Thursday, 24 February 2011

A follow up on Arms

I may not have made it clear in my last post that, whilst I don't feel Arms trading as a whole is an evil thing, there are unquestionably those who undertake it in such a way that can be described as evil. The main point I was trying to make, though probably not very well, was that it is fair to criticise the means and manner in which we as a country trade arms, but that it was naive in the extreme to expect us to not trade arms at all.

This blog post by Amnesty pretty much echoes my sentiments, and probably does so in a more coherent manner. The author, like me, questions why certain arms have been sold to certain countries and questions the risk assessments employed.

However, there is one part of the blog I take issue with.

1. Timing. The blog criticises the timing of the delegation, given the recent uprisings in the region. I think that is grossly unfair and to use Cameron's terms: prejudice bordering on racism. There are many countries in the region and to assume that all are unfair, corrupt and likely to turn on it's citizens is wrong. There could even be a case for this being a perfect time for the visit. It is not guaranteed that, when the dust has settled on the uprisings, the new regimes will be stable. Other countries in the region may wish to increase their defence capability and should not be denied that right.

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