Why? How? What would happen after the enactment
of justice against sponsors of terrorism act (JASTA) now?
By Rania Imam – Eiman Rashed
These are all questions that are going to be discussed and analyzed for the upcoming months, after JASTA has become a fait accompli that would definitely have implications on the global economy. Why has the USA stood by Iran, and punished the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is one of the main countries to combat terrorism?! has become a fait accompli as the Congress, with both the Senate and the House of Representatives, has overwhelmingly insisted to reject President Barack Obama’s Veto as predicted by the Middle East Observer newspaper in its issue No.(19) 11 May 2016 Y63…
in an unprecedented move, the US Congress hands the US President Barack Obama the first veto override of his presidency. Obama has vetoed for JASTA, that would allow the families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabia, which raises the question of would the United States fully undermine its relations with all Gulf countries because of this bill?
JASTA is an amendment of an act of 1967 that protects other countries from being sued in the United States, which would give the right to the families of Sept. 11 victims to sue any Saudi government official whom they suspect of being involved in Sept. 11 attacks.
The new amendment provides that the United States federal courts shall hear any civil lawsuits filed against any sovereign countries that knowingly or recklessly contribute material support or resources, directly or indirectly, to persons or organisations that pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism”. Therefore, victims of terrorism would hold countries accountable.
The Saudi Arabia can deliberately disclose, in cooperation with its allies, some sensitive secrets that can be used against Washington, as has been the case with JASTA. Here is the bottom line that has raised concerns of the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter that made him to state that allowing JASTA to become law could lead to American citizens being sued over foreign practices backed by Washington.
Obama, referring to his rejection of JASTA, said that the act could lead to US companies, soldiers and officials being sued and losing important allies during this political turmoil. The danger of JASTA is the fact that it would restructure the international relations and diplomatic concepts; perhaps the most significant danger is that citizens of a country would sue another country over acts of citizens of the latter, which is unprecedented in the international law. For its part, the Saudi Foreign Ministry condemned in a statement on Thursday the passage of JASTA that holds suing the Saudi Arabia in order to claim compensations, describing it as “a major concern”. The statement, which was carried on SPA, said, “The erosion of sovereign immunity will have a negative impact on all nations, including the United States”. Observers predicted that Saudi Arabia would diminish its cooperation with the United States in the fight against terrorism after the US Congress has passed the act that Riyadh considers a stab in the back, believing that Iran may have a hand in its passage. Dr. Sayed Hussein, director of Arab Center for Political & Strategic Studies, said, “Iranian lobby in the United States could cause a confrontation between the GCC countries led by Saudi Arabia and the American friend and ally with which they have strong strategic agreements and interests.
He stressed that this resolution has very serious implications as the GCC would at least withdraw all investments and money from the United States, noting that volume of Gulf countries’ money deposits in the United States represents 15% of the US economy and it is certainly an impressive figure. He also stressed that the Saudi Arabia would not take any unilateral on-the-ground action as evidenced by the fact that a number of GCC countries have spoken out to reject this bill prior to the vote on its passage. If the United States therefore goes in that direction, there will be an economic and political war, which will inevitably have negative effects on its economy.
The Saudi Arabia has major lobbying tools, including suspending official contacts and withdrawing billions of dollars from the US economy, which would raise difficulties for the US authorities as quoted by New York Times earlier when it confirmed that the Saudi Arabia had threatened to withdraw nearly $ 750 billion from the United States if the bill has been passed.
The money is in the form of treasury bonds and other assets in the United States. The American newspaper has quoted Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir back then as saying that he has informed the American legislators that the Saudi Arabia would have to sell up those assets over fears of being in jeopardy of seizure as part of legal proceedings.
US history of violation
Now that JASTA allows German, Japanese, Vietnamese, El Salvador, Iraqi, Libyan and Yemen citizens whom have been victims of the US actions to sue the United States and what can it do after the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has stated that allowing JASTA to become law could lead to the United States being sued over foreign practices backed by Washington or US military operations, which are as follows:
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) suppressed an uprising in the Dominican Republic and occupied the entire country later on in early May and it has pursued its occupation for eight years.
The US air force bombed the German city of Dresden despite the fact that the Russians had moved across the city and it was no longer a military target. The bombing has killed 150, 000 civilians and ruined 60% of the city’s buildings.
August 6, 1945
The US president ordered the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that have killed 78,150 persons and mutilated dozens of victims.
August 9, 1945
The US President Truman ordered to drop the second atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki where 73,884 people were killed, 60,000 people were injured and all animal species, insect and plants were totally annihilated.
December 24, 1966
The US troops have killed 125 Vietnamese civilians despite the fact that it has declared cessation of December 1981. The Atlacatl Battalion linked to the CIA has killed 1000 people in an orgy of murder, rape, and burning in El Salvador.
January 6 – February 28 1991
The US forces have destroyed more than 8,437 houses, 157 bridges and railroads, 130 primary and secondary power plants, 249 kindergartens for children, 139 social welfare homes, 100 hospitals and 1991.
The US bombers have stroked Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad, killing dozens of children, women and the elderly.
September 28, 1997
The Iraq has declared that more than 1.2 million people have died due to shortage of medical supplies since the imposition of the embargo against Iraq.
Saudi Arabia investigates selling off $10bn bonds
The U.S Economic News Agency Bloomberg stated that Saudi Arabia has embarked on a series of negotiations with international financial institutions, in order to sell its bonds in a number of countries in the world. This took place less than a week after Congress unblocked legislation allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Riyadh. The negotiations aim at luring more overseas investments into the Saudi local market to plug the shortfall in its budget
The Agency said that JPMorgan Bank officials, the U.S largest banking and financial service provider, have attended a two-day meeting with a number of top Saudi financial officials to discuss their desire to lure more overseas investment into its markets. They have also discussed implications of passage of JASTA Law on Saudi financial markets and its impact on investors’ confidence in Riyadh.
The Agency pointed out that a number of top officials of the Saudi Economy Ministry and the Central Bank, and some officials of a number of Saudi companies such as STC, SABIC and Samba have also attended these meetings. Bloomberg has recently quoted a source as saying Riyadh is weighing a sale of at least $10 billion in 5-, 10- and 30-year bonds. It should be noted that Saudi Arabia has warned earlier of implications of JASTA Law.