Israeli Lobby behind Senate Failure to Overturn Saudi Arms Sale Veto: US Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US Senate failed in its latest bid to block the controversial sale of $8.1bn worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia due to the influence of the powerful Israeli lobby in the United States, an American political analyst said.
“…Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also allies of Israel, which is extraordinarily powerful in the United States as well. The (US) President has a very close relationship with Israel, and the Israel lobby essentially controls much of the US Congress. The American petroleum industry and other US business interests also maintain massive holdings in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. For these reasons, the President vetoed the resolutions, and the resolutions did not receive enough support in the Senate to override the veto,” Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com, told Tasnim.
Keith Preston was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. He received degrees in Religious Studies, History, and Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the founder and director of American Revolutionary Vanguard and the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.Com. He has also been a contributor to LewRockwell.Com, Antiwar.Com, Anti-State.Com, Taki’s Magazine, Radix Journal, and AlternativeRight.Com . He is the author of six books, and was awarded the 2008 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize by the United Kingdom’s Libertarian Alliance. Keith has been a featured speaker at conferences of the National Policy Institute, H. L. Mencken Club, and Anarchapulco. He has been interviewed on numerous radio programs and internet broadcast, and appeared as a guest analyst on Russia Today, Press TV and the BBC.
The following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: The US Senate has stopped short of forming a majority required to override President Donald Trump’s veto in July of three congressional resolutions aimed at blocking the country’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. What is your take on this?
Preston: The three resolutions that were developed by members of Congress concerning Saudi Arabia and the UAE were rooted in four basic concerns. The first of these was Saudi Arabia’s role in orchestrating the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who as a columnist for the Washington Post was a member of the American media. The Washington Post is one of America’s leading publications, and the majority of the American media is supportive of the Democratic Party. The second issue is the ongoing war in Yemen, of which Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been the primary instigators, and the de facto genocide that is being imposed on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition, and the blockade to which Yemen has been subjected. The third consideration is Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s terrible human rights records. Saudi Arabia is a country that imposes medieval punishments for petty offenses and engages in the persecution of religious minorities and political dissidents. The UAE has a terrible human rights record as well. The fourth consideration is Saudi Arabia’s current drive to obtain nuclear technology and fears that Saudi Arabia may be seeking nuclear weapons. However, the Trump administration has been very close to Saudi Arabia and some of President Trump’s personal associates maintain business dealings in the kingdom. Additionally, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are an important export market for American arms manufacturers, and the arms manufacturers exercise very powerful control over the US Senate, particularly the Republican Party. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also allies of Israel, which is extraordinarily powerful in the United States as well. The President has a very close relationship with Israel, and the Israel lobby essentially controls much of the US Congress. The American petroleum industry and other US business interests also maintain massive holdings in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. For these reasons, the President vetoed the resolutions, and the resolutions did not receive enough support in the Senate to override the veto.
Tasnim: Congress has been trying to intervene in Washington’s untrammeled arms sales to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, which have been leading an invasion of Yemen since March 2015. Congress also aimed at attempting to pressure the Saudi government to improve its human rights record. Why did Trump win the veto fight?
Preston: The President specifically stated that he has vetoed these resolutions because of the perceived importance of Saudi Arabia as a trading partner and military ally of the United States. The range of economic, foreign policy, and international interests that have a stake in maintaining the US-Saudi and US-UAE relationships exercises considerable influence over the President’s thinking and policy actions.
Tasnim: Since Trump won the 2016 election, a group of US businessmen has sought to profit on deals to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia, while trying to avoid US restrictions designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, the House Oversight Committee said in a new report. Do you believe so? Please explain.
Preston: Yes, it is readily apparent that Saudi Arabia wishes to build nuclear power plants, and that various US business interests, including those close to the President, have sought to assist Saudi Arabia with this effort. An effort of this kind would be in violation of US policies that are intended for the purpose of preventing nuclear proliferation. Given Saudi Arabia’s complete disregard for human rights, aggressive stance toward other nations, and support for terrorism, the possibility of Saudi Arabia acquiring nuclear technology is certainly cause for concern.