Britain and radical movements in Arabia, February 1958

Report by the Joint Intelligence Commitee, “Nationalist and radical movements in the Arabian Peninsula”, 10 February 1958 “Arab nationalism, including the urge towards greater Arab unity and the removal of any foreign control, is already the most powerful emotional force in the area and it is beginning to penetrate even the most remote corners of […]

Israel and the bomb, 1961

Report by the Joint Intelligence Committee, “Development of nuclear weapons by fifth countries during the period up to 1970”, 5 September 1961 “Israel began an enlarged atomic energy programme in 1956/57. There is reason to suppose that its purpose was partly military, and the installations now being built could, when complete, be put to military […]

British policy toward the Arab/Israel dispute, 1970

Foreign Office Planning Committee, “Future British Policy Towards the Arab/Israel Dispute”, 14 September 1970 “Neither [a pro-Arab nor a pro-Israel policy]…is practicable.  A pro-Arab policy would be unacceptable to British public opinion and opposed by the US government. A pro-Israeli policy would destroy all hopes of preserving British economic and political interests in the Arab […]

British policy towards Israel, the Arab states and the US, Foreign Office note, July 1970

Percy Cradock, Foreign and Commonwealth Office planning staff, to Sir Denis Greenhill, Permanent Under-Secretary, FCO, 24 July 1970 ‘We start from the fact that our economic interests in the Arab world greatly outweigh those in Israel. It would be reasonable to expect that our policy should reflect this fact. It does not do so for […]

The British interest in oil, 1967

FCO, “The British interest in oil”, March 1967 “Oil is easily the largest single commodity moving in international trade. It supplies nearly 40 per cent of the world’s energy needs… British major interests in oil are twofold: (i) in common with all other industrialised nations dependent upon imported fuel supplies we have an interest in […]

Ten year’s of New Labour’s arms exports: A Review

By Mark Curtis Reviewing British arms exports for the ten-year period under New Labour, the figures speak for themselves: – The UK has exported £45 billion worth of arms around the world since 1997. – Over £110m of military equipment has gone to Israel, throughout a period of offensive operations in the occupied territories and […]

The war in Oman, 1957-59

By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses In July 1957 an uprising in central Oman brought about a collapse in the Sultan’s authority in the area and threatened control of the country as a whole. Various tribes defecting from the Sultan joined forces with another tribal leader, Talib, who […]

The covert war in Yemen, 1962-70

The covert war in Yemen – 1962-70 By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses In September 1962, the Imam of North Yemen was overthrown in a popular coup. Imam al-Badr had been in power for only a week having succeeded his father who had presided over a feudal kingdom […]

The massacres in Iraq, 1963

The massacres in Iraq, 1963 By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses The British-backed monarchical regime of King Faisal and Prime Minister Nuri El Said was overthrown in an Arab nationalist revolution on 14 July 1958, which established a republic under Brigadier Abdul Karim Qasim. Said and the royal […]

Iraq’s attack on the Kurds, 1963-65

Iraq’s attack on the Kurds, 1963-65 By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses On 10 June 1963, the Iraqi military began a vicious campaign against the Kurds, whose struggle for autonomy against Baghdad had been stepped up when the first Kurdish war broke out in 1961. The Kurds were […]