It’s not often you see a senator, or any politician for that matter, willing to break the unwritten Washington D.C. rule banning criticism of Saudi Arabia, but one courageous senator just did. After the Saudis condemned Qatar for supporting terrorism, Sen. Bob Corker and a few other brave politicians have pointed out just how much funding for terrorism has come out of Saudi Arabia.
Corker is no back-bencher either. He’s the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the top foreign relations spot in Congress. His words are a powerful expression of American discontent with the Saudis and their terrorist funding ways. Hopefully more politicians will follow Corker’s lead in calling out the kingdom’s bad behavior.
Daniel Larison explains the situation in detail at The American Conservative.
The Saudi-led campaign against Qatar has had the unintended but welcome effect of forcing some American politicians to start criticizing the Saudis publicly:
An influential US Republican senator has criticised the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, over a blockade on Qatar by the kingdom and three other Arab states.
The comments by Bob Corker, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, came as tensions in the region continue over the crisis, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expected to make an unscheduled stop in Doha on Thursday.
“The amount of support for terrorism by Saudi Arabia dwarfs what Qatar is doing,” [bold mine-DL] Corker said on Wednesday.
The Saudi-led “Anti-Terror Quartet” has been an exercise in the pot calling the kettle black from the start, but the danger for the Saudis and their allies is that using the rhetoric of anti-terrorism to beat up on Qatar will only draw attention to their own shoddy record. Corker is right to call out the Saudis on this issue, but if what he says is true he should also demand an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen and a serious reevaluation of the entire relationship with Riyadh. Instead of choosing sides in a feud among client states, the U.S. should be rethinking its ties with all of them.
Read more here.