And the true content of their actions is what this write-up is all about. The EU member states have just confirmed they are to “look into” calls to investigate Britain’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Fundamentally, there is a perfect reason for this laughable probe. Just like the British government, they have blood on their hands, they are embarrassed that the world knows about it, and they want the world to look the other way while the business is good.
As is, their illicit arms sales have helped the House of Saud and its partners in crime to turn Yemen into a failed state, as a result of which the poorest country in the Middle East is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Whatever the reason, the EU call for probe doesn’t sit well with logic. It does in no way mean they will soon impose bans on Britain and its arms manufacturers.
The latest political charade comes in light of a damning UN report which confirms to have identified at least 120 instances of deliberate Saudi-led raids on civilian targets in Yemen in breach of international humanitarian law. According to the EU’s own rules, member states cannot provide weapons to countries where there is “a clear risk that the military technology or equipment to be exported might be used in the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
That’s exactly what the lunatics have been doing since last March. Just for the record, Britain made some $1.5 billion in “declared” arms sales to Saudi Arabia in just three months last year, with France, Italy, Belgium and Spain also involved in the trade. Silly enough, the exact same governments now want us to believe they are ensuring accountability for violations as an important part of the process to achieve a lasting settlement of the current conflict!
The problem is that they still refuse to implement immediate steps leading to a durable ceasefire, which includes a complete halt to their illicit arms sales to the Saudis. The fact remains that previous ceasefires failed to take hold due to multiple violations by the aggressors, specifically by those offering intelligence and weaponry to the Saudis in complete violation of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Logic dictates that if the EU member states are indeed honest about the inquiry, they will first suspend all material support, including their current and past licences to the Saudis. It doesn’t take a strategic mind to recognize that sending more arms and authorizing further logistical and intelligence support will only lead to further destabilization of Yemen and the rest of the region.
For all these reasons and more, the United States and its NATO allies must first stop using “international aid” as a weapon or using the suffering of the Yemeni people as a political tool to affect regime change in Sana’a. Their beautiful words notwithstanding, the EU must show some willingness to take firm action to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
To this end, they must stop their arms transfers and press the Saudis to end the war for the sake of the people of Yemen. The regime changers will continue bombing Yemen as long as they are confident the EU will continue to support them with more guns and more bombs – regardless of their “consideration” for human life.