Hillary Clinton's State Department Armed Saudi Arabia to the Teeth
By Medea Benjamin and Rebecca Green
While Saudi Arabia and Boeing poured cash into the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton's State Department approved enormous sales of Boeing fighter jets to the kingdom.
As Hillary Clinton emerges as the front-runner for the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, she’s receiving increased scrutiny for her years as secretary of state -- and in particular her hawkish foreign policy. Many critics are focusing especially on her long relationship with Saudi Arabia.
On Christmas Eve in 2011, Hillary Clinton and her closest aides celebrated a $29.4 billion sale of over 80 F-15 fighter jets, manufactured by U.S.-based Boeing Corporation, to Saudi Arabia. In a chain of enthusiastic emails, an aide exclaimed that it was “not a bad Christmas present.”
These are the very fighter jets the Saudis have been using to bomb Yemen since March 2015. A year later, at least 2,800 Yemeni civilians have been killed, mostly by airstrikes -- and there’s no end in sight.
The indiscriminate Saudi strikes have killed journalists and ambulance drivers. They’ve hit the Chamber of Commerce, facilities supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders), a wedding hall, and a center for the blind. The attacks have also targeted ancient heritage sites in Yemen. International human rights organizations are saying that the Saudi-led strikes on Yemen may amount to war crimes.
During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton made weapons transfers to the Saudi government a “top priority,” according to a new report published in The Intercept. And even while Clinton's State Department was deeply invested in getting weapons to Saudi Arabia, the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in donations from both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the weapons manufacturer Boeing. Christmas presents were being gifted all around.
Despite the brutal attacks on Yemen and its egregious domestic human rights violations, Saudi Arabia remains the number one U.S. ally in the Arab world. While the original U.S. interest was to secure Saudi's vast oil reserves, today only 10 percent of oil used in the United States comes from the kingdom. Instead, U.S. dependence on Saudi oil has been superseded by U.S. dependence on weapons sales.
The most recent Saudi weapons deal was made in November 2015, a sale worth $1.29 billion that included 22,000 smart and general purpose bombs, and over 5,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits to convert older bombs into precision-guided weapons using GPS signals. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency justified the sales, saying they helped “sustain strong military-to-military relationships between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
It's hard to exaggerate the enormity and high-tech nature of Saudi weapons purchases. Indeed, the deals this decade constitute the most enormous military sales in history.
According to a White House press release in 2014, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest U.S. Foreign Military Sales customer, with active and open cases valued at approximately $97 billion, as Saudi forces build capabilities across the full spectrum of regional challenges.” The weapons include F-15 bombers, Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, missile defense systems, missiles, bombs, armored vehicles, and related equipment and services. Weapons manufacturers such as Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and McDonnell Douglas have been unapologetically pushing these sales to offset military spending cuts in the United States and Europe.
While the U.S. government continues to provide massive amounts of weapons to Saudi Arabia, on February 25 the European Union took the extraordinary step of voting for an EU-wide arms embargo to Saudi Arabia. While non-binding, it’s a powerful statement that will put pressure on all European governments.
Already, government committees in the United Kingdom have urged Prime Minister David Cameron to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia; Germany has pledged to review all future arms sales to the kingdom; and in Belgium the government has denied an export license to ship weapons to the country. Canadian activists are also pressuring their government in light of Canada's $15 billion transaction with Riyadh for weaponized armored vehicles, the biggest manufacturing export deal ever struck in Canada.
U.S. activists must follow the example of our European allies and demand that our government stop supplying the Saudi rulers with weapons to bomb civilians in Yemen and repress its own citizens.
- Israeli - Palestinian Realities
- Backing Russia's Syria Ceasefire
- Trump's Israel Ambassador Pick Should Set Off Alarm Bells
- Iraq: A Huge Ethical Leap Backwards
- Deadly Stalemate in Yemen
- Iran: Crime against Humanity?
- Deadly Terror in Turkey
- Donald Trump, the Middle East, and American Foreign Policy
- Trump and the Iran Nuclear Deal
- Trump and Israel: Big-League Issues and Huge Repercussions
- Trump's Israel Ambassador Pick Should Set Off Alarm Bells
- Erdogan Warns Europe That Turkey Could Open Migrant Gates
- Europe Should Not Freeze Turkey's Negotiations to Join the EU
- Will the Battle for Mosul Change the Power of the Kurds in Iraq?
- Israeli Blockade of Gaza is Inherently Violent
- Are U.S. - Saudi Relations Finally Souring?
- An Outdated Relationship with Saudi Arabia
- The International Dimension of Aleppo
- Iraq's Traumatized Minorities: A Test Of Unity After Mosul Offensive
- Mosul, Iraq, ISIL and the Levant
- U.S. Should Stop Saudi Arabia's War in Yemen
- Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows in the New Middle East
- Using Civil War to Build an Authoritarian Regime: Turkey's Policy towards Syria
- Assad Regime Must Pay Reparations to Help With Costs of Refugee Crisis
- No End in Sight for Israel's Rightward Drift
- Realizing Peace
- Saudi Arabia's Foreign Policy and the Failure of the Doha Oil Negotiations
- Saudi Crisis Deepens
- Why Exactly Does Saudi Arabia Fund the Spread of Wahhabism?
- ibn Abd al-Wahhab?
- Iraq's Future as a State
- The Post-Davutoglu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy
- From Paris to Istanbul, More 'War on Terror' Means More Terrorist Attacks
- Countries With the Most Troops
- The Old Oil Order Is Collapsing
- Islamic State: In Retreat or Transition?
- Challenging ISIS on its Own Turf
- Stabilizing Syria's Northern Border
- Politics of the Turkish Conflict: The Kurdish Issue
- One Last Chance for Peace in Yemen
- Syria after the Russian Intervention
- Jimmy Carter's Role in Securing Middle East Peace
- The Islamic State's Cash Flow Problems
- Syria's Moderate Opposition Lives
- Bombing ISIL Like Watering Its Roots
- Islamic Extremism Potentially Synergistic
- Russia is Withdrawing from Syria and the U.S. Should Follow Suit
- Islamic Extremism Is Nothing if Not Protean
- Hillary Clinton's State Department Armed Saudi Arabia to the Teeth
- The Islamic State's Obvious Next Step: Arming Its Drones
- Enabling Police Brutality in Egypt
- Why Are Disproportionate Numbers of Islamic Extremists Engineers?
- When Islam Polices Extremists
- It's Not Only the U.S. That Israel Resents
- U.S. Support for the Saudi Regime is a Humanitarian Disaster
- Can We Not End Wars Anymore?
- The Children's Crusade
- The Art of Dissidence and Diplomacy
- Saudi's Shiite Cleric Execution Going to Cost Them Big
- Independently Wealthy: ISIL's Sinews of War
- Causes & Consequences in Yemen
- Saudi Arabia: Real Progress or Window Dressing?
- Is Russia Actually Targeting Civilians in Syria?
- So Why Did Turkey Shoot Down That Russian Plane?
- Syria: For Money or Liberty?
- Russian Intervention in the Syrian Civil War
- A Greater Threat to Syria Than ISIL
- Israel: National Security and International Legitimacy
- Israel Should Stop Evicting Palestinians
- The Arab Uprisings Five Years After
- The Ghost of the Islamic State Future
- The Global Militarisation Index
- The Geopolitics of Religious Liberty
- Towards a Sectarian Political Order?
- Violence, Hostility and Religion Today
- Putin's Syrian Quagmire: Costs as well as Benefits for the US
- Religious Politics & Illiberal Religion
- The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil
- Islamic State: Timeline of 2015 Terror Attacks
- Insights Into the Kurdish Resistance Movement in Turkey
- The Schrodinger Solution for Syria
- U.S. and Saudi Arabia: A Toxic Alliance
- Turkey's President Gets Majority at Terrible Price
- A Radical Win-Win Solution for Syria
- Odds Stacked Against Mahmoud Abbas
- The Middle East's New Nakba
- A Kumbaya Moment for the Middle East? Hardly
- On Paper, Coalition Should Crush Islamic State
- What Happens When the Islamic State Has Its Own Air Force?
- Stop Cheering for Russia in Syria
- Inevitable Triumvirate: Syria, Russia & Iran
- Is Putin Really as Foolish as We Are?
- Is Russia the 'Main Engine' of the Destruction of ISIL?
- Turkey: Plague Upon the House of Erdogan
- Was Bin Laden Killing Result of Intelligence?
- Why Doesn't the Establishment Take World Peace Seriously?
- The Star Trek Fallacy
- In Foreign Policy, Nature May Love a Vacuum
- Prospects for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East
- Stephen Walt's Call to Adopt a Containment Policy Toward the Islamic State
- Kids Paying the Price for Yemen's War
Article: Courtesy Foreign Policy in Focus.
"Hillary Clinton's State Department Armed Saudi Arabia to the Teeth"