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Bruce

Should the United States continue to support Saudi Arabia?

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All questions are asked to both candidates, so you should give their answer in addition to rebutting their opponents. You may speak as many times as you feel is necessary.

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Whether it be the murder of Jamal Khashoggi or Saudi Arabia's regional actions in Yemen or Qatar, many are starting to question the United States' relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As President, what kind of relationship do you hope for with the Kingdom?

 

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When it comes to Saudi Arabia there are two questions to consider. Should we continue to support Saudi Arabia? If not them then who will become our biggest ally in the region outside of Israel? Even then there are more questions one could ask but let's focus on those initial two for now.

Should we continue to support Saudi Arabia? I would argue that we should and I'll tell you why. For decades Saudi Arabia has been a strong ally of the United States, a stabilising force in the Middle East that helped us in the 90s and 2000s when we were liberating Kuwait and overthrowing Saddam Hussein. That being said there is a difference between supporting Saudi Arabia and giving them a blank cheque to do as they please in every area of their politics. The murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a barbaric act, one ill-befitting of an ally of the United States of America. It was despotic, backwards, and utterly abhorrent for press freedom. President Trump had the chance to show the World some real moral leadership in condemning the action, he chose instead to cast doubt on his own CIA and support the word of a foreign government over his own intelligence chiefs, as President I would not make his mistakes again. If I am elected President then I will put maintaining the international rule of law high up on my agenda for international relations, I would draw a line in the sand over Syria and the usage of chemical weapons and if it were to be crossed I would do what Obama should have done years ago, if Saudi Arabia continues to murder members of the international press then I will bring about severe consequences for them in the shape of aid being held back. When it comes to Yemen and Qatar I would stress the importance of war being waged in the right way, in Yemen the Iranian backed terrorists have struck in Saudi Arabia's backyard and that is not a good thing for anyone, least of all international law, but in fighting back against this incursion the Saudis must be made to know that civilians cannot be made to suffer and die. I would set up an international group to provide aid to the civilians of Yemen and establish humanitarian zones for the wounded and the displaced. Saudi Arabia must be made to realise that actions in defiance of international law have consequences far beyond what one nation can do to another, if they continue to defy human rights and rules of war then they will find themselves losing the hearts and minds of their people and their neighbours, that is possibly the scariest ramification of all actions in the Middle East.

So to those who say we should ditch Saudi Arabia and who would urge me to cut them loose as an international partner I ask, who would you replace the Saudis with? What nation in the Middle East has the power of Saudi Arabia and doesn't want to see Israel kicked back into the sea? Syria and Iraq are in the middle of brutal civil wars to fight of ISIS and even if they weren't I would never be able to do a deal with a man like Assad, a man who deploys chemical weapons against his own people as a form of mass murder crowd control. No, the only viable alternative to Saudi Arabia is Iran. Now Republicans don't like Iran, President Trump reneged on our nuclear deal with Iran and re-levied US sanctions against them so it's safe to say that they're not all that fond of us at the moment. But even without a nuclear weapons programme Iran pose a threat to the wider region that goes deeper. I mentioned how their insidious networks have spread across the Middle East, supporting terrorists like Hezbollah and the Houthi movement in Yemen, the Iranians cannot be allowed to grow their power in the Middle East until they moderate and return to international norms. Even then, Iranian growth and influence can only come through legitimate means, it must never come through cloak and dagger growing of terrorist networks in nearby countries to destabilise its main rivals.

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I do not believe we should support Saudi Arabia. My opponent Dylan Macmillan has stressed how we need to be involved the world over to stop human rights abuses. If that really is what he believes then we should have been at war in Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Saudia Arabia is an oppressive Whabbist monarchy that has spread its radical Islamic extremism all across the world. Wahhabism is the ideological roots of ISIS. It is Saudi Arabia not Iran that is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. Of the terrorist organizations in the world designated by the State Department the overwhelming majority are Sunni Whabbist and Saudi funded while only two are Shi'a and only four have claimed support from Iran. It's even been admitted by the Hillary State Department in communication with US embassies that Saudia Arabia is a critical source of funding for terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba. We know from declassified information several of the 9/11 hijackers had direct connections with the Saudi government which isn't too surprising considering 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

Let's look further though at Saudi Arabia's human rights violations. They've caused the death of thousands of civilians with their intervention into Yemen which has been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The UN has accused them of war crimes in the conflict. Their naval blockade has caused mass starvation making it nearly impossible for food, water, or fuel to pass through. 12 million in Yemen are on the brink of starvation. They rank 169th out of 180 in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Human rights activists are routinely jailed sometimes without a formal accusation of a crime and done in complete secrecy. The death penalty is widely used for many crimes and capitol punishment carried out by stonings, firing squads, beheadings, and crucifixions oftentimes done in public. My opponent Mr. Macmillan has called for domestically criminal justice reform for nonviolent drug crimes, well in the first half of 2018 there were 24 executions committed in Saudia Arabia for nonviolent drug crimes. Corporal punishment such as caning, flogging, and body mutilation is still commonplace in Saudi Arabia.

It has been our government over the past decades that has enabled Saudi Arabia's oppression. Our military partnership, foreign military aid, arm sales, and intelligence sharing has made us complicit in Saudi Arabia's war crimes. It's your tax dollars America that's serving to starve children in Yemen. You don't get to know about it because Saudi Arabia has banned commercial flights and journalists from getting to the affected regions of Yemen. The majority of children in Yemen now physically stunted by malnutrition and have stunted brain development.

The best leverage possible to stop Saudi Arabia's terror in Yemen is to suspend arm sales to them and if elected President I will do just that. Further more we will suspend funding, training, advising, and any other military coordination to and with the military of Saudi Arabia. I will also consider further sanctions against the country. US humanitarian aid in Yemen does not outweigh the military support and diplomatic cover we've given to Saudi Arabia.The United States has no business directly or indirectly supporting the oppressive Saudi regime and they must be held accountable for their actions.

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