During a Reddit “ask me anything” session today, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the burning issue of US relationship with Saudi Arabia, urging the Trump administration to get out of Yemen.
The Yemen war is “an unbelievable and horrific humanitarian disaster,” Senator Sanders said, adding that the war is also unconstitutional “because Congress, which has the war-making authority in our form of government, has not authorized it.”
“We should not be allied with a dictatorship like Saudi Arabia who is leading the effort in that war. Let’s get out of Yemen as soon as possible and help bring humanitarian help to that struggling country.”
In March this year, as Vox reported, along with Republican Senator from Utah Mike Lee and Democratic Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy, Bernie Sanders introduced the resolution to stop American support for Saudi forces in Yemen.
The GOP-controlled Senate, however, voted to kill the initiative.
Citing Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, the Independent recently reported that around 56,000 civilians and combatants have been killed in Yemen since 2016.
A total of up to 80,000 victims is expected, according to the organization, since the number of casualties continues to rise.
Furthermore, since the beginning of the war, more than 570,000 Yemenis have been displaced. Millions of Yemenis are succumbing to disease and malnutrition.
Sanders, Lee, and Murphy’s March resolution may have not passed, but calls to end the US support for Saudi forces in Yemen have intensified since the brutal killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
After Khashoggi’s murder, President Trump vowed “severe” punishment for Saudi Arabia, but his threats have not yet materialized.
According to The Guardian, the president said that he does not want to “hurt jobs” by sanctioning Saudi Arabia and halting arms sales.
But a bipartisan pressure campaign has nevertheless continued.
Libertarian-leaning Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul has urged President Trump to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia on multiple occasions — in media interviews and via Twitter — but seemingly to no avail, since the administration appears to have remained adamant to stay involved in the conflict.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, Paul also said that selling arms to Saudi Arabia is not an economic issue, and argued that the Saudis had been indiscriminately killing Yemeni civilians — children included — with American weapons.
For independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, it is “imperative” that the United States develops an “even-handed” policy toward Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia is a brutal dictatorship which does not tolerate dissent, which treats women as third class citizens and which is run by a handful of multi-billionaires. I strongly condemn Trump’s affection for the rulers of Saudi Arabia,” Sanders concluded.