Wednesday 12 April 2017

The party that continued arming Saddam Hussain after Halabja is moral high-horsing about chemical weapons!

There is nothing quite as hypocritical as the faux outrage of Tories over war crimes and human rights abuses.

In the wake of the Idlib poison gas incident Boris Johnson and many other Tories started immediately peddling the Syrian opposition narrative that the gas came from chemical weapons bombs dropped by the Syrian government. The Syrian government denied responsibility saying that the gas leak occurred when they bombed a terrorist munitions factory that had apparently been manufacturing chemical weapons.

Without an official investigation it's impossible to know which version of events is true, but that didn't stop Boris Johnson immediately adopting the evidence-free narrative that the Syrian government were to blame, and then self-righteously pushing for sanctions against Russia at the G7 as if the use of chemical weapons (even if unproven) is some kind of red line the Tory party will not tolerate.

Oh how different things were back in the 1980s when the Tories continued arming Saddam Hussain's Iraq, after the 1985 UN embargo on selling weapons to Iraq, and even after the proven use of chemical weapons in Halabja killed 5,000 people.

Back in those days Saddam was considered to be a useful British ally who fought numerous proxy wars with Iran on our behalf, so as far as the Tories were concerned, his use of chemical weapons at Halabja was perfectly excusable.

The Arms to Iraq scandal was absolutely huge in the 1990s. Four directors of the Matrix Churchill machine tooling company were put on trial for supplying equipment and knowledge to Iraq, but the trial collapsed spectacularly after it was shown that the Tory government had actually advised the company on how to sell weapons to Iraq!

After the collapse of the Matrix Churchill trial the Scott Report was commissioned, and when it came out the Tory party held a vote to totally exonerate themselves of any wrongdoing which they won by 320 votes to 319.

So the Tories advised a British company to bust UN sanctions by selling weapons to a tyrant who definitely used chemical weapons against his own people, then voted to exonerate themselves of any wrongdoing, and now they're moral high-horsing about an unproven use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

"Ah but all that was a long time ago" I can almost hear the Tory apologists whine, "move on", "forget about it", "stick to the present" ...

Well even this appeal for historical amnesia doesn't work as an excuse. On the very same day as the Idlib chemical gas incident Theresa May was in Saudi Arabia grovelling before the Islamist tyrants who rule that barbaric nation in order to convince them to continue spending £billions on British weapons, even though the parliamentary affairs select committee had openly admitted that the Saudis are using British weapons to commit war crimes in Yemen.

If we look not so far into the past we see a Tory government actively supporting a UN sanctions busting drive to sell weapons to Iraq, even though Saddam Hussain had just gassed 5,000 Kurds to death at Halabja.

If we look at the present we see a Tory government supplying £billions worth of arms export licences for Saudi Arabia, despite a parliamentary acknowledgement that the Saudis have been using British weapons to commit horrific war crimes in Yemen.

Whichever way you look at it the Tory party reeks of hypocrisy, and anyone who is aware of their past policies in Iraq, or their present policies in Saudi Arabia, surely can't pretend that such hypocrisy is acceptable.

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