Stop the UK arms sales to the Saudi and Bahraini despots!

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DESPERATE for trade after Brexit, and for access to Middle East oil, bankrupt capitalist Britain is desperately licking the boots of Arab feudalists, while it is arming them to the teeth, and giving them every assistance in their struggle to crush pro-democracy movements that are attempting drag the Gulf states into the 21st century.

Tory PM Theresa May has followed in Prince Charles footsteps with a two-day trip to Bahrain to attend the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council. The fact that the countries that Britain sells its tanks, missiles, jet fighters and drone weapons to are using those weapons to commit war crimes against their own people is of no consequence to a British ruling class that is desperate to make profits.

In fact, as far as war crimes are concerned, the British ruling class has paved the way for the feudalists to follow. After all, in Iraq they unleashed their own weapons of mass destruction, including missiles tipped with depleted Uranium, that penetrated bomb shelters, and that, on explosion, fused human skin to the walls. The weapons were designed to destroy the next generation as well, as their radioactive dust entered the air, water and food. Cancers in Iraq soared and women ran out of hospitals screaming after giving birth to babies born with no eyes, no mouths and with organs on the outside of their bodies.

It is this type of weapon, and worse, that May went over to the Gulf States to flog. She attended a dinner with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman last Tuesday evening, before addressing them on the Wednesday morning.

At the dinner in the evening, May announced: ‘So I hope my visit will herald the start of a new chapter in relations between the United Kingdom and the Gulf.’ May went on to call them the UK’s ‘oldest and most dependable friends!’

Dependable friends indeed! The UK is to open a massive permanent military naval base in Bahrain and deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. The base will be launched next month.

Britain will station around 600 military forces at the Royal Navy Facility and will deploy its warships to patrol the surrounding waters to guard oil and gas shipments, and to menace Iran.

Tory Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in his usual loose-lipped manner, has blurted out a little part of the truth, about what the Gulf leaders are getting up to, and what the UK will be promoting. Speaking to a conference in Rome he said: ‘There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives.

‘That’s one of the biggest political problems in the whole region. And the tragedy for me – and that’s why you’ve got the Saudis, Iran, everybody, moving in and puppeteering and playing proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area – is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves.’ Quite. However, he has the UK in mind as the force to give strong leadership to the Saudis and other feudalists as they prepare to confront Iran as well as Syria, and further their alliance with Israel.

However, not for the first time, Johnson has let the cat out of the bag. The Tory government spokeswoman immediately distanced May from Johnson’s comments, saying: ‘We are supporting the Saudi-led coalition in support of the legitimate government in Yemen against Houthi rebels. Those are the prime minister’s views – the foreign secretary’s views are not the government’s position on, for example, Saudi Arabia and its role in the region.’ But the damage has been done.

The UK government licensed arms exports worth £3.3bn ($4.2bn) to Saudi Arabia during the first 12 months of the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, the Campaign Against Arms Trade revealed. Now May wants a direct role in deciding just how these arms will be used and against who. This is why she visited the Gulf and this is why Johnson is following up on the visit. They want to direct the Saudi and other Gulf bandits as to what must be hit next.

However the British working class has a big role to play in the struggle to free the peoples of the Gulf states from the despotic ruling classes that control them. The UK workers must bring down the May government and bring in a workers government that will stop the arms sales to the feudalists, and start supplying arms for free to the Arab peoples of the Gulf so that they can liberate themselves from their local and their imperialist oppressors!