This video from Britain says about itself:
Yemen: Britain’s Unseen War
30 September 2016
Krishnan Guru-Murthy reveals the catastrophic effect of a Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen – which uses British-supplied weapons – with millions of people consequently facing starvation.
By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:
Sketch: At least there was some truth to Bojo‘s latest gaffe
Friday 9th December 2016
Ironically his latest gaffe, at an international conference in Rome, was caused by the most unlikely of occurrences — him actually telling the truth.
Something of a novel departure for the Cabinet’s clown in chief and not one he will be likely to repeat, one would imagine.
It also explains why the civil servants at the Foreign Office rushed to deny everything. You can’t go around telling the truth if you’re in government for God’s sake.
You see Johnson used his conference address to lament politicians “twisting and abusing religion” to further their political aims before (accurately) accusing that Saudi Arabia and Iran in particular of “puppeteering” and “playing proxy wars” in the Middle East.
Something of a bold gambit for a British Foreign Secretary. I mean we practically invented the concept and have been gleefully employing it for centuries. Not least in the Middle East.
His comments must have gone down like a lead balloon at No 10 emerging as they did at almost the precise moment Prime Minister Theresa May arrived back from a visit to the Gulf where she had been wined and dined by the leaders of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and, er, Saudi Arabia.
A shindig where she had just assured the Saudi ruler King Salman of “her commitment and that of her government to enhancing and strengthening this relationship.”
May’s official spokeswoman told reporters that Johnson’s comments “were his own personal view and did not reflect government policy.”
No, government policy is to flog weapons of mass destruction to any despotic regime with enough cash, oil and disregard for human rights to want to buy them.
The blatant hypocrisy was succinctly summed up by Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade, who said: “Boris Johnson’s comments are a clear contrast from his public position, which has been to consistently praise the Saudi regime, despite it being one of the most abusive dictatorships in the world.
“If he believes them to be puppeteers for proxy wars, then why is he continuing to arm and support them?”
Probably because even Boris doesn’t believe a word he says and is probably mildly surprised if anyone else does.
This September 2016 video is called Britain blocks independent UN investigation into ‘war crimes’ in Yemen.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Hypocrisy over Saudi Arabia
Friday 9th December 2016
THE government has acted swiftly to distance itself from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s comments about Saudi Arabia’s role in the world, which were rather too close to the truth for comfort.
The Foreign Secretary had noted that “there are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion … in order to further their own political objectives.
“That’s why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in [the Middle East] … the Saudis, Iran, everybody moving in, and puppeteering and playing proxy wars.”
One could add Britain and many other Western powers to that list, although by that point the analysis of the Foreign Secretary and this paper will have well and truly diverged.
Because while officials were quick to make clear that Johnson was not expressing the official view of Saudi Arabia — although one presumes they have no such qualms over his claim about Iran — the shadow of the British government looms large over the whole state of affairs.
There are the obvious and immediate cases: Yemen and Syria.
The British government has sold literally boatloads of weapons and war machinery to Saudi Arabia while it pulverises its southern neighbour Yemen, blowing up homes and hospitals and leaving nearly the entire population on the edge of starvation.
It’s perhaps a rational course of action for a despotic Sunni royal family concerned that its own oppressed Shi’ite minority might take heart from the actions of co-religionists in Yemen’s Houthi movement.
Or in Syria, where Saudi Arabia has provided the material support for the various death cults, head-choppers and mass murderers that our government claims to be appalled by while pursuing a path that has served to strengthen them. The most graphic example is perhaps the 85 British soldiers who trained Syrian rebels in the Saudi deserts.
But while these two account for much current bloodshed, the entire Saudi project has British fingerprints all over it.
It was 100 years ago during the first world war that British officials decided to fund and arm competing Arab factions fighting against the Ottoman empire, finally settling on Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud.
Ibn Saud, from whom the country takes its name, was a Wahhabi fundamentalist whose conquest of the peninsula cost 400,000 lives and forced a million to flee.
That alliance has continued down the decades, with Britain and later the US keen to maintain their grip on strategically important oil supplies and have a “cop on the beat” in the region.
It has seen the Saudis convinced to recycle their vast amounts of oil money through London and New York, and British support for the Saudis’ exportation of their fundamentalist creed — which has produced bands of jihadists frequently useful as proxy forces against governments that proved troublesome for Whitehall no matter the — clearly recognised — long-term consequences.
It’s in that vein that PM Theresa May announced this week closer ties with the repressive Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, telling the world’s leading supporters of jihadist terror that they have no greater partner in “counter-terror” than Britain.
It’s all there for those who care to look and laid out in detail most notably by Mark Curtis, whose work informs John Ellison’s excellent three-part review of the topic which concludes in the Star today.
Yes, Saudi Arabia is involved in proxy wars, but with Britain’s hand on its shoulder it’s perhaps not acceptable to admit that in polite company.