Three US senators on Wednesday launched a bid to block the sale of top-of-the-line F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates, voicing concern over the deal seen as a reward for the nation’s recognition of Israel.
Even if the three can persuade a majority in Congress to oppose the $23 billion package, lawmakers would face an uphill climb to override a veto by outgoing President Donald Trump.
Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat close to President-elect Joe Biden, said that the UAE violated terms of previous sales, pointing to reports that weapons sent to the US ally have been discovered in war-ravaged Libya and Yemen.
“I support the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, but nothing in that agreement requires us to flood the region with more weapons and facilitate a dangerous arms race,” Murphy said in a statement.
He sponsored the resolution with Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rand Paul, a Republican who is generally supportive of Trump but is critical of US military interventions.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week formally informed Congress of the sale, hailing the UAE normalization with Israel and casting the sale as part of efforts against mutual adversary Iran.
The UAE had long requested the F-35s, which have stealth capacity and can be deployed for precision bombing, intelligence gathering and air-to-air combat.
Israel had considered its own F-35 fleet to be vital to its own strategic edge over Arab nations but dropped its opposition to the US sale as it saw the advantage of normalized ties.
Congress last year tried to block a major arms package for Saudi Arabia and the UAE but failed to muster the two-thirds majority to override Trump’s vetoes.
© 2020 AFP
The View hilariously ridicules ‘Narnia Ice Queen’ Melania Trump for pretending to love Christmas
First lady Melania Trump was caught on tape by a friend ranting about Christmas at the White House. After years of conservatives alleging that liberals were engaging in a "War on Christmas," Melania ranted, "Who gives a f*ck about Christmas stuff and decoration?"
"I'm in the Christmas spirit!" cheered Republican strategist Ana Navarro, belting out, "Joy to the world, the Trump's are gone!"
"Really this tape we heard of Melania was so ironic and absurd and ridiculous," Navarro continued. "How long have we been hearing Donald Trump talk about the war on Christmas, the war on Christmas, blah, blah, blah. Turns out the whole time the war on Christmas was coming from within the White House. No wonder she decorated the White House with those trees that looked like the 'Handmaid's Tale.' Be best. Be gone."
Elon Musk now world’s second wealthiest person
Elon Musk, the charismatic chief of electric automaker Tesla, has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world's second richest person, according to the Bloomberg list of billionaires.
The South African-born Musk, 49, added $7.2 billion in wealth on Monday alone following Tesla's latest surge. He now has an estimated $128 billion.
The outspoken Musk, who is also cofounder of SpaceX, had already overtaken numerous luminaries in recent weeks, including Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Bernard Arnault, the head of French luxury giant LVMH.
Now the only person he stands behind is Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose wealth is estimated at $182 billion.
Trump-loving congressman turns himself into a laughingstock with a few deranged tweets
The first thing you should know about Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona is that he shouldn’t be confused with the famous movie villain from “Ghostbusters.”
One of them has been described as a “sadistic, shapeshifting, apocalyptic, cosmic entity.”
The other spelled his name differently and wasn’t a registered Republican.
Paul Gosar is no relation of Gozer the Gozerian. But he’s doing his best movie-villain schtick as part of a cottage industry of loyal subjects vying to carry on the manic mantle of Trumpism.