Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Yemen's brutal civil war slips into its fourth year

Last month Yemen's civil war slipped into its fourth year. It's a war without obvious good or bad guys: Security Council investigators have documented violations of international humanitarian law by all sides. UN human rights officials nonetheless claim that the "leading cause" of civilian casualties are airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, which backs Yemen's President Hadi against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and allied supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The coalition's air operations may not be any more indiscriminate or lacking in precaution than Houthi artillery and missile attacks, but are certainly more powerful and widespread.

What is Britain's involvement in a war the UK government itself calls the world's largest humanitarian crisis? Limited, if ministers are to be believed.

Throughout the Yemen conflict, Saudi Arabia has remained by far Britain's leading arms export customer. Half of all UK exports of weapons and military equipment from 2013 to 2017 went to the Kingdom (up from 28% in 2007-11). Most were for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), 151 of whose 324 combat aircraft are British-supplied, along with weapons, ground systems, parts and spares.

Faced with inevitable legal and political criticism, the UK government insists that it isn't responsible for - and cannot even necessarily know - how UK-supplied weapons are used after they have been shipped. Last July the High Court agreed (though activists are now applying to appeal that decision).

The reality of the UK's relationship with the Saudi military challenges this 'flog and forget' theory of arms control. Under a sequence of formal agreements between the UK and Saudi governments since 1973, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and its contractors supply not only military 'hardware', but also human 'software'. Around 7000 individuals - private employees, British civil servants and seconded Royal Air Force personnel - are present in Saudi Arabia to advise, train, service and manage British-supplied combat aircraft and other military equipment.

Ministers have nonetheless assured Parliament that these support staff are strictly hands-off: "there is no British involvement in the coalition in targeting or weaponizing aircraft to undertake missions [in Yemen]". Likewise they insist that neither UK military personnel nor contractor personnel "are involved in the loading of weapons for operational sorties, nor are they involved in the planning of operational sorties".

Documents and testimonies we've gathered paint a more complicated picture. Over the past eighteen months, with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Katherine Templar and I have sought to map these British and British-employed personnel in Saudi Arabia, trying to understand their work and their experiences. Though their existence is hardly a secret, their precise numbers and functions have long remained obscure. The UK-Saudi agreements that govern their work are classified 'UK Confidential/RSAF Secret' and are closed from public release until 2027. Even UK ministers say they "do not have full visibility of the prime contractor's manpower footprint in Saudi Arabia, the detail of which forms part of the commercial arrangements underpinning the delivery of much of the contracted support and is therefore sensitive."

We've interviewed technicians, managers and officials from every level of this UK-Saudi 'footprint', backed up by individuals' written CVs and formal job descriptions. If they are no longer physically loading bombs, as ministers insist, they're still required to do almost everything else. A mix of UK company employees and seconded RAF personnel have continued to be responsible for maintaining the weapons systems of all Saudi Tornado IDS fighter-bombers, a backbone of the Yemen air war. They also work as aircraft armourers and weapons supervisors for the UK-supplied Typhoon fighters deployed at the main operating bases for Saudi Yemen operations, and provide deeper-level maintenance for Yemen-deployed combat aircraft.

These roles are underpinned by UK military commitments to Saudi Arabia that have never been disclosed to public or parliament. Our report discloses one of them, from a UK-Saudi agreement named 'Al Yamamah', which details how the UK will supply and support Saudi Arabia's Tornado fighter-bombers. MOD officials have confirmed that this secret 1986 agreement continues in force "as long as the programme lasts", despite more recent accords. (When in 2006 the UK's Guardian newspaper obtained an earlier, less detailed agreement which had been released "by mistake" to the National Archives at Kew, the MOD removed the files overnight, and claimed their release "severely dented [Saudi] confidence in the [UK's] ability to protect sensitive information").

A similar inadvertent indiscretion seems to have been repeated: though the files containing the 'Al Yamamah' agreement remain withheld from public view, a bundle of unrelated Downing Street files, recently placed unnoticed in the National Archives, contains key extracts of the agreement.

As these papers show, the agreement requires that "United Kingdom civilian and military personnel will remain available in Saudi Arabia for preparation, including arming and support, of the [Tornado fighter-bomber] aircraft during an armed conflict" in which Saudi Arabia is involved, though these personnel may not "participate" in the conflict directly. The clause makes no reference to the authorisation or lawfulness of such a conflict.

British diplomats were concerned about the implications of this commitment from the start, lobbying within Whitehall during negotiations for the clause to be removed. "At worst", the Foreign Office's Middle East Department wrote to the MOD's defence sales division, "this [clause] could expose HMG to accusations that they were involved in an undercover role in any number of types of unlawful military adventures; at best, it might threaten to compromise British neutrality in armed conflicts between third States." Papers elsewhere in the National Archives show that the commitment was removed from a draft version of the agreement circulated within Whitehall six weeks before signature. It nonetheless seems to have been re-inserted into the final agreement at the last minute.

It's difficult for the UK government to argue that it cannot know much about how its arms supplies are used, when it is helping the Saudi armed forces to use them. Our research doesn't judge the rights or wrongs of the war in Yemen. But Britain's day-to-day involvement with these weapons systems gives it a duty of precaution to help prevent civilian harm from those weapons. The government also has a duty of care for the thousands of British citizens at work in Saudi Arabia in quasi-military roles, fulfilling UK MOD contracts but as employees of private companies, without some of the legal and physical protections of military personnel or public servants. Most of the individuals we spoke to described their time in Saudi Arabia as amongst the most professionally and financially rewarding experiences of their lives. But we also spoke with whistle-blowers left unprotected under Saudi Labour Law, and even deprived of their British passports while working (a practice which seems now to have ended). We met contractors who described occasional physical jeopardy, from Scud missiles to unexploded ordnance. And we interviewed technicians anxious about the legal ramifications of their work within a foreign military machine at war.






Canadian University Holds ‘White Privilege’ Conference


“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)


Image source: www.republicbuzz.com


In an event that marks the latest step in Canada's descent into collective insanity, Ryerson University held the nation's first “white privilege” conference this month. Hundreds of academics, media luvvies, professional hand wringers and all the usual suspects turned up at the Toronto-based institution to indulge in an orgy of hated, bigotry and racism aimed at "white people. (nobody defined exactly who was being hated, as I've always said, no human being ever was truly white, no human being ever was truly black.

The week-long event, which took place from May 9th to May 12th, was largely organised by Ryerson’s first vice-president of equity and community inclusion Denise O’Neil Green. Apparently Ms O'Neil Green does not include white people in her definitions of inclusive or equality. Oh well, I guess her degree is not in English language.

Green told The Toronto Star her definition of “white privilege” was “an unearned benefit or ‘perk’ that one receives simply because of their skin colour. (What, like the benefits and advantages handed to blacks because of their skin colour? - how many white kids get affirmative action uplifts on their exam grades?)

A more multi-layered way of looking at it is that white privilege operates in terms of a system that benefits particular groups over others”, she added.

Ah, now it's clear, being shat on by a system that favours minorities is a privilege.

Another well known figure who took part in the event was Rinaldo Walcott, (why do all these paskudniaks have silly names?) an associate professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and participates in the “Faculty for Palestine” group.

I often wonder if these over educated, reality deficient half wits understand that however wrong the treatment of Palestinians by Israel is (and what has gone on there is absolutely criminal), for almost a thousand years before the creation of Israel, first under the Islamic Caliphate, then The Ottoman Empire, the Palestinians were doing it to the Jews.

When asked about his response to people who say white privilege does not exist, Walcott dismissed criticism saying that white working class people have an easier time progressing up the socio-economic ladder than black people or indigenous people. Nothing to do with their being smarter or harder working then.









White Privilege Now Inculdes The Privilege Of Being Fired For being White

Its should be obvious by now that the politically correct left, insaniac sociopaths that they are, have only one emotion at their disposal; hate. Bizarrely the hatered of these predominantly white, middle class people, while of themselves, is mostly racist in nature but directed at members of their own race.


Ten Truths You Can’t Tell In Britain Without Being Accused Of Racism.

by Arthur Foxake The screenshot below is from an article written by Trevor Phillips, former head of the Equalities and Human Rights commission for The Daily Mail (or Mail On Sunday) Trevor Philips home truths on racism. Image source Finally, we?re having that open and honest debate about immigration and race everyone has been calling … Continue reading


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Politician Blasts Conviction For Speaking The Truth On Anti-Semitism In Europe

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15 More Men of South Asian Descent Charged With Child Sex Offences

West Yorkshire Police have charged 14 men and a 16-year-old boy with sex offences including the rape of a girl under the age of 16 in Keighley, a small town in the old Woolen Industry district of the county. The offences centre on one female victim, with one allegation involving a second who was also under 16 at the time.

Racist Student Union Officer says 'I Can't be Racist'

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Visit some parts of most British cities with large immigrant populations and you will be hard pressed to recognize it, certainly my grandparents would struggle to recognize the towns they knew. Appeasement of foreigners has destroyed the character of our communities but as usual the political left advise solving the problem by doing over again the things that caused it.

US Soldiers Forced To Sit Through P C 'White Privilege Presentation. Not Happy Bunnies
The U.S. Army is investigating an unauthorized diversity training presentation on “white privilege” shown to hundreds of Georgia soldiers, USA Today reported, citing an Army spokeswoman. The Equal Opportunity training presentation was shown to about 400 soldiers of the 67th Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon on Thursday, according to Captain Lindsay Roman.

If a black person acts like a twat is it racist to say he's a twat.

Examples of US rapper Kayne West behaving in ways that show what a cupid stunt he is occur to frequently for mainstream media to report them any more it seems. Or maybe it's just that because Kayne is an African American those mainstream journos were afraid of being called racist if they report his latest fuckwittery.

The British Jihad, Islamism And The Curse Of Multiculturalism.

As the world recoils in horror at images posted on the internet of an American journalist being cruelly and brutally beheaded by an (allegedly) British terrorist fighting for the extremists of the Islamic State in northern Iraq, we ask is the left wing folly of multiculturalism coming home to roost.

Shock; horror. Human Barbie Doll has her own opinions

The human Barbie girl Valeria Lukyanova has become something of an online phenomenon and is regarded as a sex symbol by many young men of the kind who have more computers than friends. Personally I find her apearance bizarre and about as sexually alluring as cold porridge. Still each to there own, where would we be without diversity of opinion.

Immigration - the elephant in the political debating chamber


‘White Racism’
For too long the neo – Fascist left have been allowed to get away with dividing all of humanity into two racial groups, black and white. This has allowed those extremists who support the idea of an authoritarian, global government to dub white people generally as racist, because we have (again generally)been more successful throughout … Continue reading