Letter to Editor: Tracing the bombing of Yemen back to Harlow

Politics / Tue 25th Jan 2022 am31 08:55am

Dear Editor ,

THREE children were killed by an air strike as they were playing football in Yemen last Friday (21 January) and more than 70 prisoners died when a detention centre was bombed. In all likelihood these deaths were caused by Paveway IV bombs dropped by the Saudi Air Force. The Paveway IV bomb was designed in Harlow by Raytheon UK. It is a disgrace that a company based in our town exports bombs to the tyrannical Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, bombs that are dropped on civilians in Yemen, bombs that are exacerbating the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.  

Four million people have been internally displaced in Yemen during seven years of civil war. Last September, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that 16 million Yemenis were “marching towards starvation”. 

As arms manufacturers profit from the civil war in Yemen, the WFP has been forced to reduce food assistance to eight million people in need in Yemen because it is running out of funds. Affected families will get barely half the daily minimum ration from the WFP. It has warned that its food stocks are dangerously low and more severe reductions would soon be unavoidable. 

Companies such as Raytheon UK and British Aerospace enrich their shareholders at the expense of the human rights of the people of Saudi Arabia and the peace of the people of Yemen. There is no moral justification for the Saudi military intervention in the civil war in Yemen. Those who supply weapons to the belligerents in that conflict are complicit in war crimes.  

The government of the United Kingdom is laying the ground for the growth of al-Qaeda and ISIS by fuelling the civil war in Yemen. All sides in the civil war are viscerally opposed to al-Qaeda and ISIS, and these groups are likely to prosper as their enemies devote their energies to this fruitless conflict. 

Harlow’s MP Robert Halfon must discover his moral compass and insist that his party’s government imposes an immediate embargo on the supply of the means of destruction to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all other parties to the war in Yemen. 

Yours sincerely  

John Wake 

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10 Comments for Letter to Editor: Tracing the bombing of Yemen back to Harlow:

2022-01-25 09:32:45

It will never happen as the arms trade is one of the Tory parties biggest cash cows...

2022-01-25 10:38:28

Important letter. The conflict in Yemen - and the UK's involvement in it and enabling of it, is a disgrace. Good luck in getting any Tories to admit that, though: they love a bit of murder-for-money. On a point of order, @halfon4harlowMP HAS discovered his moral compass: he's a Tory who fully supports children and teachers dying in unventilated schools, who fully supports the criminal liars in the current cabinet, who fully supports the apartheid state of Israel and that State's sanctioning of the murder, imprisonment, oppression and disenfranchisement of Palestinians, and who - yes - fully supports the bombing in Yemen through his unquestioning support of the UK's amoral, murderous arms' trade policies and Harlow's part in it. Until people in Harlow stop voting for the duplicitous little weasel, the town will be part of the problem.

2022-01-25 14:42:51

Let's not forget that it was a Labour government who took this country into a land war in that region not so long ago. It has nothing to do with which political party is in government.

David Forman
2022-01-25 17:39:27

It is really sad to see Muslims killing fellow Muslims by any means, let alone Raytheon's Paveway IV missiles. Maybe, we should follow the example of communist Cuba and send doctors out into the world rather than death and destruction: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1240028

2022-01-25 19:06:52

David Forman, You seem to overlook Cuban military interventions in Algeria, Syria, Congo, Angola, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. Great example! Muslims have fought Muslims just as Christians have fought Christians for ages. All conflict has tragic consequences.

2022-01-26 09:19:23

I think it's very important to point out that Raytheon has never actually built any form of missile at it's Harlow site. They make communications elements for various defense parts gps, radar, IFF . It's no worse than the animal testing lab alleged to have existed underground at glaxo / former companies names. War is wasted anyway. All that happens is governments argue about what they each believe in and right it generally involves resources, power or money, disregard the view people of the land who just want to live. The only ones who suffer are the people, their families and homes and lives, Governments remain unaffected in their bunkers or behind protection. The whole thing sucks.

2022-01-26 14:24:20

@David Forman - I'm not sure where you're coming from with the Muslims killing Muslims comment. Is that somehow worse than wars involving people not of the same religion?

John Wake
2022-01-26 15:14:08

I would just like to add that the Harlow connection with the Paveway IV bombs that have been falling on factories, schools, and homes in Yemen is explicitly stated on the website of Raytheon. According to Raytheon’s own website: "Developed in Harlow, with the advanced guidance system produced in Glenrothes, Paveway IV™ has delivered considerable operational capability to the U.K. and allied forces in numerous military operations." https://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2545

David Forman
2022-01-27 20:36:16

For Janes benefit, Cuba has not recently sent troops to Syria, although it did so in the Yom Kippur war in 1973. In general, Cuban troops were used to support independence movements, anti-colonial groups and socialist militias in Africa and South America. In particular, the Cuban army brought the Apartheid South African Defence Force to a standstill at the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1987/8. The SADF were never the same again and helped bring about an end to Apartheid. Since 1991, with the demise of the Soviet Union, Cuba has not engaged in troops on the ground military operations abroad. In fact, an academic study by Jorge I. Dominguez of Harvard University in 1997 stated "The Cuban armed forces are a sad, pale shadow of the once powerful institution that strutted the world stage in the 1970s and 1980s." The overseas medical missions have been praised by WHO and many governments. Liberia received assistance in their Ebola outbreak in 2015. Tlhe Acting Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer Dr Beatrice Dahn, acknowledged that the country is “on the verge of defeating the Ebola virus and eliminating the disease from our Liberia. All this would not have been possible if we had not received the level of national and international response to fight against this deadly disease. I am extremely grateful to the government of Cuba for identifying with Liberia during our hour of distress”. https://www.afro.who.int/pt/node/2394

David Forman
2022-01-27 21:40:34

For Phil's benefit. I am a convert to Islam since 1995. I was brought up as a young child as a Catholic and then later as Anglican protestant. Other religions are on offer apart from Christian. As a Muslim I naturally see Muslims killing fellow Muslims a very sad situation, and just as sad between people of different religions. I also see any war as a unwelcome necessity of economic expansion that is brought about by an economic system that relies on the accumulation of wealth.

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