Since President Obama assumed office in 2009, his administration has sold roughly $110 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, according to the advocacy director for Middle East and North Africa issues at Amnesty International USA, Sunjeev Bery.
In an interview with left-wing Salon magazine, Bery decries the Obama administration’s “deadly hypocrisy” and “astonishing” willingness to supply weapons to brutal monarchies.
“One of the unspoken legacies of the Obama administration is the extraordinary uptake in the amount of U.S. weapons and military aid,” said Bery, pointing to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel as the primary recipients of US arms.
In spite of Amnesty’s questionable positions on Israel, Bery’s interview with Salon reveals a disturbing reality about a supposedly human-rights conscious president the mainstream media prefers to ignore.
Obama’s unprecedented arms sales to Saudis are rarely talked about —and for good reason.
“The bottom line is that the U.S. government considers to arm the government of Saudi Arabia with precisely the kinds of weapons that Saudi Arabia and its coalition have used to attack civilian communities in Yemen. That’s the fundamental problem,” Bery told Salon. “Nobody should be putting more bombs or weapons in the hands of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition.”
The Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen has led to the deaths of approximately 4,000 civilians, according to the latest United Nations figures.
“Secretary Kerry and President Obama continue to authorize arms sales to Saudi Arabia that have a substantial risk of causing even more civilian casualties and human rights violations in this ongoing bloody conflict,” Bery noted.
“This is definitely something that needs to be talked about a lot more in the United States, as the Obama administration moves into the lame-duck period and as people look carefully at what Obama’s legacy is in the Middle East,” he said. “It’s astonishing just how vast the flood of weapons has been to Saudi Arabia and other human rights offenders in the Middle East.”