UK Killing Civilians for Oil Again in the King Salman Canal Project 136

The UK government insists on continuing the massive supply – £2.8 billion since the start of the attack – of high tech weapons for Saudi Arabia to use against civilians in Yemen, despite opposition from the EU Parliament and every major human rights group. Furthermore UK special forces are operating inside Yemen in support of the onslaught. Thousands of civilians have died as a result, including many children.

Given this is not exactly popular in the UK, and that after the law takes its tortuous course there will very probably be embarrassment for the government down the line, the prize which Cameron perceives must be great. Of course, western elite support for the appalling Saudi regime is a given, because Saudi cash pumps primarily into banking, armaments and high end property, the three areas most dear to the interests of the 1%.

Yemen of course has very little oil of its own. But where the West gets involved in conflict, it is almost always at base either about oil resources (eg Kuwait, Libya, Syria, Iraq) or oil routes (eg Afghanistan, Georgia, Balkans). It turns out that Britain’s unflinching military support of Saudi Arabian aggression in Yemen is about oil routes.


Last year the Saudis announced a plan to drive a ship canal through Saudi desert, Oman and Yemen to the Gulf of Aden, bypassing the straits of Hormuz. This would reduce ship journeys by approximately 500 miles, and limit any potential physical threat to shipping from Iran. It is worth noting that Iran has stated it will not block the strait of Hormuz, and is a signatory to the UN Law of the Sea Convention which would make that illegal. Iranian control of the strait of Hormuz has long been the nightmare of the American right.

The canal project is moving forward in the Saudi governmental system and has now formally been assigned to the Ministry of Electricity, after an internal royal family wrangle as control of the mega project will obviously bring massive opportunities for self enrichment. It is now to be associated with the construction of nuclear power plants, which it is difficult to believe are unrelated to Saudi desire for nuclear weapons. It is to be called the King Salman canal.

Oman would probably welcome the canal, but Yemen is much more problematic. There would need to be a Yemeni government not only willing to agree, but both able and willing to enforce security on the canal. And given that the eastern Yemeni regions through which it would pass are predominantly Shia, this is a major problem for the Saudis. A problem that could only be resolved by taking effective military control of Yemen.

The United Kingdom is supporting yet another war for oil. But don’t worry about it, the corporate media is full of the Queen’s birthday! Stop thinking and shout hurrah!

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136 thoughts on “UK Killing Civilians for Oil Again in the King Salman Canal Project

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  • andy myles

    Any decent physical geography map of the Arabian Peninsula demonstrates quite clearly that it would be sheer stupidity to try to drive a Hormuz by-pass through Yemen. There are vast obstacles in the Yemeni monuntains that could easily be avoided by going through the UAE and Oman – both of whom would welcome the development. Sorry. Nice theory but a bit bonkers.

    • craig Post author

      It may be bonkers, but it is actually an official Saudi government project. I didn’t make it up. Click on the links.

      The problem with dictatorships is that there is nothing to stop those who run them from being bonkers.

      That map for example is from the state’s Saudi Arabian Broadcasting Corporation (SABQ).

      • craig Post author


        Having checked against a relief map, the official map does indeed follow the lowest route, through Ad Dibin to al Ghaydah. I don’t think the route rises above 300 metres. Still a massive engineering challenge, but perhaps not impossible.

        • Orchards44

          It’s also confirmed in the leaked Saudi cables:

          To quote:

          23. (C) A British diplomat based in Yemen told PolOff that
          Saudi Arabia had an interest to build a pipeline, wholly
          owned, operated and protected by Saudi Arabia, through
          Hadramaut to a port on the Gulf of Aden, thereby bypassing
          the Arabian Gulf/Persian Gulf and the straits of Hormuz.
          Saleh has always opposed this. The diplomat contended that
          Saudi Arabia, through supporting Yemeni military leadership,
          paying for the loyalty of shaykhs and other means, was
          positioning itself to ensure it would, for the right price,
          obtain the rights for this pipeline from Saleh’s successor.

        • YouKnowMyName

          Craig, It’s not only an unbelievably long canal (many times longer than Panama or Suez), but it passes through the heart of the +60degC “Empty Quarter” – beautiful place but not where you’d first think of making infrastructure!

          It would be an awesome achievement if KSA could build it. Alone, no-chance; but I’m confident that if Iranian engineers helped the Sauds then it’d probably work, and be slightly less likely to get bombed.

          Things can happen in KSA, I was recruited into the telecom sector there – but hadn’t passed any driving test before I arrived, no license. A friendly minor royal soon autocratically generated a saudi license for me & I learned to drive around Ar-Riyadh with my own personal 12 seater Toyota minibus. I went everywhere in KSA from illegally crossing into Yemen many times, to northern, eastern, western borders and came to love the deserts – if not the driving. (KSA hardly recognises any of their ‘defined’ borders anyway, so I’m not sure if they actually consider Yemen an independent country or a just a rebellious special administrative zone)

          I suppose that the SOE/SAS had their first walk through the area in 1945-46 by Major Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger, CBE, DSO, FRAS, FRGS, aka “Mubarak bin London” according to (microadventure film promo website)

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I;ve read my Thesiger…how the hell are they going to stop sand blowing back into the canal and filling it up? Some of those dunes are huge.

      • Tom Welsh

        “The problem with dictatorships is that there is nothing to stop those who run them from being bonkers”.

        Craig, I really do hope you were smiling ironically when you wrote that sentence! Of course, I suppose it rather depends how you define “dictatorships”. Surely you wouldn’t deny that many (if not most) of the “elected” leaders of our “representative democracies” are bonkers? Or at any rate behave as if they were.

        The COED defines a dictator as “a ruler with total power over a country” or “an autocratic person”. It would be interesting to analyze which of today’s rulers have the most total power over their countries, and which are most autocratic. Admittedly the Saudis must be up at the top by any criterion. But don’t you agree that Barack Obama has “total power” in the USA? After all, Congress and the Supreme Court have stopped trying to limit the power of the executive, and how many world leaders routinely make up arbitrary lists of people to be killed out of hand without the slightest trace of legal process?

  • Tom Welsh

    “Iranian control of the strait of Hormuz has long been the nightmare of the American right”.

    Although, as mentioned in the article, Iran has signed UN Law of the Sea Convention (and abides by it)… the USA has not!

    Just as Iran has signed the NPT and abides by it; the USA has signed the NPT and does not abide by it; and Israel has not signed the NPT and completely ignores it. (And the USA completely ignores that Israel completely ignores it).

    What a strange world! It seems that, the more peaceful and law-abiding a nation is, the more it is feared.

  • J Galt

    This is utterly bizarre – why not simply have a pipeline to the point on Indian Ocean where a tanker loading facility could be built?

    • craig Post author

      I imagine they want it physically further away from Iran. But as I say, it is the Saudi government’s idea, not mine…

      • craig Post author

        There is already a pipeline bypassing Hormuz from UAE to Oman. But it only can take about 5% of the oil flow through Hormuz. WHy a canal and not a far easier pipeline is another excellent question.

        • lysias

          And if this planned canal is the real reason for the Saudi war on Yemen, that would make this canal really expensive.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            12h34 BST in London….is

            07h34 EDT in “Washington DC”.

            Unusually early for someone

            Or perhaps not. 🙂

          • lysias

            On the other hand, maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe the canal is meant to be an excuse for continued Saudi occupation and control of Yemen.

        • DomesticExtremist

          Well, a pipeline can only handle one type of product. ships can take many – crude, refined products – and bring imports.

    • Republicofscotland

      J Gault.

      It’s not the only bizarre project on king Salaman’s mind.

      “Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has announced an agreement with Egypt to build a bridge over the Red Sea connecting the two countries.”

      “The monarch made the announcement in televised comments on the second day of his visit to Cairo after meeting the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.”

      “I agreed with my brother his excellency President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to build a bridge connecting the two countries,” Salman said. “This historic step to connect the two continents, Africa and Asia, is a qualitative transformation that will increase trade between the two continents to unprecedented levels.”

      Maybe king Salaman, things he’s the Thomas Telford of the Middle East. ?

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        I confess I’m too lazy at this moment to look up how wide the Red Sea is but was not, at one time, a bridge linking the UK to the Continent considered as an alternative to the Channel Tunnel?

      • J Galt

        Perhaps panic at the growing Chinese influence in Africa in particular Somalia where the Chinese are building a network of railways that promise to lift the Somalis out of the utter destitution that the “West” is quite happy to see them in?

  • deepgreenpuddock

    1.Are Saudi ‘royalty’ mad?
    2 Why a canal and not a pipeline?
    3. Why not a beefed up UAE and Oman pipeline?
    4 Why through Yemen, with difficult geography?

    !. Being religious extremists and extremely intolerant is not ‘technically’ mad, in that the functioning of the brain may be otherwise normal. The argument about religion is admittedly difficult, as religious belief has a lot in common with madness, but then so does falling in love.Personalty disorder is not the same as mental ilness.
    The effect of such a gender polarised society, with so much energy invested in male dominance, seems to me consistent with high levels of Narcissistic Personality Disorder within the male population, and from the limited extent to which I have observed male Saudis that seems to be true with low levels of empathy and
    understanding of the distress of others.This might go part of the way to explaining the high prevalence of Saudi males in the 9/11 outrage and its central disrupting role in the middle east and beyond, and its determined proselytising.
    2 and 3 and 4.
    a canal may be more useful for materials and equipment other than oil. Also, the Saudi oil is not great quality and is difficult to transport in pipelines due to its heavy quality and a high content of the less valuable (heavy) fractions. The oil industry is in something of a technical trap. The ME oil assets may become stranded in the next decade if renewable technology techniques continue to improve. Oil may continue to have a role in plastics and material, and possibly some fuel grades such as ship’s fuel and aviation fuel rather than the current uses but Saudi oil may not be attractive for these purposes in a situation where there is much reduced overall demand.
    The canal may be a much more useful asset than a pipeline and may be part of the forward planning of SA to support a diversified economy.
    I notice that there is an alternative route through Oman, but isn’t the gulf of Aden a more convenient terminal? Would Oman require a major investment in other infrastructure?

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      Which cost the lives of God knows how many victims of Soviet persecution and megalomania.

  • Habbabkuk (with great respect and admiration))

    Since you mention it, Craig, let me repeat what I said on the last thread, which is not going to get read very much now we have this new one.


    Let me be the first on this to remind everyone that today is Queen Elizabeth the Second’s 90th birthday.

    Happy Birthday, Your Majesty – and we wish you many more of them !

    And, as Anon1 very correctly said, let us acknowledge with thanks the decades of tireless service she has given to the nation.


    • deepgreenpuddock

      I challenge you to listen to the sycophantic drivel being spouted by the media, and especially the BBC and not be sick.
      While I am willing to accept the position of a hereditary head of state, it is undoubtedly a throwback and a relic of tribalism and primitivism, and the institution you so revere will inevitably crumble under the onslaught of alienation of post-modern conditions. My hunch is that King Charles will fuck up big time but even without that likelihood it will slide into even greater irrelevance.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        I can report with pleasure that I have listened to some and remain resolutely unsick.

        But let us not get side-tracked into a discussion about monarchy versus republicanism merely because someone (myself) has had the grace – or perhaps I should say the manners – to wish our 90 year old Head of State a very happy birthday.

        Would it make you feel happier if I extended my best wishes to every 90 year old who might be following this blog?

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          To every CM blog follower who happens to turn 90 today, I mean. 🙂

        • bevin

          There is nothing graceful either about barging into someone else’s website to greet thrd parties
          using an unoffensive old lady’s birthday in order to provoke a silly argument over an irrelevant topic.
          It’s nothing to do with good manners or loyalty it is just trolling by a practised agent provocateur.
          As to your good wishes: they are clearly insincere and their source is corrupt, so keep them to your self.

          • Pathologically high need for attention

            It’s just as well. When he tries to contribute at an adult level it’s just sad.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)


            Many thanks for letting Bevin’s post stand but deleting my right of reply.

            Good work 🙂

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Do you think she’s reading this? That’s rather an attractive image. With the D of E peering over her shoulder an expostulating from time to time.

          In other news, not very funny female comedian dies. R4 doesn’t seem to have much else today.

          • Medieval fwl

            Ba’al, I like that image of the Queen and the Duke reading CM. If they were regulars, who would they be?

      • lysias

        Since King Salman is also an example of a hereditary monarch, perhaps mentioning the birthday of another hereditary monarch on this thread is not off topic.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          But readers will have noticed that I have never congratulate another hereditary monarch on his birthday.

          I speak, of course, of President Assad Junior.

    • deepgreenpuddock

      I challenge you to listen to the sycophantic drivel being spouted by the media, and especially the BBC and not be sick.
      While I am willing to accept the position of a hereditary head of state, it is undoubtedly a throwback and a relic of tribalism and primitivism, and the institution you so revere will inevitably crumble under the onslaught of alienation of post-modern conditions. My hunch is that King Charles will fuck up big time but even without that likelihood it will slide into even greater irrelevance.

    • glenn_uk

      I’ve made this suggestion before – why not have the Royals on subscription? Every grovelling boot-licker who wants to debase himself with the designation of “subject” can have that dubious honour, while the rest of us can get on with our lives as fellow citizens.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        What a brilliant idea. And stop the Civil List, replacing it with voluntary contributions from everyone who loves the Royal Family so much, they are prepared to pay independently to keep it going.

        Brenda in the bus queue would certainly become a reality then: money talks.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        The man’s a genius. In fact, we could sell the franchise off, say, to an Indian steel company, and make squids on the deal. Osborne, are you reading this? Paywall for her formerly public utterances, of course, and a set, huge, fee payable to the public purse by the recipients of knighthoods etc, which if nothing else will formalise the existing arrangement while for the first time benefiting all parties equally.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        You shouldn’t make too much of the word “subject”, you fire-eating Welshman!

        I note that UK passports used to use the expression “British Subject”. The expression nowadays is “British Citizen”.

        God save the Queen!

      • Herbie

        Brilliant idea.

        In this era of privatisation and outsourcing, why not subject the royals to the same process.

        If it’s good enough for the peeps…

        There is precedent after all, of inviting foreign royals in long to rule over us.

        Stick it in the palace and Anon1 and habby will prostrate themseves before it, whatever it is. Monkey or not.

        I bet they both bow down when she comes on the telly at Christmas.

    • Herbie

      Tireless service to elite interests, which are her own and her family’s interests too.

      That’s what buffoons like yourself are cheering.

      Self interest.

  • bevin

    The canal plan is not just bonkers but ecologically catastrophic. It is also an enormous waste of energy and resources.
    But I am not inclined to blame the Saudis for it. I am sure that the Royal Family could think of millions of better ways to spend the money: drugs, girls and extended visits to fleshpots in the mysterious Occident, featuring heavily and exciting far more interest than a canal, perhaps with salmon fishing, through the rub al khali.
    I blame the US and the monkey, formerly known as Britain, mounted, chattering and grinning on its shoulder. Saudi Arabia is effectively occupied by the US. It is as much a US Protectorate as Aden and the surrounding provinces of Yemen ever were. And it does what it is told to do.
    The canal project bears all the marks of the sort of engineering scam that Haliburton, in the days when LBJ ran the Senate, used to get given. It is rather similar to the Helmand irrigation scheme that briefly gave parts of Afghanistan the name of ‘Little America’ and has been a god send to poppy growers. Its primary purpose is to transport Saudi gold into American bank accounts and, no doubt, that process is already well advanced: what with the consultancy fees the civil engineering studies, the geological and topographical assessments etc etc. I have no doubt that US, Israeli and ‘British’ firms are already wallowing: all have an insatiable appetite for other peoples’ money.
    They might even grow so rich that, after much consideration, they will consent to turning off the spigot and deem the project ‘impractical.’ The average camel could have told them that.

    This article makes the argument that Arabia should be considered a Protectorate, with Israel one presumes, as a garrison fortress, with torture chambers and other facilities required for the practising of imperialism.

  • Republicofscotland

    Thank you Craig for that insight, it all become a bit more clearer, as to why Saudi Arabia is determined to install a puppet government in Yemen, at a untold cost of human lives, and Britain is complicit in that neferious action.

    Iran may not block the straits, but it does have fighters in Yemen, opposing the Saudi airforce and its proxy Wahhabist fighters. Returning to the Straits of Hormuz, if I recall right doesn’t the USA, keep a permanent prescence in the region, in the form of a aircraft carrier.

    Yet here it’s reported that Obama in his visit to Saudi Arabia agreed with king Salman, to push for de-escalation, in the region. But to put pressure back on Iran. Of course as I’ve stated Iranian backed fighter are in conflict with king Salman’s Saudi fighters, over control in Yemen, did Obama promise to help king Salman to either force Iran’s hand over Yemen? Or to dicuss arms sales? Or indeed both.

    Finally I’d like to congratulate HRH, on becoming the longest and greatest recipient of welfare benefits, in the history of the welfare state, a begging your pardon mam.

  • lysias

    There was discussion here a couple of days ago about whether the intervention in Libya had established freedom and democracy in that unhappy country. I happen to have just had my attention drawn to President Obama’s Executive Order 13,726 of April 19, 20016 — Blocking Property And Suspending Entry Into The United States Of Persons Contributing To The Situation In Libya, which contains the following passage by way of justifying the order’s action of blocking property and suspending entry:

    I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, hereby expand the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13566 of February 25, 2011, finding that the ongoing violence in Libya, including attacks by armed groups against Libyan state facilities, foreign missions in Libya, and critical infrastructure, as well as human rights abuses, violations of the arms embargo imposed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011), and misappropriation of Libya’s natural resources threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, democratic transition, and territorial integrity of Libya, and thereby constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. To address this threat, and in view of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2174 of August 27, 2014, and 2213 of March 27, 2015, I hereby order:

    No doubt similar results are to be expected in Yemen, if Saudi Arabia succeeds in establishing control there.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      I would suggest that the “exposé des motifs” (or perhaps I should say the “whereas clauses”?) cited seem unexceptional. Sensible, even.

  • RobG

    Does anyone have any further info about the (so far) uncorroborated use of nuclear weapons in the Yemen conflict?

    As for Her Maj, I never voted for her or any of her barnacle brood.

    • lysias

      Speaking of nuclear, anybody else remember the old plans and tests for peaceful use of nukes in the 1960s and into the 1970s? Operation Plowshare:

      Project Plowshare was the overall United States term for the development of techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes. It was the US portion of what are called Peaceful Nuclear Explosions (PNE).

      . . .

      Proposed uses for nuclear explosives under Project Plowshare included widening the Panama Canal, constructing a new sea-level waterway through Nicaragua nicknamed the Pan-Atomic Canal, cutting paths through mountainous areas for highways, and connecting inland river systems. Other proposals involved blasting underground caverns for water, natural gas, and petroleum storage. Serious consideration was also given to using these explosives for various mining operations. One proposal suggested using nuclear blasts to connect underground aquifers in Arizona. Another plan involved surface blasting on the western slope of California’s Sacramento Valley for a water transport project.[4]

      Might be the only way to make this Saudi plan feasible.

  • eddie-g

    Bonkers project, maybe they were inspired by a film they thought was called “Salman fishing in the Yemen”.

  • lysias

    New article by Daniel Larison on the American Conservative Web site: The Saudis Are Starving Yemen to Death.

    It properly assigns the blame:

    No doubt lobbying by the Saudis and their allies account for some of this [indifference to the war on Yemen in the West], but some of it unfortunately seems to come down to the fact that almost no one cares what the Saudi-led coalition is doing to Yemen with U.S. and British support if they are even aware of it.

  • lysias

    Disgusting paragraphs in a new article in New Europe: Saudi Arabia’s Military Weaknesses Exposed in Yemen:

    According to Reuters, some of the largest beneficiaries of the alliance have been US defence contractors. Vinnell Arabia, now a Northrop Grumman subsidiary, has received multimillion-dollar contracts to train Saudi Arabia’s National Guard since 1975, for instance, including a five-year contract worth up to $550m in 2010.

    European defence contractors have also profited. For instance, Eurofighter, a European consortium, delivered $5.6bn in arms to Saudi Arabia and UK-based BAE Systems delivered $2.9bn during the same period, according to Reuters.

  • RobG

    The latest episode of the Empire Files; or, everything you ever wanted to know about Hillary Clinton but was afraid to ask…

    I’m not the one who took this post by Craig off-topic so soon; but I have to add that Hillary is being shoe-horned into the presidency, and as such the sick and symbiotic relationship between the USA and KSA will continue.

  • Kempe

    ” where the West gets involved in conflict, it is almost always at base either about oil resources (eg Kuwait, Libya, Syria, Iraq) or oil routes (eg Afghanistan, Georgia, Balkans). ”

    Only if you believe that de-stabilising a country is somehow helpful when planning a major infrastructure project.

    I’ll believe the Salman Canal when they actually start work on it and I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to start.

  • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

    I wonder if I’m the only one who has noticed that an unpleasant kind of what can only be described as “class warfare” has crept into the exchanges on the McCann case (the latest example being, I think, Glenn_UK)?

    Now, there has been in the UK, over the years, a considerable number of cases of babies or very small children done to death by their parents. The most recent example is that of the 20 months old little girl killed by her mother, whose injuries were such as to warrant the police and judge’s comment that the little girl looked as if she had been stamped on.

    Imagine it for yourselves – a little girl beaten so severely that she looked as if she had been stamped on by an adult.

    If memory serves, the parent perpetrators in all of those cases were not middle class professionals like the McCanns but working class ( deprived and totally inadequate) people .

    Yet, despite the relative frequency of such cases, I do not recall a single – not one! – post on the subject on this blog in the entire time I’ve been following it.

    Nor, despite the relative frequency of the phenomenon, do I recall Craig ever having opened a thread on the phenomenon to make any sort of point.

    So there we have it: a middle class couple who have not even committed the murder of a child (and who have certainly not been indicted for that crime) merit a thread and attract the wrath of a goodly number of “commenters”, whereas low-lifes (or rather, the phenomenon they represent) who have been convicted in a court of law of the most brutal murder of young children have not merited a thread nor given rise to a single post.

    Curious to say the least, don’t you think?

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      Wrong thread, therefore apologies.

      Or perhaps not.

      Mods – feel free to move it to the previous one.

    • Anon1

      This is to some extent true. And they are deemed guilty for being professional middle class.

      Craig has toned himself down a little, but a blog post of his some time ago described the McCanns as “Guilty as hell”.

      What it really boils down to is sneering at success, which is one of the least pleasant characteristics of the people of this nation. Even successful, professional types seem to engage in it when their peers trip up.

    • bevin

      “…If memory serves, the parent perpetrators in all of those cases were not middle class professionals like the McCanns but working class ( deprived and totally inadequate) people ….”

      Just another bit of random snobbery perpetrated whilst, allegedly, protesting against just such idle and unfair characterisations of large sections of the population. In this case the British working class, upon whose labour people such as yourselves have been feeding for centuries.

      The only thing that your memory serves is the poisonous mind of which it forms a (“deprived and totally inadequate”) part. Your contributions to this blog are a compendium of reasons why society needs to proceed immediately to socialism lest the hatred and injustice that class society spawns wreck the planet as they are fouling the lives of those inhabiting it.

      Try and think a generous thought, for a change. Really. Don’t just pretend. Try and imagine that all men are brothers and that Palestinians, for example, are human beings with lives as valuable as your neighbour’s and ten times as valuable as yours is so long as you misuse in this way.

      • Anon1

        Palestinian lives are worthy of equal respect, it’s just as shame Hamas doesn’t see it that way.


        Now, Mr Pot. There was a man deserving of respect if ever there was one. Can we have another eulogy?

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)


        It’s not “random snobbery”, it’s fact. Name me one of those prominent cases of baby killing over the last few years where the parent-perpetrators were middle class professionals.

        And on what evidence do you base your claim that I’ve been “feeding on the labour of the British working class”? As far as I’m aware, we haven’t met.

        I’m afraid your post isn’t a reasoned response intended to refute – which I wouldn’t object to in the least – but just a string of silly ad hominems.

        Gamma double minus – again.

    • Herbie

      “Yet, despite the relative frequency of such cases, I do not recall a single – not one! – post on the subject on this blog in the entire time I’ve been following it.”

      The govt has involved itself in the McCann case to an extent that is quite remarkable.

      That’s why there’s a post on it.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        OK Herbie, fair point.

        And how do you explain why people are waxing so eloquently on what bad parents the McCanns were when they had not a word to say about the several sets of parents who actually murdered their children in the most brutal way?

        Come to think about it, here is another example of instrumentalisation: I remember how our Transatlantic Friend took the trouble to report to us, just a day or so ago, how an African child had been run over by one of the cars in Samantha Power’s motorcade. I suspect he would not dream of commenting on the latest baby killing in the UK, the baby who was beaten so badly she appeared to have been stamped on.

        • Herbie

          “And how do you explain why people are waxing so eloquently on what bad parents the McCanns were when they had not a word to say about the several sets of parents who actually murdered their children in the most brutal way?”

          Because media have made it an issue.

          Most people adapt to the media agenda. That’s the point. That’s what it’s for. To focus debate.

          Were media to highlight the cases you’ve mentioned then they’d have a view on that too.

  • Republicofscotland

    It would appear eleven Tory MP’s have had a all expenses paid trips to Saudi Arabia by king Salaman, over the last few months, the trips have been descibed as “fact finding” are we now taking tips on how to run Britain from one of the most brutal regimes on the planet?

    Or does the words “fact finding” cover a multitude of sin, regarding arms sales?

    Here’s a few excerpts from the report.

    “Saudi Arabia has paid for 11 Conservative MPs to visit the oil-rich kingdom on ‘parliamentary fact-finding’ missions in the last several months, while continuing to wage its deadly airstrike campaign against Yemen, it has emerged.”

    “The UN secretary-general, Save the Children, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the British Labour Party have all called on the UK government to halt its arms sales to the Gulf kingdom.”

    “Yet figures compiled by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) earlier this week show that since Riyadh began its bombing campaign last March, the British government approved 122 military licenses for weapons and military hardware worth nearly £3 billion.”

    “Even the Home Office and the Foreign Office appear to be at odds about Riyadh’s conduct in Yemen.”

    • lysias

      That’s not a country I would much relish visiting, even if all my expenses were paid.

      • YouKnowMyName

        It’s a stunningly beautiful peninsula , the size of Europe. The locals are friendly & helpful at heart, the aristocracy is “ignorant and arrogant” according to the eminent spook & arabist, Kim Philby’s father.

  • RobG

    Gawd bless you maam.

    Hip hip hooray! Hip hip Hooray!

    Me and little Johnny were allowed some cake from the food bank yesterday evening, which gave us the energy to limp for 15 miles to the palace, where we slept on the pavement in the rain (little Johnny didn’t get much sleep, what with his coughing and consumption and all), so that we could be there to celebrate this joyous day.

    Gawd bless you maam. You are truly an ermine candle burning bright in this dark world.

    I’ve just watched the start of the BBC early evening news and am now feeling distinctly nauseous.

    Tenuous link: when King Abdullah died recently Buckingham Palace flew the flag at half mast…

    • Anon1

      I agree with Jeremy Corbyn’s words in the HoC earlier:

      “The vast majority share an opinion that Her Majesty has served this country and has overwhelming support with a clear sense of public service and public duty.”


          • Herbie

            The Royal Family’s public image is dependent on how media are portraying them at the time.

            There are times when they’re up and times where they’re down.

            Tells us a lot about the power of media to mislead.

            And doesn’t say very much about the critical faculties of the vast majority of the British population.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            That’s because they can’t see the “big picture” like you do, Herbie.

          • Herbie

            No, habby.

            It’s because media tells them what to think.

            Yourself and Anon1 as well, it seems.

          • Herbie

            Neither of you have any argument.

            You just think what you’re told to think.

            That’s why when you attempt argument it’s always easily shown to be a heap of confused junk.

    • Republicofscotland

      Couldn’t agree more Rob, I on occasion listen to the BBC’s World Service, however today consisted of a cacophony, of acolytes falling over themselves to pay homage, to a super rich nonagenarian, whose never done a honest day work in her life.

      But as usual the second and third estates, sounded the fanfare, as though she, had actually achieved something monumental in her pampered and cosseted life, the stark fact is she hasn’t, and she probably never will.

      Only the proselytes, the fawning, and the uneducated, see this as a momentous day, in the life of state kept pensioner.

      • Anon1

        There is clearly a huge disappointment amongst yourself and others here that you don’t have an ounce of dirt on the Queen. Perhaps that is why you’re always going on about how rich she is and how everyone else but yourself is a sad little bower and scraper.

        It’s a form of snobbery in itself.

        • glenn_uk

          Your ability to perform mind-reading would put Mystic Meg to shame. You do a lot of that, and never once has it rung true – entire arguments based on what you imagine others are thinking, with nothing but your assertion to back it.

          Brenda has served her function reasonably well, IMHO, but so have countless millions of others. They do not expect fawning praise and a limitless amount of taxpayer dosh all the while. Perhaps you could explain why this particular member of the Lucky Sperm Club has got you all nuzzling against her royal ankle?

          Such a public display of devotion to those born into riches and privilege is centuries out of date – one need not fear having one’s head cut off upon falling out of favour these days. Perhaps servile attitudes just die hard in the most profoundly toadying of lickspittles.

          • Anon1

            How many other of our public officials can it be said that they have never put a foot wrong?

            But there you go again with your “fawning, nuzzling, toadying and lickspittling” (grovelling, bowing, scraping, boot-licking – you accuse me of straw man?) Apart from the media, who always blow these things out of proportion (the Queen’s birthday used to be a much more private affair), and a handful of ‘royal historians’ and hangers-on, nobody much cares, except to say that they generally support the institution of the Royal Family and, in particular, the Queen, for her impeccable and unblemished career in service to this nation.

            And excepting the inverted snobs such as yourself, who can’t wait for an occasion such as this to look down with a majesterial sense of superiority on the ghastly little snivelling oiks who are to be mocked and sneered at for not following the smug navel-gazing of the would-be ruling class.

          • Herbie

            “How many other of our public officials can it be said that they have never put a foot wrong?”

            More toadying bollocks. You’re like a child.

            Look at the arse they made of the Diana death.

            Nearly had themselves run out of town, but for Tony’s magical PR skills.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)


            Anon1 is not engaging in “mind reading” – he is putting forward conclusions which he has arrived at after a rational reading of what various Monarchy-haters have said – and not said – on this blog.

            You are too blind – or stupid – to see that even your own post just now provides further evidence for his conclusions.

        • Republicofscotland


          Thank for that tit bit, but, if I’m correct no laws can be brought against the queen, and even if they could who would enforce them, as the police, civil servants, politicians, judiciary, and even army personnel, have sworn allegiance to her.

          It kind of makes one think, that the queen, has stacked the deck.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          A huge disappointment made huger by the fact – and it is a fact – that 80% of the UK population accepts and welcomes the Monarchy, warts and all.

          • Herbie

            When media favour them, the numpty members of the British population favour them too.

            Tells you all you need to know about the state of Britain today.

            The Royal family/Kardashians whatever.

            Same diffeence.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    I must say, I hope her Madge does reign for a long time because if this ghastly national puke-a-thon of forelock tugging and grovelling is anything to go by, the country will uninhabitable for a month when she finally shuffles off the ermine coil.

      • Anon1

        A bunch of ugly, unemployable lefty tossers stamping on makeshift coffins and shrieking “the bitch is dead!”?

        Or a genteel gathering of folk to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen.

        Depends on your definition of street party I suppose.

        • glenn_uk

          Grovel away, faithful hound subject! You might even get a pat on the head for your efforts, wouldn’t that make it all worthwhile?

          • Anon1

            Nobody is grovelling or bowing or scraping or boot-licking, Glenn. People simply recognise and support the Queen for her continued public service, and other than that they get on with their lives.

            It’s you who is making a great big deal out of it, along with the media.

          • Herbie


            They’re simply following how she’s portrayed in media.

            For a long time the scroungers were despised, until they got their PR act together.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            Interesting to note how Habbabkuk’s simple “Happy Birthday” to Her Majesty has unleashed such venom and frenzy from several of the contributors.

            It is perhaps the realisation that the Monarchy will be around in the UK – King Charles III and then King William V – long after they’re six feet under.

          • Herbie

            I very much doubt that.

            Britain will have a Chinese or Indian monarch before long, if history’s any guide.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          HMG’s definition is tea and stickies, with late doors in the pubs for the yobs. Combining the worst of both worlds.(It was fun last time, despite the horrible realisation that we’d actually got something far worse by then.)

        • Ba'al Zevul

          HMG’s definition is tea and stickies, with late doors in the pubs for the yobs. Combining the worst of both worlds.(It was fun last time, despite the horrible realisation that we’d actually got something far worse by then. And it was spontaneous))

      • HM Cooze

        British serfs doffing their caps and groveling for their wizened monarch may be pathetic, but at least they can look down on American proles, who fall for their fake democracy (47th best in the world! almost as good as Lesotho!) every four years. They never learn.

  • RobG

    Over the last thousand years there have been two regions, Brittania and Gaul, which have much in common (including the roots of their languages), two regions that brought forth the ‘enlightenment’ and much of what we term ‘modern technology’, yet these two regions have always been implacable enemies in the fight for empire and the resources of other nations.

    Let’s fast-forward to the early 21st century. This is what’s happening in the UK…

    And this is what’s happening in France right now…

    And yes, I know I’m simplifying history, which is almost always complex, and I’m struggling to find a link to Saudi Arabia, except for the fact that it was the British and French who carved-up the Middle East into its present sorry state.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

      Don’t think either country showed much interest in Arabia until the building of a previous canal, the Suez one, though I doubt there is much after the French built it as they both were still going after Africa, and I know of no relevant book, much less link.

  • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

    If the Saudis think the canal will make strategic sense, why should anyone object.?

    Why not follow the “better safe than sorry” line wrt the Straits of Hormuz/Iran, especially since that would be achieved by peaceful means?

    And if it goes on the alternative route through Oman and therefore avoiding Yemen, what harm would it do to anyone?

    Unless there are convincing answers to the above points one might have to conclude that opposition to the idea is just an expression of come-what-may anti-Saudi feeling.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Unless there are convincing answers to the above points one might have to conclude that opposition to the idea is just an expression of come-what-may anti-Saudi feeling.”



      Of course, its, a completely different matter, when it comes to Putin, one could say that, the likes of Anon1 and yourself, have “come what may” anti-Putin feelings, or would I be wrong?

      But then again Putin isn’t investing in London and buying huge quantities of arms from Tory backed corporations in Britain.

      I often wonder what kind of psyche, if you like, compels people such as yourself, and Anon1, to stick firmly to the establishment line, no matter how grave the atrocities being committed, against those who, have been deemed as expendable with predijuce.

      Tell me did you have this drummed into you as a child? Or were you trained at an older age to think that way?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Why not follow the “better safe than sorry” line wrt the Straits of Hormuz/Iran, especially since that would be achieved by peaceful means?

      Because the cost of the project would be greater than any fuel saving? Because shipping at Qatar would be almost as vulnerable to interdiction as it would be entering a much shorter canal across the UAE and Oman*, avoiding the Straits?

      *Masdah City – SW of Al Ashkarah. Looks flat to me.

      And if it goes on the alternative route through Oman and therefore avoiding Yemen, what harm would it do to anyone?

      The cheap labour which dies of heatstroke, perhaps…

      an expression of come-what-may anti-Saudi feeling.

      Antisauditism, no doubt. Still, given that we are prepared to bribe enough Saudi princelings, our party donors, like Bamford, should be able to make a killing. Imagine how many JCB’s it will take. I look forward to seeing all proceedings against our captains of industry for corruption being suspended for the duration.

    • RobG

      Perhaps Habba can tell us the last time that Iran invaded another country?

      Or indeed the last time Iran was overtly hostile to anyone apart from the USA and its vassal states? all of whom have been trying to destroy the state of Iran for more than half a century (it’s all well documented).

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile a million light years away (in quality of life terms) from the Buckingham Palace, bourgeoisie, and their impenetrable bubble to the realities of the real world.

    The UN has said, this on the Yemeni slaughter.

    “It has been a terrible year for Yemen, during which a war peppered with airstrikes, shelling and violence had raged on in the already very impoverished country,” Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen told journalists in Geneva.”

    “Shelling of ports and airports, resulting in blockades and congestion, is one of the drivers of the humanitarian crisis, Mr. McGoldrick said, noting that health workers cannot reach patients and some 90 per cent of the food has to be imported.”

    “The country had had extremely high levels of poverty before the war, and currently, the war has escalated, in an already fragile environment,” said the aid official.”

    “Some 6,400 people have been killed in the past year, half of them civilians, and more than 30,000 are injured, with 2.5 million people displaced, according to figures from the UN World Health Organization (WHO).”

    “In addition, more than 20 million people, or 80 per cent of the population, require some form of aid – about 14 million people in need of food and even more in need of water or sanitation.”

    “The UN has appealed for $1.8 billion for food, water, health care and shelter and protection issues, but only 12 per cent has been funded so far.”

    Of course, the UN could if they wanted to appeal to Nato, to end this madness, but they won’t, because just like the Gaza Strip, and the oppressors of the people within, the UN, doesn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, unless the USA, gives them permission to do so. What a sorry state of affairs.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Prince is dead. That means a thundering sight more to me than the Queen’s 90th.

    I never wanted to be your weekend lover
    I only wanted to be some kind of friend

    Rest in peace.

    • lysias

      When I saw the headline — all in caps on RT — my first reaction was to wonder what prince had died. (I’m just now reading a book about the last century of tsarist rule in Russia, so perhaps it was natural that my thoughts should run in that direction.)

  • nevermind

    Thanks for all the excellent contributions and links today, bar some, Been working hard in putting facts to history and only caught up tonight. Once again we are talking of safeguarding Wahhabi’s and their foibles. One of the best/worst display every week, since they are occupying the UN human rights seat currently, are the weekly displays of power hungry, unsure and supercilious orders to behead demonstrators, some as young as 19, about 50 each week, said to increase.

    Now if there would be fifty hanging’s in Britain each week, all hell would brake loose. But hey its only Sykes Picots children of fortune, self appointed Saudi dependants who are now calling the shot, IS backers and terror merchants who destabilised Chechnya with their underhand money men, a very unsavoury lot.

    Desperately trying to divert the last two threads, multi posters are, once again, Flushed out and red in the face, their slimy haughtiness noted by all, it has all come to nothing.

    Just to inform those new to this blog. Our serial questioner and self appointed ‘toilet flush brush’ here has not much more on his mind than schmoozing him/herself into any posters favour, its his calling here, well, he’s been told to pet us.

    ‘God save the Queen ‘and her fascist regime, as the Sex pistols so avidly advised. We are all Saxons now….

    • BrianFujisan

      Well Said Nevermind Long live the Memory of the Sex Pistols.

      ON Yemen –

      Human Rights Watch reports:

      “Even after dozens of airstrikes on markets, schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods have killed hundreds of Yemeni civilians, the coalition refuses to provide redress or change its practices,” [Human Rights Watch] said. “The US and others should pull the plug on arms to the Saudis or further share responsibility for civilian lives lost.”

      Indeed, in a single attack last month, almost 100 civilians were killed:

      The March 15 attack targeted a crowded market in the village of Mastaba in northwestern Yemen, killing at least 97 civilians, including 25 children. HRW said it found remnants of a “GBU-31 satellite-guided bomb, which consists of a U.S.-supplied MK-84 2,000-pound bomb mated with a JDAM satellite guidance kit, also U.S.-supplied.”

      Even worse, hundreds of thousands of kids are starving to death.

      The UNICEF report notes that – due to the actions of the U.S. and Saudis – Yemen is experiencing mass starvation on a scale last seen in Ethiopa:

      • lysias

        That bombing of the market in Mastaba, Yemen killed some 3 times as many people as the bombs in Brussels. I urged the people who were complaining bitterly and repeatedly that commenters here were not condemning the bombs in Brussels sufficiently to satisfy them to condemn the Mastaba bombing. They didn’t.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    It is far less costly to build a pipeline than it is to dig a canal. It is also a most cost-effective proposition to “engineer” a route that has both
    construction and operational costs factored in from the onset.

    Why would they want to proceed with funding a canal construction?

    If anyone has any informed ideas then please do share.

  • harrylaw

    In any Saudi war with Iran or the US for that matter, Iran could close the Strait of Hormuz, they have many small submarines designed for the relatively shallow waters of the Strait, plus missiles purchased from China which have the capability to take out US aircraft carriers let alone large oil tankers. Any route other than through the Strait would be a waste of money since just as many security issues could be raised as with the Strait of Hormuz. Most Saudi oil is exported via the Ras Tanura port which itself is extremely vulnerable to a military strike, be it by terrorists or state sponsored. “An assault on Ras Tanura, however, would be vastly more serious. As much as 80% of the near 9m barrels of oil a day pumped out by Saudi is believed to end up being piped from fields such as Ghawar to Ras Tanura in the Gulf to be loaded on to supertankers bound for the west”. Saudi Arabia is vulnerable in trying to safeguard its main source of income. That is why it would be wise for Princes in glass palaces not to throw stones, but it seems they are determined to start a sectarian war to preserve their despotic rule. I hope to see the day the perverted Saudi Royal family satraps are hunted down and hung from lamp posts.

  • Mark Golding

    A signal from Commodore Will Warrender in Bahrain to HMS Defender that confirmed the laying of specialised detectors in the bab al-mandab strait made me wonder if this canal proposal was a diversion until I noticed a $9 billion payment to Egypt by the Saudis.

    However should the Houthis, an ally of Iran, control the strait, then the peninsula would de facto fall under the sphere of influence of the Islamic Republic and her nicely waxing relationship with Russia… But hey – Don’t write off Yemen just yet, the Ottamans for example learned the hard way; they are the fighters of Arabia.

  • J Galt

    Is it just a coincidence that this canal proposal surfaces just as Iran, Russia and China are seriously considering a slightly more practical ship canal linking the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf with all the geopolitical consequences of that i.e. bypassing the Bosphorus.

  • jemand

    Saudi’s want to destroy all that is Shia. And they have US, UK, Israel et al. actively assisting them.

    Why the support?

    1.Because the centuries old schism between Sunni & Shia can be exploited.

    2.Sunni is the larger & most broadly dispersed sect of Islam. Choosing the bigger makes more sense.

    3.Mecca and Medina are within Saudi. Those sites need to be protected to maintain cooperation for the interim.

    4.Saudi don’t care about Palestinians – are prepared to let Israel take all territories in exchange for joint hostilities with Iran.

    5.Sunni controlled territory has oil and geopolitical value for hosting terrestrial energy transport infrastructure.

    6.The Saudi royal family is both vulnerable and predictable. As energy production goes into decline, the royal family will desperately cling to power, committing crimes against its own people to maintain its security contract with the US. Petrodollars alone cannot provide them with security. Royal family will be reduced to gangster clan.

    7.Sunni’s are doing half the job of destroying Islam, which will be obviated in less than two centuries.

    There’s a whole lot more that people here already know. But it all means that the West will support the destruction of Shia, the elimination of Palestinian territories, expansion of the state of Israel and the transformation of the Middle East into a politically neutered region (except for Israel).

    The bombing of Yemen just naturally fits in with the whole plan.

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