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Rand Paul Says He'll Try to Block Saudi Arms Sales Over Khashoggi Disappearance

Paul has long opposed U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) told a radio station today that he intends to try, once again, to block U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. While the particular news hook this week is the Saudi government's possible complicity in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Paul has long been opposed to the U.S. role in helping support, among other things, the corrupt and repressive regime's highly destructive war in Yemen.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D–N.J.) has also, Bloomberg reports, "notified the Trump administration he would use an informal procedure to block sales to Saudi Arabia because of his concern about the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen."

Paul told the Louisville station WHAS that he knows his position on this currently differs from the Trump administration's, "but who knows, the president may come around on this if there is any evidence they killed this journalist."

The Saudis insist that Khashoggi left their consulate in Turkey, where he is presumed by many to have been killed after entering to get a legal document related to his planned wedding.

Back in June 2017, Paul was a main sponsor of a symbolic Senate resolution opposing that year's $510 million weapons deal with Saudi Arabia. (The bill failed by a vote of 47–53.) The Senate has the power, via the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, to force a vote on presidential arms sales decisions within a 10-day period.

The Bloomberg story today notes that Sens. Bob Corker (R–Tenn.) and Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) have also made noises that suggest they might be willing to rethink aspects of our support for Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi matter.

The Saudi-led war on Yemen, with active cooperation from the U.S., has killed over 5,000 civilians, may be starving many millions more, has helped prop up Al Qaeda, and has generally damaged the nation in ways that could make it a cauldron of chaos for decades to come. Regardless of Khashoggi's fate, Paul is correct to do everything he can to stop the U.S. from enabling the mayhem there.

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  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    There are countless reasons to stop funding and appeasing the Saudis. I commend Sen. Paul for objecting based on any of them, especially in the immediate wake of the sketchy disappearance of a critic.

  • Just Say'n||

    He also tried to end weapon sales to the Afghan military due to its continued practice of pedophilia. He's the only senator who does anything meaningful anymore

  • BigT||

    Did you miss the Fineswine Follies?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Saudis insist that Khashoggi left their consulate in Turkey, where he is presumed by many to have been killed after entering to get a legal document related to his planned wedding.

    Paul should be blocking the sale based on marriage licensing.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Legal marriage anywhere is injustice everywhere.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Didn't Trump call Rand Paul ugly? I can't recall whether Sen. Paul responded with the same honorable vigor Sen. Cruz exhibited after Trump called Mrs. Cruz a pig.

    Where honorable vigor = obsequiousness

  • Don't look at me!||

    Lol. A hate crime.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    I love it when sockpupets argue.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You should love this advertisement.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Or some broken ribs ... oh wait! Ummm ....

  • Just Say'n||

    There's a whole lot of stupid in this comment

  • TLBD||

    Our trolls are really boring. They just rehash the same stupid shit.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And in a "pot meets kettle moment", in rushes PB with his prosaic unoriginality.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>have also made noises that suggest they might be willing to rethink aspects of our support

    equivocating assholes.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    Is the sale to the Saudis being made by the US gov't or by companies in the US who need permission of the gov't to export their product?

    Because is if it the latter, it sounds like a pretty big NAP violation. Not sure how "real" Libertarians can be on board with that.

  • ||

    I think it would depend on the nature of the contract under which the weapons were developed in the first place. Lockheed Martin, for example, exists because of the business it gets from the US government. I could see a sovereign state writing up the contract to the effect of "we're going to be a big enough customer to exclusively fund a huge, dedicated R&D department on the condition that we get a say in who else gets to benefit from that research."

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "...who knows, the president may come around on this if there is any evidence they killed this journalist."

    Or he's furiously taking notes... /I keed, I keed

  • Cynical Asshole||

    cauldron of chaos

    Good album name. Coincidentally, also my nickname in college.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    That's what I call my beef stew recipe. Most of my dinner guests are expected to make a full recovery.

  • Conchfritters||

    I conquered the Cauldron of Chaos in 1987 to get my 22nd level thief to the 23rd level in D&D basic. The Lich in the lower dongeon was very hard to kill (of course he was already dead).

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There was some talk of a H&R RPG campaign a while back, but nothing ever came of it. I guess I could run something if people are interested, but I am way out of practice.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I would have used my special "yellow stream of Justice" feat, assuming I had already consumed a sufficient quantity of beer. Also using the "hand gesture of singularity" while driunkenly dousing the aforementioned lick with said yellow justice stream. Probably topping it all off with a "power word: motherfuckin' asshole".

    Yep, I would totally fuck that lich up.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The Bloomberg story today notes that Sens. Bob Corker (R–Tenn.) and Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) have also made noises that suggest they might be willing to rethink aspects of our support for Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi matter.

    "Might be willing to rethink aspects..." Gee, by all means Senators, don't take a stand on this issue, wouldn't want you to hurt yourselves or anything. Sheesh. What a couple of pussies.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Granted, it is safer to conduct any media activity within an airport when in certain countries, like the time I gave a little old lady the address to my blog while waiting for a flight in a Turkish airport. I still haven't been to a Turkish prison or a Turkish bath, but I've read interesting things about them.

  • ||

    The baths are better than the prisons.

  • Just Say'n||

    Where's Jeff Flake on this?

  • Rich||

    Maybe in a closet talking with Chris Coons.

  • Conchfritters||

    Happily, no one gives a shit anymore.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    In a rapid descent to irrelevance?

  • Rich||

    The Saudis insist that Khashoggi left their consulate in Turkey, where he is presumed by many to have been killed after entering to get a legal document related to his planned wedding.

    Muslim? Wedding?

    He's probably been drone-striked... /I keed, I keed

  • Hank Phillips||

    What? Randal is betraying fellow antichoice religious fanatics? Has he, like Phinney, joined the Church of Satan and reregistered as a Trojan Libertarian?

  • crufus||

    Rand will make a little noise about this and then fold up once Trump says he supports sales to the Saudi's.

    If he really wanted to make a principled stand against violent religious fanatics he would oppose sales of weapons to Israel, but he is too much Trump's bitch to even make a symbolic stand.

  • lap83||

    Israel... One of the most secular countries in the world and full of violent religious fanatics... Naturally

  • crufus||

    Yes, because democratically electing violent religious fanatics is impossible.

  • Echospinner||

    Israel is just a data point.

    Russia has now placed S-300 systems in Syria. Those are formidable and they have even more sophisticated systems.

    IAF claims they are well prepared and can continue operations. They wish no conflict with Russia. Hezbollah is the conflict.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Paul has long been opposed to the U.S. role in helping support, among other things, the corrupt and repressive regime's highly destructive war in Yemen.

    Hey, we're just enlightening the world with American values...

  • Mongo||

    I like your half-hakenkreuz/half-Rising Sun '50' logo, Reason.

  • Mongo||

    I keep getting GOP ads whenever I go to this site.

    About as disgusting as those rotting toenail ads that used to pollute Reason.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    They know you better than you think.

  • TLBD||

    Anyone have a good link with an unbiased source on the history of the war between Saudi and Yemen?

  • IceTrey||

    What's he trying to do crash the world economy? The deal is we defend Saudi Arabia and they only sell oil for dollars. Without oil backed petrodollars the US has nothing.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We produce more oil than they do now.

  • IceTrey||

    All oil has to be priced in dollars or it's over. Ask Saddam Hussien who threatened to take Euros. Wait you can't because he's dead.

  • JParker||

    Paul is wrong on two fronts:

    First, he should spend his capital to get the US government to stop killing, injuring/torturing, and imprisoning people it disagrees with from other countries, as well as here in the US. He should worry about getting his own house in order before complaining about others.

    Second, he should get the US government out of the way being a busybody and trying to decide with whom its citizens may do business with. If someone in the US wants to sell weapons to someone in Saudi Arabia, the US government (and the Saudi government, but dealing with the interference of the Saudi government should be left to the Saudis) should butt out.

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