(TFTP) While the double standards the United States sets for its close ally, Saudi Arabia, have been criticized by members of the public, it is not often that politicians call out the hypocrisy—and then there’s Rand Paul—the man, who on Wednesday, was dodging .556 rounds fired at him by an anti-Trump lunatic.
The Republican senator from Kentucky went off on an aggressive Twitter rant, before taking to the Senate floor on Tuesday to speak out against the proposed $350 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, which was praised by President Trump during his first official trip abroad.
“Saudi Arabia is causing a humanitarian crisis with a war in Yemen,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “It funds extremism worldwide. Abuses human rights. Stop arming them now.”
During his speech, Paul noted that by arming Saudi Arabia, the U.S. is directly supporting the Saudis’ horrific war in Yemen, which has resulted in the deaths of over 10,000, and has left millions of civilians malnourished, and in desperate need of food assistance.
“Should the United States be actively involved with refueling Saudi planes, with picking targets, with having advisors on the ground? Should we be at war in Yemen?” Paul said on the Senate floor. “If you remember your Constitution, it says no president has that authority. Only to repel imminent attack, but no president alone has the unilateral authority to take us to war. And yet, here we are on the verge of war.”
Paul also said that while it won’t solve every problem the Yemeni people are currently facing, he believes halting the arms sale will have an impact on helping to stop some of the suffering.
“One group said that the impending famine in Yemen may reach biblical proportions — think about that,” He said. “It is astounding what is being done, and it is not being done with your weapons, but with your — we will force this vote for these children in Yemen because we have a chance today to stop the carnage. We have a chance to tell Saudi Arabia we’ve had enough.”
Paul then went on to bring up the fact that less than one year ago, Congress supported giving the families of 9/11 victims the right to sue Saudi Arabia for the attacks. When President Obama vetoed the bill in September 2016, it became the first veto of his presidency that Congress overturned.
“There is an abundance of evidence that high level Saudis were complicit in 9/11,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “The 28 pages show that. Why would we give them arms?”
In a segment of the speech posted on his Facebook page, Paul quoted former President Dwight Eisenhower, who said he was worried the U.S. would start to make decisions in the name of the military industrial complex, rather than national defense.
“I am embarrassed that people would bring up trying to feather the nests of corporations in order to sell these weapons,” Paul said. “This should be made pure and simple on our national defense. Saudi Arabia is not a reliable ally. Saudi Arabia should not get these weapons. For every supposed good thing they do, they do five things that are bad for America.”
Paul was joined by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Tuesday. The senators sought to invoke the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, in order to force a vote on blocking the portion of the arms sale that would be used to deepen the conflict in Yemen. As a result, 47 senators voted the halt the sale, and 53 senators voted to provide the weapons to Saudi Arabia.
“Today, a bipartisan group of senators took a stand against the escalating war Saudi Arabia is waging with Yemen,” Paul said in a press release. “This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take a stance against waging an undeclared war and fueling an arms race in the Middle East. I applaud those who voted with me to block this proposed arms sale, and I hope this sends a clear message to Saudi Arabia that the United States will not just stand by as they massacre their unarmed neighbors.”