In a comment on my previous post Irony rules, OK? concerning Saudi Arabian ‘justice’ I said:
The West's insatiable need (or greed) for oil motivates it to prop up and subsidise these corrupt and barbaric regimes, and thereby to connive at our own destruction. Much of the billions of 'petrodollars' they take from us return into Europe and USA as funding for Saudi-promoted Wahabbi'ist mosques and 'faith schools' which preach and teach disdainful abhorrence of the local culture and open democratic society.
If there ever was a Trojan Horse...
Phil then posted the following:
We stop buying oil from them.
We invade them and change their regime.
We fund internal revolution.
We buy their oil but limit all other interaction.
I only think the first and last are worth discussing. If the UK stopped buying their oil others would continue and the UK would continue to receive the same petrodollar investment into religious incitement to insurrection. However, the UK wouldn’t need to support the government and could cease to being hypocritical.
We could buy their oil without supporting them in other ways and we could do more to stop religious incitement of hate.
These are obviously very difficult political and ethical issues. What clearly we in the west should not do is what we are doing – openly supporting dictatorial and theocratic governments who suppress their own people and directly or indirectly invest in insurrectionist activity within our countries.
What are your suggestions?
Cripes – as Mayor BoJo would say – you are turning Anticant’s Arena into an Instant Oracle for solving the world’s problems…..
Well, here goes:
The ethical issues aren’t difficult at all. First and foremost we need to recalibrate our national moral compass, which has gone sadly wonky in recent years because of all the claptrap and bullshit which passes for public debate. Free speech must be restored to its time-honoured place in our affairs: that includes the freedom to offend, and the abolition of ‘hate speech’ crimes designed to stifle the expression of honest differences.
The political issues are more complex, but for a start:
1. Renounce humbugging diplomatic utterances such as the Queen’s having twaddle about “shared values” put into her mouth even on vapidly formal occasions such as State banquets. It is perfectly possible to be polite to visiting foreign guests without being hypocritical.
2. Admit that TES (aka Lawrence of Arabia) was a bit of a charlatan, and that his rosy visions of the House of Saud as lithe young warrior-chieftains roaming the desert in flowing robes on pedigree white stallions is not entirely borne out by the current effete crop of Saudi princes.
3. Limit, as you suggest, our relations with Saudi Arabia to strictly commercial transactions which do NOT include the sale of arms to them, or the corruption and bribery which goes along with that.
4. Persuade the US (a) to abandon the fatuous policy of ‘liberal interventionism’, because we cannot foist our Western version of democracy upon people who don’t want it, any more than we can allow them to subvert it in our own countries; and (b) to withdraw the automatic ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card which is currently in the pocket of the Israelis, as a prelude to working seriously to achieve an even-handed Middle Eastern settlement of the Palestinian problem and wider issues, including Iran.
5. Make it crystal-clear to the Saudis, and to Muslims living in Britain, that anti-Western propaganda, whether on religious grounds or not, and the financing of terrorist operations through bogus charities, will result in long prison terms for those found guilty, followed by deportation even if they are accredited diplomats.
6. Stop pandering to social and quasi-legal practices such as ‘Sharia law’ within our borders which run counter to our domestic traditions and values, and ensure that there is only one law – UK law - for everyone residing in or visiting these shores.
The Oracle has rather run out of steam, but perhaps that’s enough for the time being.