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  #1  
Old 22-08-2018, 02:12 PM
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Ethical foreign policies: Saudi Arabia.

Is it morally justifiable for the U.K. to sell arms to a Saudi regime that uses them to blow up bus loads of kids or does the intelligence we glean from them in the war on terror make it worthwhile?
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Old 22-08-2018, 02:23 PM
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There is evidence from Amnesty International that we do more than just sell arms and that the coalition itself, without any democratic control over it, has 'blown up' thousands of innocent civilians, as ever the perpetual victims.

'There have been mistakes' - Ministry of Defence.
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Old 22-08-2018, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nickgusset View Post
Is it morally justifiable for the U.K. to sell arms to a Saudi regime that uses them to blow up bus loads of kids or does the intelligence we glean from them in the war on terror make it worthwhile?
Nope, but it is profitable. That's the problem with morality, its something that doesn't actually exist. In real life, there are just ethics, and ethics are about values, and capitalism has posited profit as a value (and increasingly so, through modern society, it has become a primary value). Saudi Arabia is probably one of the most corrupt, immoral and vicious regimes. Its also however a producer of oil and has some very rich people, who happen to invest very heavily in the UK and US (and probably most of the EU) - Economics is the new philosophy of right and wrong.

Money is the real value of capitalism, not philosophical ethics, and the nature of globalisation and monetarism have made it the ONLY value in town.

If Saudi Arabia wasn't producing massive amounts of oil and wealth and an ally (if not a reliable one) in an unstable corner of the world, it'd be treated like Iran or Burma etc. However, as our economy is very heavily tied to Saudi Arabia, and not to Iran, they're an 'acceptable evil' as long as they're producing sufficient wealth and oil that they spend and invest here (or with our allies).

Selling them weapons etc is just another part of the equation - Military client states spend big, they also tend to be very dodgy countries (as there tends to be a reason why they need to spend a lot of money on 'defence').
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Old 22-08-2018, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by steeleye20 View Post
There is evidence from Amnesty International that we do more than just sell arms and that the coalition itself, without any democratic control over it, has 'blown up' thousands of innocent civilians, as ever the perpetual victims.

'There have been mistakes' - Ministry of Defence.

There is no point buying an advanced weapons system. You also need to hire in the expertise to use it, to train people how to use it, the spare parts and the maintenance. In truth, that guided missile fired by the Saudi's probably was operated by non-Saudi's to some extent.

These systems are very complex and they usually come with expertise from the suppling company in order to operate them. It takes years to actually build up the skill sets for operating, maintaining and upgrading these kinds of system - and likely the supplier doesn't want the Saudi's 'reverse engineering the technologies' and not needing to buy more in the future.

I'd be surprised if most of the people operating an advanced missile system were Saudi's
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Old 22-08-2018, 04:07 PM
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I'm not sure Saudi Arabia, Britain, or ethical belong in the same sentence.
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Old 22-08-2018, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickgusset View Post
Is it morally justifiable for the U.K. to sell arms to a Saudi regime that uses them to blow up bus loads of kids or does the intelligence we glean from them in the war on terror make it worthwhile?
Is it morally justifiable to help our allies take on an aggressive force of rebels that has usurped the legitimate government.
They are supported by the Saud's main regional enemy/competitor resulting in a hostile state on their border. The Saud's main object is to restore the legitimate government. That's the real question not that people are being killed. They also fire rockets into Saudi remember.

Its a general tactic of rebel groups to embed themselves into the population. There is no possibility of an open battle with a winner and loser. The result being that non-combatants are also killed. It happens almost everywhere there is war. Whereas I realise that a bus load of kids being blown up is as bad as it gets you have to able have some analysis of the situation. Nothing we do will stop it happening.

If we stop arming the Saudi's someone else will but we will no longer be their ally and lose the benefit of being one. There will be a resulting loss of jobs in not just defence but in all other industries, McClusky would never allow that wittering idiot Corbyn to do it even if he could.

Who makes the weapons the Houthi use. Should they stop arming them? Lets here that from you.
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Old 22-08-2018, 05:46 PM
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Old 22-08-2018, 05:53 PM
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Old 22-08-2018, 05:59 PM
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The Saud's main object is to restore a Sunni minority, Saudi client government.
Allow me to correct that for you.

You're however right to imply the point that Iran is arming the rebels - I don't think that's in doubt; it's definitely a proxy war now. Seeing as the rebels represent the majority shia population and, as far as available reportage from a spectrum of sources goes, they don't go around blowing up thousands of civvies, they are the (much) less-bad-guys in all of this.

The UK only laments dead innocents when those dead innocents are wrapped in the flags of UK PLC#s allies.
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Old 22-08-2018, 06:05 PM
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Allow me to correct that for you.

You're however right to imply the point that Iran is arming the rebels - I don't think that's in doubt; it's definitely a proxy war now. Seeing as the rebels represent the majority shia population and, as far as available reportage from a spectrum of sources goes, they don't go around blowing up thousands of civvies, they are the (much) less-bad-guys in all of this.

The UK only laments dead innocents when those dead innocents are wrapped in the flags of UK PLC#s allies.
Yemen is Sunni majority by a considerable margin.
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Old 22-08-2018, 06:07 PM
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Nope, but it is profitable. That's the problem with morality, its something that doesn't actually exist. In real life, there are just ethics, and ethics are about values, and capitalism has posited profit as a value (and increasingly so, through modern society, it has become a primary value). Saudi Arabia is probably one of the most corrupt, immoral and vicious regimes. Its also however a producer of oil and has some very rich people, who happen to invest very heavily in the UK and US (and probably most of the EU) - Economics is the new philosophy of right and wrong.

Money is the real value of capitalism, not philosophical ethics, and the nature of globalisation and monetarism have made it the ONLY value in town.

If Saudi Arabia wasn't producing massive amounts of oil and wealth and an ally (if not a reliable one) in an unstable corner of the world, it'd be treated like Iran or Burma etc. However, as our economy is very heavily tied to Saudi Arabia, and not to Iran, they're an 'acceptable evil' as long as they're producing sufficient wealth and oil that they spend and invest here (or with our allies).

Selling them weapons etc is just another part of the equation - Military client states spend big, they also tend to be very dodgy countries (as there tends to be a reason why they need to spend a lot of money on 'defence').
Venezuela have loads of oil and could do with a few quid,
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Old 22-08-2018, 06:08 PM
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Yemen is Sunni majority by a considerable margin.
.

Last edited by Mr_Gristle; 22-08-2018 at 06:12 PM. Reason: double post
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Old 22-08-2018, 06:09 PM
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Yemen is Sunni majority by a considerable margin.
Is it? Oh bugger......happy to accept the fail there if so

Makes one wonder why the Saudis are killing so many of their brothers, though.
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Old 22-08-2018, 06:18 PM
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Is it? Oh bugger......happy to accept the fail there if so

Makes one wonder why the Saudis are killing so many of their brothers, though.
The only way the Saudi coalition will deal with the Houthi is by getting boots on the ground as is always the case. They've had a go at that and didn't like it. The Houthi won't give up as the youth has been heavily indoctrinated. This form of warfare will continue for a long time with continuing horrors being reported until we become immune to it.
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Old 22-08-2018, 06:27 PM
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Is it morally justifiable for the U.K. to sell arms to a Saudi regime that uses them to blow up bus loads of kids or does the intelligence we glean from them in the war on terror make it worthwhile?
Shouldn't this read "for the UK to permit the sale of arms..."?

It's an important distinction, isn't it?

The sad reality is that it doesn't make a blind bit of difference whether the Saudis buy from UK firms or not. If the UK refuses export licences to British companies selling to Saudi they'll just buy from elsewhere. The arms trade is global.

The issue is more how we fix the international system so that there are consequences for war crimes, because at the moment there don't seem to be any.
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Old 22-08-2018, 07:26 PM
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There is no distinction. It is the UK Government that sells the arms and support services, not BAES. The Government buys them from BAES and then sells them to KSA.

It is a Government to Government arrangement.

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Old 22-08-2018, 07:30 PM
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Shouldn't this read "for the UK to permit the sale of arms..."?

It's an important distinction, isn't it?

The sad reality is that it doesn't make a blind bit of difference whether the Saudis buy from UK firms or not. If the UK refuses export licences to British companies selling to Saudi they'll just buy from elsewhere. The arms trade is global.

The issue is more how we fix the international system so that there are consequences for war crimes, because at the moment there don't seem to be any.
Indeed, but it's in no country's 'interest' to do so.
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Old 23-08-2018, 02:50 PM
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Venezuela have loads of oil and could do with a few quid,
Ring up the people who manage your occupational pension, tell them Venezuela is a great investment opportunity and that you want your personal pension to be heavily invested there.
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