What did you sell to Saudi Arabia today Daddy?

“According to Amnesty International, the US and UK have sold $5 billion (4.6 billion euros) worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia since March 2015, helping it commit “gross violations” and “precipitate a humanitarian catastrophe.” Deutsch Welle.

If your spouse works for the UK Foreign Office, deals in Saudi Arabia’s recent $2 trillion offer of Aramco shares on our stock market or works for a company that exports arms to that country, there is a question you should ask him at supper.

What part does he feel he has had, directly or indirectly, in the killing of 5000 civilians, among them 1184 children, indiscriminate bombing, a cholera outbreak, mass starvation and the present epidemic of diphtheria in Yemen?

Then take out your children’s letters to Santa and discuss with him what you are going to buy them for Christmas.

12 Comments on What did you sell to Saudi Arabia today Daddy?

  1. I’ll be buying them shares in BAE Systems, so helping to safeguard Britain’s defence and supporting HMG approved export arms sales.
    Meanwhile the Church of England will continue its hypocritical wingeing.

    • By the way, for clarity I worked for several years in Saudi Arabia in support of British Defence equipment sales to that country. Like the fitters who maintained and pilots who flew Barnes Wallis’ Spitfires I have no part in and feel no responsibility whatsoever in either the variously arising deaths in Yemen or the untimely deaths of young German pilots and aircrews over Britain then.

  2. This item touches on the vexing tension at the heart of our system. As we race towards a population of 70 million we have to find a way to pay for their needs, to employ them, etc. It is to be presumed that our playing a part in the international arms trade is a major contributor to the effort to create/maintain jobs, to generate tax revenues, dividends for pension funds, etc. Yet the notion of our being complicit in evil deeds, when we supply arms to others, never quite goes away. I take the view that the question we need to ask ourselves here is ‘How much are we prepared to sacrifice?’ by stepping away from this lucrative trade, since it is unlikely that our economy will be as healthy if we opt to do the moral thing.

    • Very true, Verity. But this is how the Left has it both ways. If UK industries retreat from the arms trade, unemployment rises and they become the heartless capitalist exploiters. If they do business in the arms trade they become the cynical profiteers behind the suffering of innocents.

    • Selling arms to unstable Arab states is a recipe for our bankruptcy. The cost of two Gulf wars, $100 billion, airport and internal anti terrorist security, as well as provoking costly mass migration into western countries has outweighed the derisory profit we get from the sale of arms. Then there is the loss of free speech consequent on having a hostile population living in the west who blame us for their plight, the collapse of our legal system as we try to accommodate the repressive customs of Islam, Sharia Law, segregated schools, FGM, and forced marriages.

      • It is simply incorrect to link the mass migrations and untoward social consequences bring from them, into Europe, even from the Middle East, let alone Africa, to the wars in Iraq and Syria.
        The primary cause is the failure of European governments and the EU to resist the Islamic inspired and mass populatory but individually inspired movements gravitating to towards the honeypot of western civilisation.

  3. Yes. A terrible situation, as always, for innocent civilians caught up in the middle of a proxy war.

    However, the Arabian peninsula is predominantly Sunni. Iran really has no business being there. Goading the Saudis and posing a threat to their border is not the wisest course of action. So, Iran has its fair share of blame for the situation in Yemen.

    As for arms sales, it was ever thus and, if not the UK and USA, France and a host of other nations would be eagerly bidding to supply the materials for civilian slaughter.

    Another ballistic missile fired from Yemen at Khamis Mushayt this afternoon and intercepted by the Saudis.

  4. if you sell people arms you cannot insist that they use them in ways with which you agree. If you withhold those sales the purchaser will simply buy arms elsewhere. If you prevent such sales you undermine a key industry and risk an unemployment scenario that lets in the Corbynistas. Sometimes in life Myles, you just have to hold your nose.

    • Tim, See my earlier reply to Verity. We have spent well over £100 billion on two Gulf wars for a measly return of $7 billion a year, the migration crisis and as a result who is in charge of Syria now? Russia. I am a firm believer in the use of military force, but wars conducted by our useless Foreign Office are another thing. We were so ill equipped the Americans had to take over from us in parts of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Libya was a disaster. We would be far better off carrying out selective drone killings of people like Kim Jung Un and the Saudi State executioner while he awaits his next blindfold victim in the square at Riyadh on a Friday.

      • I had not appreciated you were such a wooly minded Liberal Mr Myles. A number of points need to be addressed.
        The Saudi justice system is their own affair and the State Executioner is a public servant.
        Capital punishment is something which the majority of Britons support and which to see re-instated, in long standing contradiction to their politicians.
        Drone assassinations and attacks on national states will swiftly attract retaliatory attacks. There is no more justification in attacking Kim Jung Un than a drone strike on Theresa May, though many might prefer the later to the former.
        The primary purpose of the arms industry is to meet the high technology equipment needs of our own defence forces. Export sales subsidise that cost. However the banning of exports to e.g. Saudi Arabia will in no way diminish their purchase of weapons, merely deny our industry of the opportunity to provide them and UKG to influence their use. Oh yes, it also helps to employ 30,000 of your fellow countrymen and subsidise the petrol in your car.

  5. It really shouldn’t be Britain’s business who it’s arms companies sell arms to, so long as they are not fired back at Britain. If the Sheikhdoms of Arabia or Iran did not get weapons from the West, they’d go at each other with machetes and kitchen knives Pol Pot style. Britain’s arms industry allows nation states to establish their writ across their own territory and in their neighbourhood. Why do they buy weapons? Because they can’t make them on their own. Britain has absolutely nothing to feel sorry about the events in Yemen or Syria for that matter. No one is telling them to fight.

  6. In the latest edition December of the Salisbury Review out now, Paul Weston reveals the extent to which the Saudis have infiltrated our universities and government. His article explains the otherwise inexplicable, the widespread belief that selling arms to Saudi Arabia is a profitable business. We spend far more on illegal immigration from the Middle East as a consequence of the various wars in Arabia, that we ever get from it. http://www.salisburyreview.com/subscribe/

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