The Middle East has never been known as a hotbed of respect for human rights, or even human rights in general, which is why Rand Paul is now supporting a resolution to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Recent Saudi attacks in Yemen using U.S. missiles have killed civilians, which is creating anger on both sides of the aisle in Congress.
Halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia is a pretty common sense measure right now. Even while the U.S. struggles to reduce civilian deaths in the War on Terror, the Saudis have no such compunction, and will launch ordinance in a willy nilly fashion against whatever target they feel like.
Both the House (H.J Res 90) and the Senate (S.J. Res. 32) are promoting the idea that it is no longer in America’s best interests to sell arms to the retrograde theocracy of Saudi Arabia, and for damn good reason. Let’s face it, no nation is perfect, but the Saudis take human rights abuses to a whole new level of refinement, with cruel tortures and executions straight out of the dark ages, and a world view that often considers non Saudis as less valuable people.
Rand Paul is right to not want to arm such social primitives, at least not until they wake up and smell the 21st Century, or at least pick up some of those crazy 18th Century Enlightenment ideals which have served all who adhere to them so well. Senator Paul notes that “For too long the Obama administration has not been holding countries receiving U.S. military munitions accountable in the Middle East…” and calls the Saudi track record of only engaging military targets “questionable”. It’s no wonder then that rational thinking members of Congress want to add accountability and assurance to the arms sales process in the Middle East.
A halt in arms sales to Saudi Arabia would greatly hamper the oil rich, and human rights poor kingdom’s ability to arm themselves with modern weapons. And perhaps that is for the best, after all, if they are stuck in the 12th Century, right down to chopping off heads in the streets, perhaps they don’t need the arms of a modern nation. If they cannot wage war as civilized nations do, then they can pick up swords and sharp pointy sticks and wage war in as primitive a fashion as their current oppressive society. Tell us what you think of Rand Paul’s plan to halt arms sales on Facebook and Twitter.
Written by Steve Coffman
(Photo courtesy of Al Jazeera English, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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