Recently, Donald Trump called for a $110 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia.The sale was originally going to occur under President Obama, but he cancelled it in the end due to high casualties in the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. After Trump criticized Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for cozying up to the Saudis, he is now doing the exact same thing. Saudi Arabia's actions in Yemen are horrific and are a human rights disaster. The Saudi blockade alone blocks Yemen from receiving resources it so desperately needs.
How can we claim to care about human rights and democracy in the Middle East while helping Saudi Arabia? We claimed to care about human rights when we took out Saddam Hussein, we claimed to care about human rights when we took out Muammar al-Qaddafi, we still claim to care about human rights in Syria, yet we let one of biggest violators of human rights get away with it because they give us oil. Qaddafi's Libya, for example, had a much better record on things like gender equality than the Saudis, but since he didn't cater to US demands, he had to go.
The United States wants to bring democracy to the Middle East, but it props up a theocratic absolute monarchy. If the US truly cared about democracy in Middle East, we wouldn't have taken out Iranian President Mohammad Mossadegh in the 1950s, but because he nationalized the oil, he had to go. However, when the Iranians ousted the modern, yet corrupt, Shah, they put into place an Islamic government that is bad because it decided to not give the U.S. oil. Iran has many problems with human rights too, but it is definitely not as bad as Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the Arab, Sunni Saudis hate the Persian, Shia Iran, which is deemed much worse to the United States. It's an ethnic and religious conflict being stoked by the West.
The United States wants to fight radical Islamist groups like ISIL, yet it arms a country that runs it government off of the same radical interpretation of the Quran that ISIL wants to spread. Most of the 9/11 hijackers, including Osama bin Laden, were from Saudi Arabia, yet Saudi Arabia does not appear as a "high-risk" country on the travel ban. And, constant U.S. attempts to prop regimes that will ally with the United States, only allows radical terror groups to fill the power vacuum.
Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Al Franken (D-MN), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) are forcing a vote on the issue. They did the same thing under Obama administration, but that vote failed 71-26. It's all about resources. Whether a politician has a D or an R next to their name, they both want to pluck the strings of the Middle East and prop up regimes that will sell us oil.Trump condemned Hillary for her interventionism, and then proceeded to do the exact same thing.
Now, America should not overthrow the al-Saud family. If our history of regime change has taught as anything, it's that we need to stop with the regime change. but, ff America is to live up to its principles and truly be a force for good in the world, then we must stop aiding and abetting the Saudis. The world is not our chessboard and foreign policy isn't a game; it's the real deal and its leading to many deaths, all in the name of profit. Why not actually do what Trump campaigned on? Let's pay to build up at home instead of paying to destroy abroad.