Jeremy Hunt tries to look good on Yemen. But it totally backfires.

Jeremy Hunt, left; Saudi king Mohammad bin Salman, right
John McEvoy

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has been speaking about Yemen again. But nobody’s buying the government line. Because its awful record says everything.

‘We love war. We also love peace.’

Since 2015, the UK has sponsored Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Yemen with over £4.6bn worth of arms sales as well as political, technical, and logistical support. UK officials “have access to lists of targets” in Yemen, and are often in the Saudi command room when they’re picked out. At times, these targets are buses full of Yemeni children.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for “an end to UK arm sales to Riyadh”. Meanwhile, the Conservative government continues to exacerbate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

None of these facts, however, seem to stop Hunt pretending the UK government supports a peace process in Yemen. Because on 22 January, Hunt and his party tweeted that they were “committing £2.5 million in additional funding” to ‘support peace’ in the country:

The truth is that UK government aid doesn’t even scratch the surface of the humanitarian crisis that it’s helping to sustain. But Hunt can get away with making these statements with such confidence because mainstream media outlets rarely highlight Britain’s key role (and Washington’s) in helping to destroy Yemen.

If the UK government really cared about “long term peace” in Yemen, though, it would end arms sales to Saudi Arabia immediately. In the words of CIA veteran and former Middle East adviser Bruce Riedel, “the Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without American & British support”.

Brazen hypocrisy – and everyone knows it

Hunt’s latest feigned support for Yemen angered many Twitter users.

People were particularly quick to highlight his government’s brazen hypocrisy, and its complicity in Saudi terror:

The Conservative Party appears totally incapable of admitting – let alone ending – its support for the Saudi-led devastation of Yemen. Given the UK’s strategic and economic interests in Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni people are seemingly considered expendable.

This is not a government we can trust to defend human rights – even at home. Fortunately, it seems like most people see through its shameless attempts to convince us otherwise.

Featured images via Ted Eytan/Wikimedia and Jim Mattis/Wikimedia

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  • Show Comments
    1. Jeremy Hunt tries to look good on Yemen.
      But it totally backfires.

      WELL Mr. Hunt.
      You will not get a chance to trash things here in this meeting
      like you did with our U.K. N.H.S. sreves.

      Remember Mr. Hunt this man is far more intelligent plus powerful
      then you Mr.Hunt of any, of you U.K. Tory Minister sent to speak with him.

      So “I politely say Mr. Hunt whatch you P/Q/ with this person or any
      over persons within the E.U. or over country you visit as you risk the
      problem of mouthing off to them.you could disappear in a puff,
      of smoke never to be seen again.

      IN addition our U.K. N.H.S. Doctor + Nurses plus voters of U.K.
      will not miss you Mr HUNT So Please tread lightly here in your new job.

      Talking or telling them lies in Not like talking or lying to H.O.Commons
      in U.K. you will not get away with it in over country Mr Hunt like you did in U.K.
      they will hold you fully to account for your own words spoken to them
      — FULL STOP!

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