UK Update

I got my luggage. Clean clothes — nice.

The big news, in the Guardian at least, for the last few days, has been the role of the British government in what appear to be a series of giant quarterly payments, more than $2 billion in total (yes, two billion) to Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia. The payments have both domestic and international ramifications. Domestically, here in the UK there are issues about who lied to whom to coverup what. There may not be domestic Saudi legal issues if, as Bandar claims, the money flows were blessed by the Saudi defense ministry … conveniently run by his dad. (Here's the Guardian version and the NYT version).

Internationally, there are issues about why the UK is paying off Saudis (aren't they the ones with the money?) — although we know the reason is to get arms sales. And what it meant for the man who was for a time thought to have been GW Bush's prime adviser on foreign affairs (during his first Presidential campaign, and early in the first term) to have been on the UK take. How this ties into the decision to invade Iraq, I'm not quite sure, but it wouldn't surprise me.

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