Why Isn’t US Following UK’s Lead,? UK Appeals Court Bans Sale Of Military Arms To Saudi Arabia

Amnesty International activists march with homemade replica missiles bearing the message ‘Made in Britain, destroying lives in Yemen'( Getty )
Update: As per 6/20/2019 New York Times Report, “Senate Blocks Trump Administration’s Arm Sales To Gulf Nations In Bipartisan Rebuke by Catie Edmondson:” (It’ll have difficulty surviving a presidential veto.)
Excerpts:

“The Senate voted to block the sale of billions of dollars of munitions to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, in a sharp and bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress to allow the exports by declaring an emergency over Iran.”

****

“In the first of a series of 3 back-to-back votes, Republicans joined Democrats to register their growing anger with the administration’s use of emergency power to cut lawmakers out of national security decisions, as well as the White House’s unflagging support for the Saudis despite congressional pressure to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing last October of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

                                                                     ****

Image result for photos of trump with defense industry executives
TRUMP WITH DEFENSE INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES
“While the Democratic-controlled House is also expected to block the sales, Mr. Trump has pledged to veto the legislation, and it is unlikely that either chamber could muster enough support to override the president’s veto.”
                                                                       ****
“The White House announced the sales late last month, and invoked an emergency provision in the Arms Export Control Act to allow American companies to sell $8.1 billion worth of munitions in 22 pending transfers to the three Arab nations. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are waging an air war in Yemen that has come under sharp criticism from Congress and human rights organizations.”
                                                                       ****
Related image

Update: As per 6/20/2019 BBC report:

First direct incident of crisis

Analysis box by Jonathan Marcus, defence correspondent

“This is the first direct incident of the current crisis involving the US and Iranian militaries and is a powerful reminder of the dangers of escalation in the Gulf.”

“As far as the Iranians are concerned, the downing of the drone was intended to send a clear and explicit message to the Americans – “our borders are our red line” – a point underscored by the IRGC’s commander-in-chief.”

“So there is no doubting who shot down the US drone, an MQ-4C Triton. It is a massive aircraft with a wing-span equivalent to a small airliner. But the two sides differ as to where it happened. The Iranians say it was in their airspace; the Americans say that it was not.”

“According to some reports, US President Donald Trump himself is eager to dial down the tension, fearing a spillover into outright conflict. But this is just the kind of incident that could provoke just such a cycle of action and response.”

A handout photo made available by the US Navy provided by Northrop Grumman, a RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle conducts tests over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, USA 25 June 2010
The US military identified the drone as a US Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk (file photo)
The US republican President Donald Trump has been doing his level best to make sure that US defense firms like Raytheon will be in a position to sell military arms to Saudi Arabia by avoiding requiring the approval of the US Congressional lawmakers by declaring his new favorite tool, “it’s a national emergency. The president is arguing that the Saudis require these arms in light of Iran’s recent aggressive activities.”
                                                                             ****
It just so happens that the Saudis had anticipated not being able to purchase military weaponry from the UK, which has turned out to be an accurate assessment.
                                                                             ****
Meanwhile on 6/20/2019, the US Congress is attempting to pass bipartisan legislation to block the sale of US military arms to Saudi Arabia. It looks like there are the votes to pass a law/ or laws to stop the president from doing an end run around the US Congress but the question is, are there the votes to override a presidential veto.
                                                                              ****
Image result for photos MARK T ESPY DEFENSE SECRETARY
ESPER
For background, The CEOs of Raytheon and United Technologies have managed to convince President Trump that the merger of the two companies would be “great for America,”
                                                                       ****
Guess which corporation the new Acting Secretary of Defense had been an executive?
                                                                       ****
As per the 6/19/2019 New York Times report, “Mr. Trump named Mark T. Esper, the secretary of the Army and a former Raytheon executive, to take over as acting secretary of defense. He did not say whether Mr. Esper would be nominated for the permanent position, but told reporters he was a “highly respected” graduate of West Point and Harvard and predicted that “he’ll do very well.”
                                                                       ****
                                                                       ****
Here’s the rest of the story…
                     ****
As per the 6/19/2019 Hill report, “Senate to vote Thursday to block Trump’s Saudi arms deal” by Jordain Carney, “The Senate will vote Thursday to block President Trump‘s controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia, paving the way for a showdown with the White House.”
                                                                      ****
“Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate will hold three votes on the 22 sales that would also send weapons to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Two standalone votes will be on resolutions to block sales to Saudi Arabia. Senators would then have a third vote that would condense the remaining 20 resolutions of disapproval into one vote.”
                                                                       ****
                                                                    ****
“The resolutions blocking Trump’s arms sales are anticipated to be able to pass the Senate, where they only need a simple majority. At least 4 Republicans are expected to vote with all 47 Democrats to block the arms deal.”
                                                                     ****
“House Democrats have also pledged to block the sales, setting the stage for a massive veto showdown with Trump. Neither chamber is expected to have the votes to override the vetoes.”
                                                                     ****
“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pointed to the bipartisan opposition to the arms sales as a sign of “coalition building” in Congress to check an administration’s foreign policy authority.”
                                                                      ****
“I think the votes going to be significant — well over 50 but possibly over 60 and even with a potential of getting a veto-proof,” Paul told reporters.”
                                                                        ****
Image result for images US CONGRESS BLOCKING US ARMS SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA
                                                                 ****
“The unprecedented move to block the sales reflects growing frustration on Capitol Hill about the U.S.-Saudi relationship and would come after 2 votes fell short in recent years to block arms deals with Saudi Arabia. One, in 2016, garnered support from only 27 senators. The other, in June 2017, had the backing of 47 senators.”
                                                                 ****
“Since then, U.S.-Saudi relations have soured further amid growing concerns about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the years-long Yemen civil war and the death of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.”

See Intercept report:  UN Concludes That Saudi Arabia Needs to Be Held Accountable  …

Map of Iran and Strait of Hormuz showing Kuhmobarak

“Trump sparked bipartisan backlash when he invoked an emergency provision under the Arms Export Control Act to push through the sales without a congressional review period.”

“The administration has cited a heightened threat from Iran as its justification for invoking the emergency sales.”

See: Why Is President Trump Selling Arms To Saudi Arabia With Its Horrid Human Rights Record?

See: How Did US Allow Sale Of Nuclear Material To Saudi Arabia Without Doing Its Due Diligence?

See: President Trump Has been Playing Footsies With Both Saudi Arabia And UAE

Image result for IMAGES OF UK COURT BLOCKING SALE OF ARMS TO SAUDI ARABIA

On June 20, 2019, Lizzie Dearden of the Independent penned the following report, “UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia unlawful, Court of Appeal rules”

Excerpts:

“The UK’s continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen’s brutal war are unlawful, the Court of Appeal has ruled.”

“Campaigners won the latest stage of their legal battle against the government over the conflict, where Saudi forces are accused of committing war crimes.”

“The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) argued that UK fighter jets and bombs are being used to kill civilians and violate international law.”

Image result for IMAGES OF UK COURT BLOCKING SALE OF ARMS TO SAUDI ARABIA

“He said the government “must reconsider the matter” and estimate any future risks in light of their conclusions about the past.”

“The High Court previously ruled in the government’s favour, finding that it was “rationally entitled to conclude … that the [Saudi-led] coalition were not deliberately targeting civilians” and was investigating reported incidents.”

“CAAT challenged the 2017 ruling and took fresh evidence from the Yemen conflict to the Court of Appeal.”

“On (6/20/2019), Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Irwin and Lord Justice Singh concluded that it was “irrational and therefore unlawful” for the international trade secretary to have licenced the weapons exports without assessing whether past incidents amounted to breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL) and if there was a “clear risk” of future breaches.”

Related image

“The question whether there was an historic pattern of breaches of IHL … was a question which required to be faced,” the ruling said.”

“Judges said the government “made no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so”.

“Sir Terence added: “The decision of the court today doesn’t mean that licences to export arms to Saudi Arabia must immediately be suspended.”

“He said the government “must reconsider the matter” and estimate any future risks in light of their conclusions about the past.”
Image result for IMAGES OF UK COURT BLOCKING SALE OF ARMS TO SAUDI ARABIA
COURTS DECLARE THIS UNLAWFUL

“A lawyer from Leigh Day, which represented CAAT, said the horrors in Yemen “can no longer be ignored by the UK government”.

“Lawyer Rosa Curling said: “The government will now have to reconsider whether to suspend existing export licenses and reconsider its decision to continue to grant licences. Our client hopes the government will reconsider quickly and will decide that no further licences should be granted.”

Image result for IMAGES OF UK COURT BLOCKING SALE OF ARMS TO SAUDI ARABIA

“Andrew Smith, of Campaign Against Arms Trade, said: “We welcome this verdict, but it should never have taken a court case brought by campaigners to force the government to follow its own rules.The Saudi Arabian regime is one of the most brutal and repressive in the world, yet, for decades, it has been the largest buyer of UK-made arms.”

“No matter what atrocities it has inflicted, the Saudi regime has been able to count on the  military support of the UK.”

5 comments

    • Dear Mary,

      I can smell Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel wanting US to go to war against Iran on their behalf, and yes, it’s not comforting to know that President Trump’s loyalties are for sale.

      The one fly in the ointment is that Russia would not back US going to war with Iran.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hello Gronda. Money is the one goal of tRump. Everything tRump does has some money advantage for him, or he thinks it does. So as the old saying goes, follow the money. Somehow these arms sales put money in tRump’s pocket. Now we hear that Jared Kushner got 90 million dollars from Saudi Arabia to keep his failing family business afloat. Are the two linked? Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Scottie,

      Of course the two are connected. The reason I’m so in favor of the House commencing the -I-inquiry, is that it makes it so much easier for the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal to obtain President Trump’s tax records and other financial data. The White House has been blocking this with the legal argument that Rep. Neal request has nothing to do with creating new legislation but with Democrats attempt to embarrass the president. The House is supposed to be the body that creates legislation and its oversight duties are supposed to inform House members so that they can be knowledgeable when they craft bills.

      The US Constitutions granted the US House, one non-legislative power, that of initiating an impeachment inquiry which would place Rep Neal in a much better position with the courts to collect his IRS tax returns and to order his NY State tax returns. He’ll still have to deal with the courts, but successful outcomes would be almost automatic.

      I’ve been convinced for a long time that president’s financial records are to President Trump, what the tapes were to President Nixon in 1974.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Gronda. I have been watching clips of different house hearings. The Republicans are embolden again and openly challenging the Democratic chairman and issuing demands. Jim Jordan simply talked over the chairman and they are getting away with it. This is killing the Democrats. We have to show some spine, show some strength. Each set back is another set of lost votes. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.