Is Britain selling its soul to Saudi Arabia amid EU divorce?

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks her work has appeared in major publications: MintPress, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News and many others.Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising - Under The Banner Of The First Imam
Is Britain selling its soul to Saudi Arabia amid EU divorce?
Change is most definitely in the air this April. Britain’s very own unelected Prime Minister, Ms. Theresa May, has thrown all caution to the wind as she chose to court Saudi Arabian royals ahead of what is set to be a messy EU divorce.

We all know it; the United Kingdom is walking itself out of the European Union, courtesy of one referendum and an ongoing controversy as to whether or not THAT historic break will eventually explode Britain and leave its economy, never mind its borders, worse for wear. However one chooses to look at Brexit: good, bad, catastrophically ugly, one truth remains - Britain will need to reinvent itself financially, and more to the point, Britain will have to find itself new economic partners in its pursuit of survival.

And yes, I used the word 'survival.' While the UK may still project this aura of success, its finances and the future of its national bottom line are not exactly faring well of late. In between inflation and an ever-expanding national deficit, Britain might be in for a rude awakening should Number 10 fail to come up with worthy alternatives. In comments for NPR in January, Simon Kirby with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, an independent think-tank, pointed out that some companies have already jacked up their prices to address Britain’s economic moving landscape.

To put it simply, the UK will suffer through some growing pains as it maneuvers its way out of the EU.

So far I would say that I have stated the obvious. This is where it gets interesting … fasten your seat belt cause the ride will get very uncomfortable very quickly.

Of all the MANY scenarios Theresa May could have envisioned to save Britain from forfeiting its positions as an economic superpower, the premier chose to pursue the one party that could, more likely than not, drag the country down the infamous rabbit hole, never to come out for air.

You may have guessed it; Ms. May is pushing for a rapprochement … in kind, with the grand Wahhabist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. "So what," you may say!

A lot can be said on that attempt of a fusion in between Britain and those royals who sit as grand-masters of terror at a time when formerly covert agendas are being exposed. Can we once and for all admit that the pestilence that is the Black Flag Army - Daesh, ISIL, IS - whatever name or acronym you want to slap on those bloodthirsty extremists, was directly architected, financed and propped up by Saudi Arabia’s clergymen so that Riyadh could rise a kingmaker over the Islamic world.

Never mind the rivers of blood spent to that effect and never mind “the innocent babies” as President Donald Trump so eloquently put it.

Yes, Mr. Trump, we too cry for the many innocent lives that were stolen from a great many nations. The difference is that we tend to point the finger at the real devils of the story, not those conveniently assigned scapegoats that your administration appointed to serve a pre-determined political agenda.

But enough on that.

“This week Theresa May is making her first international visits since triggering Article 50 – and unfortunately it tells us a lot about where she sees the UK’s post-Brexit future lying. Today she flies into Jordan, and tomorrow she’s off to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for a visit that she hopes will “herald a further intensification” in relations between the UK and the two countries,”read a report in The Independent.

An interesting itinerary I would say. Leave Jordan to the side for a second and let’s concentrate instead on where Britain’s premier thinks financial salvation will come from: Saudi Arabia.

If the name alone does not make you recoil, allow me to summarize the nature of that Middle Eastern regime with a few chosen adjectives: violent, reactionary, self-righteously vindictive, oppressive and above all inherently intolerant. Weaved around the concept of Takfirism - an ideology that professes the murder of all religious minorities and denominations other than that it professes - Saudi Arabia has held a genocidal blade over the Islamic world, forever calling for religious cleansing to assuage its thirst for control.

Of all the many partners Theresa May could have chosen to visit in order to expand her portfolio, it is the kingdom she decided to lock horns with. My question is: how long before the Devil comes to collect on that deal? Another thing to consider would be treason. Is it not reasonable to posit that an alliance with Wahhabist Saudi Arabia equates to supporting terrorism itself? Can we then, in all good conscious, allow for capitalism to take precedent over our humanity?

I’m hoping you won’t even consider debating me on this!

Where does cold pragmatism end? While I can rationalize Britain’s needs for economic growth, recovery and future opportunities, it needs not be tied up to grand war criminals whose future is unlikely to end in pleasantries. I would personally argue that too much innocent blood has been claimed for any one nation to forget in a hurry whose hands, and whose weapons rained death upon their lands.

In Yemen, research conducted by UNICEF shows the conflict Saudi Arabia has run created a situation in which a child is dying of preventable causes every 10 minutes.

In Bahrain, Al-Khalifa has managed an open demographic remapping campaign with genocidal undertone courtesy of one kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Should I add to the list of crimes Riyadh overtly committed?

Need I tell you of the thousands of men and women currently languishing in jail for they dared exercise freedom in a land where the king sits master of life and death.

Is that how Britain envisions its recovery? Is it how Britain's ambitions to salvage its economic future and offer future generations legs to stand on?

Now would you like to know how Ms. May is defending her trip to Saudi Arabia and the fact that she is selling whatever morality the UK can still hold on to?

The Prime Minister said she hoped to embody the fact that women can hold "significant positions" by refusing to conform to Saudi Arabia’s dress-code.

So because Ms. May was defiant in her wearing of the headscarf we are supposed to hail her courage and build her a monument? She said: "But I also hope that people see me as a woman leader, will see what women can achieve and how women can be in significant positions."

I will consider the argument when Britain stops acting as cover for the abominable and the flat-out inappropriate. I got a name for you: General Ahmed Asiri and his runaway middle finger.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.