Stein Calls on Congress to Fight Terrorism by Halting Arms Shipments to Saudi Arabia
November 23rd, Athens, Georgia
Dr. Jill Stein, who is seeking the Green Party Presidential nomination, called upon Congress today to stand up to terrorists by rejecting the Obama administration’s proposed sale of $1.29 billion bombs to Saudi Arabia. Congress has 30 days to reject the deal.
“The wealthy elites of Saudi Arabia have been one of the leading funders of terrorism for decades. Now they are funding terrorists like ISIS. And often the weapons the US provides to our so-called allies in the Middle East end up in the hands of those who attack us. The Saudis have also been accused of war crimes in their bombing of civilian areas of Yemen, killing over 2000 civilians in the past six months. We have to stop sending US weapons to fuel terrorism and civil wars that breed terrorism,” said Stein.
The official US government report on 9/11 said that while the Commission was unable to identify the exact funders of the attack, that was unimportant in light of the huge amount of funding provided to the terrorists by the Saudis. The vast majority of those who attacked the US on 9/11 were Saudis.
According to a secret memo signed by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, released by WikiLeaks, Saudi donors constituted “the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” This was a decade after the US government said that the Saudis had agreed to “clean up their act” following 9/11. ISIS is mainly Sunnis from Syria and Iraq.
The Saudis’ major partner in funding terrorism is Qatar, which according to the memo has the worst record of counter-terrorism cooperation with the US. German Development Minister Gerd Mueller accused Qatar on Wednesday of financing Islamic State militants. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of openly funding ISIS.
Earlier this year Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, authored a letter to the Obama administration calling out Qatar for being “the world’s safe haven for terrorist groups and militia leaders.” It urged U.S. officials to “reassess and reevaluate” America’s multi-billion-dollar military alliance with the country.
The pending arms deal with the Saudis involves more than 10,000 advanced air-to-surface munitions like laser-guided bombs and “bunker buster” bombs. That’s a small fraction of the more than $100 billion in arms sales that Washington and Riyadh have conducted in the past five years.
“One of the major impacts of the U.S. war on terrorism since 9/11 has been to create more terrorists. A major reason for this failure has been the unwillingness of the American government to cut ties with the governments funding the terrorism, starting with Saudi Arabia.” noted Stein.