Britain’s Foreign Policy Double Standard
Cameron hurries to sell more weapons to the Egyptian army
In an article in the Guardian – on 22nd February 2011 – Simon Jenkins summarises the key double standard at the heart of British – and American foreign policy. He says:
“The present British government, like its predecessor, claims to pursue a policy of “liberal interventionism”, seeking the downfall of undemocratic regimes round the globe, notably in the Muslim world. The same British government, again like its predecessor, sends these undemocratic regimes copious weapons to suppress the only plausible means of the said downfall, popular insurrection. The contradiction is glaring.”
The contradiction may be glaring, but so is the reason why. Capitalist states like Britain have a single aim in their foreign policy. That is to maximise their interests in the world. And by interests, they mean business interests. Any other strategic interests are purely in order to serve this objective.
When asked about arms contracts by the BBC, David Cameron gave this ridiculous response: “Democracies have a right to defend themselves. That argument is very powerful in Kuwait. “The idea that Kuwait should not be able to have its own armed forces, that it is unable to defend its own country and take part in defence trade, is an extraordinary argument.”
Since when was Kuwait a democracy! His comfortable approach to this most loyal of absolute monarchies goes a long way to show the hypocrisy of the late condemnations of Gaddafi, Mubarak and Ben Ali.
Furthermore, Cameron has side stepped the issue at the heart of the question – that these weapons are largely used to attack their own populations – tear gas, made in Britain and used in Bahrain amply underlined this.
Like Tony Blair before him Cameron has mastered the art of obfuscation. No one argued about Kuwait having armed forces. The argument is about Gaddafi, Ben Ali, and the Al-Khalifa and Al Saud families having weapons to repress their own people, and British arms companies getting rich during a period of instability!