Via America’s Lawyer: House representatives are finally standing up to Saudi Arabia. RT correspondent Brigida Santos joins Mike Papantonio to explain how lawmakers are voting to end U.S. support for the Kingdom’s deadly bombing campaign against civilians in Yemen.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Mike Papantonio: House lawmakers have approved an amendment ending all support for the Saudi lead bombing campaign in Yemen. Brigida Santos joins me now to talk about that. Brigida, first of all, what can you tell me about the amendment? What are the details here?
Brigida Santos: The amendment to the 2022 national defense authorization act was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Ro Khanna who says, quote, our amendment would end all US logistical support and a transfer of spare parts for Saudi war planes that are bombing Yemen, bombing schools, killing children and bombing civilians in the largest humanitarian crisis around the world. Khanna says they introduced this amendment to finally end US complicity in the Saudi led war on Houthi rebels in Yemen, which the US has supported since 2015. While the bill passed in the House of Representatives it now goes to the Senate for upper chamber NDAA conference negotiations.
Mike Papantonio: You know, the difficulty that the Saudis have had is that it’s like, their, their basically, they could lose their, their whole control over Saudi Arabia, the Royal family can, unless they can control the radicals. You know, the radicals are kind of in control right now in Yemen, and they’re afraid that’s going to bleed over to Saudi Arabia. I mean, the connection is all about the Royal family. There’s no reason for these bombings. There’s absolutely no reason for these bombings. They’re killing civilians by the hundreds and thousands. The House also passed another amendment to the defense bill that undermines the amendment by, it’s introduced by Senator Sanders and congressmen Khanna. Tell me about that if you would.
Brigida Santos: Yeah, that’s right. Democratic lawmakers also passed an amendment to the national defense authorization act introduced by House foreign affairs committee chair, Gregory Meeks. Now that amendment prohibits the maintenance of American made war planes used by Saudi military units, that the president personally finds responsible for offensive airstrikes that result in civilian casualties. Now that’s great. However, there’s one major caveat an exception that allows the US to continue providing maintenance to war planes defending Saudi territory from Houthi attacks. Now this amendment could essentially be used as a loophole by the Biden administration to continue offensive operations in Yemen permitting business as usual and of course, undermining the Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna bill.
Mike Papantonio: What’s the likelihood of these amendments passing, Brigida, as you see it right now? I, you know, I, I, I hear this, there’s just so much division right now within the Democratic party. It’s just the division’s crazy. What do you think about this actually passing?
Brigida Santos: Well, this is the first time since the Saudi led coalition launched its military intervention in Yemen that the Democrats have had control over the White House and the upper and lower chamber of Congress. However, both parties have consistently been united on war. So we’re going to have to wait and see whether Congress thinks tax payers should stop bankrolling maintenance and spare parts for Saudi war planes to continue bombing civilians, or if it chooses to keep fueling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Now in the end, it’s entirely possible that the Sanders Khanna amendment is scrapped and the watered down amendment with all those loopholes proposed by Congressman Meeks makes that final annual defense authorization bill. We’ll have to wait and see.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. The loopholes are for the weapons industry. The weapons industry is making so much money. It’s always just follow the money, follow the money on the weapons, follow the money on the oil. That’s what it’s about. And in Congress right now, you have so many Democrats that are just so, just an extension of Wall Street. So I don’t have a lot of hope for this to tell you the truth. Thank you for joining me. Okay.
Brigida Santos: Thanks, Mike.