June 20, 2019

Even Lindsey Graham stood up to Trump today, if only temporarily. New York Times:

In the first of a series of three back-to-back votes, Republicans joined Democrats to register their growing anger with the administration’s use of emergency power to cut lawmakers out of national security decisions, as well as the White House’s unflagging support for the Saudis despite congressional pressure to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing last October of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

No other foreign policy issue has created as large a rift between Mr. Trump and Congress, and the vote to block the arms sales deepens the divide. It is the second time in months that members of President Trump’s own party have publicly opposed his foreign policy, with both the House and Senate approving bipartisan legislation this spring to cut off military assistance to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen using the 1973 War Powers Act, only to see it vetoed in April.

While the Democratic-controlled House is also expected to block the sales, Mr. Trump has pledged to veto the legislation, and it is unlikely that either chamber could muster enough support to override the president’s veto.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi and other human rights violations as well as their participation in atrocities re the war in Yemen, show a country with whom "business as usual" won't cut it. Also, we don't need their oil as much anymore. Lindsey Graham said as much on the Senate floor:

SEN LINDSEY GRAHAM: There is no amount of oil you can produce that will get me and others to give you a pass on chopping somebody up in a consulate and did MBS Do it? Yes. Not because the UN said so but because our intelligence and my common sense lead me to believe there is no viable alternative. You can figure this one out pretty quick. So what happens next cannot be business as usual...

Saudi Arabia through their leadership made a tremendously bad decision and it's just not Mr. Khashoggi...

You've lost me and that's too bad. I've been on this floor a lot standing up for our friends in Saudi Arabia which has not always been easy to do but the days of treating Saudi Arabia the way I used to treat them are over. And my hope is we can find a way to restart this relationship but it's going to require change. That's why I'm voting in support of these resolutions. Thank you, Mr. President.

Anyone who thinks the Green New Deal isn't about national security and the international rule of law might want to notice that Lindsey Graham is standing up to Saudi Arabia because we don't need their oil. Change in the Middle East will come as we move toward green energy. It's all connected.

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