Thursday, 19 November 2015

In dangerous denial


At Prime Minister’s Question time on Wednesday this week Jeremy Corbyn asked the following important question: “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 war-mongering Prime Minister David Cameron responded: “ we play a leading role in ensuring that the supply of money, weapons and support is cut off. However, we should be clear about where ISIL got its money from originally. ..ISIL was able to get hold of oil, weapons, territory and banks, and they have used that to fund their hatred and their violence. We cannot dodge forever the question of how to degrade and destroy ISIL in both Iraq in Syria.. Yes, we should go after the money and the banks, and cut off supplies to ISIL, but we should not make that a substitute for the action that is required to beat those people where they are.”

The problem 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 dollarsworth 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.

(“Arms sales becoming France's new El Dorado, but at what cost?

In his closing press conference to the  G20 summit in Antalya in Turkey on Tuesday, 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 - and on Monday this week in the London Evening Standard - 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.

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