Yesterday was International Peace Day. A day which, since 1982, has observed the newest and smartest ways to fight against violence worldwide. Over the years there have been many inventive ways they have come up with to try and spread the good word, including concerts and comedy shows, but this year only one thing is on my mind. Our country is funding war.
In 2016 the UK is the world’s second biggest arms dealer. This is not something that is new to our fine nation, we have been the leaders in technologies for years. But where in recent years these deals may have been to aid wars that we are directly connected to, our current situation is a little bit more sinister.
At the moment the only war the UK are ‘officially’ involved with is our military ‘intervention’ in the fight against Daesh. Now that little kerfuffle is a whole new kettle of evil, unnecessary fish that I won’t decide to boil up today but it is connected a little bit. This is because most of our weapons deals just happen to be with those guys in the desert our government loves to hate.
The Back Story
Trump’s comments about Obama and Clinton founding Daesh were obviously a little bit fanciful,. But the facts behind this opinion, surprisingly, ring true. Weapons sold by the UK and US to Syrian and other Middle Eastern rebels, now act as the firepower for the so-called Islamic state. We sold all those little-underdeveloped people loads of big guns and then left them to do whatever they wanted with them. With no one in charge. And now we’re in a pickle.
The whole “We’ll give them freedom because war is good for business” argument is a proper tin foil hat discussion but one that has a real place in our countries current position in foreign policy. How far will a government go to secure financial security even if it does mean civilian deaths. The odd fishy transaction is expected in the politics of such conflicts, such is life, but it started to really stink after last year’s general election.
As part of his election campaign, the recently dethroned Mr Cameron squealed on about how he would commit some of his finest ministers to look over our arms trade decisions. These promises were in May of last year. The first meeting wasn’t scheduled until January 2016. In the time between July and September of 2015 ,we sold £1,066,216,510 of weapons to Saudi Arabia. It was only £9 million in the three months previous. It doesn’t take a genius to see we were cashing in before someone caught us out.
The previously mentioned Silver Medal for the UK is actually for statistics taken by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute at the end of 2014. Apparently, that’s how long it takes to count all of the guns. So just think how many extra we could have sold that will be revealed in next years count before the internal investigations begin. It remains to be seen, however, if the ‘independent’ checks are going to make any difference at all.
Where is it kicking off?
That is because despite criticism from The EU’s commission and The UN we are continuing to sell more and more weapons to the power hungry Saudi’s. The current atrocity we are literally making a bomb out of is the unrest in Yemen, one of the most under-reported humanitarian catastrophes in modern history. The country has pretty much been in and out of civil war for the past 40 years but the unrest that is unfolding at the moment is particularly complicated.
Try and keep up. So since the Yemen Arab Republic and People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen unified to make the modern day country of Yemen in 1990, there has always been disagreement with the legitimacy of the government. The main battle ongoing is the current ‘official’ President, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, and a group of Zaidi Shia rebels known as Houthis. The Houthi’s appeared to fight against discrimination against their marginalised branch of Islam (Zaidi) but now work towards a more collective economic stability for all groups in the country.
The two main players then receive a lot of resistance from the smaller tribal communities who resist any kind of government control. Then there is of course a massive Al Quaeda stronghold in the South of the country who are basically trying to cause as much madness as they can so they can swoop in and take over. Then shit really hits the fan when you find out a number of Daesh affiliates are being set up in the biggest cities, taking advantage of the poor conditions by promising people everything in the world if they swear allegiance. The UN have predicted that around 10 million people are currently struggling for food and over 10 000 people have been killed, a third of which are civilians.
Why are we to blame?
So you might be asking why we are involved in such a conflict? Well, that is where the Saudis come in. Basically, The President, Hadi, had a lot of support from the Saudi’s when he took over control after the Arab Spring. The conflicts in Yemen has always worried the Saudi’s because if it was taken over by groups connected to terrorists they would be surrounded by nations who would be so unstable there is a chance they could move in on their borders. So it makes a lot more sense to keep the leaders of that country on side. The Saudis have used their money to obliterate whole cities in the hope all rebel groups will fear them above any other and no uprising will be seen in their own country.
Whilst the Saudi’s might have all the money in the world, we still have the top dogs when it comes to making these killing machines. Our weapons were perfect for what they wanted to do and it also wasn’t bad for our bank balance. Weddings, hospitals and, schools have been deliberately targeted by the Saudis to cause ultimate misery, not diplomatic warfare. This is a simple dictatorship by the Saudis and extortionate greed from the Brits.
The Saudi’s are working as the lead in a coalition of 8 Middle Eastern states trying to gain political control over the Yemen country, but why should they be involved at all if it is no threat to them? Lets make it clear that if the Saudis wanted to make their own weapons they could but the ease of buying it from other nations means no time will be lost via licensing and admin. War is a business, and Saudi Arabia are outsourcing.
People say the British are a developed colony. How can we be so good if we are allowing such a thing to happen right under our noses. Even the Committee that we set up to stop this kind of thing can’t even decide if it is good or bad that all these people are dying now. So what is the point in having them there?
Like I said earlier this is one of the most unreported wars there has ever been and thousands are dying due to no fault of their own, at the hands of our weapons. This is not the only conflict we are involved with as well, under the radar support of oil rich dictators just for the odd golden handshake. The criticism of our country is coming from all sides as we continue to help the Saudis out but not enough is coming from within. If there is one thing you take from reading this remember that the poorest country in the Middle East is being bombed by the richest, then decide if we should just stand back and let it happen.