Hunt stays silent over whether government was informed of plot against Khashoggi by MI6 and GCHQ


IT HAS got very hot in the warmongers’ kitchen when reputedly fire-proof US militarists like US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both intervened to call for a swift cessation of hostilities in the Yemen.

Mattis said yesterday that the US wanted to see all sides around the negotiating table, and an end to air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition it supports, arms and trains.

Separately, Pompeo said, ‘We have got to move towards a peace effort here, and we can’t say we are going to do it some time in the future. We need to be doing this in the next 30 days.’

US President Donald Trump’s administration is on the run from its bloody work in Yemen and is now fearful that the US will be driven out of the Middle East, so great is the opposition to its war in the Yemen, after the public exposure of the bloody killing by dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi.

The other major arms supplier to Saudi Arabia, the British government, true to the tradition of ‘Perfidious Albion’, is keeping its mouth shut tight, letting Trump, now the ‘peacemaker’, make the running to try to get imperialism off the giant hook of its own making in the Yemen slaughter.

The British ruling class is absolutely shameless. Its arms traders including BAE Systems attended the Saudi jamboree that most of the world boycotted. Imperialist Britain is even closer to the Saudi feudalists than the US, in the hope of getting physically back into the Middle East on the backs of the Saudis. The UK is now building two giant aircraft carriers and a dock to take them in Duqm Port in Oman. Even more than the US, the UK ruling class is glued to the Saudi feudalists and will not break from them.

This became even clearer in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Foreign Secretary Hunt was asked by Labour MP Gill Furniss (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough): ‘Media reports have surfaced this weekend suggesting UK intelligence services were aware of the Saudi plan to abduct the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and take him back to Riyadh, and of the deployment of the hit squad to Istanbul for that purpose.’

Labour’s Emily Thornberry said: ‘If the allegations in this weekend’s report are true they are extremely serious. It was reported in early September that our intelligence services became aware of the Saudi plan to abduct Jamal Khashoggi and on October 1 they knew that a Saudi team had been dispatched to Istanbul for that purpose.’

Hunt responded: ‘I hope she will understand that I don’t comment on intelligence matters, but if it reassures her, I had absolutely no prior knowledge myself of the terrible Khashoggi murder and was as shocked as I think everyone else.’

Thornberry said the allegations are ‘very serious’, adding that ‘it won’t do to hide behind a blanket refusal to discuss intelligence matters.’ She questioned whether the foreign secretary would accept an invitation to a closed-door emergency session to discuss the matter with the Intelligence Security Commission.

Hunt said he would accept such an invitation but added that the desire for him to reveal very important intelligence is ‘inappropriate’. Hunt won’t come clean and Labour and Thornberry are prepared to discuss what the UK’s role in the murder of Khashoggi really was in private.

Whether the UK government knew of and was an accessory to the murder of Khashoggi is not a matter that can be settled behind closed doors. The British people have every right to know what the UK government is doing in its name.

If the government will neither confirm nor deny that it knew of the plot against Khashoggi, and if it will not immediately scrap all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the trade unions must take action.

They must call a general strike to stop all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and to bring down the Tory government. The Tories must be replaced by a workers government that will support the Arab masses against the feudal regimes of the Gulf, recognise the state of Palestine and aid it in its development.

At home, it must expropriate the bosses and the bankers, including the arms manufacturers, smash up the capitalist state and its MI6 spooks, and bring in a socialist planned economy that will transform the UK and help transform the world by getting rid of capitalism and imperialism.