Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

This #GivingTuesday, whatever is your first priority, your second priority has to be independent media.

2021 has been one of the most dangerous and difficult years for independent journalism that we’ve ever seen. Our democracy is facing serial existential threats including the climate emergency, vaccine apartheid amid deadly pandemic, a global crisis for biodiversity, reproductive freedoms under assault, rising authoritarianism worldwide, and corporate-funded corruption of democracy that run beneath all of this. Giving Tuesday is a critical opportunity to make sure our journalism remains funded so that we can stay focused on all your priority issues. Please contribute today to keep Common Dreams alive and growing.

Please Help This #GivingTuesday -- Though our content is free to all, less than 1% of our readers give. We’re counting on you. Please help Common Dreams end the year strong.

A Houthi rebel looks out at damage caused by a Saudi-led airstrike in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on July 3, 2015. (Photo: Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

A Houthi militant watches from the roof of a building as people inspect the debris of a house destroyed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa on July 3, 2015. (Photo: Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

Experts on Military-Industrial Complex Blast Trump Plan to Sell Nearly $500 Million in Bombs to Criminal Saudi Regime

"The United States simply should not be selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, especially given their role in exacerbating the suffering in Yemen."

Brett Wilkins

Experts on the adverse effects of the military-industrial complex on Wednesday blasted a plan by the Trump administration to sell nearly half a billion dollars worth of advanced U.S. bombs to Saudi Arabia, which for over five years has been leading an airstrike campaign and starvation blockade that have added tens of thousands of civilian deaths to the already staggering toll in Yemen's ongoing civil war. 

"The Biden administration has indicated a desire to rethink the U.S. relation[ship] with Saudi Arabia. The outgoing president should not use his lame-duck period to make that more difficult."
—Jeff Abramson,
Arms Control Association 

Bloomberg reports the U.S. State Department has notified Congress of its intention to license the sale of some 7,500 Raytheon Paveway precision-guided, air-to-ground munitions valued at $478 million to the kingdom, despite its status as one of the world's worst human rights violators and prolific perpetrator of U.S.-backed war crimes in Yemen. 

If the license is approved, Raytheon will have a green light to sell the arms directly to the Saudi regime. 

Human rights advocates condemned the proposed sale, citing conduct by Saudi and allied military forces in Yemen. 

"This deal should not be allowed to stand," asserted William D. Hartung, director of the arms and security program at the Center for International Policy, in a statement Wednesday. "The United States should not be selling precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia at this time, given their leading role in the air war in Yemen which has killed thousands of civilians and prolonged a conflict that is now the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe."

Hartung continued:

Saudi access to tens of thousands of precision-guided munitions thus far has not diminished the civilian toll in Yemen, so Pentagon claims that more accurate bombs will reduce civilian casualties don't hold up to scrutiny. A sale could also be seen as a reward to the Saudi regime at a time when it has yet to take responsibility for the murder of [journalist] Jamal Khashoggi or reduced its campaign of internal repression against regime critics and human rights defenders. Last but not least, this should be a decision for a new administration, not a lame-duck president.

Jeff Abramson, a senior fellow at the Arms Control Association, accused the Trump administration of "dangerously pushing more weapons into the Middle East to countries that have a record of misusing them.:

"The United States simply should not be selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, especially given their role in exacerbating the suffering in Yemen," stressed Abramson. "The Biden administration has indicated a desire to rethink the U.S. relation[ship] with Saudi Arabia. The outgoing president should not use his lame-duck period to make that more difficult."

However, as Washington Post military and national security reporter Missy Ryan noted Wednesday, former four-star general Lloyd Austin, who is President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for defense secretary, is currently a member of Raytheon's board of directors. 

The United Nations—which has called the situation in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis—in September recommended that the International Criminal Court investigate possible war crimes committed by all sides in the six-year civil war, which has claimed over 100,000 lives. 

The U.N. cited U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that have killed thousands of civilians, the Saudi-led blockade that has exacerbated famine conditions and disease that have killed at least tens of thousands of people, and a wide range of human rights violations by both Yemeni government forces and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, including unlawful imprisonment and killing, forced disappearances, and use of child soldiers.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Hangs Up After Boebert Uses Call to Double Down on 'Outright Bigotry and Hate'

"Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments."

Jessica Corbett ·


Win for Alabama Workers as NLRB Orders New Union Vote After Amazon's Alleged Misconduct

A union leader said the decision confirmed that "Amazon's intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace."

Jessica Corbett ·


'For the Sake of Peace,' Anti-War Groups Demand Biden Return to Nuclear Deal With Iran

"It's time to put differences aside and return to the Iran nuclear deal," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'That's for Them to Decide': UK Secretary Rebuked for Claiming Vaccine Patent Waiver Won't Be 'Helpful' to Global Poor

One U.K. lawmaker asked when the government would "start putting the need to end this pandemic in front of the financial interests of Big Pharma?"

Andrea Germanos ·


Shell Slammed for Plan to Blast South African Coastline for Oil and Gas During Whale Season

"We cannot allow climate criminals, like Shell, to plunder in the name of greed," said Greenpeace.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo