Institute Takes Saudi Arms Deal to the American People

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In its ongoing opposition to the proposed $20 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy has launched a new online petition demanding that Congress halt the deal. The petition can be found at http://www.religionandpolicy.org.

Joseph K. Grieboski

During this election year, Members of Congress should keep in mind that the American people will not stand idly by and ignore the atrocious record of human rights abuses, exportation of violence and intolerance

In its ongoing opposition to the proposed $20 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy has launched a new online petition demanding that Congress halt the deal. The petition can be found at http://www.religionandpolicy.org.

"While news reports and analysts remain skeptical that Congress will block the deal, we have faith that the American people will voice their inherent opposition to a deal that threatens American security, destabilizes the region, and arms a country that is ideologically and practically opposed to all America values," commented Institute on Religion and Public Policy President Joseph K. Grieboski.

The petition, addressed to the leaders of the Senate and House and available at http://www.religionandpolicy.org, "respectfully demand[s] you remember the words President Bush has forgotten and vote NO on authorizing the $20 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia… We've made this mistake before - let's not make it again."

The proposed package of advanced weaponry for Saudi Arabia includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters and new naval vessels. Despite the size of the package, the Bush administration has not sought specific assurances from Saudi Arabia that it would be more supportive of American efforts in Iraq, or that it would follow through with other formal and informal agreements with the United States, including improvement of its text books, reform of madrassas, or improve treatment of the millions of Christians and other religious minorities living in Saudi as conditions of receiving the arms package.

"During this election year, Members of Congress should keep in mind that the American people will not stand idly by and ignore the atrocious record of human rights abuses, exportation of violence and intolerance," Mr. Grieboski stated. "It is our hope that this petition will give them the evidence they need."

The petition can be found by clicking on the website of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy at http://www.religionandpolicy.org, directly at http://www.religionandpolicy.org/about/saudi_arms.php, or on Mr. Grieboski's blog at http://grieboskireport.blogspot.com.

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