David Cameron, Human Rights and Arms Sales in Saudi Arabia

Yesterday I put up a number of piece about Saudi Arabia, and the current international outcry over the execution of a number of political prisoners, including the Shi’a cleric, Nimr al-Nimr. Britain’s own dealings with the Saudis are particularly murky. Secret cables released by Wikileaks seem to indicate that our government was involved in some shady deals to get the Saudis elected to the UN Human Rights Council, despite the complete absence of anything like human rights there. These have been publicised in the Australian newspaper, The Australian, and Cameron has been called upon to issue a clarification of what went on. See Mike’s article at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/01/04/uk-government-urged-to-reveal-role-in-getting-saudi-arabia-onto-un-human-rights-council/

It has also been revealed that the House of Commons supervisory committee on arms sales has been absent for the past nine months. So there are naturally concerns that Britain has been selling arms to the Saudis so they can use them against the rebels in Yemen. See this article by Mike at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/01/04/uk-arms-exports-escape-scrutiny-under-tory-government-2/

Putting two and two together, its seems likely that Cameron did indeed cut some kind of a deal with the Saudis. We get them elected to the UN Human Rights Council, and they buy our arms. And who knows what else.

Michelle Thomasson, whose comments on this blog have been very informative about events in the Middle East and the current wars, made this comment on by piece about William Blum’s view that the real reason for the invasion of Afghanistan was to secure its oil supply.

Thank you, very interesting Blum article, which also mentions in passing ‘USraeli’, but do other nations also play a role in USraeli interests?…

I thought this recent article about a ‘Saudi Oil Imperium’
ref
: http://journal-neo.org/2015/12/08/what-stinks-in-saudi-aint-the-camel-dung/ may have some grains of truth but the writer fails to mention US/Israeli interests.

I also wonder about the inner machinations of the UK government who seem to have an awful synergy with Saudi e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/29/uk-and-saudi-arabia-in-secret-deal-over-human-rights-council-place

The UK has had an interest in directing and controlling Arab dynastic interests in the Middle East for a very long time e.g. “The outstanding event at this time was, of course, the Cairo Conference of March 1921 at which British army officers and officials headed by the Colonial Secretary, Mr Winston Churchill, decided to convert the region into a Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq led by Amir Faisal bin Hussein whom the French had recently evicted from Syria. Faisal´s debt to Britain for an Iraqi throne would, it was assumed, ensure respect for British interests in the area. These could be further promoted by using British bomber aircraft for policing. Cambridge University Archives, Records of Iraq 1914-1966: ref: http://archiveeditions.co.uk/titledetails.asp?tid=94

So wouldn’t the UK and Saudi be included in the US/Israeli bid to control the energy empire from Afghanistan to Syria? Just musing out loud because we seem to have similar inquiries, thank you again for your posts.

This seems to me to be a line worth pursuing. Greg Palast in his book, Armed Madhouse, describes the way the Saudis effectively wreck the economies of other oil producing countries if they don’t toe their line on the price of oil. I’d have to chase this up, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Britain also didn’t have oil interests in the Gulf, beyond the simple dependence on Saudi oil. I’ve also got a feeling much of the dealings between Britain and Saudi Arabia also go back to the Cold War, and the need to find an ally and a bulwark in the region against Soviet influence, and particularly Nasser’s Egypt and Arab Socialism.

As for the state of the Saudi regime and their support for human rights, one of the prisoners sentenced to execution was a young man, whose only crime was to give first aid to protestors, who had been shot or wounded by the Saudi police or army. In Yemen, 50% plus of the victims of Saudi bombing are civilians. The Saudis’ presence on the Human Rights Council is a monstrous travesty.

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2 Responses to “David Cameron, Human Rights and Arms Sales in Saudi Arabia”

  1. 61chrissterry Says:

    Reblogged this on 61chrissterry and commented:
    The dirty game called ‘Politics’ Double dealing, distrust, game changing by the second, always as been and always will be.

  2. Michelle Thomasson Says:

    Hi again, UK oil interests in Iraq are clear, even when the Foreign Office deny it! e.g. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-memos-expose-link-between-oil-firms-and-invasion-of-iraq-2269610.html
    and this article has some useful maps to show energy interests in the war torn Middle East: http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/12/12/special-report-isis-oil-follow-the-money-back-to-europe/

    You mentioned that you felt Britain’s dealing with Saudi goes back to the Cold War, thereby preventing Russian expansion. The Saudi’s would also find this arrangement useful because of their lust for tribal dominance against Shia power (Iran, Hezbollah etc.)

    But just wanted to add that The UK has been openly working with the Saudi’s since the early 1930’s and have been involved in splitting and trying to dominate the Arab world for a very long time. (From the end of WW1 Arabic academics thought the British used Zionism to also accomplish this). From the time that Saudi was established in 1932 (after much tribal rivalry and conflicts) the British have supported the Saudi’s, they did so then because they saw them as a counterforce to the Ottoman Empire and a tool to help the Brits maintain control of oil resources in the region….

    So it is a long and ugly relationship involving oil, power and arms which continues today, and the UK government has all manner of elite tradesmen to keep this relationship cosy: https://blog.caat.org.uk/2014/02/20/prince-charles-dance-of-shame/ and http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2014/04/07/comment-the-foreign-office-prefers-saudi-arms-deals-to-human

    Thanks again for your perseverance!

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