Friday, September 23
As many as 27 U.S. Senators want to defend civilization! Yippee!
I would've put the number at half that figure. So I don't want to see any long faces from fellow Americans about the 71; look on the bright side, is my motto:
The U.S. Senate cleared the way for a $1.15 billion sale of tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, defending a frequent partner in the Middle East recently subject to harsh criticism in Congress.
The Senate voted 71 to 27 to kill legislation that would have stopped the sale.
The overwhelming vote stopped an effort led by Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to block the deal over concerns, including Saudi Arabia's role in the 18-month-long war in Yemen and worries that it might fuel an ongoing regional arms race.
The Pentagon announced on Aug. 9 that the State Department had approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said General Dynamics Corp would be the principal contractor for the sale.
Paul, Murphy and other opponents of the arms deal were sharply critical of the Riyadh government during debate before the vote, citing Yemen, the kingdom's human rights record and its international support for a conservative form of Islam.
"If you're serious about stopping the flow of extremist recruiting across this globe, then you have to be serious that the ... brand of Islam that is spread by Saudi Arabia all over the world, is part of the problem," Murphy said.He's got that right. It's embarrassing that so many American politicians and policymakers think that bailing oceans with a sieve is viable anti-terrorism policy. But where there's life, there's hope:
[Murphy's] criticism came days before lawmakers are expected to back another measure seen as anti-Saudi, a bill that would allow lawsuits against the country's government by relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
President Barack Obama has promised to veto that bill, but congressional leaders say there is a strong chance that lawmakers will override the veto and let the measure become law. Overriding a presidential veto requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate.