Yesterday, I was stunned by the sight of David Cameron walking around Tahrir Square in Cairo. He was also pictured meeting with the leader of the military command council, Mohammed Tantawi, who is charged with ruling Egypt until elections are held in September.
Today, he is in Kuwait. Let’s put it this way, he isn’t in the Middle East to glad-hand national leaders and congratulate them on their ‘democratic reforms’. I mean, Kuwait. Come on! He’s there to sell them weapons.
All this guff that comes from Cameron’s mouth about “democracy” is just a load of bunkum; a cover for his arms deals. Hague and Cameron talk about “the rule of law and freedom” but, in truth, they don’t really care who is running those countries so long as they buy container-loads of weapons.
The Guardian reports,
David Cameron‘s efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East by becoming the first foreign leader to visit Cairo were overshadowed as it emerged that he will spend the next three days touring undemocratic Gulf states with eight of Britain’s leading defence manufacturers.
Meanwhile Gerald Howarth, a British defence minister, was also attending the region’s largest arms fair, in Abu Dhabi, where a further 93 British companies are promoting their wares. They included companies selling rubber bullets and CS gas for crowd control as well as heavily armoured riot vans.
The marketing drive aimed at military and police buyers was backed by a 15-strong delegation from UKTI, the trade promotion wing of the department for business which is co-hosting a British pavilion with ADS, the UK arms trade
A few days ago, it was revealed that Britain had revoked arms licences when it was discovered that the live ammunition that was fired at protesters by the country’s security services had come from the UK. In Libya, the picture is the same and the government had to rush to revoke licenses.
Britain is the fourth largest exporter of arms in the world and supplies some 7% of weapons sold to other countries. Only the US, Russia and France sell more arms than Britain.
Britain only revoked arms export licenses for Libya days after various news agencies reported that the weapons used to kill hundreds of Libyans had originated in the UK.
The Independent says,
Mr Cameron in Cairo condemned as “completely appalling” the suppression of protests in Libya. He said: “I call on them even at this late stage to stop. People’s aspirations for greater democracy, for greater freedom, for greater rights should be met with reform, not repression.”
David Cameron. Hypocrisy be thy name.