: UAE Does Not Need 50 F-35s — Sign On to Stop This Sale
Win Without War
(October 31, 2020) — On Thursday, October 29, the Trump administration informally notified Congress of its intent to sell 50 F-35 advanced fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The reprehensible policy of arming Saudi Arabia and the UAE is profit-driven and corrupt, and ensures the US remains complicit in the catastrophic war in Yemen. But there’s an end to this cycle — and it starts with us getting LOUD right now.
Two committees: Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs have the right to review and BLOCK weapons sales before the process formally begins. Formal notification is likely to come in the next few days, leaving a small, but CRITICAL window open where we can make sure these committees, along with everyone in Congress, hear our urgent demand to STOP this sale.
Look, I know there’s a lot of fatigue right now. Many of us are texting, phone-banking, and fueling campaigns of the candidates we want to see in office next year — all as COVID rages across the country.
But the reality is, no matter who wins next week, Trump is still in the White House until at least January 20, 2021 – between now and Inauguration Day, untold damage can be unleashed. And an arms sale to the UAE could wreak exactly the kind of damage we’re worried about.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has allowed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen — the largest crisis in the world —to intensify. Arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE have continued despite overwhelming evidence that this coalition has been violating human rights and international humanitarian law in Yemen.
In addition to being linked to the killing of scores of people, US-made equipment has ended up in the hands of al Qaeda-linked fighters, violent militias, and other fighting factions in Yemen, despite end-use agreements.
This week, Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, warned that “If the war doesn’t end now, we are nearing an irreversible situation and risk losing an entire generation of Yemen’s young children.”
That’s a cost that we refuse to bear. Yemen needs humanitarian aid and medicine, not more bombs and violence. We — tens of thousands of anti-war activists — CAN end the US role in propping up human rights abusers and an overpowered arms industry. We just have to act fast.
This work is not new, but this moment IS. Our window of opportunity during this informal process is small, but we’re building power to wrench open another to block this sale — and ultimately end US support for the Saudi- and Emirati-led war on Yemen.
Thank you for working for peace,
Sara, Amy, Faith, and the Win Without War team