Archive for December 15th, 2006

Pee No Shea

How to pronounce Pinochet. I pronounce him dead. And a despicable human being.

Advertisements

The National Interest

The pressure exerted on the BBC after Andrew Gilligan’s report on the Iraq weapons dossier appears to have paid off. This is its headline after the announcement that the British Attorney General has decided to end the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into alleged BAe bribes to Saudi officials: BAE staff celebrate dropped probe.

Yes, how wonderful. The most important thing in this is not that the British government is in the back pocket of both BAE and that beacon of freedom and democracy, Saudi Arabia, and is prepared to ignore the rule of law to meet their demands, but rather that BAE staff can breathe easy. It is, after all, a good news story.

To top it all, the reason cited by the Attorney General was ‘national security‘. The British government has decided that to keep the nation safe, it must impede criminal investigations and bow to pressure from arms dealers and one of the vilest regimes on the planet. But perhaps there is nothing new in this.

Blair said yesterday:

“It’s important that we align ourselves with moderate Muslim countries and bring them into the effort to move forward, particularly on the Palestine-Israel issue but (also) in the Middle East as a whole”

Presumably Saudi Arabia is now a ‘moderate Muslim’ country. Perhaps selling arms to Saudi Arabia is an important step in the war against Islamic extremism.

Update:

Here’s Blair getting interviewed by Paxman on Saudi Arabia:

JEREMY PAXMAN:
So there is a distinctive British foreign policy. Does it have an ethical dimension still?

TONY BLAIR:
Of course it does, yeah.

JEREMY PAXMAN:
How then can you publicly endorse a country which bans political parties, bans trade unions and uses institutional torture?

TONY BLAIR:
The country being?

JEREMY PAXMAN:
Saudi Arabia? You called it a friend of the civilised world.

TONY BLAIR:
Yes, but it is also important to realise that if we want a secure progress in the Middle East, we should work with Saudi Arabia. I don’t decide… Ethical foreign policy doesn’t mean that you try to decide the government of every country of the world. You can’t do that.

JEREMY PAXMAN:
You called it a friend of the civilised world.

TONY BLAIR:
It is. In my view, what it is doing in respect of the Middle East now…

JEREMY PAXMAN:
It chops people’s arms off. It tortures people.

TONY BLAIR:
They have their culture, their way of life.

JEREMY PAXMAN:
We have to respect that?

TONY BLAIR:
I’m not saying that we agree with these things. Of course we don’t agree with them. What I’m saying is that if you look at the context of what’s happening in the Middle East at the moment, it is important that we are partners with Saudi Arabia. I would say to you that an extremist political regime would be a lot worse for Saudi Arabia and for the world.

So there.


I on Twitter

December 2006
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Advertisements