tv U.S. Senate Sen. Chris Murphy D-CT on Yemen War CSPAN December 16, 2018 3:59am-4:14am EST
half a century. hopingor this reason i'm the resolution will be introduced, and which case i will be supporting the resolution that you have introduced. and criticize the saudi government for its recent behavior and encourage the right path, the right path to read double its reform efforts, the rights of its citizens, the right path to work towards a peace movement. this is clearly the best choice that is out there with that, i yield the floor. senator from connecticut. i come to the floor today to join my colleagues in support of the underlying resolution.
of theeased to be one original cosponsors, along with the presiding officer and senator sanders. , almost many others, and this is clearly not the first time i have been to the floor to talk about the prices inside yemen and the broader crisis with respect to saudi arabia, that has grown worse and worse, especially in the last couple of months. i want to thank senator menendez for taking this seriously, especially since the death of jamal khashoggi, who was a resident of the united states ere, effectively under our protection, and i am hopeful we will get another big bipartisan vote when this comes up under final passage. i want to reiterate some of the reasons why i think this is incredibly. let me state right over as of uss, even for those
who have been critics of saudi arabia, saudi arabia is a very orphaned ally for the united states, it is an important partner for stability in the region. engage ine to intelligence sharing with saudi arabia. they has helped us crackdown some very bad people. -- we haveelped us helped them crackdown some really bad people. is important to note something we take for granted in the region. detente that has existed between the gulf states and israel, something that did not used to be something that you could rely on. one of the most serious foreign-policy debates that this senate ever had was back in the 1980's, and the
objection then was that by empowering saudi arabia, you were hurting israel and israeli security. argumentuld make that state, because saudi arabia has been a good partner in figuring tensions inalm the the region and of course how to provide some balance in the with the iranian regime on the other side continuing, to this day, to use inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric about the future of r israel. this is an important partnership. i have no interest in blowing it up or walking away. follow do not have to your friend into every misadventure that they pose. a poolur body jumps into of man eating sharks, you do not have to jump with them. there is a point when you say enough is enough.
to the floor a few years ago and suggested this time has already come. mohammad bin salman, the crown d thee, has veere foreign-policy of saudi arabia off the rails, and folks seemed to have noticed when he started rounding up his political opponents and killing one of them in a consulate in turkey, but this has been ongoing. look back to the kidnapping of thelebanese prime minister, blockade of qatar without any has a to the united states. the wholesale imprisonment of hundreds of his family members, until there was a payoff the size of which was big enough to let some of the amount. policy that isgn no longer in the best interest of the united states and cannot be papered over by a handful of
domestic policy reforms that are in fact intended to try to distract us from the aggressive saudis'f thes foreign policy in the region. the worst case of them going off the rails is yemen. restate thet to case your senator sanders did a great job of it before. i have sa stood here before with posters of children with distended bellies, the worst ever outbreak of cholera is having right now as we speak. have died from warfare, bombings, siege campaigns. 3/4 of those are because of the saudi side of the civil war.
let's be clear, there are some really bad actors on the houthis side as well. aid of the reasons man theot get in is because of who th houthi side. i am pleased that many of my colleagues are willing to stand up to end the war in jenin. i -- in yemen. i wish it were not because of the death of one journalist, because there have been tens of thousands website, and their lives are just as worthwhile as jamal khashoggi's was, which was tragic. i have actually argued that this resolution is coming in some way, shape, or form, a response to the death of jamal khashoggi
for those that are primarily concerned with atrocity. here is how i think the two. two the saudis did for weeks was like to was, in the most boldfaced way possible. they told us jamal khashoggi left the consulate, that they , it is of there alive worth they knew, they had murdered him, they had dismembered his body, we know the crown prince had multiple contacts throughout the day. yet they thought we were so dumb that they could just lie to us about it. that was an eye-opener for a lot of people who were long-term supporters of the saudi relationship. they thought our interests were alive, but they thought the most important thing that allies did with each other was tell the truth, especially when the truth was so easy to discover outside
of your bilateral relationship, and then all of a sudden, the to last for two weeks and it finally come around to telling the truth, because everybody knew that they were not. it made a lot of people here think, well, wait a second, maybe the saudis have not been telling the truth about what is going on in yemen. a lot of my friends have been supporting the bombing campaign in yemen. why? because the saudis said we are hitting the water treatment plants by accident. that cholera treatment facility inside the humanz ring compound? that was just -- humanitarian compound? that was an accident, or we thought there were bad guys and it turns out there were not. they like to us. they were hitting civilian targets on purpose. they had an intentional campaign
to create misery. i am a saying every school bus, anurch, or wedding was in intent to kill civilians, but we have been inside the target enough to know that they have known for a long time what they have been doing, hitting a lot of people who have nothing to do with the attacks against the arabia. were willingsaudis to lie to us about what happened to jamal khashoggi, they have not been straight with us as to what is happening inside yemen. because if the united states is being used to intentionally hit civilians, than we are complicit in war crimes. and i hate to tell my colleagues that is essentially what the in theirtions found most recent report on the saudi bombing campaign. they were careful about their
words, but they came to the conclusion that it was likely that the saudi conduct in yemen what amount to war crimes under international law. likely that our ally is perpetuating war crimes in saudi arabia, then we cannot be a part of that. the united states cannot be part of a bombing campaign that may become probably is, intentionally making life miserable for the people inside of that country. and so i would argue that this resolution is an appropriate response if your only concern about jamal khashoggi, because it is a way to make clear that violate the united states, there are consequences. it is also a way to say to the crown prince, we will not be with you in the war in yemen if you are not being straight with us in other matters.
if you care just about what happened to that journalists, this is still an important vote for unicast, and i get it done some people have issues by the mechanism with which we get there, the war power resolution i understand it is new, but it has not been tested before. but i believe this is the right moment to have this debate and to have this vote. going i am hoping we are to come to a conclusion here as quickly as we can in which we maintain bipartisan consensus. i just joined several of my colleagues upstairs to express our desires. this is not the beginning and of what toour debate do with saudi arabia moving forward. i support senator menendez and senator young's legislation to halt arms sales. i support imposing sanctions on the individuals that are responsible for this crime.
but i would also hope that all of us take a little bit of time over the holidays to really think about how we reset this relationship in the region and how we send a signal to the world that there is no relationship in which we are the junior partner, certainly not with saudi arabia. and is saudi arabia can push us around like they have overand is around like they have over the worst of the last several years, and particularly the last several months, it sends a signal to the country that they can do the same thing. that they can murder a u.s. resident and suffering was no consequences. that they can't bomb civilians munitions and suffer no consequences. this is a message about how the united is going to interact with lots of other junior partners around the world as well. saudi arabia needs us a lot more than we need them, and we need to remind folks about that over and over and over. nonsense that they're going to start buying russian jets or chinese military
hardware. you think that these countries can protect you better than the united states? take a chance. to using the saudis are really going to stop selling oil to the united states? do you think they will walk away from their primary breadwinner just because we do not want to take part in the military? take that chance. if the administration is not going to act like it, been this congress has to act like it. at senator graham said, to go itscongress has own way. sometimes congress has to reorient american foreign-policy when an administration will not. to this bilateral relationship, with respect in this agree just, unconscionable military operation inside yemen, it is time for congress to step up and write something that -- right something that today is very wrong.
i appreciate all of the great work that senator sanders and senator lee have done. i appreciate the chair and ranking member for having guided us through this debate. i look forward to coming to the floor again for a package, and i look forward to another bipartisan vote. i yield the floor. sen. cardin: thank you, mr. president. i take this time to support the passage of senate joint resolution 54. i commend my colleagues who have brought this resolution forward. the impact of this resolution would be to end the u.s. military engagement in yemen, and i believe that that military engagement should end for several reasons. first, let me comment on what others have already pointed out, and that is that humanitarian crisis in yemen is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the worl