Whitehall in shock. Boris Johnson tells truth.

Boris’ Saudi Gaffe Gets a Pie in the Face


by Finian Cunningham

Britain’s clownish foreign minister Boris Johnson spilled the beans on Saudi Arabia – and then got a quick pie in the face over his latest antics.

The gaffe-prone senior diplomat was caught on video making disparaging comments about Britain’s longtime ally Saudi Arabia. Buffoonish Boris reportedly accused the oil-rich kingdom of fueling “proxy wars” in the Middle East and labelling its House of Saud rulers as “puppeteers” of extremism. Within hours of Johnson’s remarks making the news, the British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a swift rebuke, saying that her top diplomat’s comments about Saudi Arabia were not the “official government viewpoint”. Oops! What a farce at top-level British government. The spat becomes even more hilarious given that Theresa May had just returned from an official visit to Bahrain this week, where the premier attended the Gulf Cooperation Council summit. During the summit, May earnestly pitched for billions of dollars worth of future trade business with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states. “Your security is our security, your prosperity is our prosperity,” said May in obsequious tones to the autocratic rulers. Too right. Despots secured against any popular uprising for democracy means more money to be spent on British-made weapons and millionaire penthouses in London.

No sooner had the British prime minister bid farewell to her Arab hosts than her foreign secretary was singlehandedly pouring a bucket of cold water all over her efforts to ingratiate Britain with the autocratic Gulf rulers. This is by no means the first time that Boris Johnson has proven to be a bungling liability. He has managed to insult dozens of world leaders over the years with his fatuous humor, including the US president-elect Donald Trump – comments that have boomeranged just as his boss Theresa May is keenly trying to inveigle Trump to boost bilateral American trade ties with post-Brexit Britain. One wonders how this purveyor of diplomatic banana skins was ever appointed to the sensitive foreign office post? Or how long before he is unceremoniously booted out by Downing Street? But the funny thing about the latest British farce is that there is more than a grain of truth entailed. Official British rhetorical dissembling is an art-form. Though sometimes the art of telling “porky pies” becomes a little too close to the veil. First of all, the dimwitted Johnson is partially telling the truth about Saudi Arabia’s role in fueling proxy wars and extremism across the Middle East.

The nefarious role of Saudi rulers as sponsors of terrorism is well documented since the 1970s and 80s when they funded the rise of al Qaeda in Afghanistan as a proxy against the then Soviet Union. The subsequent expanding Saudi policy of sponsoring jihadi terrorism across the Middle East has even been admitted by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in private emails disclosed by Wikileaks. Boris Johnson also made claims that Iran is dueling with Saudi Arabia in proxy wars. In spite of this conventional thought among Western states about Iran, there is scant evidence that the Iranians are engaged in proxy wars with Saudi Arabia. It is actually the Western-backed Saudi kingdom that is primarily fueling terrorism and sectarianism between Sunni and Shia as a covert policy to undermine legitimate Iranian influence in the strategically vital region. Blaming Iran is only an attempt to cover the tracks of responsibility. This criminal Western-backed policy is now clearly manifest in Syria where Western states, including Britain, have joined forces with Saudi Arabia and other Middle East despots in order to sponsor a terrorist proxy army to overthrow the government of President Bashar al Assad. That objective is precisely because Assad is a strategic ally of Iran, as well as Russia. So, Boris Johnson in his cack-handed way is speaking accurately – to a degree. Saudi Arabia is, as he says, a puppeteer of terrorism in the region which has blighted whole nations. But what Johnson doesn’t say, in classic British dissembling fashion, is who are the bigger puppeteers. It is successive, supposedly democratic, governments in Washington and London that have primarily patronized the Saudi regime with billions of dollars of arms supplies and military intelligence. The Saudi rulers and the other despots in the Gulf region would not be able to repress their people or sponsor criminal wars if it were not for the unwavering support of Washington and London. The strategic value of the Saudi and other Gulf monarchs is that they sustain military industries underpinning the waning capitalist economies of the US and Britain. These horrible regimes also prop up the decrepit US dollar through global oil contracts.

This is the realpolitik of Washington, London and other Western so-called democracies. It’s not that they merely turn a blind eye to the violations of the Saudi rulers and their Gulf cohorts. The Western states rely fundamentally on the brutal despotism of their Arab “partners” in order to keep the vital Middle East in line with their imperialist interests. The Gulf’s anti-democratic despotism is the true face behind Western pretensions of upholding democracy and rule of law. Western “democracy” is a cynical facade to conceal its own brutal foreign conduct. No wonder then that the British government had a conniption over Boris Johnson’s latest gaffe. The diplomat’s loose-cannon mouth threatens to blow a hole in the facade of British-Saudi relations and the multi-billion-dollar racket it hides. Ironically, Downing Street’s hurried statement that Johnson’s remarks on Saudi Arabia do not reflect the “official British government view” also unintentionally discloses a truth. Johnson’s comments about Saudi Arabia’s proxy warmongering and puppeteering of extremism may not be “official” British policy. But his comments most certainly are the “unofficial” British government position. By “unofficial” we mean the real British position.

Britain surely knows that the Saudi regime is sponsoring terrorism. How do we know that? Because this covert policy was co-authored by Britain, the US and other Western states for geopolitical objectives to undermine Iran, Russia and any other designated geopolitical rival nation. Britain knows full well that Saudi Arabia is slaughtering women and children in Yemen and torturing civilians within its own state as well as in neighbouring Bahrain. Because Britain sells the weapons and logistics for these crimes against humanity. And Britain systematically covers up the violations through agile media relations, according to Amnesty International among other rights groups.

Amid Illegal Yemen Attacks Claims British authorities are well aware of their own despicable complicity in Gulf despotism. Of course, this is all hush-hush unofficial. In other words, added to Britain’s criminal foreign policy is the malfeasance of deception, lies and hypocrisy. Boris Johnson is a clown. Can you imagine a Russian diplomat behaving in such an asinine way? What an outcry there would be in the Western fake news corporate-controlled media. Nevertheless, sometimes even a clown can reveal an important eye-opener. Johnson appears to have done just that with his candid views on Saudi Arabia. That’s why he just received a jolly-good pie in the face – to prevent the public from prying too much into what he had blurted out, and to keep those lucrative arms deals rolling in. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

COLUMNISTS 21:44 08.12.2016Get short URL Finian Cunningham 62424280

© AFP 2016/ Adrian Dennis

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