Friday, December 15, 2006

BAE, Saudi, and the National Interest

"Blair stops corruption investigation". When I first heard that, I thought he had suspended the investigation into his very own cash-for-honours scam, taking a leaf out of the Berlesconi book. But no, turns out it was the BAE/Saudi corruption case.

The case was Not in the Interests of National Security. Oh Yeah? Are we all to believe that the Saudis would launch a WMD within 45 minutes if we do not stop the investigation?

Not quite that fantastic. "Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is vitally important for our country in terms of counter-terrorism, in terms of the broader Middle East, in terms of helping in respect of Israel and Palestine. That strategic interest comes first." Says Blair.

In other words the Saudis said, "You keep on investigating our baksheesh, and we stop telling you where Osama Bin Laden is hiding. And we stop bringing peace to Palestine and the Middle East generally. So. What you gonna do?"

Well, only the Osama bit has any direct bearing on our national security. But then corruption has a bearing on national security too, not to mention world security, with corruption named as one of the most important factors that is holding Africa back. So Blair's much publicised care for Africa is betrayed for a handful of information about the doings of the Wahabi, along with our precious civil liberties that have taken centuries to build. All falls before Blair's inflated fear of Mr Bin Laden, as a field of wheat falls before a combine harvester. And we all sit back and suck our thumbs, and the journalists bend the knee, and Corruption will stand up and hold out its hand for another sweetener.

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