Boris Johnson has today revealed that Britain will continue to supply arms to Saudi Arabia, using the rationale that if we don’t supply them then other countries will.
Indeed, other countries would “happily supply arms” to a country that is allegedly involved in war crimes in the Middle East, according to the Foreign Secretary, which is all the more reason to keep shipping.
But this “eye for an eye, tooth for tooth” mentality is worryingly juvenile given what’s on the table. The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen has led to thousands of deaths as well displacing millions of people and has driven the country into a state of abject poverty. Eighty-three per cent of Yemenis are reliant on humanitarian assistance, and there is barely a single corner of Yemen or a single soul that hasn’t in some way been touched and scarred by this war.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m sick of hearing playground excuses being used to justify our dark and dangerous political underbelly. It’s like when Lance Armstrong justified doping with, “But everybody’s doing it”, or the countless Americans that own guns because they know the next guy probably has one. Doping is causing a rot in sports and if recent reports are to believed there’s still very little being done about it. A lack of gun control in the US has led to more than 33,000 annual deaths a year in America.
The simple fact is that we don’t have to supply arms to the Saudis just “because other countries will probably do it”, we don’t have to support athletes who dope because other people did it, and we don’t need to own guns just because other people do. It’s time for us to grow up!