Saudi Arabia seems to be getting away with the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last month, thanks to President Trump. However, the US Senators aren’t much pleased with Trump and Saudi Arabia.
In a strong act of defiance, senators have sent strong signals, asking for Saudi Arabia to be punished for its role in the murder of Khashoggi. The US Senator has opted to move forward with legislation that ends American involvement in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, a civil war that has taken the lives of thousands of innocent people and left millions on the edge of starvation. Recent reports from the United Nation and various other human rights organizations, claiming Yemen war as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, the US Senate seems to have had enough.
By a bipartisan 63-37 vote to move forward with the legislation, it’s a clear rebuke to Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration that the US support to Riyadh needs to end now. While the Republicans do not want to jeopardize their relationship with Saudi Arabia, it is clear something has to shift. The vote showed that enough Republicans were willing to go against their leader and that not even the Saudis should be able to get away with the murder.
Lobbying against the resolution was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who came to Capitol Hill, together with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Even though the US intelligence has concluded that Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman did at least know about the plot of the murder, Trump denied to blame Mohammad bin Salman. Trump said there is no direct evidence to link Salman with the murder.
Pompeo has said that without US involvement, the war in Yemen would be worse. There are those that ask how such a war could be worse, and there are those that think this is all about business and money.
Trump has reinforced the importance of the American relationship with Saudi Arabia and is said to be standing with Saudi Arabia, because of the business deals between the two countries that are beneficial for both.