Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A call against arms..

It is of course heartening that An Yue Jiang and its 77 tonnes of military hardware has not been allowed to dock in Southern Africa, thanks to a combination of external pressure from the US and the British governments as well as internal regional pressure piled on Mugabe's regime.

If only Whitehall was as sensitive to the effects of sales of British-made weaponry in volatile regions, we might be getting somewhere. As it is, we have scandal after scandal, with the ongoing BAE fiasco being just the latest iteration. Anyone remember Bliar's visit to India and Pakistan when Kashmir was flaring up a few years ago? Beneath the circumstantial pomp, he was there to sell arms to both sides. Robin Cook's mantra about an 'ethical foreign policy' seems so sepia these days. If there's a state at the risk of becoming fragile or failing, you can almost guarantee that the British Government will grant arms export licences. As the CAAT website tells us, clients of British-made arms includes: Afghanistan, Columbia, Iraq, Israel, Sri Lanka and Uganda. Its not so much a whiff of hypocrisy, more like a stench.


Anonymous,  3:14 pm  

"Bliar"...I like that...

I read an article in SA's mail & Guardian yesterday about Chinese troops patrolling side by side with Zim troops in Mutare. Makes one wonder just how many shipments have already slipped through via other less socially conscious ports?

Thanks for the link to CAAT. I will definitely spread the word and they will get my beer money this week.

Kudos for speaking so straight-forwardly about the hypocrisy of the British Government. The rot really runs deep...


In my head and around me 7:42 pm  

BBC Africa reports that the ship has left the port after trying to offload in several countries around isn't-it-a-bitch-that-you-are-landlocked-Zimbabwe.

However that ship is heading to the West Africa. I hope they will be honorable enough to turn them away as well. Sadly, I am not very optimistic. Here's hoping they prove me an unnecessary pessimist.

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