Letter to Congresswoman DeLauro - Hold Public Meeting on Saudi Situation

Sent to CT Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

January 6, 2016

As Executive Director of the CT's Middle East Crisis Committee I call on you to hold a public meeting in your district to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Arabian Peninsula and failed U.S. policy there.

The mass execution of Sheikh Nimr al Nimr and three young human rights activists along with 44 others by the Saudi government is a travesty of justice. It is a crime of murder against brave activists who called for equal rights for the Shia minority in Saudi Arabia. It ramps up the use of the barbaric death penalty on helpless prisoners. It is sparking religious conflict between Sunni and Shia and is threatening the progress towards peace arrived at by the governments of Iran and United States. The hapless State Department message of 'concern' is totally inadequate as is its hypocritical hand-wringing about Saudi massacres in Yemen whenever they become public.

U.S. policy in that region needs a total review. Since we have never heard you criticize U.S. policy towards the Saudi monarchy we expect you to explain the rationale for blind U.S. support for the Saudis and the other Gulf monarchies. We need to hear answers to questions like: 1) Why is the U.S. selling weapons to a government with such a terrible human rights record and a government which is spreading its extremist version of Islam all over the world?; 2) Why is the U.S. government supporting the Saudi attack on Yemen, an unprovoked act of war?; 3) What legal authority does the President have to support Saudi air attacks and the siege of Yemen?; 4) Which Americans were responsible for losing some $500 million worth of weapons in Yemen, the weapons that were abandoned when U.S. military and security personnel left Yemen in 2015?

The argument that the U.S. is unable to do without the Saudi alliance is pitiful. It is absurd to think that the Saudis will stop selling oil if the world demands that it honor human rights. It would cause some disruption and profit losses if the U.S. government stopped selling the Saudis weapons, but the government could save many times that amount if it called home the fleets and the bombers and told the Gulf tyrannies to manage their own defenses.

Our committee came up with a list of measures the U.S. could take that would actually have some meaning: 1) that Secretary of State Kerry call in the Saudi Ambassador and give him a tongue-lashing and make it public; 2) that Kerry recall the U.S. ambassador from Riyadh; 3) that Kerry demand the Saudis release the body of Sheik Nimr and the 3 other activists to their grieving families; 4) that he insist on assurance that Sheikh Nimr's nephew Ali will not be beheaded and crucified; 5) that the U.S. cancel talks on new weapons sales 6) that it suspend current arms deliveries; 7) that it kick the Saudi Ambassador out of the country; 8) that it abandon its participation in the Saudi-Sudanese-Egyptian war of aggression on Yemen and join in a U.N. Security Council resolution to condemn the Saudis; 9) that our government put a number of Saudi government-connected billionaires on a list for sanctions

The Middle East Crisis Committee was founded in New Haven in 1982. It is an active member of the Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance www.saudius.org Our own website is www.TheStruggle.org

Hoping to hear from you soon. Best to reach us at mail@thestruggle.org or 203-934-2761

Stanley Heller

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