Friday, 4 December 2015

Alternatives to war- follow the money

Alternatives to war- follow the money
In his belligerant – the pro war media called it barnstorming - speech in the Parliamentary debate on bombing Syria, shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn asserted:

Of course we should take action—there is no contradiction between the two—to cut off Daesh’s support in the form of money, fighters and weapons, of course we should give humanitarian aid, of course we should offer shelter to more refugees, including in this country, and yes, we should commit to play our full part in helping to rebuild Syria when the war is over.”
But he made no suggestions as to how the support for ISIS should be stopped, despite being in charge of Labour’s diplomatic policy

More constructively, Green MP Caroline Lucas insisted : “Why are we not applying sanctions to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have turned a blind eye and allowed the flow of finance to ISIS and, potentially, other terrorist groups? Why are we still selling weapons to Saudi Arabia?
At Prime Minister’s Question time two weeks ago  Jeremy Corbyn asked:Surely a crucial way to help defeat ISIL is to cut off its funding, its supply of arms, and its trade. May I press the Prime Minister to ensure that our allies in the region—indeed, all countries in the region—are doing all they can to clamp down on individuals and institutions in their countries who are providing ISIL with vital infrastructure? Will he, through the European Union and other forums if necessary, consider sanctions against those banks and companies, and if necessary countries, that turn a blind eye to financial dealings with ISIL that assist it in its work?
The problem the war-mongering- Cameron and virtually the entire media - ignores is "blow-back" from an insane support policy of the Saudi Arabian Sunni regime and Sunni-led Qatar by France, the US and UK, all of whom have sold billions of euros, pounds, and dollars worth of arms to the medievalist Kingdom.
In May this year the French news channel France24 published an article on line warning France’s arms sales to the middle east generally- and Saudi Arabia in particular - could  be at a high “strategic cost.”
It reported that when Qatar agreed to buy 24 French Rafale fighter jets in a euro 6.3 billion contract at the end of April, it represented “yet another major success for France's arms industry,” and were “hailed by Hollande and his government.”
Saudi Arabia has proved a lucrative trading partner for French arms manufacturers, most recently in a deal signed last November that saw the kingdom buy $3 billion-worth  of French weapons and military equipment.
In his closing press conference to the  G20 summit in Antalya in Turkey on Tuesday last week, President Obama asserted: "Here at the G20, our nations have sent an unmistakable message that we are united against this [ISIS] threat." ( Not quite all: Saudi Arabia's King Salman was one of the G20 attendees. His country is still heavily supporting ISIS.
A year ago in the Daily Telegraph  General Jonathan Shaw, (who retired as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff in 2012), argued that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were “primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires Isil terrorists.” General Shaw emphasised: "This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.”  
He forcefully added that the British and American air campaign would not "stop the support of people in Qatar and Saudi Arabia for this kind of activity," stressing "It's missing the point”
(Qatar and Saudi Arabia 'have ignited time bomb by funding global spread of radical Islam' Daily Telegraph, 5 Oct 2014;

 Currently President Obama is considering $1.29bn sale of US weapons to Saudi Arabia. He should cancel this, and read instead the detailed report, Financing of the Terrorist Organisation Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), ( published by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) earlier this year.
Despite this evidence, Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood could tell Labour veteran backbench MP Paul Flynn in a written answer on 24 November: "The Saudi Arabian Government is working to reduce the threat that religious extremists pose in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, and has a comprehensive set of laws in place to prevent terrorist financing, which it enforces vigorously." (Written Answer 16418)
Putting your head deep into the Arabian sand won't make ISIS go away! 

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