RNA - In Yemen, for instance, American weapons sales to Saudi Arabia are a serious violation of International Law and Arms Trade Treaty. They contribute to serious human rights violations, where the Saudi-led bombing campaign is systematically hitting civilian targets including schools and hospitals - in contravention of the rules of war.
As reported by Oxfam, the UK government has also switched from being an “enthusiastic backer” of the Arms Trade Treaty to “one of the most significant violators”.
The message rings out loud and clear:
The US and Britain still license billions of dollars of arms sales to Riyadh. The Saudis are leading a brutal military operation in which US and UK-supplied aircraft, bombs and missiles are playing a major role. The British and American military officials are also in the command and control centre for Saudi airstrikes, and have access to lists of targets, playing a key role in choosing them - even school buses that carry children.
One side-effect of the chaos resulting from this illegal campaign is that the local franchises of Al-Qaeda and ISIL are now thriving as never before. Worse yet, the Saudi-led campaign has claimed thousands of lives and triggered a humanitarian catastrophe that the UN has placed in the same class of severity as that in Syria. Among the dead are many women and children, as documented by Save the Children, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Eights.
These organisations are now calling on the UK and US governments to suspend their illegal arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Some have even launched formal legal challenges in courts to halt the sales on those grounds. But to no avail.
The response from the British and the American governments has been thoroughly cynical. They “shamelessly and disingenuously” deny any evidence of Saudi violations, simply ignoring the world’s leading human rights organisations, who have been documenting such violations from day one.
This is not surprising. For decades, the regime changers have provided arms to their regional vassals capable of being used for external aggression and internal repression. They play lip service to the global Arms Trade Treaty, and expect others to believe they have in their own investigations found nothing untoward, concluding that the arms sales should continue.
The Anglo-American military alliance with one of the cruellest and most anti-democratic regimes in the world shows British and American complicity in the horrors of Yemen. It is the most overt manifestation of the criminal relationship between London, Washington and Riyadh in recent years.
Expect no immediate suspension of British-American arms sales to the Saudis, much less an international investigation of their use in Yemen or a call from the United Nations to end the war.