has urged the U.S. head of state to suspend the arms deal with Riyadh, while Graham noted that the Crown Prince is responsible for Khashoggi’s death.
 
"They are an important ally but when it comes to the Crown Prince, he's irrational, he's unhinged and I think he's done a lot of damage to the relationship (between) the United States and Saudi Arabia. And I have no intention of working with him ever again," Graham told NBC.
 

The President indicates that Saudi Arabia is the lesser two evils compared to Iran and so the US won’t punish Saudi Arabia for the brutal killing and dismemberment of a dissident journalist in their consulate. I disagree.

"I'm pretty sure this statement is Saudi Arabia First, not America First," Paul posted on his Twitter page. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker also tweeted displeasure, "I never thought I'd see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”

Last week, anti-interventionist Gabbard also called for an end to U.S. involvement with the Saudi-led war in Yemen. "It is long overdue that we end U.S. complicity in Saudi Arabia's atrocities. We must end all U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's genocidal war in Yemen now."

Gabbard had began her political career with more conservative views on several issues. “I began to realize that the positions I had held previously regarding the issues of choice and gay marriage were rooted in the same premise held by those in power in the oppressive middle east regimes I saw,” the Hawaiian Democrat said, referencing her tours of duty.

The congresswoman, who supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary, is being considered a potential presidential candidate for 2020.

  • Published in World

Saudis can get away with anything 'as long as they bribe Washington'

The US will keep turning a blind eye to the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and other Saudi crimes, as long as Washington strikes lucrative arms deals with the kingdom, political analyst Lew Rockwell told RT.

“Questions of morality are entirely absent” from US foreign policy with regards to Saudi Arabia, Rockwell, who leads the Mises Institute, noted, adding that the White House is more interested in the kingdom’s economic assets than its human rights record.

“As long as the Saudis are willing to bribe enough Americans, or do what the US government wants in terms of oil or give big contracts to American companies, there is nothing they can do that would hurt them,” he stressed. Rockwell said that, enjoying such mutually-beneficial relations, the kingdom will likely feel confident to continue targeting dissidents and waging a bloody campaign in Yemen.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump’s approach to the Khashoggi case sparked anger, even among US senators. On Tuesday, he suggested that it “could very well be” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had known in advance of the plan to murder Khashoggi. But, nevertheless, the president refused to scrap major arms deals with the Arab nation. The Saudis pledged to invest $450 billion in the US, with $110 billion spent on buying US military gear, and it would be “foolish” to abandon those contracts, Trump stated.

In response, a bipartisan group of senators penned a letter urging the president to “determine” whether the Crown Prince bin Salman is responsible for Khashoggi’s death.

The White House condemned the journalist’s murder and sanctioned 17 Saudi officials accused of masterminding and executing the crime, but fell short of criticizing the kingdom’s leadership. In a statement, titled “Standing with Saudi Arabia,” the president praised Riyadh as “great ally” in a fight against Iran and vowed that the US will remain “a steadfast partner” of the oil-rich country.

Investigative journalist Rick Sterling told RT that Trump’s statement serves as “a confession that the US foreign policy is basically driven by the military-industrial complex,” which is due to receive a large boost from dealings with Riyadh.

READ MORE: Senators ask Trump to investigate if was MbS responsible for Khashoggi's death

Washington remains loyal to Saudi Arabia because “the US under President Trump is first and foremost a weapons and arms dealer,” the journalist argued. “It’s really not in the interest of the American people. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing like this. But for the rest, it’s a disaster.”

  • Published in World

Washington always turned a blind eye to Saudi Arabia, says ex-CIA officer on Khashoggi case

The White House is far more interested in ensuing Saudi Arabia’s stability than punishing it for the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, former CIA officer Bob Baer said.

We’ve always turned a blind eye to what’s going on in Saudi Arabia – right from the very beginning,” Baer told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday. He stressed that the close ties between the nations make Washington reluctant to attack the kingdom not only with regards to the Khashoggi case but also on the issues of human rights abuses and the devastating Saudi-led war in Yemen.

 
© Global Look Press/ Aurelien Morissard

Dissident journalist and The Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi disappeared in early October after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia claims that he was killed during a spontaneous “fistfight,” and has pledged to investigate his death. Turkish officials, meanwhile, insist that the Saudis dispatched a ‘death squad’ to assassinate the journalist. His body still hasn’t been located.

Khashoggi’s murder sparked international outrage. US President Donald Trump warned that the kingdom will face a “severe punishment” if it had indeed put out a hit on the journalist. The US, however, chose to keep the existing arms deals with the Saudis and said it didn’t believe the nation’s leadership was behind the dissident’s demise.

Washington is more interested in maintaining Saudi Arabia’s stability than searching for the truth and criticizing Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, Bob Baer argued. The kingdom remains among the prime buyers of US-made arms and Washington’s strategic ally in the region.

“Saudi Arabia is a volcano right now. We don’t have players there on our side [other than MBS],” Baer, who is now an author and commentator, said. “What worries the White House is that this country could pop.”

According to the recent New York Times report, the audio recording of Khashoggi’s murder, given to the CIA by Turkey, reveals how a member of the ‘kill team’ instructed a superior to “tell your boss” about the mission’s success. The US intelligence officers believe that “boss” in question is MBS, the paper reported.

At the same time, Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who himself didn’t listen to the tape, strongly suggested that it was “not the conclusion” the officers have made.

Bob Baer found it hard to agree with Bolton and noted that the Crown Prince “is in control” of all Saudi security services. “The Saudis don’t have rogue operations – ever. It has never occurred.”

  • Published in World

Yemen: Coalition Attacks Trap 1000s of Civilians in Hodeidah

70 percent of basic supplies including fuel, medicine, and food transit, through Hodeida, to other parts of the country. For this reason, if the fighting damages the city's infrastructure, the passage of supplies to northern Yemen will be compromised.

The fighting taking place in Hodeidah, a Yemeni port city on the Red Sea, has been the stage of U.S.-backed Saudi and United Arab Emirates coalition attacks, that has endangered — and taken — the lives of thousands of people.

RELATED: Bomb That Killed 40 Children in Yemen Was US-Supplied: Report

According to a CNN report, as many as “300,000” civilians could be confined to Hodeidah as a result of intensified Saudi-led air attacks on the Houthi rebel-held area. “Hodeidah is once again trapped in violence with hundreds of thousands of Yemenis caught in the middle. The upcoming talks cannot be an excuse to disregard the laws of war that protect the lives of the Yemeni people,” Fabrizio Carboni, from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), stated.

“This new attack on Hodeidah is brushing away the hope sparked by the recent announcement of the peace talks,” Carboni added.

United States officials have voiced concern over the situation in recent days, but no concrete action has been taken.

“We’ve got to move towards a peace effort here, and we can’t say we’re going to do it sometime in the future. We’ve admired this problem for long enough down there,” U.S. Secretary of State, Jim Mattis said regarding the situation in Yemen.

“It is time to end this conflict, replace conflict with compromise, and allow the Yemeni people to heal through peace and reconstruction,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added.

However, just last month, Pompeo was heavily criticized for the United States' continued support of the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed continued U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen over the objections of staff members after being warned that a cut off could jeopardize US$2 billion in weapons sales to America’s Gulf allies, according to a classified memo and people familiar with the decision,” a Wall Street Journal report said.

Hodeidah is a critical area for Yemen, as 70 percent of basic supplies including fuel, medicine, and food transit to other parts of the country. For this reason, if the fighting damages the infrastructure of the port city, the supplies passing to northern Yemen — where the majority of the population lives — could increase human suffering, aid workers told the Washington Post.

In August 2018, United Nations experts shared concerns over the “war crimes by parties to the conflict,” in a report.

“Among their conclusions, the experts say individuals in the Government of Yemen and the coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and in the de facto authorities have committed acts that may, subject to determination by an independent and competent court, amount to international crimes.”

  • Published in World

War-stricken Yemen 'living hell' for all children: UN official

Yemen has turned into a "living hell" for all children with thousands dying every year from malnutrition and easily preventable diseases, a top UN official says as Saudi Arabia presses ahead with its bloodshed and atrocities in the course of its three-and-a-half-year-old war against the impoverished country.

"Yemen is today a living hell -- not for 50 to 60 percent of the children -- it is a living hell for every boy and girl in Yemen," Geert Cappelaere, the regional director for the Middle East and North Africa at UN children's agency UNICEF, told reporters in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Sunday.

He called on the warring parties to join proposed peace talks due to be held later this month and agree to a ceasefire across the conflict-ravaged Yemen.

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) warned that more than seven million children are facing a serious threat of famine in Yemen.

 

“Today, 1.8 million children under the age of five are facing acute malnutrition, and 400,000 are affected by severe acute malnutrition,” Cappelaere said late in October 31.

Elsewhere in his Sunday remarks, the UN official said malnutrition leads to the death of 30,000 children each year in Yemen, while one child dies every 10 minutes from easily preventable diseases.

Cappelaere added that the figures were "a reminder for all of us to realize how dire the situation has become."

"We call on all parties to get together later this month under the leadership of the UN special envoy... and agree on a ceasefire and a road to peace for Yemen," he said.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that Yemen is teetering “on a precipice”, appealing to the international community to put an end to the Saudi war on the impoverished nation.

“Yemen today stands on a precipice. On the humanitarian side, the situation is desperate. We must do all we can to prevent the already dire conditions from deteriorating,” said the UN chief in a press conference, adding that the consequences of such a war would be “terrible” for the Yemeni nation.

Leading a coalition of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates and Sudan, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resigned amid popular discontent and fled to the Arab kingdom.

Since the onset of the imposed war, the Yemeni army, backed by fighters of the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, has been defending the impoverished nation against the brutal aggression. The coalition, supported by the United States, is also resolute to crush the movement as another goal in its war on Yemen, which is teetering on the edge of famine.

Saudi Arabia has so far achieved none of its objectives in Yemen. Riyadh had declared at the start of the invasion that the war would take no more than a couple of weeks.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A number of Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence.

  • Published in World

"They Got Rid Of Khashoggi's Body By Dissolving It": Top Turkish Official

Ankara: The body of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "dissolved" after he was murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a month ago, an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

The claim echoed what a Turkish official had told the Washington Post -- for which Khashoggi was a contributor -- that authorities are investigating a theory the body was destroyed in acid.

Highlights

  1. Authorities investigating theory that his body was destroyed in acid
  2. "Body cut up because it was easier to dissolve": Turkish officer
  3. Saudi Arabia has faced international condemnation over the killing

"We now see that it wasn't just cut up, they got rid of the body by dissolving it," Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Erdogan and official in Turkey's ruling party, told the Hurriyet newspaper on Friday.

"According to the latest information we have, the reason they cut up the body is it was easier to dissolve it," Aktay said.

Saudi Arabia has faced a torrent of international condemnation over the killing of the royal insider-turned-critic.

Turkey's chief prosecutor on Wednesday confirmed for the first time that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate on October 2 as part of a planned hit, and his body was then dismembered and destroyed.

"They aimed to ensure no sign of the body was left. This is what is understood from the prosecutor's statement, said Aktay, who was close to the journalist.

"Killing an innocent person is one crime, the treatment and extent of what was done to the body is another crime and dishonour."

The Turkish official quoted by the Washington Post said that "biological evidence" found in the consulate's garden indicated the body was likely disposed of near where Khashoggi was killed.

"Khashoggi's body was not in need of burying," the official told the US newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

Saudi authorities have denied Turkish police permission to search a well in the consulate's garden, but did allow them to take water samples for analysis, according to local media reports.

The murder has placed strain on the decades-old alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia and tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday it may take "a handful more weeks" before Washington has enough evidence to impose sanctions on the individuals responsible.

  • Published in World

Saudi Launches 30 Attacks on the Yemeni Capital

Starting in 2001, the United States became involved in aerial bombings against jihadist groups, and, in 2009, backed a land-based campaign against al-Qaida forces.

Saudi Arabia has led 30 attacks on several targets in the Al-Dailami airbase, which is located in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. According to U.S. News, the air-base had been used by Houthi forces “to launch drone and ballistic missile attacks.”

RELATED: Yemeni Death Toll From Saudi-led War in Five Times Higher Than Previously Reported: Study

This recent attack takes place just a few days after the Red Cross warned of a “catastrophic” situation in Yemen, in which the basic necessities of some 20 million people are not being met. The Red Cross also added that millions of underserved people are suffering due to the effects of famine and are in need of aid, making Yemen “the world’s single largest humanitarian crisis.”

“People in Yemen face two horrifying menaces: war and hunger. Civilians have paid the heaviest price for the conflict. Millions are displaced and millions go to bed hungry every night,” Fabrizio Carboni, from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC,), explained.

Among some of the issues experienced by Yemen are, due to the conflict, are: the depreciation of the currency, the Riyal; reduction of imports; difficulty in internal mobilization; increasing cost of living as basic products as sugar, rice and milk have increased in price (by 30 percent since last month); a lack of clean water and medication. The infrastructure has also become vulnerable and a spike in infectious diseases, such as cholera and measles, have become prevalent, according to the ICRC.

“We estimate that the number of killed to be 56,000 civilians and combatants between January 2016 and October 2018,” as a result of the war,  Andrea Carboni, from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), said.

The Yemeni Civil War began in 2015, as a conflict waged between the government and the Houthi forces.

Starting in 2001, the United States became involved in aerial bombings against jihadist groups, and, in 2009, backed a land-based campaign against al-Qaida forces.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia became involved in leading a military intervention to oust the internationally recognized government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Iran, another important player in the ongoing Yemen conflict, is an ally of the Houthis.

  • Published in World

Turkey Want 18 Saudi Khashoggi Muderers Extradited

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier demanded Saudi Arabia reveal the location of Khashoggi's body and hand over the suspects.

The prosecutor's office in Istanbul has submitted an official extradition request to Saudi Arabia for the 18 individuals suspected of murdering Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

RELATED: Yemeni Death Toll From Saudi-led War in Five Times Higher Than Previously Reported: Study

None of the 18 have been formally charged with the offense, and it's looking increasingly likely that Saudi Arabia will reject the Turkish request for extradition. 

Speaking to CNN, Saudi Adel Al-Jubeir claimed, "The individuals are Saudi nationals. They're detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia."

However, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamir Gul said Friday that Turkey wants its extradition request fulfilled since "this atrocious incident happened in Turkey."

He also stated that, Turkish institutions were capable and determined in their investigation, according to Turkey's state news agency Anadolu.

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed