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Poll: British Public Overwhelmingly Opposes Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

The British public is strongly opposed [1] to the U.K. policy of arming Saudi Arabia while it and its allies bomb and starve Yemen:

An overwhelming majority of the public believes it is wrong for Britain to supply billions of pounds of weapons to the kingdom, an exclusive poll for The Independent has found.

Most people also want the Government to release a suppressed report into Saudi Arabia’s funding of Islamist extremism in Britain, even if it damages relations with the key ally.

The results lay bare the public’s deep unease about Britain’s close relationship with an autocracy embroiled in a devastating war in neighbouring Yemen.

It is encouraging to see broad British opposition to support for arms sales to the Saudis (58% opposed, 18% in favor) and general wariness of the relationship with the Saudis. There should be deep unease with such a relationship, and the last two years of the Saudi-led wrecking and starving of Yemen should only make people in the U.K. even uneasier with it. British support for the war on Yemen has scant support among the public there, and it is an issue where the government is radically at odds with what most people want. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has consistently been on the right side of this issue, and has repeatedly called for a halt to arms sales to the Saudis [2].

It would be interesting to see a similar poll done in the U.S., but there has been so little coverage of the war on Yemen here and even less on the U.S. role in the war that it might be difficult to find enough respondents with an opinion about it. There have been some promising signs [3] of resistance to U.S. support for the war in the House of Representatives with the inclusion of several amendments that could limit U.S. assistance to the Saudi-led coalition, so even in Washington there is growing awareness of the disastrous Saudi-led war and the terrible cost that the people of Yemen are paying.

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4 Comments To "Poll: British Public Overwhelmingly Opposes Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia"

#1 Comment By vox pop On July 17, 2017 @ 10:08 am

“It would be interesting to see a similar poll done in the U.S., but there has been so little coverage of the war on Yemen here and even less on the U.S. role in the war that it might be difficult to find enough respondents with an opinion about it. “

I’d bet that American popular opinion opposes arms sales to Saudi Arabia too. Further, I’d bet that American popular opinion supports America getting out of the Middle East altogether, which raises the question as to why Donald “Make America Great Again” Trump is doing the opposite of what the American people want.

#2 Comment By RinTX On July 17, 2017 @ 11:38 am

vox pop says:
“I’d bet that American popular opinion supports America getting out of the Middle East altogether, which raises the question as to why Donald “Make America Great Again” Trump is doing the opposite of what the American people want.”

And the opposite of what he said he would do during the campaign.

It’s enough to make one suspect:
a.) Donald Trump blatantly lied during the campaign.
b.) The president really is just a figurehead and has no real ability to change our country’s foreign policy.
c.) both a. and b.

#3 Comment By The Human Factor On July 17, 2017 @ 5:39 pm

Some anecdotal evidence: I oppose arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and I want us to leave the Middle East. I also voted for Trump.

#4 Comment By Mike Bernhard On July 18, 2017 @ 8:48 pm

The Persians seem to be more rational than the Saudis or the Israelis. Imagine that.