David Cameron has shown through his arms-trafficking trip to some of the vilest despots in the Arab Gulf that human rights form no part of his marketing patter.
His official's disclosure that the coalition government is re-examining all options, including direct arms sales to President Bashar al-Assad's adversaries, out of Cameron's professed concern to end the bloodshed in Syria defies belief.
UN peace envoys have pointed out consistently that to stop the killing in Syria requires an end to hostilities and a negotiated solution.
Yet, although the Assad regime has been prepared to end offensive operations, its opponents, armed and supplied by Gulf states and backed up by Nato allies, have rejected any cessation of military activities.
The US, France and Britain, which were horrified when their stooges in Tunisia and Egypt were toppled by popular protests, have rewritten recent history to place themselves at the forefront of cheerleaders for the so-called Arab spring.
But Nato has altered the rules of a game that was directed originally against brutal dictators in thrall to the Western powers.
The wishes of the people in any given state now count for less than Nato's assessment of a regime's "right" to remain in power.
So the revolt launched in Libya against Muammar Gadaffi, which seemed doomed to failure, was given the kiss of life by a UN "no-fly zone" resolution, a Nato bombing campaign, a flood of Western arms and Qatari military intervention.
On the other hand, the uprisings for democracy in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were not approved by Nato high command and could therefore be crushed without Western criticism.
The Arab emirates and kingdoms, which have become bywords for corruption and repression, should not, says Cameron, be viewed as obscurantist medieval dictatorships.
They are immune from such criticism because they buy substantial amounts of military hardware from US, French and British arms producers.
And that's why Cameron dropped all the democracy and human rights rhetoric, flannelling about all concerned having similar values but expressed in different traditions.
The blatant reality is that British politicians and military top brass have been hand in glove with the arms industry for decades.
They are prepared to talk any amount of tosh to present arms trafficking to dictators as essential to prosperity and security.
It is neither. Britain's arms industry is cosseted through government export credit guarantees as no other manufacturing sector is, while security is not enhanced by assisting squalid dictatorships to hang on to power.
Cameron all but wept crocodile tears over the "horrendous" stories heard from Syrian refugees in Jordan.
He could have heard similar stories from Iraqi, Afghan and Palestinian refugees driven from their homelands, but these are clearly the wrong kind of refugees.
Syrian supporters of Assad also have tales to tell of car bombs detonated in civilian areas, attacks on religious minorities and systematic murder of government troops taken prisoner.
The point for any serious politician, however, is not to swap atrocity stories. It should be how to bring the slaughter to an end.
As long as the West and its Gulf allies continue to arm their proxies in pursuit of a military solution, atrocities will multiply.
Cameron must be told that people in Britain do not want a rerun of Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. Our government should promote dialogue in Syria not further bloodshed.
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