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Cameron branded a disgrace for taking arms dealers on Egypt visit
02-22-2011, 07:51 PM,
#1
Cameron branded a disgrace for taking arms dealers on Egypt visit
Quote:British Prime Minister David Cameron was last night branded a ‘disgrace’ after it emerged that he has taken eight defence firms with him on a four-day visit to the Middle East.

Cameron is the first world leader to visit Egypt since the historic overthrow of President Mubarak.

Cameron said he wanted to offer Britain’s help in creating the ‘building blocks of democracy’ in the country and the wider Arab world, the Daily Mail reports.

Critics, however, expressed amazement that Cameron was promoting a mission to sell arms to Arab dictators shortly after it emerged that Colonel Gaddafi may have used British weapons to kill hundreds of his fellow countrymen in Libya.

They accused Cameron of using a high profile visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square – Ground Zero in the Egyptian popular uprising – as a fig leaf for peddling military equipment.

Bosses from major arms and aerospace companies such as BAE Systems, Qinetiq and Thales joined Cameron on the plane which last night arrived in Kuwait.

Other defence contractors present included bosses from the Cobham Group, Ultra Electronics, Rolls Royce, Babcock International Group and Atkins.

At the same time, Defence Minister Gerald Howarth and 50 British companies were flying the flag at an arms export show in the United Arab Emirates, also attended by Libyan generals.

A Downing Street source, however, said: “We have among the toughest arms export regimes in the world. We take our human rights responsibilities very strongly.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cameron-branded-a-disgrace-for-taking-arms-dealers-on-egypt-visit/753285/
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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02-22-2011, 08:18 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-22-2011, 08:23 PM by Dunamis.)
#2
RE: Cameron branded a disgrace for taking arms dealers on Egypt visit
What a moron. I like how the story isn't from a UK source, I bet there's aren't any. Maybe the Independent...

[Edit] Yep. What a moron the Defence Secretary is, as well as Cameron. And I was thinking it was good that he went out there. Is this Thatcher in a man's body?

Quote:Liam Fox defends Mideast arms sales
PA
Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Britain should seek to retain a "healthy slice" of the defence market in the Middle East, Defence Secretary Liam Fox said today.

David Cameron has faced criticism for including defence industry representatives in the trade delegation on his tour of the region, amid concerns that British-made equipment could be used to suppress the current wave of popular unrest.

The Foreign Office has already revoked a series of export licences for Libya and Bahrain in the wake of the government crackdowns on protesters in those countries.

Speaking at the Civitas think tank in London, Dr Fox said that such issues should be dealt with on a "case-by-case" basis, depending on how events developed in the countries concerned.

"We have to recognise that countries have a right of self-defence and not all of them have a defence industry so they will always buy externally," he said.

"I want to make sure the United Kingdom - within the limits that we set ourselves ethically on defence exports - is getting a healthy slice of that.

"There are a great deal of unknowns still out there and we will have to look at things on a case-by-case basis."

Dr Fox also emphasised the importance of the assistance of countries in the Gulf region in getting supplies through to British forces fighting in Afghanistan.

"We need to remember that we - with a very long supply line - need partners to ensure success in Afghanistan," he said.

"We have depended a great deal on our partners in the Gulf and elsewhere in ensuring that we are able to supply and re-supply our armed forces. We need to take that into account in the wider relationships."

The Defence Secretary also played down the prospects of Nato military intervention in Libya, in the wake of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's brutal attempts to put down the protests.

While he said that there was a "range of contingencies" that was being looked at, it was was important to recognise the "limitations of our power".

"We have to have a bit of a re-set here with reality and how much influence we can actually have. we can make our views known and we can send signals," he said.

Dr Fox also warned that the armed forces faced further cuts as the Government worked through the plans set out in the strategic defence and security review over the coming years.

"We will face difficult financial choices, I don't in any way shy away from that," he said.

"There is no painless way to cut public spending. The deficit itself is a national security liability and we have to deal with the deficit.

"I would love to perform surgery with an anaesthetic but on this occasion it is just not an option available to me.

"This is a bullet that has to be bitten."

He said he was determined to bring the "mushrooming" equipment costs - which he had inherited from the previous Labour government - under control with the imposition of "real budgetary discipline" in the Ministry of Defence.

If major programmes run over budget or behind schedule, he said that the personnel concerned would be summoned before a new review board - which he will chair - to be held to account.

In addition, the review board will publish quarterly lists of "projects of concern" in order to put pressure on the shareholders of the firms involved to take action.

"Where projects are falling behind schedule or budget we must take immediate remedial measures," he said.

"I want shareholders to see where projects are under-performing so that they can bring market discipline to substandard management where required."
Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/liam-fox-defends-mideast-arms-sales-2222027.html
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02-22-2011, 08:57 PM,
#3
RE: Cameron branded a disgrace for taking arms dealers on Egypt visit
The Daily Mail did have something...

Quote:David Cameron was last night accused of using his Middle East tour to promote Arab democracy as a cover for arms sales.

The Prime Minister was branded a ‘disgrace’ after it emerged that he has taken eight defence firms with him on a four-day visit to the region.

Mr Cameron yesterday became the first world leader to visit Egypt since the historic overthrow of President Mubarak and has since travelled to Kuwait to call for political reform.

He said he wanted to offer Britain’s help in creating the ‘building blocks of democracy’ in the country and the wider Arab world.

But critics expressed amazement that Mr Cameron was promoting a mission to sell arms to Arab dictators shortly after Colonel Gaddafi may have used British weapons to kill hundreds of his fellow countrymen in Libya.

They accused Mr Cameron of using a high-profile visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square – Ground Zero in the Egyptian popular uprising – as a fig leaf for peddling military equipment.

Bosses from major arms and aerospace companies such as BAe Systems, Qinetiq and Thales joined the Prime Minister on the plane which last night arrived in Kuwait.

Other defence contractors present included bosses from the Cobham Group, Ultra Electronics, Rolls Royce, Babcock International Group and Atkins.

At the same time, Defence Minister Gerald Howarth and 50 British companies were flying the flag at an arms export show in the United Arab Emirates, also attended by Libyan generals.

Criticism of Britain’s cosy trade relations with Arab dictators has focused on Tony Blair’s Deal in the Desert with Colonel Gaddafi in 2004.

But arms sales to Libya have continued. Since the General Election, Britain has sold crowd control ammunition, sniper rifles and tear gas to Tripoli.

The Government hastily withdrew eight export licences to Libya at the weekend amid fears British weapons were used in the slaughter of hundreds of protesters.

Yesterday Mr Cameron condemned the violence in Libya as ‘completely appalling and unacceptable’.

He added: ‘The regime is using the most vicious forms of repression.’

But Sarah Waldron, of Campaign Against Arms Trade, said those words rang hollow because the Government is still promoting arms sales to Arab autocrats.

She said: ‘It’s an absolute disgrace that the Prime Minister has taken these arms dealers with him.

‘People across the Middle East are dying for democracy at the same time as the Government seems intent on flogging their wares to those very regimes that are suppressing these values.’

Mr Cameron defended the inclusion of defence companies on his trip, saying it was right that we should be able to sell arms to countries such as Kuwait.

He said: ‘Britain does have strong defence relationships with a range of countries in the region, and we spent a lot of effort and indeed life in helping to defend Kuwait.’

He admitted that arms deals depend on promises not to repress the population made by Arab countries - promises which are often hollow, as recently seen in Bahrain and Libya.

Mr Cameron said: ‘It’s a difficult area. In some cases we’ll get those assessments right and in others you have to remove the export licenses, which we have done very rapidly.

‘You cannot expect every country in the world to provide for its own defence, so it is perfectly logical for us to have a defence trade.’ Earlier the Prime Minister became the first world leader to visit Egypt since the revolution.

After talks with Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, Mr Cameron walked through Tahrir Square, greeted by locals shouting: ‘Very good, very good.’

A boy of 15, Mohamed, told Mr Cameron that he ‘loves the new freedom’. He added: ‘Lovely jubbly. Tally ho, tally ho!’ The Prime Minister also had talks with defence minister Mohamed Tantawi and opposition leaders.

A Downing Street source said: ‘We have among the toughest arms export regimes in the world. We take our human rights responsibilities very strongly.’

Mr Cameron later landed in Kuwait for the next step of his tour.

Shabby politics and the appeasing of a monster
by STEPHEN GLOVER

With Col Muammar Gaddafi’s troops turning their guns on their own people, reportedly causing hundreds of fatalities, it is clear that the Libyan dictator is nastier and more ruthless than any other Arab despot in the region. That is saying something.

Gaddafi has long been in a class of his own, once rivalled only by the now deceased Saddam Hussein of Iraq, whom it took a war to remove. Among many atrocities for which the Libyan leader has been responsible was the alleged massacre of more than 1,200 prisoners at Abu Salim prison in Tripoli in a single month in 1996.

The man is a monster, and mad and corrupt as well. Yet, starting in 2004, Labour set out to appease him and make deals with him.

There was socialising with Gaddafi’s bizarre son, Saif al-Islam. Most serious of all, the last government worked to secure the early release of the ‘Lockerbie bomber’, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who had been convicted of murdering 270 people in 1988.

How on earth did this happen? How was it that a government which preached an ‘ethical foreign policy’ in 1997 – and which went to war against Saddam under the banner of democracy – ended up not just doing business with this tyrant but cutting sordid deals with him, and selling him water cannons and armoured cars which he is using against his own people?

The justification offered by Labour’s defenders is that Gaddafi had to be neutralised. This was an argument made by Mark Malloch Brown, a former Foreign Office minister responsible for Libya, on Radio 4’s Today Programme yesterday morning. He referred to Gaddafi’s past as a sponsor of terror and supplier of arms to the IRA.

That is misleading. By 2004, when Tony Blair signed an agreement with the Libyan leader, he was much less of a menace than he had previously been. His country had been weakened by international sanctions.

Even more to the point, Gaddafi had seen the U.S. and Britain bring down Saddam Hussein, and wanted an accommodation with the West.

There were good arguments for getting on speaking terms with Gaddafi, and persuading him to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction, though whether he has completely done so should be doubted. What is not defensible is the subsequent indulging of this horrible man, and treating him as though he were a normal leader of a normal country.

It was mostly about trade, of course. Shell and BP wanted to move into Libya. In fact, at least 150 British companies, including British Airways, HSBC and Marks & Spencer, now do business there. As recently as January 28, the Government’s UK Trade and Investment body trumpeted ‘business opportunities in Libya’.

I appreciate that if we were only to do business with decent, democratic regimes, Britain would lose a lot of its trade. We have to be realistic. But Gaddafi occupies the far reaches of repression and lunacy.

Moreover, after 2004, the relationship quickly developed in a way that not only compromised Labour’s notion of an ‘ethical foreign policy’ but the most basic standards which any civilised country should hope to live by.

First, there was the selling of arms – lots of them – which were obviously intended for the control and, if need be, elimination of Libyans rather than of foreign powers. At the very time that negotiations had started over the release of Megrahi in 2007, the British government was agreeing to sell armoured cars and water cannon to Libya in a contract worth £5 million.

Believe it or not, British police were even sent to Libya to show their counterparts how to use this equipment. Labour ministers appear to have forgotten – or perhaps they did not care – the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher by a Libyan ‘diplomat’ in London in 1984, which still goes unpunished.

Figures unearthed by the Liberals Democrats in 2009, and described by them as ‘shameful’, revealed that, in 2008, arms sales to Libya amounted to £14.4 million, while in only three months in 2009 they were £9.4 million. These included code-cracking devices and military computers.

But it was with the early release of Megrahi in August 2009 that the last government achieved new heights of double-dealing and hypocrisy. Although the final decision was made by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds – Megrahi had serious cancer and supposedly only three months to live, though he remains alive – the Foreign Office had worked hard to achieve it.

Two weeks ago, a report by Sir Gus O’Donnell, the country’s most senior civil servant, judged that the Labour government ‘wanted the Lockerbie bomber released’ and did ‘all it could’ to achieve it.

The inescapable conclusion is that this was payback time to Gaddafi for opening up Libya to British business. Indeed, in almost his final act as Prime Minster Mr Blair had signed a ‘prisoner exchange agreement’ with Gaddafi in May 2007 that only made sense in relation to Megrahi.

When the convicted bomber was let out over two years later, Gaddafi publicly thanked Mr Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, for arranging it. The most damning piece of evidence was a transcript obtained by a Sunday newspaper of a conversation between Megrahi and Saif Gaddafi as the pair flew from Glasgow to Tripoli after the release.

Saif privately told the freed bomber that his name had been ‘on the table in all commercial, oil and gas agreements we supervised during this period.’

This is the same Saif Gaddafi who delivered a rambling speech on Libyan television on Sunday vowing to ‘fight to the last bullet’. The same Saif Gaddafi, it should be said, who met the serpentine Peter Mandelson, then unofficial deputy Prime Minister, on two occasions in the summer of 2009, the second being at Lord Rothschild’s villa in Corfu.

His Lordship’s son and heir, Nat Rothschild – also a close friend Lord Mandelson’s – held a party in honour of Saif Gaddafi in New York at the end of 2008. Saif repaid the compliment the following year by inviting Mr Rothschild to his 37th birthday party. This took place in Montenegro, a tiny new country on the Adriatic whose interests Lord Mandelson has championed, and where Mr Rothschild has extensive commercial interests.

What strange friends some of the leading members of our political class and plutocracy have. Meet my mate Saif. His father is a genocidal maniac, and Saif is threatening to kill every last Libyan on his behalf. Using British weaponry, of course.

How depressingly predictable that the moralising Mr Blair, who preached to us constantly about the evils of Saddam, should have entwined himself with this monster, and that Lord Mandelson should have had social dealings with his son. Gordon Brown, Mark Malloch Brown, Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary from 2001 until 2006), Margaret Beckett (his short-lived successor) and David Miliband (who followed) were no less at fault.

By approving the sale of arms, they have turned what was championed as an ethical foreign policy into an unethical one, and doubtless earned the contempt of demonstrators being threatened with British weapons. By plotting the early release of the convicted mass murderer Megrahi, they have outraged the U.S. government, whose country lost 189 citizens in the Lockerbie bombing.

As I write, there are rumours that Col Muammar Gaddafi has fled Tripoli. I shan’t shed a tear if he ends up hanging from a lamppost. Whatever happens, I only hope these Labour minsters will feel some shame for having nurtured him.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1359316/Prime-Minister-David-Cameron-takes-arms-dealers-Egypt-promote-democracy.html
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

Resistance Films Youtube Channel

TriWooOx Podcast
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02-22-2011, 10:28 PM,
#4
RE: Cameron branded a disgrace for taking arms dealers on Egypt visit
yeah the independent covered it.
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02-23-2011, 01:45 AM, (This post was last modified: 02-23-2011, 01:51 AM by IanPotter.)
#5
Where was he branded? I hope it hurt.
"Psst, Emir, you wanna great deal on some crowd control weapons? Nothing to pay for 18 months..."

"Blimey Dave. Sign me up. Or should I say sign the stinking peasants up? It's them who'll be paying your extortionate fees after all, you crafty old bastard!".

They chuckled like a pair of Jewish cousins who'd just sold their pubic hair and Emir spat a desertspoon full of green phlegm into the corner of the tent. Together they watched it slither down the fabric and then Emir, creasing his face in a wicked sneer, continued in a low tone.

"Fuck the peoples' revolution".

"Indeed. You are a wise man Emir", responded King David. "There you go. Drink this blood and be one of us. Now, don't forget: the minute you use any of these weapons we'll be forced to make a fuss and withdraw the export license - and if you fuck up after that..."

Camperoon drew his finger across his throat slowly - and tried to look thoroughly evil like the scary guy from one of the eight MIC corporations had told him.

"Oh no. Don't you worry Mr David King Sir, I did as you suggested and doubled my initial inventory and I bought some of those wicked phosphorus bomblets the Israelis used on the Palestinians for good measure. If the livestock get any further ideas about freedom we'll kick their fucking ass!"

"Good man. Splendid. Now, which tent did you say you'd had my boy delivered to?"

Oh man. I really thought I was going to make a serious point.....

Wink
The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together. Zbig the Ruthless.
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