Our Open Letter President Obama
April 17, 2016
To President Barack Obama
On April 21 you are going to Riyadh. The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance calls upon you to notify King Salman that the U.S. must end its military ties to Saudi Arabia.
The world is outraged by his murder of Yemenis. In 2010 you organized the biggest weapons sale in U.S. history with Saudi Arabia. But in 2016 the European Union called for an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia. The E.U. stand is in stark contrast to your arming the Saudis.
On April 11, NY Times Editorial Page editor Carol Giacomo blogged re
“Human Rights Watch… says that America may be complicit in war crimes.” Beyond supplying weapons, “The United States also provides other critical support to the coalition in the form of intelligence from reconnaissance drones and air craft refueling via airborne fuel tankers…. The United Nations says that coalition airstrikes have caused the vast majority of civilian deaths….
American culpability turns on whether the United States provided targeting assistance or aerial refueling to the coalition during these particular airstrikes…. a spokesman for the United States Central Command said decisions on “final vetting of targets” are made by the coalition, not the United States. But does that absolve Washington of responsibility?….
Americans deserve to know more clearly just what role their government is playing in the Yemen war. The United States and Saudi Arabia both have an obligation to investigate alleged war crimes by their armed forces, the rights group said.”
There is presently a Yemen war “cease fire”. We suspect the Saudis agreed to it to make your trip look successful and to get military gifts and support at the U.N. A cease fire isn’t enough. The regime must be told that its Yemen intervention must end immediately.
President Obama, you must end U.S. military ties to Saudi Arabia and investigate U.S. war crimes charges made by Human Rights Watch.
The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance includes CODEPINK, the Institute for Gulf Affairs, the Middle East Crisis Committee, Promoting Enduring Peace, the United National Anti-War Coalition, Massachusetts Peace Action, and individual activists. Our site is www.SaudiUS.org
What he Did in the Kingdom
Our Letter to Obama and What he Did in Saudi Arabia
No surprise that he did not answer us directly. Yet he did make a decision. He decided to spurn every effort to put pressure on the Saudi princes. He didn't meet with dissidents. He made no public statement about their hideous justice system, the three youths facing beheading, the lack of women's rights or the aggression against Yemen.
The New York Times reported "The sharpest exchange, the official said, came when Mr. Obama criticized the kingdom’s human rights record, raising the issues of harsh sentences and beheadings. The king repeatedly defended the Saudi justice system." Big deal. The weapons keep being sold, our airforce troops continue to advise on targeting, the planes continue air refueling, etc. etc.
He ignored all the critical press and TV programs and demonstrations and street theater. He ignored the Murphy bill that would put some limits on his freedom to aid Saudi aggression.
We've made some headway in the media and in the public mind, but nothing has helped the Arabian Gulf yet.